Mozilla makes it more difficult to block Firefox updates - gHacks Tech News

Mozilla makes it more difficult to block Firefox updates

Current stable versions of the Firefox web browser support three states when it comes to checking for and installing updates in the web browser.

The default setting checks for updates automatically and installs them immediately when found. The second state checks for updates but requires user interaction to start the installation of the update, and the third state disables update checking entirely in the browser.

Firefox users can open about:preferences#general in the browser and scroll down to the Firefox Updates section to manage update settings in the Firefox browser.

firefox updates options

Firefox users could also set the preference app.update.enabled on about:config to false to disable update checks in the browser.

Mozilla plans to change the updating logic of Firefox by removing the third option from the browser's user interface and from about:config.

The organization does not mention explicitly how it plans to deal with Firefox installations that are set to never check for updates. It seems likely that the setting will be switched to "check but don't install" automatically, but that is not mentioned explicitly anywhere.

Firefox users who have set the browser to never check for updates should verify which setting is enabled after upgrading to version 63. Firefox 63 is scheduled to release in October 2018.

Why is Mozilla making the change?

The bug listing on [email protected] highlights that the option is "easy to enable and forget about", and that it "contributes to orphaned users" and "exposes users to severe security issues".

The new method

prevent firefox from updating

The feature won't be removed entirely, however. The recently introduced policy engine provides an option to block updates in Firefox entirely.

Firefox users and system administrators have two options to use policies. They can create a policies.json file manually and fill it with appropriate policies, or use the excellent Enterprise Policy Generator instead.

Just install the extension in the Firefox web browser and open its settings with a click on the icon. Locate Updates & Data Collection and check the policy "Prevent Firefox from updating". The policy requires Firefox ESR 60 or higher, or Firefox 62 or higher.

The add-on creates a policy file that you need to place in the distribution folder of the Firefox installation.

Additional information about policy support is available here.

Closing Words

While it is generally not recommended to disable the installation of updates, it should be up to the user to make that decision in my opinion. Yes, it would be great if all users would run the latest version of Firefox but users have multiple reasons for not wanting to update.

While it is more difficult to block update checking entirely in Firefox, an option to do so still exists even in Firefox 63 and future versions released after Firefox 63.

Now You: How do you handle updates in Firefox? (via Deskmodder / Sören Hentzschel)

Summary
Mozilla makes it more difficult to block Firefox updates
Article Name
Mozilla makes it more difficult to block Firefox updates
Description
Mozilla plans to change the updating logic of Firefox by removing the option to block updates from the browser's user interface and from about:config.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. stefann said on July 28, 2018 at 3:25 pm
    Reply

    I have always after an install removed the Update file and the two maintenance files (i never install mainentenance service) in the install folder, both for Firefox and Thunderbird. That way i know it doesn’t update. I always download and update it when i want to, not when Mozilla want me to. Addons can still be updated without those three files.

    1. Tom Hawack said on July 28, 2018 at 6:33 pm
      Reply

      Same here except that instead of removing I block Mozilla files from connecting via Windows Firewall (using the ‘Firewall App Blocker’ front-end application). Those files are :

      crashreporter.exe
      maintenanceservice.exe
      maintenanceservice_installer.exe
      minidump-analyzer.exe
      pingsender.exe
      plugin-container.exe
      plugin-hang-ui.exe
      updater.exe

      I n fact I’ve just added updater.exe after reading this article and your comment. I’m not sure blocking updater.exe will not prevent Firefox from updating its blocklists. I need information for this point.

      Concerning Mozilla’s move announced as planning to make it more difficult to block updates, I already use the policies template and will add the one concerning updates blocking as soon as I update to Firefox 62.

    2. CKing123 said on July 28, 2018 at 8:09 pm
      Reply

      Or you could just choose the second option. Mozilla won’t update Firefox for you, but it *will* let you know that a new version is available so you don’t have to keep checking their website from time to time. Gives the same results without resorting to potentially breaking Firefox

      1. John C. said on July 29, 2018 at 9:30 am
        Reply

        It also means another excuse for Mozilla to phone home without my permission. On my computer, I’ve done everything I can to prevent that happening without totally blocking updates. I, for one, have the self discipline to routinely manually check for updates. If I haven’t read that an update borks the program (eg. M$’s recent W7 update which increases CPU usage tremendously, and which, AFAIK, they still haven’t fixed) then I will allow the update.

    3. General T. Hawack shoots a tiger-shaped rock said on July 28, 2018 at 8:34 pm
      Reply

      Well, if you guys don’t want no Abba-Zabas, why you all don’t stick to the notorious IE6?
      Get you a Winchester rifle and a whole box of shells. Blow the roofs off that security holes and roll all this outdated features up the hill. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy!

