Firefox/purebrowser modifications

Where can I find the exact modifications to Firefox ESR that makes the “pure” browser?

(and were they really necessary?)

My users are having all sort of problems. Addons from official mozilla site refuse to install. Common applications refuse to recognize it as a modern browser (e.g. whatsapp web refuses to run and says “must use firefox newer than 57”)

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I don’t think there is a document which describes the changes from Firefox. You can get the source code (maybe most easily via apt source purebrowser)

I do think add-ons have some quirks, but I’m not familiar enough. For a while, I saw that one should install add-ons through the command line, and one could find add-ons with apt search webext* - but now I only see HTTPS Everywhere and UBlock Origin, which Purebrowser includes by default.

For one thing, it seems to be based on Firefox-ESR v46, so it is older than Firefox 57…

Reading it really seems to be limited to some default setting changes.

I think PureOS’s restructuring may have caused some confusion. As I was digging around, I first found the old green suite, which seemed to have Firefox 46.

However, the new amber suite I think is based on Firefox 68.

apt search purebrowser
Sorting... Done
Full Text Search... Done
purebrowser/now 68.1.0esr+really60.9.0esr-1~deb10u1pureos1 amd64 [installed,local]
  web browser based on Mozilla technology
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Ahh, thanks for the correction. Much appreciated.

You can see a changelog here.

There are two ways you can install extra addons in PureBrowser:

1 - via command line but at the moment it is around 13 addons that you can install this way:

Name Description
webext-browserpass web extension for the password manager pass
webext-bulk-media-downloader Cross-browser extension to detect and download media resources
webext-debianbuttons Buttons for querying Debian-related pages with Firefox
webext-eas4tbsync Provide Exchange ActiveSync (EAS v2.5 & v14.0) synchronization capabilities
webext-form-history-control extension to manage form history
webext-https-everywhere Extension to force the use of HTTPS on many sites
webext-lightbeam visualize sites that may be tracking you around the internet
webext-noscript permissions manager for Firefox
webext-privacy-badger Privacy Badger automatically learns to block invisible trackers
webext-proxy-switcher Modify Proxy Settings for your Browser
webext-treestyletab Show browser tabs like a tree
webext-ublock-origin general-purpose lightweight ads, malware, trackers blocker (Web Extension)
webext-umatrix browser plugin to block requests and reduce data leakage

For this just do: sudo apt install addon-name

2 - Enable compatibility with Firefox:

This requires tweaking the user agent, which i suspect is the cause of these issues (the purebrowser user agent):


with the understanding that a random add-on may make the browser impure.

I don’t have a Librem laptop, so I can’t verify this, but I’d wager that if you can get a user agent switcher installed, and tell PureBrowser to identify as Firefox 70, most sites will work.

The version string you quoted reads “really60.9.0esr” after the first version number. This is because the Firefox version used in PureOS has been rolled back from 68 to 60, for an explanation see