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Mozilla publishes Firefox Multi-Account Container add-on

Firefox Multi-Account Container is a new add-on by Mozilla that you may install in Firefox to separate sites you open into containers.

Sounds familiar? The functionality of the add-on was first made available my Mozilla as part of the organization’s Test Pilot program. Test Pilot showcases new Firefox features to understand better what Firefox users like and what they don’t like or ignore.

We previewed Container Tabs for the first time back in June 2016, and then again when Mozilla released it as a new Container Tabs Test Pilot Experiment.

The core functionality of the add-on is to give users options to separate sites by grouping them into containers. Each container maintains its own set of cookies, cache and local storage; ideal to sign in to the same site using multiple accounts, to reduce tracking, or separate tasks like entertainment and social media from work and research related tasks.

Firefox Multi-Account Container

firefox multi container add-on

The add-on is compatible with all versions of Firefox starting with version 51 (AMO) or Firefox 53 (GitHub). Firefox 57 Nightly users are asked to download the add-on from GitHub right now.

Nightly users need to set the preference extensions.legacy.enabled to true, and the preference xpinstall.signatures.required to false for this to work. The first enables support for legacy extensions (which Mozilla will drop in release and beta versions of Firefox once they hit version 57), the latter disables the lock that prevents unsigned add-ons from being installed.

The functionality is more or less the same at this point in time. You can use the four default containers, and create your own. Sites can be launched in containers by right-clicking on links and selecting the “open link in new container tab” option of the context menu, or by opening a new container tab first, and then using bookmarks or the address bar to load sites into these containers.

You may enable the “always launch in container” option to link a site to a container. Whenever that site gets opened in Firefox, it is opened in the selected container so that you don’t have to do so manually each time.

Mozilla plans to improve the Container functionality in future releases by adding separate history, bookmark and certificate overrides to it.

What about the built-in Containers feature?

All recent versions of Firefox ship with a native implementation of the Containers feature as well. You may set the preference privacy.userContext.enabled to true to enable its functionality.

It is unclear at this point how this is going to work out; will both options remain available, or will Mozilla pull the native option in favor of the add-on? Mozilla could use the add-on for testing new features for instance.

The API is available already, and some add-ons, like Taborama, utilize containers already.

Closing Words

Containers is a handy add-on for Firefox that serves two main purposes: reduce tracking and add multi-sign-in options to Firefox. While you get the same by using profiles, using profiles requires the use of multiple Firefox windows and separate processes.

Now You: Do you plan to use Containers?

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The post Mozilla publishes Firefox Multi-Account Container add-on appeared first on gHacks Technology News.


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