      So always look on the safe side of life and to beat up all this flat-earthy Nazis-on-the-dark-side-of-the-Mozillas … never go online ♫

      1. Tom Hawack said on July 28, 2018 at 9:06 pm
        Reply

        Don’t be so extremely binary, cap’tain. Being careful doesn’t require being radical nor demagogic. Some users try to find the best balance between preservation of privacy and openness to latest technological developments. Besides accepting it all and refusing it all (à la Pale Moon) there is room for brains.

  2. JSB said on July 28, 2018 at 3:41 pm
    Reply

    Ah, I see Mozilla is adopting the Microsoft Windows 10 attitude:

    “We know what’s best for you. Turn off updates completely? What folly! We reserve the right to nag you incessantly until you comply! Use a feature which we deem obsolete or not important enough to support anymore (cough, RSS, cough)? We’ll dump it and you’ll learn to live with it.” Oh, and we have this neato new thingy we’re just dying to try out on you. You’ll just LOVE it, promise! Even if you don’t, hey, we’re getting a nice kickback from a third party for including it, so WE’LL love it.”

    Good luck with that strategy, guys. You’re going to need it.

    (Left this with Palemoon on Linux. I think I’ll go check my RSS feeds now. Toodles!)

    1. Rush said on July 28, 2018 at 8:20 pm
      Reply

      I use FF v59.0.2 The last stable version in my opinion. It launched in March of this year.

      All my favorite apps work. And I have more control, especially blocking updates.
      And I will continue to use this version until Mozilla somehow blocks my internet access until i bow to their forced upgrade.

      You can download previous versions here:
      https://www.filepuma.com/download/mozilla_firefox_64bit_59.0.2-18552/

      That said, I am not the biggest fan of FF use of system resources. The longer FF is open, the more resources it uses. Best to log off, use a “previous” version of: CCleaner to remove cookies etc, then re-logon.

      Sure, Mozilla warns of security issues using the elder versions…but is their securities issue really just an excuse to keep you from downgrading? I have never had a security issue from using previous versions.

      IT seems, that the internet is still your friend, but technology is like the jealous girlfriend, keeping you from visiting other friends.

      1. klaas said on July 29, 2018 at 12:21 pm
        Reply

        @Rush
        > “The longer FF is open, the more resources it uses.”

        I use Firemin for that. You can configure it to reduce the memory footprint of FF (or any app for that matter) every so often.

      2. Rush said on July 30, 2018 at 12:52 am
        Reply

        @Klass

        Very good.
        Thanks for the reply.

      3. John Fenderson said on July 30, 2018 at 5:08 pm
        Reply

        “is their securities issue really just an excuse to keep you from downgrading?”

        That sure how it seems to me. I don’t want to single out Mozilla for this, as this is the leverage that all sorts of nasty companies (Microsoft, etc.) keep trying to use to as well. It seems like an industry-wide sickness.

  3. Anonymous said on July 28, 2018 at 3:42 pm
    Reply

    Did Mozilla plan to use a kind of kb2952664 or kb2952664 in near future?

  4. jasray said on July 28, 2018 at 3:56 pm
    Reply

    Thanks–always good to have a reference. Finding that simply going to portable versions of programs works as well as anything.

  5. ilev said on July 28, 2018 at 3:58 pm
    Reply

    If you use portable Firefox, like I do, there no need to worry about automatic updates.

  6. Just A Somebody said on July 28, 2018 at 4:06 pm
    Reply

    One thing I am also noticing about Firefox is no matter how much you adjust the settings, enable private mode, use privacy extensions and a VPN, Firefox is still tracking everything and keeping tabs on where you go and what you do. There is absolutely no escaping the watchful eye of Firefox now and I would say it is just as bad if not worse than Google Chrome at this point.

    1. Anonymous said on July 30, 2018 at 4:39 am
      Reply

      And you have any indication or proof for this claim?

    2. Tom Hawack said on July 30, 2018 at 10:00 am
      Reply

      @Just A Somebody, I’m wondering if you’re not extrapolating from the general idea of “all trackers-all tracked”, trending. As Anonymous wrote, any indication?

    3. John Fenderson said on July 30, 2018 at 6:34 pm
      Reply

      @Just A Somebody

      Are you sure? My traffic analysis shows that if you tell Firefox not to talk, it doesn’t talk.

    4. na said on August 1, 2018 at 11:09 am
      Reply

      Google is among Mozilla’s sponsors :)

  7. SocialMediaGrandpa said on July 28, 2018 at 4:35 pm
    Reply

    Just another step on the “This is now our browser, get used to doing things our way” path. What are the odds they’ll do the same old thing of making it harder and harder to do something until it’s impossible.How long before you have no choice but to immediately upgrade?
    Not that I’m being pessimistic or anything… Quantum leaps, hope you enjoy the direction.

