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Firefox as a snap package

Making moves

please get rid of the Firefox snap and go back to the deb file, the way this company is going they will lose a lot of there user base because snap are far to slow so get a grip and reinstate the deb package. its a joke that you do not seem to listen to your users anymore, whoever said within this company oh we will now use snap wants to lose there job free and open source is the way things are get rid of this rubbish as soon as possible.


Making moves

I just wanted to second this. I upgraded to Ubuntu 22.04, and was forced to take the snap. I was able to manually download the debian deb and "dpkg -i" it (also had to manually upgrade libnss3 the same way, ugh), but this is very annoying.

And it's not just a preference thing either. I'm thrilled with how quick snap firefox launches, and how you almost don't even notice the difference....until you go to download a file or anything along those lines.

then you're stuck with the ridiculous snap sandbox filebrowser thing instead of the system one (bogus scaling on xhdpi systems, and coloring doesn't match the system theme).

EDIT: it's also very upsetting that firefox will revert any manual installation you do (eg, via .deb files). it then install snap and "upgrades" itself to the snap version. how many times am i going to have to uninstall snap?? you know what they call software they automatically installs other software without asking you? malware. the only reason i'm not switching back to chrome is because i hate it more.


I share your frustrations with Firefox as a snap package.  Not only does it quietly replace the .deb, the profile info is moved to ~/snap, and when you reinstall a deb, the profile info doesn't come back, so you have to manually transfer it.  The snap is slow, and the sandbox model breaks some extensions such as Video Download Helper.

I found this.....

which allows you to modify repo priority so the .deb is updated in preference to the snap.  We'll see if that happens when the next version (102?) is released.

Regardless of install mechanism, it seems to me that since around v99, Firefox has stopped working with a bunch of web sites (including one banking site)  and some extensions.It's got so bad in the last few weeks that I've started using Opera again, after years of FF being the only browser installed.

Is anyone else seeing similar problems before I start adding bug reports?

I have changed the priority as described in that article. Guess what! This morning my install reverted back to snap again. I have installed firefox this time by using binary download from the site, generated desktop files by hand etc. etc. While unable to add firefox to favorites, my setup seems to be OK. This really is getting bothersome.

I also have a problem with a banking site, the connection to their security server gets interrupted during login using snap Firefox 116 on ubuntu 22 The deb version works fine. Snap is crap

Making moves

I also second this. The Firefox snap is not alone in taking much too long to load. I have removed most snaps from my system and and using .deb if available or downloading zip launching the executable when not.

I see that tpchuckles is having a problem with downloads, not application launch, but I'm finding the slow launch time of snap's mentioned frequently on Reddit and other forums.


It is my perception that the snap is overall slower but I can't say for sure.


Finally, because of this, Firefox has gone from my 1st choice to 3rd - meaning I'm using it much less.


I frankly do not care so much about startup time, because it is a "one per login" issue and my login sessions are 4-5 days long on one computer and 20-30 on another.

However snap prevents some functions, most notably local file browser, running at all or make them execute improperly. I understand that sandboxing is a good way to improve security but any security feature that effects UX negatively tends to be bypassed.

Making moves

Be warned. Uninstalling Firefox version snap may delete your Firefox profiles 'snap' folder. Well, that's what happened in my case. Firefox profiles on snap are in the /home/YourHome/snap/firefox/common/.mozilla/ directory. Fortunately for me, my last backup dated from two weeks ago. So I haven't lost much.

My Firefox snap profile was still available after, maybe it’s a bug.

Making moves

I've used ubuntu since redhat went rogue, and I've used firefox since netscape went out in the late 90's, and I've never encountered such a terrible piece of software as this snapcrap which I was forced to install in ubuntu 22.04.

Snaps might have many fine features, but the security prevented firefox from drag and drop of files for uploading, which was annoying, but worse was that after opening a few tabs sometimes firefox would just hang. The machine would slow, and If I wasn't quick to kill it, the entire machine would freeze. I've had about 2 freezes on linux in my entire working life before this, so this unreliability in a very important part of my workflow was driving me up the wall.

I doubt the developers will read this, since if they were listening to anybody except the voices inside their heads, then they would have known about the issues with snaps from many other sources. But if you, dear reader, encounter similar issues then I have two solutions:

1) I developed this command line to kill the firefox snap process, and if you keep it ready in a terminal window, then you might prevent the need to press reset on your machine:

kill -KILL `ps -aef | grep "/snap/firefox/" | head -n 1 | awk '{ print $2 }'`

2) I looked very hard after I installed ubuntu 22.04 for a way to not have to use the firefox snap, and most of the recipes required eye-of-newt and magic wands all of which confused me, but finally here's one you can cut and paste (and thank you Joey Sneddon for this!) Irony of ironies, I had to use chrome to find this, because firefox kept crashing 🙂

AND BE WARNED, because of all their precious security, all of your bookmarks and passwords will be gone, so if you know how to back them up, great, but if not, it will still be a small price to pay for a browser that works.

That's the same link I posted back in June, and it still works.  However, any update via apt or snap still breaks some extensions, such as video download helper, and there's an annoying manual step for VDH involving replacing ffmpeg codecs, which I can't find right now!

Another good tool to kill programs on Linux is xkill, an optional install.  xkill is run from a shell or krunner in my case, and it turns the cursor into a red skull and crossbones to warn you that it can and will kill any window you click in.  So...I run xkill and click it in a FF window, snap or not, and it kills all the running FF windows by killing the parent FF process.

