How to Customize the Preferences in Chimera

Many of you have been using Mozilla for quite some time. Mozilla is stable and has *lots* of features. Perhaps you flirted with Chimera and liked its speed, but missed a few features from Mozilla. Well, there is a way to get those missing features from Mozilla to work in Chimera.

Actually Chimera *does* have many of the features that Mozilla does. It's just that you can't access them directly using the Chimera Interface.

Chimera was missing a few features that were in Mozilla until I added the feautes by editing the user preference file for Chimera. I have fiddled with Mozilla quite a bit - I have setup a Linux lab and manually customized global Mozilla preferences. So I figured I could do the same thing with Chimera - and it worked!

Open up finder (or you could the terminal and use vi..), click on home, go to Library/Application Support/Chimera/Profiles/default/(some randomly generated folder name) (whole path is "~/Library/Application Support/Chimera/Profiles/default//" for those who want it). It would be a good idea to make a backup of the files first - so select "prefs.js" and select "duplicate" from the file menu, or control click on prefs.js and choose duplicate from the contextual menu.

Then open prefs.js in your favorite text editor (like textedit or bbedit)

I customized Chimera by adding popup ad blocking (a necessity), setting disk cache to 0MB and RAM cache to 10MB. I also made cookies only good for the current session (quit the browser and all cookies are deleted).

There are many settings that can be changed. These are just a few that I use. The comments (text after the //) explains what preference that line changes. You can leave them in as reminders (or delete them to save space).

user_pref("browser.cache.disk.capacity", 0); // disable hd cache -less wear&tear + power savings user_pref("browser.cache.memory.capacity", 10000); // set the memory cache to a reasonable number user_pref("browser.popups.showPopupBlocker", false); // turn off unrequested pop ups user_pref("browser.startup.homepage", ""); // my favorite search/homepage user_pref("browser.tabs.loadInBackground", true); // open new tabs in background user_pref("browser.tabs.opentabfor.middleclick", true); // use middle click to open new tabs user_pref("network.cookie.cookieBehavior", 0); user_pref("network.cookie.lifetime.enabled", true); // The cookies are only good for the current session user_pref("security.warn_viewing_mixed", false); // don't complain when viewing a mixed ssl+nonssl items on one page

You can also set your Preferences just the way you want in Mozilla and then copy them over if you prefer - they are labeled pretty clearly. Copying the entire file over "should" work, but I haven't tried it. Its best just to copy over the bits that you want.

The Mozilla file(s) are located at ~/Library/Mozilla/Profiles/defualt/(random)/prefs.js Just open it up in textedit/bbedit and copy what you need.


Although the new release of Chimera (0.6) has added the pop-up ad blocker, the other options mentioned in this article are still not in the preferences menu (yet). Chimera is faster than Mozilla because it is only the browser part from the Mozilla code and has a native cocoa GUIi interface. This "technique" allows the best of both worlds - all of the features from Mozilla, and the speed of Chimera.

Hopefully, over time most of the features that are in the Mozilla, will be implemented again in the Chimera, without needing to edit prefs.js.