Difference between revisions of "FAQ"

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* Get to a command line
* Get to a command line
**Windows: Start->Run->"cmd" enter
**Windows: Start->Run->"cmd" enter
* Run Firefox with -ProfileManager
* Run Firefox with -ProfileManager (use quotes around the file name because of the spaces)
   C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe -ProfileManager
   "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -ProfileManager
* Create New Profle
* Create New Profle
* Start Firefox with your new profile
* Start Firefox with your new profile

Revision as of 17:24, 30 December 2009

Installing Firebug

Installing Firebug

How do I install Firebug?

There are two ways of installing Firebug: from addons.mozilla.org (AMO) or from Firebug's releases page.

Installing from AMO

On AMO you'll find the latest stable release of Firebug, that works on Firefox 2 and 3. Firebug can be found on AMO in here.

Installing directly from Firebug's releases page

Here you'll find the latests betas and alphas from firebug.

  • releases
  • For installation problems, try a new Firefox profile (see below) or contact Firefox Support.

Can I use Firebug on non-Firefox browsers?

Firebug Versions

  • Version 1.05: check using Firefox->Tools->Addons->Firebug. Version number on the panel.
  • Version 1.1: check using Firebug->BugMenu->About
  • Version 1.2+: hover on the Firefox status bar icon for Firebug

Installation Issues

Firefox 3.0

Firebug versions prior to 1.2, or later than 1.5, won't work on Firefox 3.0.

Firefox 3.5

For Firefox 3.5 is recommended to use Firebug 1.4 or later.

Firefox 3.6

Firebug 1.5 will target Firefox 3.5 and 3.6, and currently also works with Firefox 3.7 trunk.

Installing in a clean Profile

To test for bugs regarding interactions with other extensions or corrupted profiles, you should do the following.

Firefox and Firebug re-install rarely fixes problems because the configuration files are not altered on reinstall. So to clear out the configuration files you need to create a new Firefox profile:

Linux Way

  • Exit Firefox
  • Get to a command line
  • Run Firefox with -ProfileManager
 $ firefox -ProfileManager
  • Create New Profle
  • Start Firefox with your new profile
  • Load Firebug into this clean profile.

Windows Way

  • Exit Firefox
  • Get to a command line
    • Windows: Start->Run->"cmd" enter
  • Run Firefox with -ProfileManager (use quotes around the file name because of the spaces)
 "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -ProfileManager
  • Create New Profle
  • Start Firefox with your new profile
  • Load Firebug into this clean profile.

Read more about this on Mozilla Support "Managing Profiles"

Can't Install Firebug on Windows

Sometimes Firebug just won't get installed in Firefox using Windows. The first thing to try is a new Firefox profile above. If that fails you can dig deeper. Here are some recommended actions to take:

  1. With Firefox closed, locate your profile directory, delete these temporary files, they will be automatically re-created by Firefox:
    • extensions.ini
    • extensions.cache
    • extensions.rdf
    • compreg.dat
  2. Disable any Antivirus or BackUp program you may have running and then install Firebug.
    • It may be that some software is stopping Firefox creating the file structures needed for the installation process.
  3. Run Firefox as Administrator. It may be the same as in reason 2, because firefox doesn't have enough permissions.
  4. Manually install Firebug.
    • This can be done easily, just unzip the XPI (it's a normal zipped file with the extension changed) in your extensions folder, inside your profile. You should unzip firebug's XPI content inside a folder named 'firebug@software.joehewitt.com'. Do this with Firefox closed.

To get the XPI go to Firebug on Addons.Mozilla.Org, right click on the "Add to Firefox" button and select "Save Link As...".


Firefox 3

  • Crash means the Firefox program ends and the crash report dialog box appears.
  • A Firefox crash is always a Firefox bug and needs to be reported to http://bugzilla.mozilla.org.
  • The crash information is available after you let the crash reporter log to to mozilla. You can read the report by using "about:crashes" as a URL in a reopened Firefox. This link should be supplied in any bug report; it sometimes takes several minutes for the server to digest the incoming reports.
  • You can optionally open a bug report for Firebug, http://code.google.com/p/fbug/issues/list but we cannot fix Firefox crashes. This is true even if the crash only happens when Firebug is enabled.

