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Firefox ESR involuntary update

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kltpzyxmrm
 
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Post Posted December 14th, 2017, 1:24 pm

52.5.2esr x64, Win 10

I have for years and continue to happily use Edmeisters' method of Firefox installer manual extraction to create a portable version, along with the -p switch to evoke the profile manage, since I use several several profiles.

I have also extracted Firefox 57 & 58 beta versions as well, paired with their profiles created specifically for them, which I will occasionally use to test the compatible addons and features in the hope of one day making quantum tolerable...it's a work in progress...not as bad as I feared, tho.

An annoying problem is that "sometimes" I will launch ESR and what I get is 58 beta, at which point I must close the browser and replace the profile with a ESR compatible backed up profile, after which things get back to normal.

It's a random thing, and seems to usually happen when I go from one ESR profile to another ESR profile (All of my profiles are set to "never check for updates")

I rarely use quantum, so I'm thinking it shouldn't be "direct" factor in the behavior, meaning that, is this one of those Windows 10 related control things?

When I go to Win 10 settings>default apps, the web browser option shows Firefox. Clicking on it displays two instances of Firefox icons with no discernible difference (in the past It has shown as many as four), but each representing a different Firefox version, surely due to my use of various Firefox versions.

I have controlled things in the past by selecting the version I prefer there thru trial and error, and deselecting the Firefox setting "always check is Firefox is your default browser"

Is there a workaround, like removing the unwanted instance of Firefox from the Win 10 settings

therube

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Post Posted December 15th, 2017, 2:11 pm

Set your FF 52 ESR instalDir to read-only:

Globally Disable FF Update - System-wide

With that, opening other Profiles (even without having disabled updates in that Profile) won't cause an update.
ESR should not update to anything but ESR (theoretically).
With 52 set to read-only, you would have to either revert those changes in order to update (which you should do as newer 52.x are released) or manually download & overwrite, kind of thing.
Profiles only affect updates in that they are a place where updates can be disabled/enabled.
Running 52 from a read-only directory should block updates - to 52.
Running 57/58 or whatever, from their own directories (& not set as read-only) would cause those instances of FF to update (assuming you hadn't disabled updates in their associated Profiles).

FF does very little to the Windows Registry, so I wouldn't particularly be concerned what "Windows" has to say about anything in respect to FF.
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:1.9.1.19) Gecko/20110420 SeaMonkey/2.0.14 Pinball CopyURL+ FetchTextURL FlashGot NoScript

the-edmeister

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Post Posted December 15th, 2017, 5:38 pm

kltpzyxmrm wrote:An annoying problem is that "sometimes" I will launch ESR and what I get is 58 beta, at which point I must close the browser and replace the profile with a ESR compatible backed up profile, after which things get back to normal.

It's a random thing, and seems to usually happen when I go from one ESR profile to another ESR profile (All of my profiles are set to "never check for updates")

I rarely use quantum, so I'm thinking it shouldn't be "direct" factor in the behavior, meaning that, is this one of those Windows 10 related control things?

When I go to Win 10 settings>default apps, the web browser option shows Firefox. Clicking on it displays two instances of Firefox icons with no discernible difference (in the past It has shown as many as four), but each representing a different Firefox version, surely due to my use of various Firefox versions.

I was planning on waiting a few versions before installing Quantum to "let the dust settle", like until Fx 59 or 60, after reading about extension API's not ready ready yet. I am so damn tired of Mozilla adding incomplete new features and making all users their "guinea pigs" in testing the new feature and then slowly over the next few versions finishing the new feature; or not ever finishing them. I stopped being an "early adopter" when Firefox 4.0 was released, and it took me until Firefox 10 before I moved "up" from Firefox 3.6. Before that I was running the leading edge on the Minefield builds and became thoroughly disgusted as the Firefox 4.0 builds kept being delayed, while features kept getting pulled with the attitude "we'll complete this once Firefox 4.0 is released"; meanwhile 4.0 was like a year late in being released, as I recall.
[rant mode off]

But curiosity about Quantum got the better of me and I went with Firefox Portable to see what it was all about within 2 weeks of 57.0 being released. I saw a strangeness that I never saw before when opening Firefox 56.0.2 when Portable Firefox 57 is already running; 56.0.2 is using the Portable 57 Profile - the new UI and extensions are running in 56.0.2 executable. Then I close versions and only open the installed 56.0.2 version and it was running its own Profile with no ill effects.