    1. Anonymous said on July 30, 2018 at 4:49 am
      Reply

      Those odds are pretty big. Firefox is open-source, people could just compile the code themselves without the forced upgrades and offer these builds online.
      At this point in time, there even is a simple build flag to completely remove the auto-updater, which is needed by Linux distributions. They’d have to move a lot of code around to break that flag and would constantly have the Linux distros on their toes, creating yet another fork where it is easily manageable again.

  8. RottenScoundrel said on July 28, 2018 at 5:05 pm
    Reply

    Hee-heee:

    sudo apt-mark hold firefox

    Now, perhaps the windows weenies will think yet again about moving to Linux.

    1. Anonymous said on July 28, 2018 at 8:25 pm
      Reply

      When linux devs will understand that

      1) the average computer user will never ever use the command line
      2) there is a high probability that they won’t be able to do what they want and solve their problems on a linux computer without having to use the command line, even on the most user-friendly distros

      maybe those devs will design it for real humans and THEN you can insult those who stay on windows.
      Not sure that day will ever happen however, we’ve been waiting for too long already.

      1. Malte said on July 29, 2018 at 9:49 am
        Reply

        I am a regular user. My job is in no way related to Linux or I.T. and i can say that Linux is far more easy to use and manage than Windows. And no.. you don’t need to use the command line at all but you will love it if you try. Because once you learn some basic commands.. it makes the workflow so much faster.

      2. John Fenderson said on July 30, 2018 at 5:09 pm
        Reply

        “the average computer user will never ever use the command line”

        When will Linux haters understand that you don’t ever have to use the command line anymore, unless you want to.

    2. ddk said on July 28, 2018 at 9:12 pm
      Reply

      I honest to God just hate that attitude. Why are Windows/Mac OS users “weenies”?
      Linux did nothing but constantly break when I tried it. Could never get anything done.
      Commands make it worse as one has to constantly resolve errors when using those
      Huge waste of time overall. Too many bugs & regressions. Win/Mac just works!

      Regarding FF, haven’t used it in ages as many pages just don’t render correctly, am thinking flash is still needed and I won’t install it due to performance and security issues.

      1. Tom Hawack said on July 28, 2018 at 10:16 pm
        Reply

        So it appears that Windows users would rather be losers than “weenies”? I mean : if you stick with someone/something just because it’s easier than seducing Miss Universe, where’s true love in that attitude? :=)

        I stick with Windows because we know each other ever since our youth, we’ve done so much together. But she’s changed (I mean Windows) and I know deep in my heart that we should split, I know I should start a new (computing) life with Linux, but the gal ain’t easy to conquer, she ain’t one of those ‘come with me baby’ à la Windows. She’s proud, she don’t go around mixing with everybody, see what I mean?

        Aaarrgghhh (then a sigh).

      2. klaas said on July 29, 2018 at 12:25 pm
        Reply

        @Tom: I feel the same. Every so often I feel this pressure/urge to switch to Linux. I wnet as far as install Virtual Box and Linux Mint in it. I played/experimented with it, installed a number of progs, but I still cannot make that step, even though Linux is not more difficult than Windows. I don’t know what it is.

    3. Anonymous said on July 30, 2018 at 4:42 am
      Reply

      Your Linux distribution should compile Firefox without auto-updater code to begin with, so this change on Mozilla’s part changes nothing for you…

  9. mike said on July 28, 2018 at 5:21 pm
    Reply

    I handle updates in Firefox by not updating,
    I install important updates for the OS,
    it’s run fine for years and boots in 6 seconds.
    If only I could update browser security without wrecking the rest,
    I have legacy extensions I still wish to use
    and a decreasing desire to search for alternatives.

    I’ll be forced to change this eventually, security is an issue I know.
    At that point I may dump everything entirely along with my old firefox.
    As I don’t like W10 or the new firefox some research is needed.
    This means I have an extra two years till faced with the choice.

    1. Anonymous said on July 28, 2018 at 8:29 pm
      Reply

      Simply use Waterfox then, it’s Firefox without the malware parts, and it can run both “legacy” extensions and webextensions.

      1. Anonymous said on July 30, 2018 at 4:55 am
        Reply

        Waterfox is not secure. They had to throw those exact security gains away that Mozilla achieved with Quantum, in order to be able to still execute legacy extensions.

        They’re also now perpetually stuck on that old code base, as pretty much any change they make, is going to break some legacy extensions.

