MozillaZine

Updating add-ons

From MozillaZine Knowledge Base

(Difference between revisions)
Revision as of 18:40, 1 April 2008
DBaron (Talk | contribs)
(Extensions that force compatibility - warn about dangers)
<-- Previous diff
Revision as of 21:27, 8 July 2008
LoudNoise (Talk | contribs)
(Extensions that force compatibility - Again Mr. Techs Local Install to Toolkit)
Next diff -->
Line 29: Line 29:
*[http://www.oxymoronical.com/web/firefox/nightly Nightly Tester Tools] *[http://www.oxymoronical.com/web/firefox/nightly Nightly Tester Tools]
*[https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1391 Nightly Tester Tools Lite] *[https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1391 Nightly Tester Tools Lite]
-*[http://www.mrtech.com/extensions/local_install/index.html Mr Tech Local Install].+*[http://www.mrtech.com/extensions/local_install/index.html MR Tech's Toolkit].
Using these extensions to disable extension compatibility checks can also cause crashes (due to binary components in extensions) or other problems, either immediately after disabling the compatibility checks or after a future application upgrade. Using these extensions to disable extension compatibility checks can also cause crashes (due to binary components in extensions) or other problems, either immediately after disabling the compatibility checks or after a future application upgrade.

Revision as of 21:27, 8 July 2008

In Firefox and Thunderbird, and starting in SeaMonkey 2, add-ons (extensions and themes) can be updated using the Software Update feature. To perform an update check:

  • Firefox and Thunderbird: "Tools -> Add-ons -> Find Updates"
  • SeaMonkey 2: "Tools -> Add-on Manager -> Find Updates"

Settings to automatically check for updates to installed add-ons are found under "Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> Update" in Firefox and Thunderbird and under "Edit -> Preferences -> Software Installation / Updates" in SeaMonkey 2.

Contents

Updating incompatible add-ons for a new application version

The Add-ons dialog will inform you if an existing add-on is incompatible with the current version of your application. Thunderbird will also disable the add-on and prevent you from enabling it by right clicking on the add-on in "Tools -> Add-ons" and pressing the enable button. The first thing to try is to check for updates to see if a new version is available. If one isn't found, you can override the compatibility check. Most add-ons will work if you do that, but it can cause the application to behave improperly. If that happens disable or uninstall the extension from the Add-ons dialog (from Safe Mode if necessary).

A more advanced method is available if you want to redistribute the newly-compatible add-on. See Editing an add-on to change its compatibility.

Completely disabling the compatibility check

The simplest solution is to disable version checking for all add-ons. However, this has the risk of causing crashes (with extensions with binary components) or other bugs as a result of disabling the compatibility check, either immediately after doing so or after a future application upgrade.

In Firefox 1.5 and Thunderbird 1.5, set the preference app.extensions.version to the highest version of the application that the add-on supports.

For all later versions of Firefox and Thunderbird, and in SeaMonkey 2 set the preference extensions.checkCompatibility to false. Firefox and SeaMonkey users can type about:config in the address bar and press Enter. Thunderbird users can use the Config Editor.

  1. Right-click -> New -> Boolean
  2. Name: extensions.checkCompatibility
  3. Value: false

In Firefox 3, Thunderbird 3, and SeaMonkey 2, disabling the compatibility check is not always sufficient. They also check whether the add-on uses either a encrypted HTTP connection or a key/hash to verify its validity when updating. This is done to prevent installing updates that are vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. Vulnerable add-ons will be disabled and an error message displayed about it not being compatible with that version of the application, despite the compatibility check being disabled. If this happens you can bypass the security check by adding the preference extensions.checkUpdateSecurity and setting it to false (not recommended).

  1. Right-click -> New -> Boolean
  2. Name: extensions.checkUpdateSecurity
  3. Value: false

Extensions that force compatibility

The following extensions offer the ability to disable compatibility checking both globally and per extension. These extensions have other features, adds other menu commands, and may change the title bar. They're not designed just to disable version checking.

Using these extensions to disable extension compatibility checks can also cause crashes (due to binary components in extensions) or other problems, either immediately after disabling the compatibility checks or after a future application upgrade.

Disabling update checks for individual add-ons - Advanced users

It is possible to prevent individual add-ons from updating automatically even when you have the Software Update feature enabled. To do so:

  • Find the GUID for the extension. GUIDs are either e-mail addresses or a bunch of random characters inside { } brackets. The folders named after extension GUIDs are in in the extensions folder of the profile folder. You can look at the install.rdf file in each folder to see what extension it's for.
  • Type about:config in the address bar and press enter.
  • Right-click -> New -> Boolean
  • Name: extensions.<GUID>.update.enabled
  • Value: false

External links