Purebrowser Update

There is not enough information here for a theory, but could it be the packaging/installation process causing this?

Knock wood, I have not seen this problem with any version of Firefox that I have used (now 68.0.2; not ESR). I get the 64-bit package directly from Mozilla and untar after verifying the signature. It is easy to return to the old version if I have an issue.

I do delete the “features” that Mozilla seems to think I need.

I installed uBlock Origin as an add-on long ago. I use ‘strict’ blocking.

We are working on it to figure out what happened. The uBlock Origin issue could be related to this upstream bug: https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=931640

Don’t forget though that Firefox has a huge codebase as well. More than just a couple lines of code in there :wink:


Thanks for the update, and yeah, hopefully all the Purebrowser issues are ironed out or will be. I’ve moved on to a self-compiled browser, but I’d like to see Purebrowser be fairly solid in its changes for new users to settle in more easily.

Any update(s) on this?

I just want to confirm that ublock origin stopped working for me, and just having webext-ublock-origin installed does nothing. Attempts to install ublock directly fail, purebrowser is not recognized.

Could this have to do that purebrowser now uses its own .purism directory to store configurations, temp files etc… (as opposed to .mozilla)?

BTW, did anyone get the ‘work-around’ in the debian bug referenced above to work.



PS: I permit myself a personal comment: I am in principle very supportive of Purism’s goal, but on and off there seems not to be enough (wo)manpower behind PureOS to avoid an occasional rough ride. (Browsing the web without ublock is no fun!) I am also afraid that if you want safe devices, you have to invest work and know-how (cf. the variou warnings / readmes at the tor project pages). So, on the specific issue, I wonder whether users would not be served better by having firefox directly, plus (1) documentation / pointers to recommended plugins, and (2) how to harness firefox to be leaking fewer personal data. (The latter being tricky, since just copying and pasting configuration files will break some sites for some users…)

PPS: Aside from the “fan full blast” issues I encounter once in the while, the fragility of PureOS is one of the reasons my Librem is not my main laptop, and I make do with an older Thinkpad running Qubes …

the “fan full blast” issues I encounter once in the while

Oh I get that too. Is there a thread for that?

@sboresch regarding this issue with uBlock Origin not working since the upgrade to 68 esr, it can be tracked from here T814

Long story short:

The addons that are pre installed with Purebrowser (uBlock Origin and HTTPS Everywhere) are installed as *.deb packages, from Debian. And the addons from Mozilla are disabled by default.

There is an issue with the uBlock Origin .deb package which we use in PureOS (webext-ublock-origin version 1.18.4 Debian Stable), that is not working since Firefox 66 esr.

Purebrowser is now following Firefox 68 esr.

This bug has been reported to Debian here: https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=931640

So uBlock Origin is not working in Purebrowser at the moment.

Version 1.19.0 of webext-ublock-origin (from debian testing) solves this issue. We are working to enable this package in the stable branch of Debian from which PureOS is now based.

The two workrounds at this moment are:

1 - Manually download and install the *.deb package from Testing version 1.19.0. This allows to update uBlock Origin without enabling addons.mozilla.org

You can do that by:

Then open the browser and you might need to go to the addons/extensions page to manually enable uBlock origin

2 - Enable Firefox compatibility to download the addon from Mozilla:

For that follow this: https://tracker.pureos.net/w/troubleshooting/firefox_compat_mode/


See Fan full blast after sleep, coreboot and Intel ME ; this seems to be the “main thread”. Early on, I link to some other threads where this is / was encountered.

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thanks for the detailed explanation and workarounds.

I notice for workaround 2 that you have to change the browser identification string … this explains some other issues I on occasion run into with pure browser, i.e., warnings “you are using a nonsupported browser” (though the version of firefox purebrowser is based on would just be fine!). Any reason why purebrowser doesn’t identify itself as ‘firefox’ (or is this as default forbidden by mozilla?)

Again a long story short :slight_smile:

While the code for the Firefox browser is open source, the Mozilla foundation owns the trademark “Firefox”, and their policy in overall has been: The moment you fork it (create your own version of it) you can’t call it Firefox. And we make modifications in our version of it, PureBrowser.

That is why several forks of Firefox usually have names around an Element and an animal, ex:

  • IceCat
  • Iceweasel
  • Waterfox
  • BurningDog

Debian solved their issue but that is part of the long story.

Thanks! Administrating ca 50 computers for now > 20 years (most of which run Debian), I know most of this story.

Strangely, I rarely encountered this issue with iceweasel (before it became firefox in Debian again). So, I did not make the connection with browser agent immediately. Now I know what to do in the future.


Well none if us has a CV posted here, so we don’t know the user’s background when we reply to a question :slight_smile:

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@sboresch sorry, i did not wanted to sound sarcastic in my last reply. What i meant is that since we don’t know a users background, we can’t assume when we reply to a user that the user is a technically advanced user or has knowledge of the history of Free Software/Open Source.

So when replying to a user we try that the reply is accessible to different users, from experienced GNU/Linux users to users that just started using it.

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No offense, whatsoever, taken! Again, thanks for outlining the workarounds!

Somehow it passed over me that debian is providing packages for ublock (and some other addons). Personally, it’s something I won’t force on my users – they should install their own, preferred add-ons.

The one difference seems to be that (at least on debian stretch), there are no restrictions for users to install addons to debian’s firefox …

Stupid question (I know, I should search): is there a concise summary how purebrowser’s defaults differ from a vanilla mozilla firefox? (Assuming the same base version for both, i.e., 68.0.x)

hmm, the latest purebrowser update just killed all my noscript settings :confused: looks like we got an actual downgrade with the latest update, from 68.1.0esr to 60.9.0esr (as the version “68.1.0esr+really60.9.0esr-1~deb10u1pureos1” suggests). Did this downgrade cause the nuking of my addon settings?

We are between a rock and a hard place with PureBrowser and are sorry for the trouble it’s caused these last few weeks. Firefox 68 ESR has made it a lot harder to unMozilla (disable telemetry, remove Pocket integration, etc) the browser. There is also the upstream bug regarding unBlock Origin that stopped the extension from functioning.

Because of these issues, we’ve rolled back to 60 ESR and will continue on with this version while it is still supported upstream.

If people are looking for alternatives, GNOME Web is available in our repos. It can be found in Software or by opening Tilix and running apt install epiphany-browser.

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@richard and @joao.azevedo - you guys rock.

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@drs How did you installed noscript? Via apt: sudo apt install webext-noscript

Or you enabled addons from mozilla and instelled from there?

I did this and now I’m missing my settings for FoxyProxy. Any chance to get them back?

You may have to go back and re-install the extension for Firefox 60. The one for 68 might not be compatible for 60.

I deleted and reinstalled FoxyProxy, but can’t get it to work anymore. If I click the icon it just shows “There was an error”.

Can anybody confirm that it still works in Purebrowser?