      2. John Fenderson said on July 30, 2018 at 5:10 pm
        Reply

        “Waterfox is not secure.”

        Evidence, please, including your definition of what “secure” means.

  10. TimH said on July 28, 2018 at 5:30 pm
    Reply

    Another reason to stick with 52.9.0 esr

  11. Anonymous said on July 28, 2018 at 6:10 pm
    Reply

    Mozilla has realized that many people turned on the ‘never check updates’ setting and stayed on the old Firefox. They decided to go to Microsoft’s way to prevent this

    1. Pants said on July 28, 2018 at 11:25 pm
      Reply

      AFAIK this change will not be backported to ESR60

  12. We're on a WitchHunt said on July 28, 2018 at 6:20 pm
    Reply

    I run a website where I log user-agents and the pages my visitors were in and I still occasionally see a Firefox 45, 48, 53, … so this move is really good I’d say, good job Mozilla! Now everyone will have the opportunity to taste your future state-of-the-art tech that is WebRender! :) (except the Palemooners and XUL-XPCOM-Witch-hunters)

    1. klaas said on July 29, 2018 at 12:27 pm
      Reply

      What’s wrong with using Firefox 45, 48, 53, …? Why does Mozilla need to decide that it is no good for people? What is the rationale for a Big Brother approach?

      1. We're on a WitchHunt said on July 29, 2018 at 2:59 pm
        Reply

        It’s not good because they’re insecure, simple as that, you can get exploits for them by some searching, even l33t script kiddies can hack them with some good dose of searching. They’re also relatively slow compared to Stylo+Firefox or (in the future) WebRender+Firefox. Gotta give them the best performance or they’ll switch to spyware inside Chrome.

      2. Krixus said on August 4, 2018 at 1:54 pm
        Reply

        @We’re on a WitchHunt Firefox has become anyway a Chrome clone with just a different engine. Both are almost non customizable, both offer no complexity in what you can create with add-ons.

        The difference is, in earlier years Firefox was different, was ahead Chrome in terms of customization and what you can do with add-ons.

        But that is what you guys who care only for simplicity never will understand. And that is the reason why Firefox loses users.

        Because many Ex Firefox users are not interested in a wanna-be-Chrome-clone.

        And for this reason i would stay rather with browsers like Pale Moon or Waterfox or Seamonkey before i would touch Mozilla’s new Chrome similar browser.

        Simplicity and speed is nice, but customization, massive user choice and the ability to personalize the browser to a large degree is much nicer.

      3. clairvaux said on August 4, 2018 at 9:43 pm
        Reply

        I would argue that it’s easy to do simple, and easy to do customisable and powerful. However, the real challenge lies in doing simple and powerful, simple and customisable. It’s entirely possible, though.

      4. Krixus said on August 5, 2018 at 2:07 pm
        Reply

        @clairvaux That is the point. You can offer both. But Mozilla has decided that their main target user group are Chrome users.

        So they remove everything powerful and what could be a challenge to the intellect of a user.

        That is simply called dumb-down.

        And for what? For users of a different browser without any realistic real chance that tons of users of this different product are switching over to Firefox.

    2. Anonymous said on July 30, 2018 at 5:03 am
      Reply

      Recently saw a Firefox 31 in the wild. That’s two versions after their previous GUI redesign (Australis)…

  13. Jon Forrest said on July 28, 2018 at 7:35 pm
    Reply

    Until Firefox regains the ability for plugins to display multiple rows of tabs, I’m sticking with Firefox 56. This isn’t something I’m happy about, but multirow tabs is critical to me. I hope Mozilla doesn’t make keeping Firefox 56 any more difficult than it is now.

    1. Tom Hawack said on July 28, 2018 at 7:53 pm
      Reply

      @John, if it’s only a problem of enabling tabs in multi-rows, there’s an application which allows this feature as well as many others, aiming to restore via userChrome.css and userContent.css tweaks which stopped being manageable by Firefox 57+ Quantum extensions.

      It’s called ‘CustomCSSforFx’ and available at https://github.com/Aris-t2/CustomCSSforFx

    2. ULBoom said on July 28, 2018 at 9:43 pm
      Reply

      Personal preference but I’d rather have real estate than multiple rows of tabs making the screen shorter. Tabs can be displayed in a column on the side of the screen by clicking the List All Tabs down arrow in FF or by installing the Tree Style Tab add on or something similar. I’d bet the app Tom Hawack mentioned will become an add on at some point.

      1. Tom Hawack said on July 28, 2018 at 10:04 pm
        Reply

        @ULBoom, it’s rather the other way around : “Custom CSS for Fx is a collection of CSS styles for Firefox 57 and newer by the author of the popular Firefox add-on Classic Theme Restorer.” as mentioned and explained on a Ghacks article at https://www.ghacks.net/2017/11/13/customize-firefox-57-with-css/

        ‘Classic Theme Restorer’ couldn’t make it to a webextension given its very aims.

