Missing bookmarks after Update from Purebrowser to Firefox ESR

Have Librem 15. Installed update. Went from having ‘Purebrowser’ to ‘Firefox ESR’. My bookmarks are now missing and I have no idea how to retrieve them. I’m not the most tech knowledgeable (I’ve never even owned a smart phone - until I eventually purchase one from Purism, of course) though not too hopeless so please give details like I’m a savvy grandma. Any help is very much appreciated. Thanks :slight_smile:

P.S. apologies if this topic has already been posted and resolved. I did my best to look around the forum so if it’s here somewhere, please provide a link. Ta.

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Do you still have your purebrowser files/installation somewhere on the device?
Generally speaking (though i do not own a librem laptop myself yet) when switching from one browser to another you can always export your bookmarks from one browser into a file, and then from your new browser select to import bookmarks - select the file and voila. If however the update completely overwrote and deleted the previous browser and associated files,it may be recoverable by methods someone far more savvy than me might be able to guide you through.

If the browser,or its files,are still available. Exporting from the first,importing into the second is how i have always done it.

From what i can find, the update should not have removed your purebrowser files but rather switched to firefox ESR as the default browser. Perhaps you will find useful information at this thread on Reddit?
Update to ESR thread,Reddit

Edit: Possible relevant from the thread in relation to this new update-

Will I be able to import my bookmarks [file]?

If the profile downgrade wouldn’t work, you can copy places.sqlite from your old profile to the new one (note: only do this when Firefox is not running).

edit 2:
Even if your purebrowser has been effectively removed ,the old profile used to store among other things, bookmarks, should absolutely be possible to locate. It may be that you have to manually enter it and copy line by line,link by link,each bookmark and insert into your firefox ESR profile or directly copy link by link into the browser and re-bookmark it that way.


Maybe @Photon or @kieran who both helped me out tremendously today,possess the neccessary tech savvy to guide you through the process in more detail :slight_smile:
I wish you the best of luck and i am certain that your bookmarks will eventually find their home again in your new browser!

A Free Range Human

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I think this is what you’re looking for : https://tracker.pureos.net/w/troubleshooting/puretofire/



Thank you so much for taking the time to offer some advice, thoughts and links on this.

I had tried to import data from another browser but it unfortunately did not find any.
I cannot seem to locate any files on my computer having anything to do with Purebrowser.
Since I’ve only been using the laptop for about a week, I’ve realised I did not create a back up for my browser. I honestly didn’t realise this was a thing and prob figured that it was all automatic, ha.

Will keep trying but might have to chalk this up to a derp moment and simply learn from it, all the while doing regular backups henceforth.

Thanks heaps for the discussion. Got my brain tinkering :slight_smile:

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You are very welcome! :slight_smile:
@vmedea shared the following

And while i cannot test it atm , reading through the steps it all checks out to me (admittedly a novice user when it comes to practical applications of what i “know” lol). I think you could definetly find the old profile using the method(s) described and load everything,bookmarks and history into your firefox ESR possibly extensions etc aswell if compatible.

Don’t give up. I used to think i was an idiot when i started learning more about linux-based distros,encryption and privacy but keep at it and keep asking questions and you will certainly find a solution and in the process gain another piece of knowledge and skill. If nothing else,it also feels really good to fix/do something that offered no obvious solution to you (or me).

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We considered using an “automagic method” to make this transition from Purebrowser to Firefox-ESR, and magically import history and bookmarks from one to another.

The reason why we did not did it, was that: the browser folder, be it Purebrowser or Firefox, or any other reside in the “Home” folder, the folder where all the user’s personal files are (docs, images, videos).

And to make that magic transition we would have to send scripts in an update would alter files in the Home folder.

And we have a policy that we do not touch the end users Home folder, we do not touch the folder where the user’s personal files are. Because, we want to stay away from your data, and we do not want to go around running scripts in your home folder.

So we came up with this more inconvenient way for a user to migrate the data; https://tracker.pureos.net/w/troubleshooting/puretofire/

But that keeps us away from your home folder.



Dude, YES! It worked!

Ended up following Method 2 (GUI) and it was relatively easy.

Thank you so much for helping me resolve this. Made my day! :smiley:

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That makes complete sense and as a privacy based company I wouldn’t have expected less. It is very much worth the extra effort on our side of the fence (as a consumer) to contribute to our own privacy welfare. Thank you for the helpful info. and for helping us all stay safe.

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Definitely agree that we can’t all start out as experts. It’s always the one step at a time and persistence methods that get people far. Never being afraid to ask questions goes a long way too, as we see here.

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You went from “what to do,can anything even be done?” to “I will try the offered solution” (Sorry i couldnt help much there) to solving everything in about an hour. Thats pretty darn good!! I would toss a like or two your way,but i see so many informative and friendly replies that i once again have reached my maximum likes allowed for basic users limit :smiley:


I know, hey. It’s been a good day :slight_smile:

Your advice helped expand my thinking. There’s definitely new neurological pathways in my brain after today.

All good on the likes, the friendly chats and community support is always worth a lot more. I’ve got enough dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin in my system to last me a good while :smiley:



Happy to hear, i’ve had a similiar experience getting tons of great responses,advice and even a book to buy which is looking to be one of the better ones and uniquely tailored to my personal background and future aspirations! Lot of good happens here. Thankfully,it is nothing like reddit which if you do not frequent, don’t. It will drain you during extended reading on account of horrible interactions with people. Good for the occasional quick look to see if someone encountered an issue you have and solved it though,but thats it.

Side note: I read your last line as “Enough dopamine,serotonin and oxycontin in my system” :smiley: im still chuckling to myself because my first thought was; “Guess thats the open source solution to biochemical firmware”. :stuck_out_tongue:


The Purism community definitely does seem to have a really positive and helpful vibe about it. I suppose given our collective viewpoints on privacy independence and all that jazz, it’s not surprising.

That’s not the first time I’ve heard about Reddit and it’s negativity. I don’t visit it. I’ve scrolled though it once or twice and felt zero inspiration from it so it’s not on my radar.

Haha, so true. Always happy to inspire a chuckle or two :stuck_out_tongue:

P.S. You’ve misspelled oxytocin and it’s in bold, most likely been flagged for inspection by Purism peeps due to your spelling referring to a drug. Might need to edit that one, mate lol :stuck_out_tongue:

No misstakes were made,i never make misstakes!

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Just realised that as soon as I posted my reply.


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