Posts Tagged ‘firefox’

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Firefox and Wayland support on Ubuntu snaps and the user-agent

Friday, January 6th, 2023

Ubuntu 22.04 is shipping with Wayland as the default communication protocol for the display server, replacing the old and X11 (X Window System).

Interestingly although Firefox is supporting Wayland natively, the default stable Firefox snap package doesn’t use it. I is still using XWayland as compatibility layer.

How to check if Firefox is using Wayland or X11?



and search for `Window protocol`

Window Protocol xwayland

That is intentional, see

So what about Firefox Beta? To install Firefox Beta snap next to Firefox stable, see the earlier blog-post Install seperate Fiefox Beta snap.



And search for `Window protocol`

Window Protocol wayland

Note the missing X, that means Wayland is used as the communication protocol.

Why doesn’t show Wayland in the User-Agent header of Linux browsers?

To check the the User-Agent in Firefox Beta, navigate to something like a ip-address checker:

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:109.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/109.0

Although X11 is not used, it still shows X11. I wonder if that is intentional? Probably that is. User-Agent strings are hampered by historical mistakes, like browser-sniffing.

And setting a detailed User-Agent is also a privacy and security risk. Giving to much and unnecessary information about your system. So it is about limiting exposure to browser-fingerprinting.

Be aware this sucks, once you’re aware there is market-power in user-agents. The major players make the rules of the game.

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Install separate Firefox (Beta) Snap on Ubuntu 22.04

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022

To try out a beta version of Firefox snap, you have to enable the experimental – read developer options – of parallel instances install of snap.

sudo snap set system experimental.parallel-instances=true

Them you can install a beta version of Firefox next to the stable version

sudo snap install --beta firefox_beta

But that doesn’t work, you will probably get some error/warning message like this:

error: cannot perform the following tasks:
- Set automatic aliases for snap "firefox_beta" (cannot enable alias "geckodriver" for "firefox_beta", already enabled for "firefox")

As it seems you’ll need to add  --unaliased when installing firefox_beta

sudo snap install --beta --unaliased firefox_beta

See the snap forum thread

That does work.

How to install Firefox Beta snap parallel to Firefox

sudo snap install --beta --unaliased firefox_beta
firefox_beta (beta) 104.0b5-1 from Mozilla✓ installed

To my surprise it copied the profile directory, I had all the same extensions and bookmarks installed and available.

Different profile directories

Firefox stable profiles path:


Firefox Beta profiles path:


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Debugging Firefox and `hidden` features of the browser: the about pages

Monday, August 1st, 2022

Here is a list of all about: pages of Firefox Desktop.

Especially the about:telemetry page is interesting, I always try to disable any telemetry whatsoever, but this pages show exactly what your sharing. Too much in my opinion, especially the list of all activated extension. That’s a kind of digital fingerprinting.

Firefox Desktop about: pages

Also the networking tab is interesting for debugging. Robots is an Easter-egg.

And here is the list of al about pages for Firefox Android Mobile

Firefox Mobile Android about: pages

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Install Firefox Android on Android AOSP

Saturday, June 6th, 2020

A small update on an older post Install Android browsers without Google Play because the download link on Mozilla’s pages has changed. (direct download)

Also F-droid is highly recommended for free and open-source software.

F-Droid is a community-maintained software repository for Android, similar to the Google Play store. The main repository, hosted by the project, contains only free/libre apps. Applications can be browsed, downloaded and installed from the F-Droid website or client app without the need to register for an account. “Anti-Features” such as advertising, user tracking, or dependence on nonfree software are flagged in app descriptions.

And of course there are releases on the development site:


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Firefox Bug with clip-path

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Firefox has a rather silly bug with overlapping clip-path. Instead of hiding content it start showing content with overlapping clip-path.

In short:

.clip {
clip-path: inset(400px);

on a 600px image should not show any content. In Firefox it does.

You can see the problem here.

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Firefox Preview on Android (Preview)

Friday, April 24th, 2020

Trying out Firefox Preview on Android.

What I miss now at the moment, two major (deal-breaking) things:

No support for extensions (yet)

No support for extensions, except uBlock Origin, which is a great extension. But I don’t need uBlock anymore, because I have my own (IMHO superior) extension. But I can’t install it, so can’t really use Firefox Preview. I need my extensions!!

No keyword search

A hidden gem in Firefox, just type your keyword of choice and  a search-term and search anything you want. Really really productive!!!!

An example, use g chair for searching in your favorite search engine to search for a chair. If you switch from google to bing or duckduckgo there is not change in habit, except changing your bookmark from:


That is a usability gem in Firefox Desktop, but also on Firefox Android.

If you like searching only in a domain, you can setup that as well. Absolutely superior to adding search engines as an extension. Well for the user, probably not for Mozilla/Firefox. Yes, you can monitor and monetize search engine extensions, but they are INFERIOR!!!!! to keyword search in most cases.

Keyword search is easier, than adding search engines by right-clicking on search field in most cases, and add search engine, which doesn’t work on sites that have only Javascript driven search fields (again don’t break the internet!!), and on sites that use url based searches like:


  • site search, search easily in a domain
  • search for certain file-types in domain
  • search with an easy to remember letter/keyword, easier than scrolling a long list with confusing icons
  • search in sites that don’t have a proper search field, or a Javacript driven search field:


Mozilla probably doesn’t like keyword search bookmarks, because they can’t sell it. Officially they don’t like it because maintaining the code is to complex, and they claim it is not much used.

Well I use it everyday 1000+. I guess Mozilla doesn’t know about, because, how do they know how I organize my bookmarks? Privacy first, so no tele-metrics send to Mozilla by default, that’s the first thing I do in every browser. Disable telemetrics/analytics. Should be off by default by law nowadays (GDPR), but isn’t always.

Normally on my Linux box searching with Google I see something like:

You see the client or `pc` parameters, that is added by default install. Probably that is a way money can be made, like pushing Facebook bookmarks on a default install. I don’t mind that much I remove them instantly.

I stopped using Opera, when they started to push default commercial bookmarks with every update, and started to push Alibaba/Aliexpress and Amazon extensions. And when they blocked extensions to work on third party commercial urls (Google/Bing).  Opera was sold to Chinese investors a couple of years ago.

I really do not hope that Firefox is heading that way, because keyword search is really nice to have, as extensions on Desktop/Android.

And I use Android AOSP, so the open source operating system WITHOUT Google services, like Google Play. I’m limited to writing my own apps, or using F-Droid/Github builds. No Google Play.

Made Firefox my favorite app on Android. And I need support for keyword search and self-made extensions, not only a Recommended Extensions  selection made by Mozilla. Keyword search and self-made extensions are by far the most productive features of Firefox nowadays for me.