GNOME Web Privacy/Blocklist - Can it be improved?

One thing I very much dislike about GNOME Web is the lack of granular privacy controls/extensions, at least compared to Firefox. It may be that it’s extremely protective of my privacy, but it’s impossible for me to confirm just from looking at the available preference settings. In fact, the use of oversimplified (or “dumbed-down” as I see it) settings options in general is my major complaint with many GNOME applications. Give me lots of options!

Anyway, I did some research and found this command that will show the active ad/tracker-blocklist:

gsettings get org.gnome.Epiphany content-filters

And that returns the following:


(Note the “min” above, which I assume means “minimal.”)

In Firefox and its forks, I aspire to filter out every trace of undesirable page elements: trackers, beacons, social media buttons, ads, pop-ups, etc., so this list is not sufficient for my purposes. (And it’s obvious when I use Web that many items are not blocked.)

The command to set the blocklist is:

gsettings set org.gnome.Epiphany content-filters "['https://LIST-NAME.json']"

(Replace “LIST-NAME” with the actual name of the list.)

Is there an option to improve on this list, replace it with, e.g. one of Stephen Black’s consolidated lists, or add multiple Easylists?


You could edit your hosts file, although that would be pretty tedious.

Yeah, true. But then I would have to manually update it all the time, and on every device. And I think that doesn’t support wildcard domain entries.

I also have the choice of setting my VPN to use my own DNS (through Pi-Hole), which blocks unwanted connections according to the lists from Stephen Black that I have loaded, as well as my own manually added domains. Most of the time I default to the VPN provider’s random DNS, though. And when away from my home network, I don’t have the Pi-hole option; I don’t want to remote into it.

I mainly use Web as a fall-back browser when my more locked-down browsers don’t display a site properly. But I still don’t want to give websites I view in Web carte blanche, so I want a stronger protection there than “minimum.” And at the risk of locking it down so much that it also breaks some websites. Lol!

It would be nice if there were a NoScript or uBlock Origin extension for Web.


I can get you my hosts file if you can’t find another solution. Its pretty extensive (probably not feasibly auditable though, so there’s that. It’s 16 MB).

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Thanks for the offer. I’m looking at this one right now:

There’s also some Epiphany/blocklists discussion on gitlab that that developer participated in. As did @adrien.plazas, so maybe he could comment here. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Could you run Pi-Hole locally i.e. on the portable device that needs protection when away from the home network?

Another option would be to develop a script that converts a list of domain names into the format required by ‘adblockplus’ and then change content-filters to use the resulting list.

I don’t know that it would be a terrible option to make your Pi-Hole available remotely. You would want to make sure that it is only subtracting domains (blocking them) and never adding domains (would leak internal info). Anyway, maybe this point needs further discussion.

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