        Personally I don’t use ‘CustomCSSforFx’ out of the box because I have a userChrome.css and userContent.css already handling other settings, but I do dig into its numerous css files to find what amid many goodies the ones I’ll add to my mine. You find practically everything, it’s really nice and excellently well done.

  14. Nightfall said on July 28, 2018 at 7:44 pm
    Reply

    Meanwhile, the final release of Pale Moon 28, based on the Unified XUL Platform, is due to mid August. I’m using the beta since June and it’s been a smooth ride, I encourage everyone to give it a try.

    Heard the guys at Hyperbola GNU/Linux are joining the UXP effort by building a new version of Iceweasel, based on Basilisk.

  15. Mike Harris said on July 28, 2018 at 8:19 pm
    Reply

    “After careful consideration of various options (which also included doing nothing, or investing heavily in updating the code), we’ve decided to go ahead and remove user control of update installation from Firefox.”

    Mozilla analyzed usage of the functionality, the technical implementation and state, maintenance costs, and state of traditional updating of the app.

    The organization discovered that user control of updates “had an outsized maintenance and security impact relative to its usage”. Continuing to allow user control of updates would “cost significant time and effort”, and current usage of “the browser doesn’t justify such an investment”.

    Allowing users to control updating is not “offering features Mozilla wants” according to Mozilla.

    Mozilla discovered that the vast majority of Internet users, 99.99% according to the organization, don’t use Firefox’s update control functionality at all. Additionally, Mozilla notes, that browser usage has been in decline and support has been dropped by companies.

    1. manouche said on July 28, 2018 at 9:19 pm
      Reply

      Quote:

      “Mozilla discovered that the vast majority of Internet users, 99.99% according to the organization, don’t use Firefox’s update control functionality at all.”

      That is, 99.99% of Firefox user allow “Automatically install updates (recommended)”. The other 0.01% super-user complain on ghacks.net.

      I feel sorry for the Ghacks-team.

      1. Tom Hawack said on July 28, 2018 at 10:09 pm
        Reply

        @manouche, why discriminate minorities? (lol or rather lis: laughing in silently!). That’s life : minorities think and majorities consume :=)

  16. Rush said on July 28, 2018 at 8:38 pm
    Reply

    But..but..but…Mozilla is open-source friendly….
    …and they could use your donation….

    C a r e to d o n a t e?

    1. Always Remember Your Duty and Your Underwear said on July 29, 2018 at 10:18 am
      Reply

      @T. Hawack

      Scroll down the page to get a glimpse of what this “discriminated minorities” THINK ;-)

      Vivent les sans culottes !

      1. Tom Hawack said on July 29, 2018 at 2:55 pm
        Reply

        @Always Remember Your Duty and Your Underwear,
        Comme dit la pub : “Vous voulez changer le monde, commencez par changer de slip”

        Auf Englisch :
        We have a TV advertisement here in France which says “If you want to change the world start by changing your underpants”

        Et toc :=)

  17. Yuliya said on July 28, 2018 at 9:07 pm
    Reply

    127.0.0.1 aus5.mozilla.org

    It’a a waste of a domain, anyway; they don’t seem to do anything useful with it but to check for updates and possibly collect some data about you in the process.

  18. Chris said on July 28, 2018 at 10:01 pm
    Reply

    This nonsense would be more tolerable if they made a simple about:config setting.

  19. Clairvaux said on July 29, 2018 at 1:58 am
    Reply

    Here we go again… Is this a sort of running gag to keep us entertained during the summer months, or what ?

    How about a new software outfit with a refreshing mission statement :

    1. We hate our customers.
    2. We’re a force for evil.
    3. We’ll strive to make your life miserable.
    4. And we’ll kill koalas, too.

    Now maybe we could get good software from people with such a mindset ? I can’t be any worse, really. We’ve tried the do-gooders, and look where we are now.

  20. common sense computing said on July 29, 2018 at 4:22 am
    Reply

    You’ll pry my XUL extensions from my cold dead hands, Mozilla.

  21. lehnerus2000 said on July 29, 2018 at 5:35 am
    Reply

    So Mozilla has been secretly bought out by MS.

  22. jupe said on July 29, 2018 at 6:11 am
    Reply

    I like to run the Nightly version, but only update every week to 2 weeks, I have been constantly nagged that a new update is available every few hours since the last couple of weeks, does anyone know a simple way to turn this off?

    I assume if I disable updating by pollicys that I won’t be able to manually update at all?

