Firefox pulling updates from vendor

I’ve noticed that Firefox automatically updates itself, presumably pulling updates from Mozilla. This is unorthodox for a Linux distribution and was just wondering if this was expected behaviour?

It doesn’t bother me too much (and was particularly useful during the add-on issue experienced a couple of weeks ago, but it does mean that Firefox is often updating itself at least twice (possibly more if multiple users).

The current bundle will extract the upstream binary to your home directory when run, only if it doesn’t exist already. This will always want to update and has the permissions to do so. The firefox bundle will not update this version and relies on the auto updates.

The main reason it isn’t normal to receive auto-updates, is that it’s installed to /usr. There’s two issues there, 1. no permissions for normal user to update and 2. changing installed files of the package manager is breaking behaviour.

You could remove the firefox bundle once it’s installed to the home directory. However, you would be missing 2 important files, /usr/bin/firefox to run it from the terminal via $PATH and a desktop entry to load it from app menus. So you’ll have to create those if you remove the bundle.

You will also miss out were firefox were to become compiled, optimized and installed via swupd unless you reinstalled the bundle again.

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Thanks. This clears things up quite a bit and makes sense.

I wonder if there’s a plan to build real Firefox rpms?

We’ve thought about it, but, it seems that the official firefox builds are already performing really well, so it may not actually be worth the time. I agree it’s a bit weird that it updates at a different cadence. I would certainly entertain a contributed and debugged build if someone would want to submit it.

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I have some fairly simple bash scripts that install upstream Firefox Nightly and Developer Edition in $HOME, so they update from upstream. The tricky part is copying / symlinking the plugins from /usr. Nightly and Developer Edition are also available as flatpaks; they update about once a week, I think.

Some questions for y’all:

  • If we allow Firefox to auto-update, does this mean we have two complete copies coexisting on our systems (one in /usr and one in $HOME)?

  • With two versions present simultaneously, coming from two different sources (Firefox auto-updates, swupd updates), how will the system know which to run?

  • Are the official Mozilla builds also linked against ffmpeg 4.1.3?

yes (filler to make 20 character)

It will only run the version in ~/.firefox. The other one is never directly executed.

I believe it uses dlopen(). So they are not exactly “linking” against them but using another method to call into the library.

Good thing I bought a 1TB HDD… :confused:

Sorry, I guess I did not ask the right question. What I meant to ask about was the version of ffmpeg. Do the official Mozilla builds also work with version 4.1.3? Thanks! :slight_smile:

You can take a look at:

The way it works is that firefox tries to dlopen() several libraries with different versions. These are 58, 57 and 56. I do not know which ffmpeg versions they relate to, but I would assume it would match a wide range of supported distributions.

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Yes, I already follow

and it works