Firefox 71: new kiosk mode for the browser - gHacks Tech News

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Firefox 71: new kiosk mode for the browser

Mozilla plans to integrate kiosk mode functionality in version 71 of the Firefox web browser that users of the browser may launch from the command line.

First requested more than 17 years ago, work on integrating a kiosk mode in the Firefox web browser started five months ago. Current Firefox Nightly versions support the new mode already.

Kiosk mode refers to a special display mode that launches the browser without interface elements in fullscreen. It is different from the browser's fullscreen mode that users can activate with a tap on the F11-key on the keyboard. F11 switches the browser to fullscreen and removes interface elements by default, but these can be displayed by moving the mouse to the top; additionally, another tap on F11 exits fullscreen mode again and restores the default browsing mode.

firefox kiosk mode

Kiosk mode can be useful to maximize the screen space that a site or service is displayed in, or on presentation, demonstration, or customer-facing devices.

Firefox users had to rely on browser extensions up until now to integrate a kiosk mode in the browser. Google implemented kiosk mode functionality in Chrome and users may run Chrome in kiosk mode by starting the browser with the --kiosk parameter.

Mozilla Firefox accepts the same parameter as Google Chrome to launch kiosk mode. Just load Firefox with --kiosk as a parameter to launch the browser in that mode. You may also append a site URL to the command, e.g. --kiosk "https://www.ghacks.net/", to have it loaded by the browser directly.

Create a Firefox Kiosk Mode shortcut

firefox launch kiosk mode

Note that you need to use Firefox 71 at the very least for kiosk mode functionality. Select Menu > Help > About Firefox to display the version of the web browser. The instructions are for Windows.

  1. Open Start, search for Firefox, right-click on Firefox and select create shortcut. It may be a good idea to create a shortcut even if you have one on the desktop already unless you always want the browser to start in kiosk mode.
  2. Right-click on the new shortcut and select Properties from the context menu.
  3. In the target field, append --kiosk and make sure there is a space between the path and the parameter, e.g. "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" --kiosk.
    1. To launch a specific site, add the site address to the parameter, e.g. "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" --kiosk "https://www.ghacks.net/".
  4. Click ok.

Launch the shortcut to test the functionality. Note that you cannot use window controls, Esc or F11 to exit kiosk mode. The only valid option at the time is to press Alt-F4 to close the entire window.

Closing Words

Kiosk mode is a specialized mode that works well for presentations, demos and for customer facing devices. I tried the -printing parameter but it did not work at the time of writing.

Now You: have you ever used kiosk mode? What is your take on the change (via Techdows)

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Firefox 71: new kiosk mode for the browser
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Firefox 71: new kiosk mode for the browser
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Mozilla plans to integrate kiosk mode functionality in version 71 of the Firefox web browser that users of the browser may launch from the command line.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. pd said on October 7, 2019 at 11:40 am
    Reply

    This is a very sensible move that could bring Firefox and the web to a lot of digital signage that is becoming, alas, very common these days. If it has to exist, at least it should be web-based. Instead, there’s software companies out there claiming dedicated, rewrite-the-wheel software is necessary for digital signage. Great move from Mozilla to finally provide this feature. It could not have been all that difficult when full screen mode has been part of HTML5 for quite some time now.

    1. John Fenderson said on October 7, 2019 at 5:53 pm
      Reply

      @pd: ” If it has to exist, at least it should be web-based.”

      Why? That’s a serious question. Making the interface web-based saves on development cost, but web-based interfaces are never as good as native interfaces.

  2. Steve said on October 7, 2019 at 11:52 am
    Reply

    Tried kiosk mode per your instructions in Nightly 71, it worked. Only trouble I had was trying to close the program afterward. Had to bring up Task Manager to close it out.

  3. jim said on October 7, 2019 at 11:53 am
    Reply

    Dear Martin,
    the only negative thing, about –kiosk parameter, is that the right click does not work anymore

    thank you for the information
    jim

  4. jake said on October 8, 2019 at 5:49 pm
    Reply

    “Kiosk mode refers to a special display mode that launches the browser without interface elements in fullscreen. It is different from the browser’s fullscreen mode that users can activate with a tap on the F11-key on the keyboard. F11 switches the browser to fullscreen and removes interface elements by default, but these can be displayed by moving the mouse to the top; additionally, another tap on F11 exits fullscreen mode again and restores the default browsing mode.”

    So kiosk mode is fullscreen mode just without the option to exit from it.

  5. survivor303 said on October 10, 2019 at 5:24 pm
    Reply

    Hmm, this isnt the best way to do this, i want this feature for web apps. chrome has its apps “mode” (use as a application or something). Firefox ui elements are big and bloated, so i really want to hide them when using apps like tweetdeck.

    With kiosk mode, i can at last use it without ui elements but the problem is that, the links opens inside of it too, it dosnt open new window or respect ui version of the browser what is running already, like chrome does with its apps mode.

    Mozilla has work to do, because this really dosnt work yet.. and you cannot even resize the kiosk mode window. So if anything, this is just a shortcut to fullscreen mode.

    1. survivor303 said on October 10, 2019 at 5:38 pm
      Reply
    2. Anonymous said on October 17, 2019 at 3:41 pm
      Reply

      Why not just use fullscreen mode (F11)?

  6. Anonymous said on October 17, 2019 at 3:43 pm
    Reply

    This is GREAT news! Been waiting for this for years! It seems like it would be easy to implement, although I know it’s probably tougher to develop than it looks. Finally, I can switch some of the kiosks I manage to Firefox. Too bad some stupid ones (e.g. biometric devices) only support Chrome and don’t work with FF.

  7. Fuseteam said on October 18, 2019 at 4:23 pm
    Reply

    for those confused about kiosk mode, it is not just a glorified fullscreen mode
    it is a mode where you cannot interact with the browser at all it is meant as a type of Single Web App mode aka digital signage as some people have already pointed out
    this means no right click, no browser chrome, no way to minimize/maximize or close just you and your webcontent

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