    I am very annoyed by this change!! constant door hanger update messages are infuriating!

    1. jupe said on July 29, 2018 at 12:28 pm
      Reply

      If anyone is interested, I think I have figured out a workaround that seems to have avoided me seeing the door hanger dialog for the last few hours (I was seeing it like every 1h, over the last weeks), I set this to a huge value: app.update.interval

      1. Tom Hawack said on July 29, 2018 at 1:03 pm
        Reply

        That’s indeed a worthy workaround for users having application update on (and for future users of Firefox, cf. this article).

        app.update.interval = The number of seconds between update checks. (Default: 43200, or 12 hours now on FF 61.0.1 at least).

        My smiling advice : switch it to 999999999 :=)

    2. manouche said on July 29, 2018 at 4:56 pm
      Reply

      I urgent suggest, Mr. Brinkmann should write an article about “Nightlys” in general and why they are not called “TwoWeeklys”.

      1. jupe said on July 30, 2018 at 3:27 am
        Reply

        Hilarious.

        Just because it is called Nightly doesn’t mean I should be forced to update everyday, or nagged into submission.

      2. manouche said on July 30, 2018 at 9:41 am
        Reply

        Installing Nightlys just for the sake of complaining it’s updating twice a day?!

        Nightly builds are SNAPSHOTS OF THE DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY for upcoming releases and are CREATED AUTOMATICALLY using the latest revisions from the repository. Released as soon as it’s built. This happens at least twice a day with Firefox Nightly. And that’s the sole nature of a so called “Nightly” and fundamentally for testing purpose.

        Otherwise they would be called Weekly, Monthly or even Ten Years After …

        If you dont like this automatic updates, share data to Mozilla and/or file a bug, get yourself a stable version … so please dont complain the ball you are playing with is round!

        Otherwise get you a watermelon and a knife and cut yourself a cube to play with, but don’t cry again if it’s too juicy.

      3. jupe said on July 30, 2018 at 11:55 am
        Reply

        @manouche: you really are being a troll here, and I don’t like feeding them, but in this case I’ll make an exception.

        I do file bugs and share my usage data, etc, I didn’t say I didn’t anywhere, but thanks for assuming that. It makes no sense to me that I need to update everyday, if I find a bug I DO update and see if it is fixed before filing a bug.

        They are called Nightly builds because they are released nightly, trust me I understand the concept, but that doesn’t mean that all users should be forced to use the latest build twice daily. I have being doing it as I have described previously for the last decade with no problems, then in the last week I started getting nagged constantly, so if the way I have been using Nightly all this time (since Minefield v4) somehow offends you and is worth you leaving non-constructive unhelpful comments, then you need to find a hobby.

      4. jupe said on July 30, 2018 at 12:20 pm
        Reply

        @manouche: I forgot to say, initially I was asking a question, and my “complaining” was just me giving a reason why I wanted to know the answer, unfortunately instead of an answer I got you clogging the message board with a worthless and unnecessary reply.

      5. manouche said on July 30, 2018 at 9:03 pm
        Reply

        Quote: “… initially I was asking a question”

        Q: Why have you been constantly nagged that a new update is available every few hours?

        A: Because it has been a bug in a very unstable Nightly. Shaiz happens

        Q: Why dit it last a couple of weeks?

        A: Because you only update every two weeks or so.

        Q: Does anyone know a simple way to turn this off?

        A: Yes! Updating regulary and the bug would have been gone away by the NEXT UPDATE!

        One last question remains: To whom belongs the honor of beeing a troll and “clogging the message board with a worthless and unnecessary question”

        A: I trust the discriminated minority with brains to answer this question them self …

        À_____________๏̯͡๏______Dieu

      6. jupe said on July 31, 2018 at 5:58 am
        Reply

        @manouche: You really make a lot of assumptions, you think if I encounter a “bug” I don’t manually update sooner? of course I do! I don’t stick to a firm update timetable! and you are wrong (on may things) this bug as you call it is still present in today’s Nightly for me, and I had been updating nearly everyday lately hoping it would get fixed, but it hasn’t been, hence why I asked the question in the first place, and provided a workaround for anyone else that might have been interested, you just left a stupid reply, and kicked off this back and forth – therefore clogging the message board, please don’t reply to any of my comments again, whatever you are going to say is probably unnecessary and unhelpful.

        Don’t worry this is my last reply, I’ve wasted enough of my time on you and your assumptions.

  23. John C. said on July 29, 2018 at 8:53 am
    Reply

    Thanks very much for this information, Martin. Preventing users from avoiding updates is just taking the same path as M$ and Gluggle and is the final straw in making FF just another Chrome-clone. For me, it means that I’ll stop updating Firefox right now. Mozilla’s euphemistic rationalization that it’s for the “good of the end user” blows my mind and is something that I absolutely don’t buy. One has to wonder how much the Feds and-or Gluggle are paying Mozilla to make this change.

