- 1 Installing
- 2 Add-ons
- 3 Configuration
- 4 Plugins
- 5 Tips and tricks
- 6 Troubleshooting
- 6.1 Firefox startup takes very long
- 6.2 Font troubleshooting
- 6.3 Setting an email client
- 6.4 File association
- 6.5 Firefox keeps creating ~/Desktop even when this is not desired
- 6.6 Make plugins respect blocked pop-ups
- 6.7 Middle-click errors
- 6.8 Backspace does not work as the 'Back' button
- 6.9 Firefox does not remember login information
- 6.10 "Do you want Firefox to save your tabs for the next time it starts?" dialog does not appear
- 6.11 Silently fails when installing desktop apps from marketplace
- 6.12 Firefox detects the wrong version of my plugin
- 6.14 Firefox does not remember default spell check language
- 6.15 Some MathML symbols are missing
- 6.16 Picture flickers while scrolling
- 6.17 Tearing video in fullscreen mode
- 6.18 Firefox ESR 52 looks bad
- 6.19 Firefox WebRTC module cannot detect a microphone
- 7 See also
Firefox can be installed with the package.
Other alternatives include:
- Firefox Developer Edition — for developers
- Firefox Extended Support Release — long-term supported version
- https://www.mozilla.org/firefox/organizations/ || AUR or AUR
- Firefox Beta — cutting-edge version
- https://www.mozilla.org/firefox/channel/desktop/#beta || AUR or AUR
- Firefox Nightly — nightly builds for testing (experimental features)
- Firefox KDE — Version of Firefox that incorporates an OpenSUSE patch for better KDE integration than is possible through simple Firefox plugins.
- On top of the different Mozilla build channels, a number of forks exist with more or less special features; see List of applications#Gecko-based.
Here you can find an overview of Mozilla's releases.
There are a number of language packs available for Firefox, other than the standard English. Language packs are usually named as
languagecode can be any language code, such as de, ja, fr, etc.). For a list of available language packs see firefox-i18n for and firefox-developer-edition-i18n for .
Firefox is well known for its large library of add-ons which can be used to add new features or modify the behavior of existing features. Firefox's "Add-ons Manager" is used to manage installed add-ons or find new ones.
Adding search engines
Search engines can be added to Firefox through normal add-ons, see this page for a list of available search engines.
A very extensive list of search engines can be found at the Mycroft Project.
Also, you can use the add-to-searchbar extension to add a search to your search bar from any web site, by simply right clicking on the site's search field and selecting Add to Search Bar...
Install thepackage to add Arch-specific searches (AUR, wiki, forum, etc, as specified by user) to the Firefox search toolbar.
Firefox exposes a number of configuration options. To examine them, enter in the Firefox address bar:
Once set, these affect the user's current profile, and may be synchronized across all devices via Firefox Sync. Please note that only a subset of the
about:config entries are synchronized by this method, and the exact subset may be found by searching for
about:config. Additional preferences and third party preferences may be synchronized by creating new boolean entries prepending the config value with
services.sync.prefs.sync (documentation is still applicable.) To synchronize the whitelist for the extension NoScript:
noscript.sync.enabled must be set to
true to synchronize the remainder of NoScript's preferences via Firefox Sync.
Firefox also allows configuration for a profile via a
user.js file: user.js kept in the profile folder, usually
~/.mozilla/firefox/xxxxxxxx.default/. For a useful starting point, see e.g custom user.js which is targeted at privacy/security conscious users.
One drawback of the above approach is that it is not applied system-wide. Furthermore, this is not useful as a "pre-configuration", since the profile directory is created after first launch of the browser. You can, however, let firefox create a new profile and, after closing it again, copy the contents of an already created profile folder into it.
Sometimes it may be desired to lock certain settings, a feature useful in widespread deployments of customized Firefox. In order to create a system-wide configuration, follow the steps outlined in Locking preferences:
pref("general.config.obscure_value", 0); pref("general.config.filename", "mozilla.cfg");
/usr/lib/firefox/mozilla.cfg (this stores the actual configuration):
// //...your settings... // e.g to disable Pocket, uncomment the following line // lockPref("browser.pocket.enabled", false);
Please note that the first line must contain exactly
//. The syntax of the file is similar to that of
HTML5 DRM playback is supported by the Google Widevine CDM, it is however not enabled by default. See Preferences > General > Digital Rights Management (DRM) Content if you want to learn more.