IMO, the issue was related to the multi-processes feature and the -no-remote switch for launching multiple Profiles / versions with their own Profile - but I have "no proof" for that opinion, only a gut feeling from years of using multiple simultaneous Profiles with separate versions of Firefox. Plus, I have used the versions with multi-processes so little that I don't have a basis of experience with same. But have had no such problem with the official build of 57 since I installed it 3 days ago and dumped the Portable version; 56.0.2 always is using its own Profile.

As far as unexpected or unwanted updates, in addition to yanking the guts of the updater from Firefox as soon as I "zip install it", I null the updates URL via my user.js file:
Code: Select all
// turn off application updates:
user_pref("app.update.enabled", false);
user_pref("app.update.url", " ");

Firefox doesn't know where the updates server is located that way, but manual updates via Help > About Firefox still works with the Check for Updates button - at least to check. But I am still running ESR 38.7.1 so I don't install the ESR 45 "update" as I would lose at least 8 extensions that I don't want to lose.

From being a big supporter of Firefox up until a few years ago, I have become thoroughly disgusted with the direction that Mozilla is taking Firefox. IMO, they are looking for parity with the competition and not striving for superiority as they were in the past; in the end settling for mediocrity.

Here's a phrase from from Lee Iacocca's TV advertising pitch for Chrysler K-cars back in the 1980's that comes to mind - "If you can find a better web browser, use it."
A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Mine has wandered off and I'm out looking for it.

kltpzyxmrm
 
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Post Posted December 27th, 2017, 3:08 pm

Hi Guys,

Sorry for not getting back sooner. Thanks for your feedback. It's a relief knowing something can be done for this intolerable annoyance.

I get the impression that, as a rule, the three of us we have long adopted same approach/preference when it comes to Firefox version and addon updates. They will be on our terms, in our time.

No surprises, no guinea pigs, as much as we can help it, thank you very much.

therube wrote:Set your FF 52 ESR instalDir to read-only:

Globally Disable FF Update - System-wide

Just now did as you instructed. Actually, surprising to me waas that the "extracted/portable" main install directory was already set to "read only", but as you said, I set all the contents to "read only" as well.

I have also noticed that often as not it doesn't update the Firefox version, but seems to irreversibly disable certain addons, and again, the only solution, up to now, was to restore a backup profile.

I'll let you know how it all works out.

therube wrote:FF does very little to the Windows Registry, so I wouldn't particularly be concerned what "Windows" has to say about anything in respect to FF.

Yeh, actually that was my point. Not Firefox's intrusion into the registry, but the proprietary way Windows will get any chance to get their apps to be the default, in this case "Edge". Then, When you make Firefox the default, depending on how many different Firefox versions you may be messing with, you end up with Firefox multiple entries in the windows settings. I've had as many as 4 at one time.

I was hoping there was a way to control this, perhaps with a registry tweak.

the-edmeister wrote:I was planning on waiting a few versions before installing Quantum to "let the dust settle", like until Fx 59 or 60, after reading about extension API's not ready ready yet

I'm pretty much doing the same, I play with it once in a while to get the feel of it, but mostly I'm just collecting web addons for the future. I am pleasantly surprised at the available addons that I didn't expect to make the transition, as well as others I newly discovered.[/quote]

the-edmeister wrote:As far as unexpected or unwanted updates, in addition to yanking the guts of the updater from Firefox as soon as I "zip install it"

Are you saying delete "updater.exe", 'updater.ini', and "update-settings.ini"?

the-edmeister wrote:I null the updates URL via my user.js file:
Code: Select all
// turn off application updates:
user_pref("app.update.enabled", false);
user_pref("app.update.url", " ");

I don't have a user.js. But dont I remember the old Firefox ChromEdit or ChromEdit Plus addon that opened with a user.js file option??

the-edmeister wrote:But I am still running ESR 38.7.1 so I don't install the ESR 45 "update" as I would lose at least 8 extensions that I don't want to lose.

Even tho it is an ESR, isn't there still potential security issues running an old version?

kltpzyxmrm
 
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Joined: June 16th, 2015, 10:59 am

Post Posted March 1st, 2018, 12:35 pm

I have a follow up question.

Recap: I use extracted/portable versions of Firefox, ESR, stable and beta; the built in profile manager; multiple profiles, each suited to the version Firefox I'm using.

