Firefox 60 ships with Windows Group Policy Support

Mozilla is working on integrating Group Policy Support for Firefox running on Windows devices in the upcoming Firefox 60 release.

Firefox 60 is the next Extended Support Release of the web browser which replaces Firefox ESR 52.x, the last official version of Firefox to support the old extensions system. Mozilla made Firefox 60 the next ESR target and not Firefox 59.

According to the Firefox release schedule, Firefox 60 will be released on May 8, 2018.

Mozilla Firefox supports an automatic configuration system for Firefox installations already using autoconfig files which works on any supported desktop platform.

The new Policy Engine in Firefox reads data from the Registry created by Group Policy Objects and applies the policies if found to be valid.

Development bug 1433136 documents the implementation progress and bug 1433173 work on the Policy Engine.

Firefox 60: the policies

firefox policies

All available policies are listed under Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Firefox and User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Firefox after the policy template files are added to the relevant directories on Windows.

The following options are available at the time of writing:

  • Block About Addons — prevents access to about://addons to manage addons.
  • Block About Config — prevents access to about://config.
  • Block About Support — prevents access to the troubleshooting page about://support.
  • Block Set Desktop Background — users cannot set the wallpaper of the desktop using Firefox.
  • Create Master Password — prevent the creation of a master password.
  • Disable Update — block Firefox from updating.
  • Disable Developer Tools — turn off the Developer Tools in the browser.
  • Disable Firefox Accounts — prevent sign-in to accounts and syncing.
  • Disable Firefox Screenshots — turn the Screenshots tool off.
  • Disable Firefox Studies — turn participation in Firefox studies off.
  • Disable Form History — prevent Firefox from remembering the form history.
  • Disable Pocket — turn off Pocket in Firefox.
  • Disable Private Browsing — block Private Browsing functionality.
  • Display Bookmarks Toolbar — show the Bookmarks Toolbar by default.
  • Display Menu Bar — show the Menu Bar by default.
  • Don’t Check Default Browser — block checks for default browser.
  • Homepage — set a homepage (or multiple), and optionally disallow the changing of those.
  • Remember Passwords — allow or disallow the saving of passwords.
  • Bookmarks — Set default bookmarks.
  • Permissions: Addons — Allow addon installation on specified URLs.
  • Permissions: Cookies — Set URLs to allow or block cookies on.
  • Permissions: Flash — Set URLs to allow or block Flash on.
  • Permissions: Popups — Allow popups on selected sites.

Note that the template file and integration is a work in progress and that additional policies will be supported when Firefox 60 launches. This may include network.proxy, data reporting, or update policies according to Mike Kaply, a developer who works on the implementation.

Chrome admins have access to a similar set of policies.

Closing Words

Integration with Group Policy on Windows machines should make things a lot easier for system administrators who deploy Firefox on a computer network. Regular Firefox users may use the policies as well to modify certain browser settings.

Now You: What’s your take on the development?

Now You:

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