Is it a good idea to replace the default firefox with the flatpak one?

Is there a reason why by default firefox isn’t installed through a flatpak?
Would it be a good idea to uninstall the default and install the flatpak version?
I hear the flatpak version is being maintained by Mozilla anyway.

Flatpak Firefox just has a few limitations. The first one being fedora’s lack of codecs. But the official one also has some issues, like not having a lot of the specific wayland fixes fedora has (like WebRender or Pipewire) either not by default or not at all. It really depends on your use cases. @stransky may be able to give a more in depth answer on this one as well.

Wait. so there would be some media that wouldn’t play on the flatpak version?

I wonder if there’s a way to let the flatpak use the codecs using flatseal or something…

Only the Fedora version. The one from flat hub should be able to access ffmpeg and/or openh264.

Firefox flatpak is developed/maintained by Jan Horak (xhorak) and Eike Ratke. I don’t have close info about it.

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Just install the official Mozilla Flatpak from Flathub + the ffmpeg-full extension, there’s absolutely no reason to use Fedora’s builds as an end user:

flatpak install flathub org.mozilla.firefox
flatpak install flathub org.freedesktop.Platform.ffmpeg-full

edit: With that being said, Flatpak Firefox in general doesn’t support installing Gnome Extensions through the addon, so you’re either going to have to keep rpm-ostree Firefox around or install these manually.

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I wonder if flatseal can give the flatpak firefox the permissions it needs to install gnome extensions?

Not really, but if you really have to try you could give this a shot, provided you update any refernces to Gnome’s runtime etc to match the latest ones, though I would not suggest it.

You can find out more about this issue on this Gnome issue page and that Mozilla bug thread if you’re interested.

I’d suggest installing the extensions manually or using any unofficial Extension utility like GetExtensions or Annex.

If you wish to avoid using any such tools but don’t want to manually extract and copy stuff around you could also look up any extensions you’re interested in on the official Gnome page for them, download their achives and install the zipped bundles directly using the gnome-extensions like so:

gnome-extensions install

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Owwwww! A lot of thanks @kon14 !

I didn’t know gnome-extensions. I don’t need native browsers anymore.
This resource needs to be more widespread among Silverblue users.

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Regarding Flatseal and FF permisions, is it possible I can get Telnet links to point to the overlayed PuTTY? Same for SSH. I like how I can save sessions in PuTTY but it is tedious that hyperlinks do not open up a terminal session for me, I have to copy and paste the link info manually in.

I tried adding ‘/bin/putty’ to the Other files section but no luck so far, not sure if I need to restart or something.

One downside of the Firefox flatpak from Flathub is how it doesn’t support screen sharing in video conferences by default (unless that has changed in the latest version).

You can do an override to make it work though, and it’s pretty easy to do with Flatseal. Check out Screensharing problems in the Firefox flatpak after upgrade to Fedora Silverblue 34 - #4 by expectation

Hopefully this will be fixed at some point in the near future.

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I think it must have been fixed in 89, I just checked and it was in there. I’m pretty sure I did not add…

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To sum up, and please correct me if this is wrong. At the moment the only advantage of fedora’s rpm-ostree firefox at the moment is that it is required for gnome-shell-extensions?

There’s also KDE Connect and GSConnect (for Gnome) browser plugins being unable to connect to the native host which has to be repackaged for Flatpak in order to work.

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Super useful to know!

The main dealbreaker for me is the lack of Native Messenger capabilities for the Firefox Flatpak, due to the sandboxing mechanisms of Flatpak.

I use the Tridactyl addon’s native messenger to open videos in a floating MPV window (like picture-in-picture but 10x better), copy links with keyboard shortcuts, etc. I can’t do these things with the Flatpak version, so the Flatpak is less useful to me.

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I feel like all the feedback in this thread are things we should be telling to the flatpak maintainers. It’s also possible that flatseal could automagically fix some of them.