Since I primarily use the ESR version, one problem I run into is that, if the browser is closed, and I initiate an action that would open the browser, the current default profile that I use with the Firefox ESR version is opened in the latest Firefox version. In the current case, Firefox 58.02.

Naturally, in this scenario, there are addons that are not compatible.

Since I use the built-in profile manager, when I close the browser and proceed to open the same profile with Firefox ESR, all the addons that didn't work with Firefox 58.02 are still disabled, with no way of enabling them.

My only choice when this happens is to replace the profile, but I was hoping someone could explain another, easier way, of dealing with and reversing this.

therube

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Post Posted March 2nd, 2018, 9:46 am

Use separate Profiles for different FF versions.
Add a -P switch to your desktop shortcuts to open the specific Profile associated with the specific FF version.

Command Line Options

Also, in profiles.ini, you want to set StartWithLastProfile to 0.
Code: Select all
[General]
StartWithLastProfile=0

What that does is if your browser is closed & some other application tries to open your browser (which would be your default browser), you should be prompted to select a Profile rather then having "a" browser open automatically. That allows you to select the Profile applicable to your "default browser", rather then having, what would otherwise be, the last opened Profile to automatically open.

(I think that [part] is right. That is the way it works on my end...
Yeah, sounds right, Existing non-sandboxed browser windows reopened sandboxed.)
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:1.9.1.19) Gecko/20110420 SeaMonkey/2.0.14 Pinball CopyURL+ FetchTextURL FlashGot NoScript

the-edmeister

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Post Posted March 3rd, 2018, 12:02 am

therube wrote:Use separate Profiles for different FF versions.
Add a -P switch to your desktop shortcuts to open the specific Profile associated with the specific FF version.

Command Line Options

Most definitely by-pass the Profile Manager and launch Firefox using Desktop shortcuts that use command line directly to the Profile that you want to launch.

This is the Target line that I use for "by-passing" the Profile Manager via command line switches, and to have it be able to open when other firefox.exe processes are running. (And damn, Quantum sure likes to open new additional processes ...)
"C:\Program Files\InternetBrowsers\Firefox 57\firefox.exe" -p "Fx-57-Profile-2" -no-remote
I am running a 32-bit version of Windows7, hence no (x86) in Program Files. Extracted the "core" folder from the Full Off-Line installer and copied all the files into a fresh folder in C:\Program Files\InternetBrowsers\ - sent firefox.exe to the Desktop as "shortcut", then setup the Target line to launch the Profile I want directly to by-pass the Profile Manager. Then I deleted the 3 "updater" files to get rid of the "Mozilla Maintenance Service" files. Then "pop-in" my user.js file to disable "unexpected" updates and send the "cache" to a different logical drive. (A lot easier to defrag a 5 GB partition / logical drive with only the cache files than it does to defrag a 250 GB drive.)

therube wrote:Also, in profiles.ini, you want to set StartWithLastProfile to 0.
Code: Select all
[General]
StartWithLastProfile=0

What that does is if your browser is closed & some other application tries to open your browser (which would be your default browser), you should be prompted to select a Profile rather then having "a" browser open automatically. That allows you to select the Profile applicable to your "default browser", rather then having, what would otherwise be, the last opened Profile to automatically open.

(I think that [part] is right. That is the way it works on my end...
Yeah, sounds right, Existing non-sandboxed browser windows reopened sandboxed.)

therube - Thank you for that tip. That never occurred to me that the "Start With Last Profile" in profiles.ini might have "bollocks the works" for me. I'm not going to "test" it and risk that happening again for me; I have Basilisk as my Default Browser currently, it was that or Chrome.

I am "testing" Firefox 58.0.2 with 2 Profiles, both using the -no-remote switch (base Profile and one with a number of extensions and a bunch of userChrome.css mods - enough that I have 3 @import url userChrome files for three very specific mods that I did) and I don't use the Profile / Firefox version that was last set with StartWithLastProfile=1.

It seems that I am back to where I was 10 to 12 years ago where I don't "trust Firefox enough" to risk it being the Default Browser; Firefox 0.8 drove me up the wall due to coming up as the Default Browser and I knew so little about how the pre-Firefox 0.9 "profile manager" worked that I lived with that occurrence for awhile before making Opera the Default Browser. Then in 2008 when I built a new PC I discovered that issue didn't occur to me with Firefox 3.0 until I started installing older versions and voila' - Firefox 0.8 "took over" the Default Browser position if / when I set Firefox as the Default. Got rid it 0.8 and the problem didn't happen again.

