Dropping firefox from the base image

Hello

I am new on this forum, so welcome everyone.

I have an idea to drop Firefox from the base Fedora Silverblue image, because it is already available as Flatpak in Fedora registry and Flathub. I think it should be installed by Anaconda like some other apps (see Fedora Silverblue 32 announcement).

I think it will be good because it enables the users to update Firefox independent from the base image, and users can remove Firefox more easily if they want to use another browser. What about this idea?

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Hello @kuba3351,
Welcome to the Fedora Discussion forum. This is something that others have expressed in the past re: Firefox. I think it would be good to raise it as an issue (if it isn’t already) as a feature request. You can do so at https://github.com/fedora-silverblue/issue-tracker/issues.

It makes sense to swap out the Firefox RPM-install for a Flatpak version now that these are available. I assume the main reason this wasn’t done before was that building it was more complicated than your average application.

But, FYI: Using the Flathub version however goes against official Fedora guidelines. That policy states that any software shipped with Fedora by default has to be packaged by Fedora. I don’t agree with that policy when it comes to Flatpaks and when it comes to considering Flathub (which is very much a Red Hat/Fedora engineers led initiative) a 3rd party, but that’s besides the point right now. So if you submit a ticket you’d do best to only refer to the Fedora registry.

Hello @toMeloos, I try very hard to never assume anything. But it also could have something to do with the rather large flatpak FF becomes. Or at least that was one of the early comments about making it a flatpak in the first place if I am remembering those discussions correctly.

I was using the FF Flatpak for a while but had to switch back to the RPM-install due to issues with printing and for the Gnome Extensions connector. That said, the idea of the browser running in a Flatpak container has lots of security goodness.

I’m also using the Firefox Flatpak provided by the fedora-testing repo. The main issue for me is that it doesn’t seem to recognize my installed codecs.

When I go to espn.com I want to see videos play and when I go to my Youtube settings I want to prefer AV1. Neither can happen, but I’m sticking with it hoping it will get better.

It just got updated from 76 to 78.0.2, so that is reassuring.

Install Firefox from flathub, it has the needed codecs.

I use the flatpak version too (despite its flawed high-DPI rendering), so I would definitelly welcome if I could remove the RPM - having two launchers with the same icon is confusing

I remove Firefox from the ostree image: rpm-ostree override remove firefox.
I prefer that Firefox isn’t present in the image but while I wait for this …

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I wonder, is there any reason to remove it from the base image? How many packages are there just to support firefox? I personally just override remove'd it.

Thank you, I didn’t know you can do that

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actually there is one thing for which I need native firefox, the Gnome Shell Extensions extension

I got all the extensions that I need before remove native firefox. The “Extensions” app (disponible at Flathub) auto-updates the extensions.

I noticed today when I was looking at about:support that the Firefox from Flathub is using XWayland instead of regular Wayland, like the native FF or the FF from the Fedora remote uses. So these are the three options presented for Firefox on Silverblue:

  1. Use the pre-installed native Firefox. This requires overlays for codecs, namely ffmpeg
  2. Use the Firefox in the Fedora remote, which has poor codec support
  3. Likely still the best option, use the Firefox in the Flathub remote. It has all the codecs you need without overlays, but unfortunately uses XWayland whereas the other two use regular Wayland.

Also neither of the bottom two options see themselves as the default browser if you set it so in OS settings. Hopefully some progress can be made before F33 to get one of those polished up.

@ mpphill2

Likely still the best option, use the Firefox in the Flathub remote. It has all the codecs you need without overlays, but unfortunately uses XWayland whereas the other two use regular Wayland.

Wayland support can be enabled for Firefox from Flathub. Take a look at the end of that post.

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I have all three installed so I can test. :grinning:

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This worked, thank you!