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UsableFirefox

Outdated content warning: Information on this page was targeted at Firefox versions before the release of Quantum in 2017. Some of the plugings have never been updated to the new engine, and some of the settings don't exist anymore. I've started a new UsableFirefoxQuantum page to collect similar information targeted at that version,

This page tries to collect the various settings I've changed in Firefox (via about:config) to make it work better for my usage pattern, so I don't forget about them...

  • Note: I've not been using Mozilla Firefox since around mid-2015, so this page is getting somewhat outdated in that regard. For most uses I have switched to Pale Moon, a Firefox fork that doesn't use the Australis UI and still supports the old Sync protocol

Unix
  • middlemouse.contentLoadURL = false - switches off the stupid behaviour to try to load things pasted into the Firefox window outside of an edit field as URL. And send it straight to the configured search engine, if that feature is enabled. It's especially stupid when combined with the fact that a middle mouse button click on a link will open in a new tab, and it's easy to click just outside of a link's active area...

low-memory machines

disable built-in accessories
  • browser.newtab.url = about:blank - don't like the new overview page
  • browser.pagethumbnails.capturing_disabled = true - don't need the thumbnails if I don't use about:newtab anyway
  • geo.enabled = false - disable geolocation via Google WLAN database API
  • geo.wifi.uri = "" - nuke the API URL just to be shure
  • dom.battery.enabled = false - why would I tell random web sites about my battery charge status?
  • loop.enabled = false - why would I need video chat in my browser?
  • media.peerconnection.enabled = false - ...and I don't like WebRTC either
  • media.peerconnection.video.enabled = false - just to be shure
  • media.gmp-gmpopenh264.enabled = false - disable Cisco h264 codec

misc
  • browser.xul.error_pages.expert_bad_cert = true - ask user about how to proceed on certain broken SSL certificates instead of just displaying an error page
  • browser.fixup.alternate.enabled = false - don't try to automatically add things to unknown urls
  • browser.goBrowsing.enabled = false - don't ask Google on DNS timeouts (deprecated)
  • browser.link.opennewwindow = 3 - open new windows in tabs by default, depending on the setting of browser.link.open_newwindow.restriction
  • browser.urlbar.trimURLs = false - want to see full URLs
  • browser.urlbar.clickSelectsAll = false - often just want to copy parts of an URL, so selecting all by default is a nuisance
  • browser.tabs.closeWindowWithLastTab - false - stay open after closing the last tab
  • pref.advanced.javascript.disable_button.advanced = false - I have no idea at all what that does or where it comes from

Extensions
  • uBlock Origin - content blocker, has replaced AdBlock Plus as my favourite filtering engine. I don't think the modern Web is bearable without such a tool.
  • Self-Destructing Cookies - automatically expires coookies from closed tabs.
  • NoScript - selectively disable JavaScript, quite high-maintenance on today's web, but I still have it on by default.
  • Calomel SSL Validation (cache) - shows information about the quality the SSL connection to your current server (ciphersuite details etc.)
  • Classic Theme Restorer (cache) - adds UI options for various styling preferences; no more digging through undocumented about:config items. Original use was disabling the horrible Australis user interface introduced with FF29
  • FoxyProxy basic - quickly switch to a pre-defined proxy
  • RefControl (cache) - tweak referer sent to certain sites
  • expire history by days - by default, Firefox decides automatically how long to keep your browsing history (by available memory and posibly other system parameters). This addon adds an option to set an upper limit to the browsing history being kept.

Pale Moon extensions
  • Pale Moon Commander - collects several settings that are usually only reachable via about:config in a basic configuration dialog
  • Cipherfox - displays SSL connection details in the status bar, and provides a quick overview on the certificate chain. I'm using it in PM instead of the Calomel SSL Validation add-on, which is only supported in an older version.