Nasty habit of mine, keeping old versions installed and operational once I got good with the Profile Manager and using command line to launch Profiles other than the Default / Default (Default Browser and "StartWithLastProfile=1 [what I call the Default Profile -- hence Default / Default title]). This current PC is close to 2 years old and I installed the versions I was using at that time without "going down memory lane" with the ancient versions; but the older PC from 2008 still has every version from Firefox 3.0 up thru ESR 38.0.5 installed and working on my PC workbench in my workshop - fire it up every 3 or 4 months to grab a file that I never got around copying over to the current PC - didn't quit keeping older versions around after I was done with them.

Ed
A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Mine has wandered off and I'm out looking for it.

kltpzyxmrm
 
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Joined: June 16th, 2015, 10:59 am

Post Posted March 3rd, 2018, 12:30 pm

the-edmeister wrote:
Most definitely by-pass the Profile Manager and launch Firefox using Desktop shortcuts that use command line directly to the Profile that you want to launch.

This is the Target line that I use for "by-passing" the Profile Manager via command line switches, and to have it be able to open when other firefox.exe processes are running. (And damn, Quantum sure likes to open new additional processes ...)
"C:\Program Files\InternetBrowsers\Firefox 57\firefox.exe" -p "Fx-57-Profile-2" -no-remote

Haven't yet had the time to try the methods you guys suggested, but I have a couple of questions

I'm familiar with the "-no remote" switch. Are you saying that if the browser is closed, windows/firefox remembers the last method used to open the browser, and this will affect what happens when an eternal source tries to launch itself?

the-edmeister wrote:Then I deleted the 3 "updater" files to get rid of the "Mozilla Maintenance Service" files. Then "pop-in" my user.js file to disable "unexpected" updates and send the "cache" to a different logical drive

Yes, I followed that advice from your previous post. That's been a huge help.

therube wrote:Also, in profiles.ini, you want to set StartWithLastProfile to 0.
Code: Select all
[General]
StartWithLastProfile=0

NIce. I'm trying that straight away.

I'm also curious why the addons persist in being disabled even after you re-open the profile with the ESR. What does that original action do to alter the profile? Isn't there a way to reverse that without replacing the profile itself, like some about:config tweak?

Brummelchen
 
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Joined: March 19th, 2005, 10:51 am

Post Posted March 3rd, 2018, 3:13 pm

out of curiosity - ESR ___never___ would update to another final nor beta.

you have a messed up profile - i guess you had tried out before the 57beta/58beta on your current (portable) profile instead using another one an stepped back to esr because you did not like quantum. another guess that you are using some kind of stupid software updater - those programs can update without any hint and can cause that too. third option may that you have installed firefox as default browser beside a portable build - external programs calling links use the installed, not the portable build.

so you are recommend to tell more/all about your system but as i stated that never could happen from alone - never!

therube

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Post Posted March 4th, 2018, 5:19 am

if the browser is closed, windows/firefox remembers the last method used to open the browser

Your default browser is your default browser.
Windows knows what your default browser is.
If some action occurs that causes your browser to open, it will open your default browser.

Close all browsers, drop to a command prompt & type in:
Code: Select all
C:/>   START http://www.google.com

Whatever opens is your default browser.

FF (by default) remembers your last opened Profile.

Say your default browser is FF 58, your last opened Profile was with FF 52 & its associated Profile, 52_Profile, & you have since closed all browsers.
Then some action happens (you click, Help About -> More Info, in some program) & the "More Info" causes your browser to open, it attempts to open your default browser.
As your default browser is FF 58, it goes to open, but because your last used Profile was 52_Profile, when it opens, it opens 52_Profile using FF 58, which screws things up.

Making the profile.ini change will cause FF to prompt before opening, at which time it is up to you to tell FF to open the correct Profile for the version of FF that is opening, so your default browser, 58, you would then manually select 58_Profile, then all should be good.
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videobruce
 
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Location: Buffalo NY

Post Posted March 8th, 2018, 11:37 am

I have/had v56 Portable.

I'm in, or was in the process from switching from Opera Classic that I have used for probably over 13 years due to all the lame websites bloated with JavaScript crap. I was not aware of this 'elephant in the room' problem until yesterday when it happen to me. I thought it was on my end somehow until I did a search and got a 'ton' of results to the 'shame' Mozilla pulled, apparently from almost a year ago. Basically wasting hours setting up everything (Classic Restorer & Tab Mix Plus for starters) :twisted:

Anyway, the questions are;
does NOT clicking on Help/About actually work?
does blocking those four URL's work, either in the hosts file or in your router?