See Firefox tweaks#Enable additional media codecs for advanced configuration and enabling support for Widevine (Netflix, Amazon Video, etc.).
Starting with version 54, Firefox uses PulseAudio for audio playback and capture. For sound to work, you need to install the package.
In case, for whatever reason, PulseAudio is not an option for you, you can use apulse instead. To make this work, it is necessary to exclude
/dev/snd/ from Firefox' sandboxing by adding it to the comma-separated list in
/dev/snd/is important, otherwise apulse will report "Permission denied" errors.
If you are using Firefox 58 or above and have no audio even when using apulse, try adding
- Install Open-with add-on.
about:openwith, select Add...
- In the dialog select a video streaming capable player (e.g. /usr/bin/mpv).
- (Optional step) Add needed arguments to the player (e.g. you may want
--force-window --ytdlfor mpv)
- (Optional step) Choose how to display the dialogs using the left panel.
- Right click on links or visit pages containing videos. If the site is supported, the player will open as expected.
The same procedure can be used to associate video downloaders such as youtube-dl.
Dictionaries for spell checking
Install thepackage. You also need to install dictionaries for your language, such as (for the French language) or (for Hebrew).
By default, Firefox will try to symlink all your hunspell dictionaries in
/usr/lib/firefox/dictionaries/. If you want to have less dictionaries offered to you in Firefox, you can remove some of those links. Be aware that it may not stand an upgrade of Firefox.
To enable spell checking for a specific language right click on any text field and check the Check Spelling box. To select a language for spell checking to you have right click again and select your language from the Languages sub-menu.
To get more languages just click Add Dictionaries... and select the dictionary you want to install from the list.
When your default language choice does not stick, see #Firefox does not remember default spell check language.
- To bring the KDE look to GTK apps (including Firefox), install and . Afterwards, go to System Settings > Application Style > GTK. Be sure to choose 'Breeze' in 'Select a GTK2/GTK3 Theme' and check 'Show icons in GTK buttons' and 'Show icons in GTK'.
- For integration with KDE’s mime type system and file dialogs, one can use AUR variant from AUR with OpenSUSE’s patches applied.
- Add-ons may provide some integration, such as Plasma Integration. AUR, and
- To make the left mouse button warp the scrollbar instead of the middle one on KDE, go to System Settings > Application Style > GTK and set the checkbox for "Left mouse button warps scrollbar".
See the main article: Browser plugins
To find out what plugins are installed/enabled, enter:
in the Firefox address bar or go to the Add-ons entry in the Firefox Menu and select the Plugins tab.
Tips and tricks
Screenshot of webpage
To use Firefox to take a screenshot of a webpage open the developer console using
Shift+F2. Then type in:
where filename is optional.
To take a screenshot of the entire page, not just the section displayed on the screen, use the
screenshot --fullpage filename
Firefox startup takes very long
If Firefox takes much longer to start up than other browsers, it may be due to lacking configuration of the localhost in
/etc/hosts. See Network configuration#Local network hostname resolution on how to set it up.
See Font configuration.
Firefox has a setting which determines how many replacements it will allow from fontconfig. To allow it to use all your replacement-rules, change
127 (the highest possible value).
Setting an email client
Inside the browser,
mailto links by default are opened by a web application such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail. To set an external email program, go to Preferences > Applications and modify the action corresponding to the
mailto content type; the file path will need to be designated (e.g.
/usr/bin/kmail for Kmail).
See Default applications.
Firefox keeps creating ~/Desktop even when this is not desired
~/Desktop as the default place for download and upload files. To change it to another folder, set the
XDG_DESKTOP_DIR option as explained in XDG user directories.
Make plugins respect blocked pop-ups
Some plugins can misbehave and bypass the default settings, such as the Flash plugin. You can prevent this by doing the following:
about:configinto the address bar.
- Right-click on the page and select New > Integer.
- Name it
- Set the value to
The possible values are:
0: Allow all popups from plugins.
1: Allow popups, but limit them to
2: Block popups from plugins.
3: Block popups from plugins, even on whitelisted sites.
A common error message you can get while using the middle mouse button in Firefox is:
The URL is not valid and cannot be loaded.
