Mozilla Sync Server v1.1

This is a repost from my old blog. Version 1.1 of the Mozilla Sync Server is outdated. I will describe the setup of the new Sync Server in an other post.

The current Mozilla Firefox has a nice sync feature. It allows to share bookmarks and settings between several installations of Firefox on different machines. Usually the data is uploaded to a server operated by Mozilla. For those who want to run their own server, there is Mozilla Sync Server available. You just need a Linux host, Apache web server, a SQL database and some other tools like Python. Here is a short, basic How-To on what has to be done written by Mozilla. That is where I started.

One warning. I used sync server full (server-full) from the mercurial repository (revision 335b3b94f8a7). This is version 1.3 and a complete rewrite of older versions. So be careful when reading in blogs, newsgroups and articles on the web. Many articles describe the old sync server!

My system is currently running openSUSE v12.1 with Apache v2.2.21. I want to use my existing MySQL server (Ver 14.14 Distrib 5.5.16) as storage backend.

I had some trouble during setup and searched the web for help. Here are the useful articles.

  • Alien Pastures – Setting up your own Mozilla Sync server
    This was a good entry point for me. It describes the initial process and setup of the virtual host with apache. But it uses sqlite as storage backend.
  • Firefox sync
    This is another good article. It describes the setup of the mysql database in the beginning. The config file (etc/sync.conf) on that page shows the use of a mysql storage backend. This page does not describe the virtual host config with apache.
  • Debugging Techniques
    Here are some good information about debugging apache. It describes the use of different logfiles and loglevel settings. These settings apply to each virtual host.
  • Here is one comment that tells how to enable more debugging output in Firefox.
  • Here is a bug report at Mozilla“s site about Firefox forgetting the sync connection. For now, you must disable deleting saved password on quitting Firefox.

I hope this makes your life easier. It took me one day to setup the server.

I just did an update of the server and had some trouble restarting the process. I found an other good howto on this topic.

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