Tiny Core Linux

Tiny Core Extensions => TCE Tips & Tricks => Topic started by: Rich on August 29, 2020, 08:12:36 PM

Title: Firefox removed "Never check for updates" option
Post by: Rich on August 29, 2020, 08:12:36 PM
It used to be that the  Updates  section of the  Preferences  page of Firefox had 3 choices:

I always selected  Never check for updates  since a .tcz can't be written to anyway. I recently installed Firefox 79.0 and
found they removed choice #3, so I went with choice #2. Then yesterday I started seeing a little pop-up in the upper
right corner of Firefox informing me that they had updates they wanted to install.

I did not like that behavior. So after a lot of searching, here's how I dealt with it:
Code: [Select]
sudo mkdir -p /etc/firefox/policiesIn this directory I placed:
Code: [Select]
tc@E310:~$ cat /etc/firefox/policies/policies.json
{
  "policies": {
        "DisableAppUpdate": true
        }
}
tc@E310:~$

Then:
Code: [Select]
echo "etc/firefox" > /opt/.filetool.lstand run a backup.

After restarting Firefox, the 3 choices in the  Updates  section were replaced with:

That same message now also appears under  Help->About Firefox.

I found other answers that said to place the file under the installation directory (firefox/distribution) which did not work.
Title: Re: Firefox removed "Never check for updates" option
Post by: nick65go on August 31, 2020, 04:48:51 AM
Hi Rich, it is a good trick, thank you. I used google search for keyword DisableAppUpdate and I "discovered" a good documentation with more options here:
https://github.com/mozilla/policy-templates/blob/master/README.md (https://github.com/mozilla/policy-templates/blob/master/README.md)
Title: Re: Firefox removed "Never check for updates" option
Post by: nick65go on August 31, 2020, 06:01:49 AM
in firefox address-bar i typed about:config and i searched for update keyword. many interesting string could show-up:
app.update.checkInstallTime.days =9999
app.update.download.attempts =0
app.update.service.enabled = false

or if search for telemetry, things like:
toolkit.telemetry.server = 127.0.0.1 (instead of https://incoming.telemetry.mozilla.org (https://incoming.telemetry.mozilla.org))

many settings like these can be created in a user.js file and "incorporated" in the already wonderful tool get_firefox.tcz script
Title: Re: Firefox removed "Never check for updates" option
Post by: Rich on August 31, 2020, 06:52:31 AM
Hi nick65go
Yes, that's where I finally found the answer that worked:
Quote
On Linux, the file goes into firefox/distribution, where firefox is the installation directory for firefox, which varies by distribution or you can specify system-wide policy by placing the file in /etc/firefox/policies.

... I found other answers that said to place the file under the installation directory (firefox/distribution) which did not work.
I wonder if Firefox followed the link from /usr/local/firefox/firefox  back to  /tmp/tcloop/firefox/usr/local/firefox/firefox  when
determining its  "installation directory".  That could explain why placing the file under  /usr/local/firefox/distribution/  did not work.

... https://github.com/mozilla/policy-templates/blob/master/README.md (https://github.com/mozilla/policy-templates/blob/master/README.md)
For Firefox 79 the correct URL is:
https://github.com/mozilla/policy-templates/blob/v2.1/README.md
To find the correct  README.md  for other Firefox versions, go to:
https://github.com/mozilla/policy-templates/releases

If you enter this in the address bar:
Code: [Select]
about:policies#documentationIt will list the policies your version of Firefox supports. If you click on the policies description, it will expand to display an example or
the data type required (Boolean, string, etc.). If you click on the  Policy Name  it will take you to the Github syntax examples.
Title: Re: Firefox removed "Never check for updates" option
Post by: Rich on August 31, 2020, 06:58:30 AM
Hi nick65go
in firefox address-bar i typed about:config and i searched for update keyword. many interesting string could show-up ...
If you enter this in the address bar:
Code: [Select]
about:aboutit will list most of the  about  pages available.
Title: FIXING FIRE-FKDUP _ Re: Firefox removed "Never check for updates" option
Post by: grandma on July 13, 2021, 10:21:53 PM
Firefox used to be great and it's market share reflected that.

