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Personas is an extension for Firefox and Thunderbird which allows users to customize the look of their browser or mailreader. Unlike Firefox Themes, Personas does not change the user's icons, it changes the image which appears below the icons.

With the Personas addon you can have your current icon set sitting on top of concrete, wood, the night sky, or a picture of your dog!

Personas on the Web

The official website for Personas at hosts a great number of user submitted personas, as well as tutorials for creating your own Persona and uploading them.

To start using Personas now, install the addon from this page.

The mozilla-labs-personas mailing list on Google Groups hosts discussion, questions and answers. (Before asking a question, it may be worthwhile searching the mailing list archive, or this wiki first. There have been many repeated questions!)

You can track Personas bugs through bugzilla. List of All Persona Bugzillas

Personas Wiki Pages

The Personas project does not host its own wiki, but there are a growing number of pages related to Personas on this Mozilla Wiki:

Project Info

  • Name each of the following:
    • Project sponsor - Labs
    • Main IT contact - Jeremy Orem (oremj)
    • Main WebDev contact - Toby Elliott (telliott) & Ryan Doherty (rdoherty)
    • Main QA contact - Stephen Donner (stephend) and Krupa Raj (krupa)
    • Final application owner/maintainer - Toby Elliott
  • Outline the following:
    • Overall goal of the project - A new backend for personas, flat html files generated by user uploaded personas
    • Any pre-requisites needed (technology, server capacity, staffing, monitoring, response time, etc)

There are two server components to this:

The actual code is a small, lightly hit set of php pages that allow users to log in and upload personas (with a built-in approval process), and uses sqlite to store metadata about the personas. A cron on this machine will generate an html/json/graphics tree that will be rsynched to the other machine every two hours. That machine serves up the flat files rapidly. Hits to this machine are expected to be in the millions.

    • External dependencies - none
    • Dev environment specs
    • Does this project use any plugins or proprietary technology? - none.

Personas became stable and was released to the public in December 2008.

Staging Signoff

In order to get an app into staging, the following should be completed:

  • Code committed to Mozilla source control and tagged - now available in
  • Initial architecture review by IT and WebDev
  • Plugin/tech review by Evangelism
  • Site must be password protected
  • Review timeline to go live
  • Review any production requirements so IT can order any new hardware needed

Production Signoff/Launch

  • Final WebDev signoff
  • Final IT signoff
  • Final QA signoff
  • Operations documents filled for support & any training complete
  • Monitors in place


Many of the signoff tasks above are verbatim copies from IT/Production_Acceptance. Those that have been completed could be removed. A new Todo section describing work in progress would be good.

We really want to be able to focus on the pages on this wiki which are related to Personas. So far such pages have been stored with a Labs/Personas/... path, but I have not found a neat way to browse that. I note this wiki provides the option of creating Namespaces for pages; is that a better way to bind them all together? If we were on Wikipedia, I would create a Category called "Personas" and mark them all as belonging to that category. Do we want two separate entry pages for users and for project contributors? -- JoeyTwiddle [2009-07-25]