Mozilla will remove FTP support in the Firefox web browser


Mozilla plans to disable and later on remove support for the FTP protocol in the organization’s Firefox web browser this year. Discussions about ending FTP support date back to 2015 when Google and Mozilla engineers started to discuss the removal of FTP from the Chrome and Firefox web browsers.

Both companies limited some functionality related to FTP already; Mozilla started to block resources from FTP loaded on webpages in Firefox 61, and Google dropped proxy support in Chrome 76.

A new option to disable FTP support in Firefox was added in 2018 by Mozilla but the flag was never enabled by default; it did allow users and organizations to disable FTP support individually though.

Mozilla aims to disable FTP support by default in the Firefox web browser when Firefox 77 Stable lands; the version is scheduled for a June 2020 release. FTP will be disabled by default in Firefox but Firefox users and organizations may re-enable support manually for some time after the release. Mozilla plans to enable FTP in Firefox ESR 78, out in June 2020, according to this bug.

Eventually though, FTP support will be removed entirely from the Firefox web browser with no option to restore the functionality.

Bug 1574475 deals with the removal of FTP support. The main reason why FTP is being removed is that it is considered insecure but Google’s decision to remove support from Chrome certainly played a role in Mozilla’s decision to remove support as well.

Mozilla could have opted for implementing support for secure FTP in Firefox; a bug was filed 19 years ago to introduce support for SFTP in Firefox but nothing ever came out of it.

Google plans to redirect requests to the default handler for FTP on the system in Chrome, and it is likely that Mozilla plans to do the same in Firefox. Most file managers that come with the operating system support FTP, and there are plenty of programs, e.g. FTP Rush or WinSCP.  that are better suited for connecting to FTP servers.

firefox ftp support

Firefox users may control FTP support in the following way (until the code is removed entirely from the web browser):

  1. Load about:config in the browser’s address bar.
  2. Confirm that you will be careful.
  3. Search for network.ftp.enabled.
    1. Set the preference to TRUE to enable FTP support in Firefox.
    2. Set the preference to FALSE to disable FTP support in Firefox.

Now you: do you use FTP in your browser of choice or in other programs?

Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Mozilla will remove FTP support in the Firefox web browser appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

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