Then despite being pretty weak and dysfunctional Chrome took the lead it holds today, while the "OPEN SOURCE" team at Mozilla, despite what appears to be 100's ?1000's? of contributors has failed to produce a BETTER PRODUCT with each upgrade.

As mentioned in many of my posts I thrive on TC 3x running Firefox 4x - fast, light and it worked for darn near 10 years for everything. Ideally I'd re-compile it with newer SSLs and Pulse so it played videos/audios on the modern net, jack in a new User Agent to fool web sites into thinking it was the newest stuff and forget all the horrible features Firefox has added since 4x.

I stayed at around 50X - 60X since you can disable auto-updates. After around 63 ?? no such luck..

So since I have a lot of content I publish that has videos/audio and need a functional browser and hate the FF'dUp nagging, updates, pain configuration etc. I wrote a script that:

a) ZAPS /home/tc/.mozilla

b) starts FF for milliseconds until the file /home/tc/.mozilla/firefox/something.default/prefs.js exists, then

c) kills the Firefox process - it's so fast it never even appears on the screen, then

d) copy in a user.js file into the same folder with all the things I want - like autoplay media, no updates, allow full screen, allow window move and resize etc. as well as PORT access - a key to systems I run. The newer FF blocks all kinds of things and even refuses to open http sites - if they don't have https.

It's over-engineered, barely functions, and sadly what was once a great browser now requires crowbars and dynamite to get it to behave.....

There's a reason GMAIL has a BASIC HTML version and every site should...and fewer and fewer do.

A similar "OVER-ENGINEERING" process is happening at Godaddy and YouTube. I haven't been able to use GoDaddy's site since around 2011 so I have to call everything in - sad - but they know me.

As for YouTube I met a senior exec there over beers - I am about 5 miles away as the crow flies - over a mountain - and they explained there is absolutely ZERO discipline there. (DId I spell that right - OMG!) Sure, she said, it's a loose caboose walk the hallways in your bathrobe environment that encourages innovation, but the QC sucks, the new features suck, they're losing market share to other media outlets like Twitch, Rokfin and others - and if you try to give them feedback that screen bombs....wtf?

In short as an old ComSci teacher once reminded me BEFORE adding bells and whistles make it do the basics or you just have crap. It was the Borland SCRUM philosophy and they outproduced Microsoft on a dollars per line of code basis of 4000 to 1.

STEPS:

1. Open Firefox - whatever state it's in.

2. Go to about:config

3. Change it the way you want it.

4. Copy prefs.js from the /home/tc/.mozilla/firefox/something.default folder

5. Add more options you find online, like how to get it to allow communicating on specific PORTS.

6. Pack it up in user.js

7. Whenever you tce load firefox run a script that waits for the file prefs.js to be created then kills firefox. This step really isn't required. You can just restart firefox in step 9.

8. Copy your user.js into the folder side-by-side with prefs.js

9. Close all firefox sessions and restart.

10. Most of the nags and other issues disappear. However, as mentioned, after around V60 turning off auto updates seems to be a nightmare.
Title: Re: Firefox removed "Never check for updates" option
Post by: nick65go on July 14, 2021, 02:59:16 AM
@gradma: thanks for the tips. here are my tips:
I have the /home/tc/.mozilla/ in mydata.gz (< 300 KB); I customized it using tc rules (files/folders to exclude) for tc backup. Plus few folders are read-only, or "invisible"/ -r -w -x rights (like crash*, cache, wigets) even for tc user ;) So firefox can not collect my data, and it can not send my old data out, because all the time it assume is first time run. And basicaly it has no old data to spy from.

FYI: the plugins (ublock)? are just simbolic-link from mydata.tz to other hdd/partition , so plugins can be updated independently from firefox versions.

FYI: in paranoic cases, firefox runs in chroot, so even more isolated, AND under another tc guest user rights (in chroot is whatever user, like john, but in tc is user guest).

I customized the firefox.tcz, as to do not have other (updater, data-reporter, crasher etc) ELF/executables inside.

