Firefox 60 was released today with support for enterprise policies, including Windows Group Policy. If you’ve followed me or my blog for any length of time, you know that advocating for Firefox in the enterprise has been something that I’ve been doing a very long time.
The first version of the CCK Wizard was released on May 11, 2006 and was for Firefox 1.5
So, to say that I’m happy about this particular release would be an understatement. I’m absolutely ecstatic that Mozilla decided that adding support for enterprise features was important.
But I have to admit something; over the years in my zeal to get enterprise support into Firefox, I’ve encouraged just about every method possible to get customizations into Firefox. As a result, I know there are many installations of Firefox that use methods that are definitely not recommended anymore, especially now that we have real policy support. So, I want to take a moment to encourage everyone:
Please investigate using the new policy manager to replace any method you’ve used in the past, including the distribution directory, AutoConfig and CCK2. If you find things that you are not able to do with the policy engine, please let us know. There’s a possibility that some of these methods might not work in the future, so we’d like to find out now what we need to do to make things working.
A couple other notes that might be useful:
- Updates to the policy code and additional policies are being allowed on the ESR. You will not be stuck with the existing implementation until the next major ESR. As we implement policies, they will be uplifted into the next minor ESR update.
- We are continuing to update the policy code to bring it as close as we can to CCK2 functionality.
- We are working on better support for macOS and Linux. We are investigating Managed Preferences on macOS and we are looking into reading the policies.json file from a different location on Linux (etc/opt/firefox).
- MSI is on our radar, but we’re not making any commitments at this time.
So now, let’s address the elephant in the room – CCK2.
First off, to support Firefox 60, I released a new version of the CCK2 yesterday. It’s not perfect, but it fixes some of the major issues (bookmarks and error popups). You should get automatically updated to this release. You’ll need repackage your configurations to get these fixes.
But what about the future?
CCK2 uses AutoConfig as the underlying technology to customize Firefox. We currently have plans to sandbox AutoConfig on Rapid Release starting with Firefox 62. This will mean the CCK2 will definitely not work with Rapid Release starting with Firefox 62.
On the ESR, I plan to keep CCK2 working, but I will not be implementing any new features except as they relate to making it easier to migrate to the policy manager. One example of that is providing the ability to remove all bookmarks added by CCK2. Once Firefox 52 is out of support, I will probably migrate CCK2 to use the policy manager internally. To enable that, we are investigating allow policies to be specified via AutoConfig as JSON files.
I always knew there would come a time when the CCK2 would not work anymore. My biggest concern was that there wouldn’t be a replacement. But I’m confident with the policy management support that we’ve implemented that we can make things even better.
I appreciate the support and encouragement folks have given me over the years with regards to the CCK2. I’m glad that the work that I’ve done will live on in the new policy manager on Firefox.
One final note. You will start to see a lot of my older blog posts disappear. This because I don’t want to recommend people use those methods anymore. The official place to get documentation and support is support.mozilla.org.