I suppose I’ll add a TL;DR now: Switched my mom’s computer from KDE Neon to openSUSE Leap when KDE Neon started glitching out, kept /home partition, and somehow lost a significant chunk of Firefox bookmarks for some reason. Didn’t make a backup before making the switch, due to circumstances not making such a process easy. Firefox’s own backups may have been deleted or overwritten. Are they lost forever?
Now onto the details.
Back on October 25, my mom’s computer, which was running KDE Neon, started messing up. It happened at the same time I was desperately trying to fix my own computer, which runs Tumbleweed. So, bad luck all around.
Anyway, I couldn’t figure out how to fix her install, so I installed openSUSE Leap 15.1 on her computer instead of KDE Neon. I had her system set up with a separate /home partition. I installed Leap and set it up to use the existing /home partition, with the same username and such.
One quirk I noticed was that, when I launched Firefox, it created a new profile even though the existing one still existed. Thunderbird did the same thing. I used the command firefox -p to switch back to the original profile. When I was using that profile, Firefox kept crashing after closing. The window would close, then the process would hang for about 30 seconds before crashing. I created a new profile (I deleted the one that was created on the first launch in Leap) and ended up trying to move data files from the old profile to the new one, but I couldn’t figure out which one would cause it to start crashing. So I ultimately used the Firefox Sync feature to get the bookmarks, history, saved passwords, etc. transferred between the profiles.
Only after all of this was it discovered that a significant number of bookmarks are missing. I went to the bookmarkbackups folder in the Firefox profile, and the last backup was from December 2018. There was one backup made after Leap was installed, but that seems to be missing the bookmarks already. Something happened to the original Firefox profile, upon installing Leap and before running Firefox Sync, that removed all those bookmarks.
The problems that caused me to carry out the distro change didn’t seem to have anything to do with Firefox. Something happened to KDE, in that Qt apps stopped launching. I rebooted, and found that the login manager, sddm, wouldn’t display, even though it was apparently running. Firefox was open when all this started, but it seemed to affect Qt apps, and I think Firefox is GTK. I suppose it could have corrupted Firefox’s files somehow. But I don’t get why bookmarks would go missing. I would think that if it affected the file that has the bookmarks stored, all the bookmarks would be gone.
Does anyone know if I can get these bookmarks back?