PS: I do not undestand the role for start and kill firefox. file preference.js can be empty, is re-created by FF, but user.js has priority, and it is enough. YMMV. I "studied" firefox calling process, by adding one by one the files asked for (ldd firefox), delete a file and if not working then putting it back etc.
Title: Re: Firefox removed "Never check for updates" option
Post by: Juanito on July 14, 2021, 05:17:51 AM
btw, firefox-ESR in the x86_64 repo and firefox in the armv7/aarch64 repos are compiled on tinycore and use alsa sound rather than pulseaudio.
Title: Re: Firefox removed "Never check for updates" option
Post by: Rich on July 14, 2021, 06:02:11 AM
Hi grandma
... I stayed at around 50X - 60X since you can disable auto-updates. After around 63 ?? no such luck.. ...

Quote
... 10. Most of the nags and other issues disappear. However, as mentioned, after around V60 turning off auto updates seems to be a nightmare.
What are you talking about? The very first post in this thread explains exactly  how to disable auto updates
and eliminate the little nag messages. I was running Firefox 79 when I wrote those instructions.

Last month I installed Firefox 89 and the same technique works with that too.
Title: Re: Firefox removed "Never check for updates" option
Post by: Rich on July 14, 2021, 06:07:43 AM
By the way, if anyone is having an issue because some sites are rendering with very small text, see this:
http://forum.tinycorelinux.net/index.php/topic,25047.msg159619.html#msg159619

I ran into that after installing Firefox 89.
Title: Re: Firefox removed "Never check for updates" option
Post by: vinnie on July 14, 2021, 08:25:07 AM
from this point of view this decision of firefox to make automatic updates always active and impossible to disabled even with the about:config makes me think that firefox is becoming more and more similar to chrome.
I wonder, but they will have thought about how many linux distros use autoupdate to update the browser? in my opinion the answer is 0, they made an option only for windows users and imposed it to linux users... w open source...

Title: Re: Firefox removed "Never check for updates" option
Post by: Rich on July 14, 2021, 11:46:41 AM
Hi vinnie
from this point of view this decision of firefox to make automatic updates always active and impossible to disabled even with the about:config ...
As I said in the original post, you just need to place a  policies.json  file in  /etc/firefox/policies/  as explained here:
http://forum.tinycorelinux.net/index.php/topic,24263.0.html
Title: Re: Firefox removed "Never check for updates" option
Post by: vinnie on July 14, 2021, 01:25:14 PM
I know but for me this is no-sense complication, what is the problem with about:config?
i had read about this procedure as soon as i reinstalled firefox a few weeks ago in tinycore, i refused to do it the same, it's obvious that I can do something that is not so difficult, but why? what's the point? forced updates are a policy of windows and ubuntu too, i think mozilla is losing strikes
Title: Re: Firefox removed "Never check for updates" option
Post by: Rich on July 14, 2021, 01:42:05 PM
Hi vinnie
If you don't want to be notified about available updates, and you refuse to use the procedure I found, then you'll
have to take this issue up with the Mozilla people since it is out of our control.
Title: Re: Firefox removed "Never check for updates" option
Post by: vinnie on July 14, 2021, 04:33:17 PM
Yes, you are perfectly right Rich, my complaints were not against you (in fact you have been very kind to post the solution on the forum without anyone asking you), it was just to talk a bit about this strange behavior of mozilla.
Title: Re: Firefox removed "Never check for updates" option
Post by: NewUser on July 14, 2021, 09:30:56 PM
It use to be, in earlier versions of TCL, Firefox could not upgrade in the typical, frugal, TC install. What's the fuss?
Title: Re: Firefox removed "Never check for updates" option
Post by: Rich on July 14, 2021, 09:47:11 PM
Hi NewUser
Firefox still cant upgrade. Firefox is squashed into an extension. Extensions are a read only file system, so Firefox
can't write to it.

Firefox left 2 choices on the preferences page:
Automatically install updates (recommended)   This won't work because Firefox can't write to an extension.

Check for updates but let you choose to install them   This puts up nag messages everytime you open a new tab, some choice.

Title: Re: Firefox removed "Never check for updates" option
Post by: NewUser on July 14, 2021, 10:48:53 PM
I forgot the nags, thanks, Rich.