site  contact  subhomenews

Firefox frustrations continue

November 13, 2021 — BarryK

I seem to have got pulseaudio sorted, but Firefox, that's another story...

I posted yesterday about disabling updating Firefox and building Easy with the latest version of Firefox:

However, despite official Firefox documentation to the contrary, I cannot disable updating, nor asking to set as default browser.

In 'firefox-skeleton-*.pet', there are preset values in file ~/.mozilla/*/prefs.js:

user_pref("browser.startup.homepage", "file:///usr/share/doc/home.htm");
user_pref("browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone", "93.0");
user_pref("browser.tabs.warnOnClose", false);
user_pref("layers.acceleration.disabled", true);
user_pref("", true);
user_pref("", false);
user_pref("", false);

There is also file /usr/lib/firefox/distribution/policies.json:

"ManualAppUpdateOnly": true
"DontCheckDefaultBrowser": true
"ExtensionUpdate": false
"OverrideFirstRunPage": "file:///usr/share/doc/home.htm"
"HardwareAcceleration": false

When FF is run in a container, as an extra attempt to allow hardware acceleration (if it is enabled), these variable are prefixed to executing firefox, like this:


....the log shows FF attempting to load the kernel i915 driver, and failing. It is not even supposed to be attempting that, given that hardware acceleration is supposed to be turned off.

Some of the above settings are recognised, some are ignored. Some are recognised at first startup of FF, ignored later.

All of the above are in official docs, no indication that any of them are no longer being supported in latest FF. Very frustrating.

One good thing, FF is not freezing at first startup anymore. This is testing on my Acer Aspire 1 laptop.

Some that do work, no longer asking when close multiple tabs, defaulting to my home.htm page -- though that last one was a struggle -- put in lots of attempts as you can see above, before it "stuck".

Note, in file policies.json, another possibility documented online is this:

  "DisableAppUpdate": true

...but that is ignored.

EDIT 2021-11-14:
Yippee, got the policies.json file to work!
In firefox, "about:policies" reported a parsing error. I looked up the syntax requirements for json, and modified the file:


Removed the space after the colon, and inserted a comma at ends of lines. Now "about:policies" shows that they are recognized.

Here is a reference on json:

Here is a reference on what can be put into the policies.json file:   

Tags: easy