Firefox 2.0

  • Crash means Firefox exits.
  • Please put "Firebug <your Firebug version>" in the Talkback comment field. If Talkback does not come up, see Installation Issues on this page.
  • Check about:config. If you have javascript.options.strict true, try setting it false.
  • All crashes are Firefox bugs, all Firebug can do is try to avoid using features that tend to crash.
    • Is it possible there is a mexican stand off scenario going on whereby Firebug developers say it's Firefox's problems, and then vice versa? If so something needs to be done to address this stand off.
    • There is no such standoff. No one working on Firefox claims that the FF2 crashes are caused by errors in Firebug code.
    • Please see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=400618
    • If diligent documenting of talkback incidents and corresponding bugzilla entries is needed, I'd like to help. Any thoughts?
    • More talkback traces would probably not help at this point. The best way to help would be to create test cases that crashes in the shortest possible wall-clock time. That will help developers pinpoint the problem.
  • Use the Mozilla talkback site to look for your Firefox stack trace by searching on Comment "firebug".

Hangs: Firefox or Firebug stops responding

A 'hang' means the the program is still running (it did not crash) but it fails to respond to user commands. The causes and diagnosis is completely different from a crash.

Firefox starts but fails to show a user interface

To diagnose these problems we need to print messages from the application to see how far it gets. Here is how we do that:

  • Make sure you're not in one of the following conflicting situations:
    • if you have ZoneAlarm Pro installed on Windows, in Firefox go to Tools -> Add-ons -> Extensions: you should see "ZoneAlarm Toolbar"; version of the extension conflicts with Firebug user interface, so you need to disable it in order to be able to use Firebug;
    • [please report other conflicting situations you happen to find]
  • Install the tracing version of Firebug in a new Firefox profile
  • Open Firefox in Safe Mode, use URL about:config to add or set these preferences "true"
  • Run firefox from the command line of your operating system. Add command line argument "-jsconsole". If you don't see any output, kill Firefox and try again.
  • Copy the output of the program into a file and post it to the Firebug issues list.

Using Firebug

Resetting All Options

To reset all of the Firebug options to their defaults, open Firebug Icon Menu (upper left corner) > Options > Reset All Firebug Options.

Enable Firebug 1.4 and 1.5 for Specific Sites

Firebug 1.4 and 1.5 use a very straight forward activation solution:

  • Firebug is disabled on sites by default. If you don't open Firebug while viewing a site, Firebug is not active.
  • Firebug is enabled on sites when you open Firebug on that site. This setting is 'sticky': if you stop using a site and return to it later, Firebug will be enabled on that site.
  • If you no longer want to debug a site with Firebug, close Firebug on that site with the "Off" button, the left most of three red buttons in the upper right corner.

The panel enablement for Firebug 1.4 and 1.5 is completely separate from the site activation. Use the mine-menu on the panel tab to set the panels one by one, or right click on the Firebug Status bar icon to control all of the panels at once. You can enable just the Net panel and or just the Script panel or both. The Console requires the Script panel, so enabling the Console also enables the Script panel. These setting are 'sticky' and remain in effect until you change them.

For more detailed information, see Activation

Enable Firebug 1.05 for Specific Sites

To enable Firebug only for some sites you are working on do this:

  • Disable Firebug:
    • Firefox->StatusBar->(green check or gray dot)->RightClick->Disable Firebug checked
  • Navigate Firefox to the site you want to work on.
  • Enable Firebug for Site:
    • Firefox->StatusBar-(Firefox->StatusBar->(green check or gray dot)->RightClick->Disable Firebug checkedDisable Firebug for ... unchecked.

To get finer control you can use

  • Firefox->StatusBar->(green check or gray dot)->RightClick->Allowed Sites
  • OR Firebug->BugIcon->AllowedSites

How to Enable/Disable Firebug 1.2

The logic behind enabling and disabling Firebug has been changed in 1.2. Since this version, every panel that could have negative impact on Firefox performance can be enabled and disabled separately. Thus there is no need to disable entire Firebug.

The following panels are activable. Notice that all these panels are disabled by default.

  • Console - Firebug's JavaScript Console
  • Script - JavaScript Debugger
  • Net - Network Monitor

A new activation menu has been introduced to make easy to enable/disable appropriate panel. This menu is located directly on the panel's tab (there is a little drop-down next to the tab label).

This menu can be used to enable/disable specific Firebug panel for:

  • the current site (e.g. the Enable debugger for www.google.com menu-item)
  • all sites (e.g. the Enable debugger menu-item)

Also, if a panel is disabled, its content is replaced by a form that allows one-click activation of multiple panels - for the current site - at once.