  24. Anonymous said on July 29, 2018 at 9:29 am
    Reply

    “For your security” they already installed cameras on the moon, on satellites, at every street corner, at the coffee machine, in the toilets, everywhere. “For your security” what is planned by Mozilla should not scare you anymore, JMO.

  25. Evangelical said on July 29, 2018 at 11:45 am
    Reply

    Hey Martin, I found another solution, you may wanna add this in the article –

    Open about:config > app.update.checkInstallTime and set it to false. Restart browser, no more auto update checks. You can still manually force update though.

  26. common sense computing said on July 29, 2018 at 3:25 pm
    Reply

    it won’t be long before the Google play store forces automatic updates and even more mandatory telemetry on all Google apps, and Samsung does the same with their apps on their phones. As smart phone sales reach their peak and start to decline, They will start looking for new ways to monetize just like Microsoft has been doing in the face of declining PC sales. You haven’t seen anything yet.

    1. John Fenderson said on July 30, 2018 at 6:45 pm
      Reply

      “it won’t be long before the Google play store forces automatic updates and even more mandatory telemetry on all Google apps”

      Telemetry though apps and the Play Store is already so pervasive that it might as well be mandatory. In any case, I suspect that you’re right. The Play Store and the Android apps situation is already well past what I consider tolerable on these counts, and is one of the primary reasons why when it comes time to replace my phone, it won’t be with an Android (or Apple) one.

  27. Ben said on July 29, 2018 at 7:16 pm
    Reply

    No worries.
    Using WF anyway since FF is useless.

    1. Tom Hawack said on July 29, 2018 at 7:41 pm
      Reply

      Useless? I’ve been running Firefox practically since ever and never encountered crashes, always ran smoothly, 70 add-ons with pre-Quantum, 35 now with FF61. Of course users may and must remain critic and say their word, and I’ve always said mine when I judged it applicable, but let’s stay in the limits of reasonable arguments, mercy!

      Forget my speech if you had forgotten to add “for me” when mentioning a useless browser.

  28. jern said on July 29, 2018 at 9:04 pm
    Reply

    The bug listing on [email protected] highlights that the option is “easy to enable and forget about”, and that it “contributes to orphaned users” and “exposes users to severe security issues”.

    That’s Mozilla saying we’re a bunch of idiots who would lose our noses if they weren’t right in front of us. I’m still using FF 54.0.1 and don’t plan to upgrade – it works fine. I agree with FSB who stated “Ah, I see Mozilla is adopting the Microsoft Windows 10 attitude.” Yup.

  29. Konstantinos said on July 30, 2018 at 12:07 am
    Reply

    That’s good.

  30. clairvaux said on July 30, 2018 at 10:36 am
    Reply

    Hi Martin,

    What’s that new box with highly customisable settings relative to your advertisers’ tracking ? Either you’re the only site out there fully complying with GDPR (and even worse, I mean better : the only blogger going to such lengths), or it’s not even mandated by GDPR, and it’s even worse — I mean better.

    Now I’m curious as how to make this box pop-out again. I wiped my cookies in order to hopefully see it once more.

    Seriously : I haven’t seen any site, at all, doing that.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 30, 2018 at 1:44 pm
      Reply

      The script uses cookies to save your preferences. Some sites use it, others display only a notification and third seems to ignore it entirely.

  31. Frank Meier said on July 30, 2018 at 4:58 pm
    Reply

    We were told that ditching the old add-on system was no big problem because “[t]he majority of users don’t use add-ons at all.”

    https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2017/08/10/webextensions-firefox-56/#comment-224173

    So why now fiddle with this, when the majority of users never change this deeply buried setting?

    1. Tom Hawack said on July 30, 2018 at 6:51 pm
      Reply

      Because in a liberal society choice participates to quality even when a given product is bought by only a tiny fraction of the customers. If Web applications are adopting a collectivist policy it’s their right but becomes paradoxical given business plans are not at all collectivist.

      1. John Fenderson said on July 31, 2018 at 1:21 am
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack

        Tom, I love the thoughtful comments you routinely make — but for the life of me, I can’t decipher what you are are saying in this one!

      2. Tom Hawack said on July 31, 2018 at 10:05 am
        Reply

        @John Fenderson, what I meant to say is that IMO there is a disparity, a hiatus if not a paradox between a policy which reduces choices, options for a given product (that being a collectivist approach, especially when motivated by the number of users) and business plans which remain business. In the same way that a supermarket would act as a consumers’ cooperative with supermarket prices nevertheless : less choice but same price.

