REVISITED: Weave On Your Own Server

Weave is an extension for Firefox that allows you to back up and synchronize your bookmarks, open tabs, passwords and form entries across multiple computers. It’s a nifty little plug-in that takes up the slack for the much loved (and dearly departed) Google Browser Sync. Unfortunately, the Weave extension and service are in beta testing mode, and the backend servers that Mozilla uses to make Weave work are usually overwhelmed, making synchronization as slow as molasses. To make matters worse, the Mozilla servers are frequently taken offline for various reasons, so not only is synching slow, it doesn’t even work much of the time.

In this post from a couple of weeks ago, I linked to an article that showed you how to set up Weave on any WebDAV enabled server. Unfortunately, I was never able to get this working on this very server; apparently WordPress and WebDAV don’t play well together, and I was never able to find the Apache settings I needed to tweak to get it to work.

However, I recently came across this “easy as pie” method for setting up Weave using the free “online disk” service MyDisk.se:

1) Create a free account on MyDisk.

2) During the MyDisk setup, you will be given instructions for adding your “MyDisk space” to your “My Network Places” applet in Windows XP (or “Network Center” in Windows Vista). Be sure to do this, as it’s important in the next step.

3) Open “My Network Places” and click on the MyDisk icon you created in step 2.

4) You will see two folders in your MyDisk space: “backup” and “webpage”. Right-click any whitespace and create a new folder called “user” (without quotes). Double-click on that folder and create a new folder inside that one named after your MyDisk user name. For example, if your MyDisk name is “jsmith”, then you should have a folder called “user” with another folder inside that called “jsmith”.

5) Click the Weave icon in the Firefox status bar (if you haven’t installed Weave already, now would be the time to do so). Choose “Preferences”.

6) On the “Advanced” tab, change the “Server Location” from https://services.mozilla.com/ to https://mydisk.se/USERNAME/, where USERNAME is your MyDisk user name. Don’t forget the trailing slash – it’s important!

7) Log in to Weave using your MyDisk username and password.

You’ll be amazed at how much faster Weave performs on the new server. In fact, where my previous synchs with Mozilla servers could take up to 10 minutes, my entire first sync with MyDisk took only around 4 minutes (and the first sync takes longer that most, because all of your information has to be sent, whereas only changes are sent in subsequent synchs).

For those of your wondering about security, all of your information is encrypted by Firefox before it leaves your computer, so all that’s sitting on MyDisk’s servers are a few encrypted files. I suppose that the MyDisk people could buy a few dozens servers and try to hack the encryption for it… but why would they?

9 Replies to “REVISITED: Weave On Your Own Server”

  1. Thanks for the tip.

    I do not have an existing weave account with Mozilla. After weave is installed I am being asked to create an account. I attempted to log and get an account creation wizard. Using mydisk username and password in the wizard. I get a server error when entering my username. If I reset the server back to the default, I get through the wizard to the last screen and again get a server error.

    Any suggestions?

  2. Well, looking at a few sites, it APPEARS that you have to initially set up an account with Mozilla (after that you can switch to any other server you want). I’m not 100% sure of this, however, and I’ll look into it some more and report back when I know something.

    What, exactly, are the errors you’re getting?

    The Weave SERVICE (as opposed to the extension part) is still very much in beta mode, and Mozilla frequently takes the Weave servers offline, so that might be the problem. Have you tried signing up at different times? Maybe the servers were down when you tried to create an account.

    And I’m also about 97% sure that your MyDisk user\pass won’t work during the initial setup of Weave.

  3. OK Jim. Found another post, http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2007/12/weave-integrating-online-services-with.html

    Using both posts, here is what worked for me:

    – Follow your steps above 1-3.
    – step 4 was unnecessary, weave did this for me upon first login.
    – Follow your steps 5 and 6.

    -Steps from other post to add to yours:
    7. CAUTION: open Address “about:config”
    8. Set Filter “weave”
    9. replace extension.weave.username value “nobody” with your mydisk.se-username
    10. restart FF
    11. click the weave symbol in lower right and select “Sign in”
    12. the small login window appears (the username is already set)
    13. set your myDisk password

    My Steps to add:
    14. Set Encryption password (can be anything) (must be different than myDisk)
    15. Click login, this failed for me (several times)!
    16. Close and re-open Firefox
    17. Look in lower right corner, weave signed in for me and sync’d up.

    A little quirky but worked. Thanks Jim for the jump start.

    -jeff

  4. Finally got it.

    -Your steps 1-3
    -Skipped step 4, weave does this on first login
    – Your steps 5 & 6

    Add steps from http://getsatisfaction.com/mozilla/topics/when_will_there_be_more_accounts_available_for_weave
    7. CAUTION: open Address “about:config”
    8. Set Filter “weave”
    9. replace extension.weave.username value “nobody” with your mydisk.se-username
    10. restart FF
    11. click the weave symbol and select “Sign in”
    12. the small login window appears
    13. the username is already set
    14. set your password from myDisk

    My steps:
    15. set encryption password (do not use myDisk password)
    16. Click signIn. This failed for me several times.
    17. Close and re-open FF.
    18. Weave logged in and sync’d up!

    Thanks for the jump start Jim!

  5. OK, I think I found a workaround:

    1) Install Weave if it isn’t already installed.

    2) If the “Weave Wizard” appears, click “Cancel”.

    3) Click the Weave icon in the Firefox status bar and choose “Preferences”.

    4) Click the “Advanced” tab and change the URL of the MyDisk server (per step 6, above).

    5) Click the Weave icon in the status bar and choose “Synch Now”.

    6) The “Weave Wizard” will appear. Click “Next” at the first screen. On the second screen, accept the EULA. On the third screen, click “Set up on another computer”. On the fourth screen, enter your MyDisk username and password and enter a passphrase for data encryption. (Note: you should choose a long, complex password for the passphrase; also, the MyDisk password and the encryption passphrase CANNOT be the same). Click “Next” (or “Finish”). Weave should then begin synching.

    This worked for me in a virtual machine I installed Firefox and Weave on.

    Let me know if it works for you!

  6. I too just found about mydisk.se. Here’s how I did it:

    -Create a free mydisk.se account.
    -On your account, create a “weave” folder.
    -In there, create an “api” folder.
    -In there, create a “share” folder.
    -Upload an empty file there called “get.php”.
    -So now you have /weave/api/share/get.php. Simple. This prevents Weave from throwing an error into its logs.. It’s not required, but it’s nice to not have the error.
    -In Weave, put in https://mydisk.se/username/weave as the server to use.
    -Sign in to weave with your mydisk.se user name and password.
    -When that works, do a sync. It’ll create a user folder with a bunch of subfolders on your mydisk.se account, and send all your stuff over.

    Easy, works fast and great. Mozilla’s broken servers no longer required.

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