I for one do not want to be on pins and needles waiting for this forced update NOT to happen.

Anyway, I looked thru the three folders in the 'Portable' directory and for two sets of "update" entries (one set in App/Firefox folder, the other in App/Firefox64 folder) that I renamed by adding "old" to the extension (instead of just deleting them in case this had other percussions). That also makes it easier to find :wink: ;

updater.exeold
updater.iniold
update-settings.iniold

Again, this was a portable version of v56

Comments to the above??
Idiot Exploiter couldn't be a standard even if it was the only browser and Chrome is just another way Google spies on you.

Brummelchen
 
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Joined: March 19th, 2005, 10:51 am

Post Posted March 9th, 2018, 7:51 am

it wont help more when spreading your issue in the forum...

but read again:
viewtopic.php?p=14794054#p14794054

firefox wont update from alone if you uncheck the proper update option:
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/ad ... ox-updates

this is what i have set - this is what i expect - and this is what i get - no updates.
mozilla is not to blame ;)

videobruce
 
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Location: Buffalo NY

Post Posted March 9th, 2018, 8:01 am

Brummelchen wrote:it wont help more when spreading your issue in the forum...
but read again:
viewtopic.php?p=14794054#p14794054
firefox wont update from alone if you uncheck the proper update option:
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/ad ... ox-updates
this is what i have set - this is what i expect - and this is what i get - no updates.
mozilla is not to blame ;)

A. It isn't "my" issue, it's everyone's, at least anyone who doesn't want forced updates,
B. That link is this thread,
C. I hate to tell you, I had updates set to never and like all the others that have been burned, it updated anyway. One of the FIRST things I do with a new program is disable updates,
D. Then you must be the only one that didn't get a forced update. What are you running v58?

E. And what on earth makes you think Mozilla isn't to blame?????? :roll:
Idiot Exploiter couldn't be a standard even if it was the only browser and Chrome is just another way Google spies on you.

Brummelchen
 
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Joined: March 19th, 2005, 10:51 am

Post Posted March 9th, 2018, 1:44 pm

then please dont ask questions in a not you related topic.
I have/had v56 Portable.

tl;dr
Anyway, the questions are;
tl;dr

Comments to the above??

It isn't "my" issue, it's everyone's, at least anyone who doesn't want forced updates,

wrong. this did not happen to me, so "everyone is absolute wrong
using google only find results related to your search terms - so it is more that logical you only will find complains with such words.
you never would read users where firefox is working like expected - true or wrong?

That link is this thread,

you asked questions, so its not your related thread.
please start a new thread instead capturing other threads, that is not nice, it wont help the starting poster, IMO it is noted in the forum rules.

c) as i wrote you thats your personal issue, firefox in your windows environement.
i am running 3 windows and firefox 58/59/60 - and none of them on all systems load an update i dont want.
it could be a matter of the used portable - any how portables are made (most times) from portableapps.com.
if firefox runs wrong you should ask there and not here because the p-apps software starter is too complex and could affect anything from firefox.
you also wont find much questions here about portable firefox although they are answered.

to note - my versions run also "portable", otherwise i can not use several versions same time - but i use firefox command line parameters instead a starter.

mozilla is not to blame when user are screwing its firefox to malfunctioning or using portable versions which are not made by mozilla.
thats also what this forum is about - in most times helpful for regular installed versions. thats why the most called first helping hints are "what about safe-mode" and "start a new profile"

at last as you being a former opera user - either v12 or chromium based - firefox is complete different.
nah, now the last - dont expect too much help about using outdated and vulnerable versions.

videobruce
 
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Joined: March 25th, 2006, 11:38 am
Location: Buffalo NY

Post Posted March 9th, 2018, 3:37 pm

Yea, that's why there are tons of hits when one searches for this issue.
All I can do is disable updates which I do with any program. I have no control over the program or the programs servers overriding the setting. So stop putting the blame on the user, what you work for them and tiring to pass the buck?

Outdated my ass, Mozilla, Chrome-dome & Opera have a childish game with version numbers for some time now. Each minor update is a full version number. No one else has ever done this in the 18 years I have had a PC.

AFA it not happened to you, that's you.
Idiot Exploiter couldn't be a standard even if it was the only browser and Chrome is just another way Google spies on you.

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