The CCK and Firefox 8

URGENT UPDATE: Using distribution.ini to set extensions.disableScopes does not work in Firefox 8. I’ve opened a bug for this. The only workaround is to create a JS file in the defaults/preferences directory (you will have to create this directory) where Firefox is installed and set the value there:

pref("extensions.autoDisableScopes", 0);

Also, note that the correct value to disable this feature is 0 (zero).


I’ve received my first email about the fact that with Firefox 8, users are now asked if they want to disable your CCK, depending on how you chose to install it (probably in one of those places that Mozilla now considers “forbidden”)

If you have NOT deployed Firefox 8, in your organization yet, you need to read this article about disabling the various dialogs that appear.

The problem is that you need to set these preferences in Firefox 7 via something like the CCK so that the dialogs won’t appear. If you’re already moved to Firefox 8, it’s too late.

In the future, it is now recommended that you ship your CCK using the distribution mechanism which I documented last year.

Honestly, there’s no really good solution to this for enterprise, but the right place to participate in the discussion is the Enterprise Working Group Mailing List. (Although there isn’t much discussion going on there anymore.)

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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28 thoughts on “The CCK and Firefox 8

  1. Are you saying that this is a bad move for the enterprise again, and that the place to discuss enterprise stuff for Firefox is not useful.

    Aka, are you saying Firefox sucks for the enterprise and Mozilla does not care?

    • This was a bad move for enterprise.

      Mozilla knew that which is why they added in some of these prefs. Unfortunately, these prefs are really only useful if you are doing central installation of Firefox. If you are just managing your CCK as a third party app, it’s difficult to use these prefs.

      As far as discussing enterprise stuff, it seems to have come to a screeching halt a few weeks ago. There is no discussion at all on the list. I have no idea why that happened. I guess people have nothing to say.

      Mozilla has not said a word about the Long Term Support proposal after they announced it.

      Honestly at this point, I’m probably going to personally stop worrying/caring about it. The CCK is the only skin I have in the game. I’ll keep updating it, but it’s becoming less and less useful.

  2. We did talk a bit about this in the EWG, and an approach for groups that do customization via the CCK in one of the directories Firefox checks as 3rd party is to modify the scope using distribution.ini. I’ll do write-up for the EWG and post it.

    (also, I updated the proposal this morning, and we’ll be discussing the changes tomorrow, and hopefully moving forward one way or another within a week)


    • Kev,

      The distribution.ini thing did come up, but it still doesn’t solve the problem for people that just want to install the CCK in a central location for existing Firefox users.

      And as you point out, it has pretty much no documentation.

      As far as the proposal goes, glad to hear there is movement. Things seemed to kind of come to a stand still.

      • Not sure if I was clear, there, because I’m hoping it is a solution. If the scope/prefs are set using the CCK, and the CCK is bundled in the appdir or other central location, those prefs won’t be read because those addons are never loaded. The prefs need to be set outside the protected directories, and that’s where the distribution files come in (e.g. only setting those prefs)

        The distribution.ini modification to prevent the disabling from being applied is a six-line text file, and would be added to the distribution. If addons are being packaged in the Firefox appdir, then it would be just another file to be added. The mod would permit addons to be packaged in central locations, and would be a (hopefully) simple addition to the installer/app package being deployed.

        • Kev:

          I understand what you’re saying, and this would all be great information to have documented before Firefox 8.

          I know people who simply deploy the CCK down to machines in a third party location for their users and don’t manage Firefox specifically.

          This problem will bite them.

          What this change has done is forced any shop that uses Firefox and deploys add-ons to manage Firefox even if they didn’t before.

          Honestly, Firefox 8 snuck up on me. I would have loved to have done more documentation. I dislike rapid release more and more every six weeks 🙂

          I simply don’t have the bandwidth to keep up with this stuff.

            • Tim:

              Chrome requires no bandwidth for me to keep up.
              They don’t break my stuff release to release.
              They have add-on development tools that work release to release.
              Add-ons I submit to their store are available immediately.

              Working on Firefox has simply become a chore. I debug my add-ons using alerts. I have to update them every six weeks. And when I release new add-ons (or updates), it can take weeks to get them available to users.

              I love the fact that Firefox has a more powerful add-on model, but after spending just a few weeks debugging my add-ons in Chrome, I’m hooked.

  3. I’m sure this is probably obvious…

    I am editing defaults/profile/firefox.js in (unzip) omni.jar and setting the autoDisableScopes pref there.. then repackaging it with 7z… seems like it works..

  4. hopefully this wont post twice? I wanted to mention/.//

    I had luck setting pref(“extensions.autoDisableScopes”, 0); in firefox.js in the omni.jar file… and then repackaging with 7zip…

  5. Hi, I’m having problems with distributing SSL certificates via CCK in Firefox 8.0.1. It worked fine until FF6 (Extension in /Lib/AppSupp/Mozilla/Extensions/). For FF8 I moved (and regenerated) it to and the basic settings still work, but SSL certificates included in the extension are not recognized by other accounts/profiles any more. Can anyone confirm this or give me hint, what to try?

  6. I also dislike the “rapid release” BS oops I mean “incessant change” (for no reason) i.e. “break familiarity” every six weeks, i.e. excuse for Dotzler to change the UI AGAIN for no reason, i.e. the opposite of doing software right the FIRST TIME, i.e. the opposite of a solid software design cycle, i.e. error-driven software development i.e. patch-oriented software, i.e. A MESS.

  7. This information is a great help however i am stilled prompted for custom themes that are bundled with the firefox installer. Do you know if there is some separate setting required?

  8. Hi Mike Ive put my extension here on Mac OSX

    /Library/Application Support/Mozilla/Extensions/{ec8030f7-c20a-464f-9b0e-13a3a9e97384}

    I have put the override js file in here


    with contents

    pref(“extensions.autoDisableScopes”, 0);

    Im on ESR 24.3.0 and my extension gets disabled by default. 🙁

    Please can you tell me what i am doing wrong and how to get this working?

    I used to bundle my extension in to the app directory but i am now in need of inserting certificates and this isnt recognised if i do that.



  9. Hi ,

    I want to have firefox distribution having my extension as pre installed in it. I just want that once the firefox browser is installed , my extension got installed by default and in enabled mode.

    I have taken the source code and build it at my local system following instructions at

    Please let me know where can i kept my extension in source directories and how to make firefox installer to distribute to my users.

    Thank you