I also want to clarify that stored config info isn't gone - it's just that installing the snap (which wasn't optional and it didn't tell us that it was doing it!) moved the config info from the old default in ~/.config to ~/snap...again without asking or telling you.  It's relatively easy to move it back, but we shouldn't have to!  This is customer experience at its worst.  Since June, I've seldom used FF any more, as Opera is just as effective, is faster, and is more attuned to customers.  There are loads of good, secure browsers out there nowadays - even on Linux! - and FireFox just seems to be getting worse with every release.  Try Brave or Chromium (NOT Chrome!) or LibreWolf to name but a few.

Making moves

My biggest problem with snaps: It is the regression to the "Windows Update" irritation. One reason I left Windows behind was to specifically end forced restarts. (Note that I regularly update my apt applications--in fact, WAY more often than every 13 days).

One of the worst parts of the Windows experience is now featured in Linux, via Firefox snap.

With snaps, every few days I get the awful "Pending update of firefox snap. Something AWFUL will happen in 13 days!" pop-up. And dismissing it doesn't make it go away! It comes up many times more each day.

Shades of Windows forced updates! I'm not sure I could design a worse new-user experience. And for experienced users, it is awful.

At least four times a day, I get a warning pop up portending pending doom. However, I actually work on my Linux system and have many browser windows and tabs up. Getting back to where I was isn't easy or obvious. Restarting the computer _should_ take care of it BUT IT DOESN'T.

Some possible solutions:

  • Make the apt installation easier, or better: drop the use of 'snaps' entirely.
  • Make the update reminder similar to (or the same as) the apt update reminder: an icon appears in my notifications bar (with a short-lived popup), and I update when I can--end of day, start of next day, etc).
  • Make it so a simple computer restart does the update. Why should it be required to chant a special incantation, arrange the chicken bones, and sacrifice your passwords to the gods, just to update a stoopid application?

Please, please don't bring the Windows madness into Linux!!

Making moves


I am, probably obviously, here to second this position. Snap itself might be a "good" security solution. But it, at the keast with Ubuntu that I am using, has serious UX problems. These problems spilled over to firefox after Ubuntu 22.04 as more or less snap installer became mandatory for firefox. There are extensions that do not work properly, even Gnome's own extension manager. There are basic functions perform poorly or not at all, like file browser. So UX is a disaster.

More to the point.

  1. I am using Linux since 1994, starting with slackware. So you might say that I have some experience. With that experience, complete removal of SNAP and deb installers from the system permanently to be replaced with regular executable from firefox downloads took two trials and some hours distributed to one work day and another to a Sunday morning during which I am supposed to be resting. I do not think any regular user would dedicate the time and effort required to get rid of a piece of software from the system.
  2. Making apt to default to snap installer is, to say the least, very very disrespectful. Shame on the engineers who suggested this and decision makers who approved. If I want somebody else to decide what I am to do with my computer, I would stay in Windows or MacOS. At the moment I writing these on a MacMini with Ubuntu.
  3. If Chrome is more stable and Google is a reliable company to continue their product lines, or if Edge is able to run every web page that I am regularly using, I would leave Firefox. I have dropped thunderbird due to inconsistencies between updates, firefox is unfortunately more important for me, but not w/o alternatives.


Making moves

why firefox snap depends on gnome gnome-3-38-2004 ?

also it's funny, opera depends on gnome-3-28-1804 

Now I have 3 gnome snaps on Ubuntu 22.04

Making moves

Snap version: Like a mad, blind, enraged elephant rampaging through a puppy nursery.
Mozillateam ppa version: Like a sylvan elf riding a dragonfly, sprinkling pixie dust & giggling sexily.

Why, oh why, would you do something this crazy? It just makes us all look ridiculous. Like some sort of dyed in the wool, 'Open Source Forever, right or wrong' bunch of crazy eyed zealots without the sense to get out of our own way. A browser is obviously integral to any desktop. It needs to be fast & light, nearly transparent. After twenty years, Firefox is still the best, for it's bookmarks, privacy, layout, under-the-hood-ness, openness & all the stuff I don't know about. The conclusion is obvious.

Instead, we have a browser that takes 30 seconds to load. Consumes 900 MiB RAM for four static pages, slowing down everything else. Ten seconds to get the launcher menu. My mouse cursor disappearing. Fearing to open Firefox & Thunderbird at the same time. 

I'm not sure of the motivation behind snap, but I assume it has something to do with sandboxing, clearly a plus. But the performance hit is just way too high at this point, esp for FF, a legendary hog.

Ubuntu & Firefox are doing, have done, something something truly brilliant in their long & storied history. A credible & beautiful answer to the rampant facebookers, forever cookies, the attempts to monetise everything that treat every person like cattle. Hamstringing FF and the OS like this is just mad. How about we take off the lead boots & win this race? 


Making moves

Snap is an awful mess in general, not just with FF.  Flatpak is a bit better in that it doesn't seem to change where the config files are stored (which was unforgivable for FF), but there wasn't much wrong with the old system, except for having to maintain separate packages for different package managers but even .deb and .rpm packages covered the majority of distros.   Also, FF leaks memory on Linux so badly that it always hangs up after a few weeks and freezes the system.   I got so disgusted with many of the decisions made by Firefox over the last few years, that snap as default was the last straw....I switched to should too.


For those interested, a Mozilla-generated .deb version of Firefox is starting to roll out.