With the impending closure of Xmarks this January I decided to look for a way to keep using the service. Since I still used Firefox as my primary browser and I remembered that you could host your own bookmarks with the Xmarks BYOS Edition I decided to head down that path. Xmarks BYOS is only available as a Firefox add-on. I don’t expect development to extend to Chrome, IE or Safari.
You will need to have access to a FTP server to host your own Xmarks files. You can host your own FTP server with Filezilla Server or use space on a web server if you have FTP access to it. (Setup of Filezilla is beyond the scope of this post. I may add a tutorial on this in the future.)
Here are the steps we will follow to use Xmarks BYOS:
- uninstall Xmarks
- create a folder on your FTP server
- install Xmarks BYOS
- configure Xmarks to use your FTP site
Step 1: Uninstall Xmarks
- Open Firefox
- Click on Tools
- Click on Ad-Ons
- Highlight Xmarks
- Click Uninstall
- Reboot Firefox
Step 2: Setup your FTP server
- Create a folder on your FTP server called “Xmarks”
Wow that was easy wasn’t it?
- Head here for the installer
- Click on the Continue to Download button
- Click the Download button
- Accept all prompts and reboot Firefox to complete the install
- Enter your FTP site username and password in the appropriate fields.
- Enter the URL to your FTP site
- i.e. ftp://ftp-server-address/xmarks/bookmarks.json
- i.e. ftp://ftp-server-address/xmarks/passwords.json
- Click Synchronize now
- If you want to sync your passwords click on the Sync tab and check the passwords check box
- Enter the password you want for your passwords file. This cannot be the same as your Xmarks BYOC password.
- Click OK to finish
You can repeat steps 3 & 4 on as many computers are you require. Just make sure the settings are exactly the same or sync will not work.
If you’re using your own FTP server make sure to make backup copies of your .json files.
Thanks to Jonathan & Alicia we see that BYOS will not work with Firefox 4.0, whenever it is released. However, Alicia reports that these instructions do work with the latest Xmarks release, which you can find info on here.