      3. John Fenderson said on July 31, 2018 at 5:02 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack

        Ah, I understand now. Thanks! And I agree.

        So many companies in the software industry confuse “easy to use” or “streamlined” with “no options” and “designed for a three year old”. It’s really quite depressing.

    2. clairvaux said on July 31, 2018 at 12:02 am
      Reply

      @ Frank Meier

      This worldview stems from the law of the majority being overstretched beyond the political realm. If human endeavours become limited to what suits the greater masses, then we’ll loose civilisation pronto, because the greater masses are not that very bright.

      I realise this is a very politically incorrect thing to say, however it’s true. New products, new technologies, scientific discoveries, great works of art, great buildings have always been made by the exceptional 1% aiming to statisfy their ambitions — and the ambitions of similarly exceptional people.

      Those are the men driving progress and building great things, which benefit everybody in the long run. The current egalitarianism, so prevalent in the tech industry but also everywhere else, is a deadly poison.

      Mozilla is a prime culprit here. It’s both openly leftist, and says stupid things such as : most of our customers don’t use that feature, therefore it’s useless and we must take it out. Good tech is not driven by the law of the majority. If “it’s OK for me” and “suits me fine” had been the driving force in the digital market, then we’d never have had the iPhone, therefore smartphones wouldn’t exist.

      We wouldn’t have Amazon either, because most people are too dumb to read books, let alone are readers avid enough to want them shipped at their door, and to be excited by the promise of a vastly greater choice than in a large bricks-and-mortar bookshop.

      Hey, we wouldn’t have the tech industry at all, because only a tiny, tiny minority of the population has ever been a college pupil with an urge to hack into the local mainframe (or mini-computer) in order to satisfy his passion for programming.

      And yet, if the Bill Gates and Steve Wozniaks of the time had not been allowed to pursue such quirky obsessions, we wouldn’t be discussing what features should or should not be in Firefox, because the personal computer would never have been invented, period.

      Google bosses are spewing egalitarian platitudes in public because radical chic mandates it, but of course they don’t practice what they preach in-house. Of course hiring at Google is anything but egalitarian. Of course the most lowly technical employee at Google is a genius compared to the man in the street, and that’s the reason why Google got where it is now.

      It’s funny people never say : we should have mediocre footballers, or run-of-the mill athletes, because nobody average can run that fast, or whatever. In sports, the quest for excellence is a given.

      Why is it that with technical, advanced tools such as software, some people now request mediocrity ? Are they that afraid to feel inadequate ? Are they that jealous of people who can actually apply advanced skills to complex tools ? Are they so feckless that they can’t be persuaded to have a try at it themselves, and learn new skills that they did not know they had the potential for ?

  32. John Fenderson said on July 30, 2018 at 5:04 pm
    Reply

    “How do you handle updates in Firefox?”

    I have it inform me of update availability, but to leave pulling the trigger on them up to me. It’s the only way I’m willing to deal with updates of anything.

    This sounds like a rather poor decision on the part of Mozilla. They haven’t (yet) gone full Win10 with this, but they’re sidling right up to that line. I keep waiting for Quantum to improve to the point where it can be my daily driver, but I swear that it’s been inching away from that point, not toward it, as time move forward. I’m now trying to decide if it’s even worth keeping tabs on anymore.

  33. [email protected] said on July 31, 2018 at 11:28 am
    Reply

    Heh… If I ever have the desire to play with a Mozilla browser, I use Firebird. Remember that? It works like a charm and makes me wonder if progress is such a good thing.

    Sure, there’re one or two sites that seem to go”WTF?”, but it works fine. I gave up on Firefox, when they switched to Quantum, or whatever it’s called. Not that I ever used it much, because it always feels like it’s been bolted together in some guy’s garage, from bits that they found lying around.

    Some of the extensions made it a must have, for a few things. But, since those extensions are now defunct, due to the policy they now have, I’ve dumped it and stick with Opera v12.18, Vivaldi and, occasionally, PaleMoon/Basilisk.

    The Firefox rebranding article made me giggle. Will the rebranding bring in new users? I doubt it. Will it make Firefox a better product? Not a chance. So, why waste good money doing it? You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

  34. zed said on August 1, 2018 at 6:32 pm
    Reply

    Kirk Steuber (Assignee) writes: “I have been told that we have no real way of updating Firefox installations on Linux unless we can already write to the installation directory because we have no reliable, cross-platform way of elevating our privileges”.

    And that’s EXACTLY the reason I’m using Linux and not Windows: I don’t want apps to become sentient, admin-like bots messing with my system. I want to decide IF and WHEN.

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