Firefox: Stop that nagging on available updates

This post was written by eli on January 29, 2020
Posted Under: Internet,Software

After upgrading to Firefox 72.0.1 on Linux, I got a tab encouraging me to upgrade Firefox (and that it couldn’t be done automatically). To make things worse, the option to turn off automatic upgrades checks has been removed from the GUI interface. Why? Call it what you want, at the bottom there’s a “let’s force people to do it” attitude behind it. Seen it so many times before, and also seen disasters resulting from it.

Upgrading is important for security, yes, but thanks, I don’t need to be reminded every time a microversion upgrade is available. Some people enjoy spending quality time with their computer, updating all software and then fixing things that broke because of that. I’m not one of them.

The solution for now (taken from here) is to add the following file as /usr/lib/firefox/distribution/policies.json :

{
 "policies": {
 "AppUpdateURL": "http://127.0.0.1/",
 "DisableAppUpdate": true,
 "DisableFirefoxStudies": true,
 "DisableSystemAddonUpdate": true,
 "DisableTelemetry": true,
 "ExtensionUpdate": false
 }
}

The location may vary of course, and the “distribution” directory may need to be created. In my system, Firefox is run from /usr/bin/firefox which is a symlink to /usr/lib/firefox/firefox (so /usr/lib/firefox is the installation directory for this purpose).

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