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Automatic updates not working

Discussion about official Mozilla Firefox builds
Falnor
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2011, 12:42 pm

I have Windows 7 64bit.
For security reasons I do all my web browsing using a standard user account.
My problem is that Firefox doesn't auto update when I am logged in as a standard user.

I have Aurora and have just been informed there is an update.
But the update isn't even installing.
When I go on about Firefox in the firefox menu it just tells me to go to nightly.mozilla.org for the update.
I have to log into an administrator account for firefox to auto update. This is a major security flaw.

What I would expect to happen is the Win 7 UAC to pop up and ask for the admin password. This doesn't happen with Firefox.

Other programs auto update just fine. Google chrome manages it without even involving user account control so why can't firefox?

It seems that because of this exremely major security flaw firefox could get way out of date.

Is there a way to get firefox to auto update using standard user accounts or should I just stop using firefox?

LoudNoise
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Post Posted June 5th, 2011, 12:45 pm

Moving to Firefox Builds.
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lithopsian
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2011, 1:15 pm

Google Chrome may be automatically running as an administrator (check properties) or it may have been granted auto-elevate privileges. Neither is very clever from a security standpoint.

You might try the same thing (adding elevate priviliges) with Firefox, but I don't know if it will make any difference. Or just run it as administrator when you want to upgrade. The real security flaw would be allowing everyone and anyone to just install software, and the alternative is obviously that you have to jump through a hoop of some sort to install software.

Falnor
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2011, 1:38 pm

lithopsian wrote:Google Chrome may be automatically running as an administrator (check properties) or it may have been granted auto-elevate privileges. Neither is very clever from a security standpoint.

You might try the same thing (adding elevate priviliges) with Firefox, but I don't know if it will make any difference. Or just run it as administrator when you want to upgrade. The real security flaw would be allowing everyone and anyone to just install software, and the alternative is obviously that you have to jump through a hoop of some sort to install software.


Maybe chromes way isn't very clever from a security standpoint but a browser that stays up to date is far more secure than one that refuses to update due to the fact that i'm running a standard user account.

Other programs ask for the administrator password before auto updating. Why can't firefox?

Falnor
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2011, 2:20 pm

I noticed that google chrome installs in the c:\User\yourname\appdata folder

So I uninstalled firefox and then reinstalled using a custom install in C:\User\yourname\appdate... folder. Now not only does firefox update properly but it also does it without invoking user account control.

Now i'm wondering if i've just made my browser really insecure by doing it.

Surely there must be a way of having firefox installed on a standard user account but still auto update by asking for the administrator password?

pal-moz
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Falnor wrote:I have Windows 7 64bit.
For security reasons I do all my web browsing using a standard user account.
My problem is that Firefox doesn't auto update when I am logged in as a standard user.

http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Sof ... inistrator
[Desktop] Windows 7 Professional (32bit/SP1) / Geforce GTX 660Ti 2GB (350.12) / 4GB RAM

theziofede
 
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Post Posted June 6th, 2011, 12:43 am

Are they developing a silent updater? I think is necessary with the new accelerated cycle...

pal-moz
 
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Post Posted June 6th, 2011, 12:58 am

theziofede wrote:Are they developing a silent updater? I think is necessary with the new accelerated cycle...

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=489138
[Desktop] Windows 7 Professional (32bit/SP1) / Geforce GTX 660Ti 2GB (350.12) / 4GB RAM

theziofede
 
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Post Posted June 6th, 2011, 1:14 am

Considering the last comment date, the answer looks like "no".

Falnor
 
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Post Posted June 6th, 2011, 5:29 am

pal-moz wrote:
Falnor wrote:I have Windows 7 64bit.
For security reasons I do all my web browsing using a standard user account.
My problem is that Firefox doesn't auto update when I am logged in as a standard user.

http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Sof ... inistrator


Problem with that method is it forces firefox to use the administors firefox profile. All bookmarks, browsing history etc are then those that belong to the administrator account. This is again another security flaw. There is also the fact that this is still not a fix for the fact that automatic updates doesn't work.

Mozilla needs to find a way to get firefox to update itself using standard accounts. Other browsers manage it with no problems.
A silent updater like what chrome has would be the best option as long as it can be turned off if not needed.

Kevin McFarlane
 
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Post Posted October 2nd, 2011, 10:13 am

@Falnor, I agree. I ran into this problem a while back. The trouble is that now I don't know when an update is available unless I happen to discover it by chance or by looking at the browser strings in this forum! E.g., I just happened to spot about a hlaf hour ago that 7.0.1 is available.

What seems to happen in Chrome is this.

1. Do nothing and eventually you get silently updated, or

2. If you manually select "Check for Updates" and one is available the Windows 7 admin dialog pops up.

Firefox should at least do 2. today. When it moves to the silent update model it should do 1 and 2.

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted October 2nd, 2011, 8:15 pm

I thought Chrome updated via a separate memory resident auto-updater. I permit NO software (especially software which has permission to access the internet via my Firewall) to run memory resident programs for any purpose. I've removed more software off of my machines for this reason over the years than I care to recall, Chrome being one of them.
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Falnor
 
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Post Posted October 3rd, 2011, 5:34 am

patrickjdempsey wrote:I thought Chrome updated via a separate memory resident auto-updater. I permit NO software (especially software which has permission to access the internet via my Firewall) to run memory resident programs for any purpose. I've removed more software off of my machines for this reason over the years than I care to recall, Chrome being one of them.


No it's not exactly memory resident.

It uses task scheduler and runs every hour or so.

It only runs for a couple of seconds at a time unless it has actually found an update. so you rarely see it running in the task manager.
If it ran all the time i wouldn't be happy either. It's the reason I refuse to have any Apple software on my system. Apple seem the worst for this type of behaviour. Just having itunes installed has loads of useless memory resident programs running.

Personally I think it would be better if Firefox updated the chrome way but it should be optional.

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted October 3rd, 2011, 2:04 pm

If updates were truely "silent" with no popup asking to restart then it wouldn't matter.
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michaell
 
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Post Posted October 3rd, 2011, 4:02 pm

As this topic has got bumped anyway... a new blog post on silent updates was posted. There will be a service running in the background, but it will be optional. Even without the service, there are changes to make the updates quieter, if not silent.

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