Mozilla Firefox Sync Server

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From Wikipedia:

Firefox Sync, originally branded Mozilla Weave, is a browser synchronization feature that allows users to partially synchronize bookmarks, browsing history, preferences, passwords, filled forms, add-ons and the last 25 opened tabs across multiple computers.
It keeps user data on Mozilla servers, but the data is encrypted in such a way that no third party, not even Mozilla, can access user information. It is also possible for the user to host their own Firefox Sync servers, or indeed, for any entity to do so.

This page details how you should proceed to host your own (Mozilla) Firefox Sync Server (shortened to FFSync).

Warning: Mozilla Firefox Sync will be deprecated in Firefox 29 in favor of Firefox Accounts. See those links for details:


mozilla-firefox-sync-server-hgAUR is available in the AUR.

The setup creates an isolated Python environment in which all necessary dependencies are downloaded and installed. Afterwards, running the server only relies on the isolated Python environment, independently of the system-wide Python.

Server configuration

Two files are used to configure a FFsync server: /opt/mozilla-firefox-sync-server/development.ini and /opt/mozilla-firefox-sync-server/etc/sync.conf.

Basic configuration

The fallback node URL must reflect the server's visible URL (here In /opt/mozilla-firefox-sync-server/etc/sync.conf, change:

fallback_node = http://localhost:5000/


fallback_node =

Disable debug mode

In /opt/mozilla-firefox-sync-server/development.ini, set:

debug = False

Set email

In /opt/mozilla-firefox-sync-server/etc/sync.conf, set:

sender =

Storage backend

The default storage backend is sqlite which should be fine if you don't have a lot of users. To split the various databases into several files, edit the sqluri fields in /opt/mozilla-firefox-sync-server/etc/sync.conf.

The Official FFsync server Howto details setup with MySQL or LDAP as a backend.

Disk quota

The default disk quota is quite restrictive and will quickly be filled if a lot of bookmarks are stored. Bump the disk quota from 5 to 25 MB in /opt/mozilla-firefox-sync-server/etc/sync.conf:

quota_size = 25600

Running behind a Web Server

The default configuration runs a built-in server which should not be used in production.

Apache combined with mod_wsgi

See the Official FFsync server Howto.

nginx with Gunicorn

The PKGBUILD available in the AUR installs the Gunicorn server, in the python virtualenv, by default. Enable it by changing the following lines in /opt/mozilla-firefox-sync-server/development.ini:

use = egg:gunicorn#main
host = unix:/run/ffsync/syncserver.sock
use_threadpool = True
threadpool_workers = 60

Create the /etc/tmpfiles.d/ffsync.conf file to create the /run/ffsync/ folder at boot:

D /run/ffsync 0750 ffsync http

Create this folder now by running:

# systemd-tmpfiles --create ffsync.conf

Enable and start the Gunicorn serveur using the systemd service unit provided in mozilla-firefox-sync-server-hgAUR:

# systemctl enable ffsync
# systemctl start ffsync

Use this config extract to configure nginx:

# Firefox sync config
location /ffsync/ {
    rewrite  ^/ffsync(.+)$ $1 break;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
    proxy_redirect off;
    proxy_pass http://unix:/run/ffsync/syncserver.sock;

Not recommended setup with default web server

(Outdated) systemd service unit:

Description=Mozilla Firefox Syn Server

ExecStart=/opt/mozilla-firefox-sync-server/bin/python2 /opt/mozilla-firefox-sync-server/bin/paster serve /opt/mozilla-firefox-sync-server/development.ini


Client configuration

Use the Sync Configuration Wizard in Firefox' Settings to create a new account on the server. Don't forget to choose "Custom server..." in the list, and input the server address:

The "Advanced Settings" button allows fine tuning of the synchronized elements list, and the definition of the client hostname.

See also

  • Owncloud has mozilla sync server application (looks outdated)