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Making moves
Status: New idea

Firefox should again respect the user's wish expressed by "xpinstall.signatures.required" and thereby allow manually permanently installed unsigned extensions.

As an addition to the signing process, the user could also be offered the following options in the addon settings:

  • signed (only)
  • unsigned, but intention of installation confirmed (e.g. by entering the user password (if available))
  • all

The arguments for this are relatively clear and in line with the principles of free and user empowering software original practiced by Mozilla and Firefox.

Users should not be prevented from making their own decisions and customizing the browser. The current approach represents a repressive opaque encroaching course of action that ultimately drives users into the hands of other browsers. While the browser should certainly provide helpful warnings to the user, it should not force the user against his will. Instead, an extension environment should be established, which allows access to sensitive data to be regulated through a fine-grained rights management.

Status changed to: New idea
Community Manager
Community Manager

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Not applicable

This is an exceptionally important feature to restore to Firefox for Android.

First, it would allow users to install add-ons not available on the Firefox Add-ons site, such as Bypass Paywalls Clean. After Mozilla took down that add-on from the Firefox Add-ons site in response to a DMCA complaint, the developer of that extension opted not to challenge the DMCA takedown notice to avoid facing a legal challenge in court. The extension is still being distributed independently on GitLab.

Second, there are plenty of add-ons created for personal or internal business/organization use that are not appropriate to be submitted to the Firefox Add-on site because they are intended to be private. Firefox for Android used to be able to install these addons by changing an about:config setting (xpinstall.signatures.required), but Firefox 79 (Daylight) completely removed the ability to install extensions outside of the Firefox Add-ons site.

Restoring the ability to permanently install unsigned extensions on Firefox for Android would allow Firefox for Android to be a serious browser for power users and corporate users again.

Strollin' around

Firefox needs to do allow unsigned extensions to distinguish itself from Chrome and Safari, both of which use the "app store" model for extensions to act as gatekeepers and restrict user choice. Mozilla has always advocated for an open web, so it's very surprising and disappointing to see Firefox restrict extensions to yet another app store (the Firefox Browser Add-ons store) instead of allowing users to freely and openly install add-ons. This needs to change because people want to use Firefox to take control of their browsing experience, and not to be told what they can or cannot do on the web.

New member

I'm in complete agreeance with the others in this thread. Occasionally, I will create my own addon for a very specific task and I would like to have the choice to permanently install it without using a non-standard version of the browser. I also do not want to go through the hassle of uploading my extension anywhere when I have no intention of sharing it. I use Firefox because I want to have full control over my browser, not for my browser to kneecap my productivity "for my own safety". This is especially annoying when there is a config value called xpinstall.signatures.required that does nothing.

I love Firefox, but this ain't it.