See some screenshots of the activation UI here. Source and Extending Firebug

  • Firebug Internals (on a real wiki)
  • A comprehensive tutorial and a sample XPI for extending firebug.
  • A HelloWorld for extending Firebug.
  • Readme file for branches of source tree

Using the Tracing Version of Firebug

  • First follow the instructions from the preceding section to create a new Firefox profile.
  • Install the tracing version from the install page.
    • The tracing version will 1.5X rather than 1.5.
  • Open Firebug, then open the tracing panel from the Firebug Icon menu (upper left in Firebug)
  • In the Tracing window Option tab, set ERRORS on, switch to the Log tab.
  • Try your problem page/function.
  • Look for error messages in the log. You can export the trace with the button at the top.
  • To get help, open an issue report and attach the trace.
  • For problems with breakpoints, set UI_LOOP and BP, and SOURCEFILES
  • For problems with Console, set CONSOLE and ACTIVATION
  • For problems where Firebug UI is acting, set DISPATCH, ACTIVATION, and PANELS
  • For crashes or hangs, run from the OS console with this about:config preference true:

Editing Pages

Can I save to the source the changes I made to the webpage I'm seeing?

Right now you can't. As John J. Barton wrote on the newsgroup:

Editing in Firebug is kinda like taking out the pickles from and
adding mustard to a restaurant sandwich: you can enjoy the result, but
the next customer at the restaurant will still get pickles and no

This is a long requested functionality, so someday it'll be available directly from Firebug. Meanwhile, you can try Firediff, an extension for firebug by Kevin Decker.

How can I output all changes that have been made to a site's CSS within firebug?

That's a feature implemented in Kevin Decker's Firediff.

Does Firebug interfere in any way with jQuery's '$' shortcut?

Although Firebug uses the '$' notation, it doesn't interfere with your code. Sometimes you may have issues testing code in the console, but can easily avoid them by using the jQuery's alternative notation:


Instead of:


Firebug Console

I get an error: "console is not defined"

When console is enabled, the console object is made available to the page's javascript. If it is not enabled, "console is not defined" will appear in the Firefox error console.

How to Enable Console?

Click on grayed-out console tab. Click on small arrow to see tab menu.

Firebug DOM Panel

What do the different colors of the variables mean?

Bold Black are objects,

Not so bold Black are DOM objects

Get in Gray in front means "getter"

Bold Green are user functions,

Not so bold Green are DOM functions

Bold Red are constructor functions,

Bugs in Firebug

Where Are Firebug Bugs Reported

Please report bugs or usability issues or suggestions in the issues list or newsgroup. Please do not report bugs in this wiki. Please do not report bugs on other newsgroups.

How do I report a bug?

Bug reports are managed via a Bug Tracker hosted in Google Code:

To report a new one, go to the Bug Tracker and select "New Issue". Then follow the instructions indicated in the issue template.

As a remainder when you're about to report a new bug:

  • Give the version number for Firebug and Firefox, these are very important.
    • Firebug 1.5 will work with Firefox 3.5 and Firefox 3.6
    • Firebug 1.4 works with Firefox 3.0 and Firefox 3.5
    • Firebug 1.3 works with Firefox 3.0 and Firefox 2.0
    • Firebug Lite works with IE, Safari, and Opera
  • Provide a proper Testcase.
    • This is of utmost importance!
    • A Testcase is an small example script or page, along with detailed step-by-step instructions on how to reproduce the problem. It helps a lot when trying to understand your problem, and nothing will be done regarding the issue until a proper Testcase is available.
  • Check that you have the issue "starred" so you receive email when your issue goes in or when other folks offer suggestions.

Remember this is an open source project: the time you invest in explaining a bug goes a long ways toward getting it fixed. Conversely, incomplete instructions without an example will probably be a waste of your time: no one will know what to do with the report and it will be ignored.

Which Error Messages From Firebug are a problem?

See Firebug Internal Error Messages

How do I request an Enhancement for Firebug?

Requesting enhancements for Firebug is easy. Just start a new issue in the bug tracker and remember to start the summary with "Enhancement: ", so an administrator can later label the issue as an enhancement request.

Contributing to Firebug

How can I help with a translation?

Firebug is being translated using BabeZilla WTS service. You have to register on the site and then register as a translator for Firebug.

Here is a list of existing translations for Firebug (although you need an account on BabelZilla to see it):

Available Locales on BabelZilla

See also:


Firebug Extensions

See Firebug Extensions.