Another symptom is that middle-clicking results in unexpected behavior, like accessing a random web page.
The reason stems from the use of the middle mouse buttons in UNIX-like operating systems. The middle mouse button is used to paste whatever text has been highlighted/added to the clipboard. Then there is the possibly conflicting feature in Firefox, which defaults to loading the URL of the corresponding text when the button is depressed. This can be easily disabled by going to
about:config and setting the
middlemouse.contentLoadURL option to
Alternatively, having the traditional scroll cursor on middle-click (default behavior on Windows browsers) can be achieved by searching for
general.autoScroll and setting it to
According to mozillaZine, the
Backspace key was mapped based on which platform the browser was running on. As a compromise, this preference was created to allow the
Backspace key to either go back/forward, scroll up/down a page, or do nothing.
Backspace behave like the back button and go back one page in the session history, set
To have the
Backspace key scroll up one page and
Shift+Backspace scroll down one page, set
1. Setting this property to any other value will leave the key unmapped (Arch Linux defaults to
2, in other words, it is unmapped by default).
Firefox does not remember login information
It may be due to a corrupted
cookies.sqlite file in Firefox's profile folder. In order to fix this, just rename or remove
cookie.sqlite while Firefox is not running.
Open a terminal of choice and type the following:
$ rm -f ~/.mozilla/firefox/<profile id>.default/cookies.sqlite
The profile id is a random 8 character string.
Restart Firefox and see if it solved the problem.
"Do you want Firefox to save your tabs for the next time it starts?" dialog does not appear
From the Mozilla support site:
about:configin the address bar.
Silently fails when installing desktop apps from marketplace
Installation of apps from Firefox OS Marketplace will silently fail if there is no
Firefox detects the wrong version of my plugin
When you close Firefox, the latter saves the current timestamp and version of your plugins inside
pluginreg.dat located in your profile folder, typically in
If you upgraded your plugin when Firefox was still running, you will thus have the wrong information inside that file. The next time you will restart Firefox you will get that message
Firefox has prevented the outdated plugin "XXXX" from running on ... when you will be trying to open content dedicated to that plugin on the web. This problem often appears with the official Adobe Flash Player plugin which has been upgraded while Firefox was still running.
The solution is to remove the file
pluginreg.dat from your profile and that is it. Firefox will not complain about the missing file as it will be recreated the next time Firefox will be closed. 
about:config, unset the
Firefox does not remember default spell check language
The default spell checking language can be set as follows:
about:configin the address bar.
spellchecker.dictionaryto your language of choice, for instance
- Notice that the for dictionaries installed as a Firefox plugin the notation is
en-GB, and for dictionaries the notation is
When you only have system wide dictionaries installed with dictionary installed as a Firefox plugin. Notice that now you will also have a tab Dictionaries in add-ons., Firefox might not remember your default dictionary language settings. This can be fixed by having at least one
Some MathML symbols are missing
You need some Math fonts, namely Latin Modern Math and STIX (see this MDN page: ), to display MathML correctly.
Picture flickers while scrolling
Uncheck the "Use smooth scrolling" setting in Preferences > General > Browsing.
Tearing video in fullscreen mode
If you are using the Xorg Intel or Nouveau drivers and experience tearing video in fullscreen mode, try Firefox tweaks#Enable OpenGL Off-Main-Thread Compositing (OMTC).
Firefox ESR 52 looks bad
Firefox 52 does not support GTK+ >=3.20 and may look unsightly as a result. A possible resolution is compiling Firefox against GTK2 instead, see AUR.
Firefox WebRTC module cannot detect a microphone
WebRTC applications for instance Firefox WebRTC getUserMedia test page say that microphone cannot be found. Issue is reproducible for both ALSA or Pulseaudio setup. Firefox debug logs show the following error:
$ NSPR_LOG_MODULES=MediaManager:5,GetUserMedia:5 firefox
... [Unnamed thread 0x7fd7c0654340]: D/GetUserMedia VoEHardware:GetRecordingDeviceName: Failed 1
You can try setting
media.navigator.audio.full_duplex property to
about:config Firefox page and restart Firefox.
This can also help if you are using the PulseAudio module-echo-cancel, and Firefox does not recognise the virtual echo canceling source.