Firefox Multi-Account Containers suck – but they could have been great

All I want is for Firefox Multi-Account Containers is to work as I think a normal person would expect them to. And they don’t.

  1. Pick a web site out of my LastPass vault
  2. Launch the web site, and Firefox Multi-Account Containers should create the new tab based on the domain of the launched URL.

Doesn’t work. The new tab is not in the right container. It is in yet another new empty container. This makes the secure site I’m trying to log in to think I’m at a public kiosk.

  1. Use Firefox Multi-Account Containers to open the container for that web site. I get a new tab with an empty URL and page.
  2. Paste the correct URL into this new tab.
  3. Firefox Multi-Account Containers now moves me into a yet another new empty container.

If I delete the old saved container, I can create a new one from the current container. But it won’t last. Next week (or some random restart of Firefox later) it will be broken again.

Gripe Number 2

I have a forum I’d like to keep up with. It’s login is on one domain. Let’s say (and I should point out that if I try to go to just, it redirects me to the login page at

Once I get logged in, it transfers me

Guess what doesn’t work with Firefox Multi-Account Containers?

The repository for Firefox Multi-Account Containers has sub-domain support as a requested feature (and has for a couple years now), but the developer thinks that this is out of scope. The developer says the two are (supposed to be) two different servers, therefore the containers should keep them isolated.

I just want this stuff to work. Sucks to be me, trying out these ideas that seem like a good idea but then don’t work.

The idea behind Firefox Multi-Account Containers is great. Truly great: start any random new tab as if it were opened in a brand new browser with zero cookies, zero history, zero data for tracking you. It’s a little version of Private Browsing but in just this one tab. Close the tab, and all the tracking gunk vanishes.

What if you don’t want the cookies and history and such to go away? You assign the tab to have a name and permanence. Next time you visit the web site, Firefox asks “Always open in the named container?” Yes, please.

Because it is a separate tab, it doesn’t have the Facebook cookie in it, or the Google cookie, or the Gravatar cookie in it. It’s just it’s own little self contained browser, in a named tab. It’s a great idea. The Reddit stuff stays in the Reddit container, the Ars Technica stuff stays in the Ars Technica container; ditto Phoronix, Techdirt,, Facebook, Newsweek, – you get the idea. If I have multiple Reddit tabs open, they all share the same container space. But the Ars Technica tab doesn’t get to look to see if there is something juicy in the Reddit container. Ars Technica gets to look in it’s own container only.

However, implementation is narrowly tied to host.domain.tld and cannot grasp that everything under domain.tld should be in the same container.

That’s a working-as-badly-designed choice. But I’m not about to learn the C programming language and start fixing someone else’s code.

And of course, there’s the fact that it keeps breaking. That is sub-optimal, too.

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