Translations of this page:

How to separate your Browser Session from your Computer

This guide explains how you can configure your browser in such a way that when you close your browser on one computer, turn off that computer and start another computer, you will find the same tabs open on that second computer

For you if...

  • you surf the web on several computers (work/university/home/laptop…)
  • you use multiple operating systems on the same computer, but want to keep the partitions separate

Not for you if...

  • you like Firefox, you can achieve the same by using the Weave add-on, which does exactly that.
  • you only use one computer/operating system
  • you use an operating system that's not Windows or Linux or Mac. (If you use Solaris/BSD/Haiku: tough luck!)

Why?

Wouldn't it be great if the tabs that are currently open in your browser, would still be there, when you open your browser on any other of your computers? E.g. you find an interesting website at work/university, you close the browser and when you are home you'll see exactly the same tabs you had on that other PC you used last. You can actually achieve this by combining Opera and Dropbox

Preparation

You need two things:

Dropbox (or comparable sync tool)

If you use this link to register you get 250MB bonus: Dropbox

Dropbox is a folder, that can exist in many locations at the same time. Like on your laptop and on your desktop computer and on your work computer: if you put something into your Dropbox folder on your laptop it's then also on all your other computers. Dropbox is available for Windows, Linux and Mac.

The basic idea is that your Opera browser on PC Nr.1 saves the opened tabs into your Dropbox and your Opera browser on PC Nr.2 loads the tabs from your Dropbox and vice versa.

There are some other services that do pretty much the same, for example if you only use Ubuntu computers you can use Ubuntu One instead. The advantage is that it already comes with Lucid Lynx, the disadvantage is that the registration process is annoying, connecting computers to it is a nightmare (if the “Add this computer”-button is missing you have to run “u1sdtool -q; killall ubuntuone-login; u1sdtool -c” from the command line) and it only works with Ubuntu (not even with other Linux distros)

Opera Browser (or comparable)

It is very easy to configure Opera in such a way that it saves your opened tabs in any folder of your choice (read: in your Dropbox). Also, it's available for the three most important operating systems: Windows, Linux, Mac. You can get it here.

It might be possible to configure other browsers to do that but it's up to you to figure out how.

Instructions

If you don't follow these instructions you might lose the tabs you had opened (which isn't really that much of a deal anyway)

Setting up Dropbox

After you signed up for an account and got Dropbox installed on your computer you should now see a Dropbox (or “My Dropbox”) folder on your computer.

Now you need a folder where Opera is supposed to save all it's opened tabs:

  1. Create a folder called ”.config” inside your Dropbox folder. (The dot makes the folder invisible on Linux machines)
  2. Create a folder called “opera” inside of ”.config”

The names are arbitrary, but naming them this way makes it easier to follow the rest of the instructions.

For your first computer/OS

It's important that you follow these steps only on the first machine you want to sync. For all other machines see the next section

  1. Enter “opera:config” into Opera's address bar to access the special settings
  2. Search for “Opera Directory” (NOT “Opera Local Directory”) and set the path to the opera folder in .config in your Dropbox
  3. Close Opera and check if it put some files in Dropbox/.config/opera/

Hint

Because of a bug int Opera 9 (and possibly 10) it's useless to change the paths of (Automatic) Window Storage File, that path get's ignored.

For all your other computers/OS

Warning: not following this exactly might close all tabs on all your computers.

Do the following on your second/third/etc computer, after Opera saved its files to your Dropbox successfully.

  1. Create a backup copy of your .config folder.
  2. Start Opera. The tabs will be all wrong, since they have not yet been loaded from your Dropbox.
  3. Customize Opera the same way you did previously (opera:config…).
  4. Close your browser. This overwrites your tabs in .config with the wrong ones.
  5. Luckily, you made a backup so replace the bad .config folder with the copy you made.
  6. If you start Opera again, you should see the tabs from your other computer

That's it! If you have any comments or questions write me at DropboxOpera.30.e102gamma@spamgourmet.com