back to article Mozilla gives passive-aggressive missive to pre-Firefox 3.6 hold-outs

Mozilla has begun shepherding Firefox fans through the browser door marked 3.6, in a move to encourage users to upgrade to the open source outfit's latest surfing tool. As of yesterday, Mozilla claimed that Firefox 3.6 had been downloaded by over 100 million people since it landed in January this year. That milestone was …


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  1. Uncle Slacky

    What about Ubuntu?

    I'll bet 3.6 won't be available in the repos until 10.04 - will Ubuntu users get the nag screen anyway, I wonder?

    Moreover, what happens to Windows users with limited accounts?

    1. The BigYin

      Always the problem with Ubuntu

      If you stick with the default repros, you'll be on 3.5.8 until Canonical update them.

      I've not bothered to look and see if Mozilla provide a repo for Firefox. I have added repos for other software where Canonical don't keep up-to-date (but then I have to personally accept the risk of things not quite working).

    2. Greg J Preece

      Just hook into Mozilla's repository

      As title. Works for me. :-)

    3. Quirkafleeg

      Nag window?

      Not for us Iceweasel users!

    4. Atli

      Just set it up manually!

      It's not exactly complex.

      A) Download the tar.

      B) Extract into a folder in your home folder. (I like to use a .app/ folder)

      C) Create a launcher that targets the "firefox" executable in the extracted folder.

      D) ... there is no D!

      And if you want 100% compatibility with Ubuntu at large (as apposed to just 99%), then create a symbolic link in /usr/bin to the firefox executable. (Info on how that is done takes about 10 seconds of Googling)

  2. Jolyon Ralph
    Thumb Down

    Slow downloading

    I was "invited" yesterday to download the upgrade to Firefox 3.6, however, when trying to download it, it claimed it would take 4 hours, so I aborted it.

  3. seven of five

    No all-in-on-gestures... upgrade.

    1. NogginTheNog

      No mouse gestures?! Really??!

      I use these ALL THE TIME (to Opera-fy my 'Fox), so if these are gone then sorry no 3.6 for me either!

      Was thinking of installing that this weekend too... :-(

    2. SmirkinGherkin


      Used to use all-in-one-gestures and moved to firegestures for 3.6. Haven't noticed any major headaches after a little setting up.

    3. Ed

      It works

      There's a 3.6 compatible version on the authors site. I've been using it for the last few weeks and it seems to work.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Sadly Firefox 3.6 tabs are broken

    Sadly for me I have had to downgrade back 3.5.8 as the tabs in 3.6 are broken.

    The default and indeed only behaviour in 3.6 is to open a new tab next to the tab the link has come from. This is the same behaviour as IE8.

    For me this is not what I want from Firefox. Having new tabs open at the end of the list of tabs is essential and any other behaviour represents broken functionality.

    Firefox needs to provide an option for either IE8 tabs or old Firefox tabs.

    Until it does I will not be upgrading. If it does not change it will be bye bye Firefox.

    1. colbey

      non-broken tabs

      I was ready to dump the latest version because of this one thing. However there is a solution -

      Enter - 'about:config' in the address bar and after telling the browser you will be careful filter for the following -


      Right click and then click 'toggle'


    2. Vit

      Not broken

      It's not broken, you can change it by changing "browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent;true" to "false" in "about:config" :)

    3. electricmonk

      Not a bug, it's a feature

      Anon Coward: Opening new tabs next to the current one is also what Chrome does and (surprise surprise) some of us actually prefer it that way. You can't call it broken just because you don't like it.

      Anyway, this is Firefox. There is already an add-on to make 3.6 work the way you want (the cryptically-named "New Tabs At The End 1.0").

    4. Richard 22
      Thumb Down


      A quick google for firefox tab behaviour led me this;

      So you can disable the behaviour for FF3.6. Personally I prefer the new behaviour

    5. JP19

      Firefox 3.6 tabs are not broken

      The assertion that Firefox 3.6 tabs are broken is rediculous. The default behaviour has been altered so something you don't like, but that is very different to them being broken.

      Further more, Firefox 3.6 already provides a method of changing the behaviour back to opening tabs on the far right. You can find details of this here:

    6. SmirkinGherkin


      In about:config alter the value of the browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent key to false

    7. This post has been deleted by its author

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Stop being so melodramatic!

      in about:config just change tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent.

    9. Anonymous Coward

      use about:config

      All you need to do to restore the previous behaviour is navigate to about:config, then toggle the value of browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent, to FALSE.

    10. Greg J Preece


      Not behaving the way you want them translates to "broken"? Sorry, I must have forgotten you were the centre of the world.

      Besides, this is Firefox! it'll be about 5 minutes before someone releases the inverse version of this:

    11. Anonymous Coward


      They're not broken at all, they're working perfectly.

      You can specify whether to open new tabs either adjacent to the parent tab or at the end of the bar. Had you used some initiative a quick search would have found you this bit of information from

      "To restore the previous behavior, access the advanced preferences by visiting about:config, then look for preference browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent and set it to false."

    12. SynnerCal

      Tabs aren't broken in FF3.6

      AC wrote: "The default and indeed only behaviour in 3.6 is to open a new tab next to the tab the link has come from."

      This is partially wrong - yes it's the default, but NO it's not the only way, here's one way to change it (acknowledging that there's possibly others, but this worked for me):

      1. Go the url about:config

      2. Click the "I'll be careful, I promise" acknowledgement

      3. In the filter box that appears, type "tabs", then look for the preference name "browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent". By default this is set to "true", so double click that "true" value to switch it to "false".

      And that's it - you don't even need to restart Firefox because - on Windows at least - the change happens immediately.

      I'm no Firefox guru, but it literally took me less than three minutes to figure that one out, and some of that time was taken checking that there wasn't an item in "Options" that would do it instead.

      I got offered the 3.6 upgrade for my office lappy this moring, and it seems okay so far, and as to the new tab arrangement, there's times when it can be useful - it certainly helps to keep related content "grouped" (imho). Like commenter "Uncle Slacky" I really wish I could get an official update for the FF3.0 that's running on this Ubuntu 8.04LTS box in front of me at the moment.

    13. Jon 66

      tab mix plus

      the tab mix plus add-on allows you to configure this

    14. Liam McClean

      Tabs open at end

      This also annoyed me - so a quick google found you can change this behaviour by going to about:config and setting:


      to false.

    15. Anonymous Coward

      browser tabs...

      just type: about:config in address field, and search for "browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent"

      Set it to false, and you get the old behaviour

    16. Kar98

      So fix the tabs

      Make New Tab Pages Open in the Far Right of the Tab Bar

      * Type about:config in the address bar. Then, if needed click the “I’ll be careful, I promise!” button.

      * Next, in the filter box – type in:

      o tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent

      * Right-click that about:config entry, and select “Toggle”

      This will convert Firefox back to loading opening a new tab from a web page on the far right of the tab bar, rather than right next to the tab you opened it from.

    17. Trevor 3

      See how many....

      ....people other than you can use a search engine to find the answers, or do they not provide the results in the right order for you?


  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "The offer screen will only appear after 60 seconds of keyboard inactivity to ensure we don’t get in the way of anyone’s activities"

    What if they're watching the iPlayer or YouTube?

    1. Trevor 3
      Thumb Down


      It bloody pops up.

      Trust me, I know.

      I was watching good old Eddie Izzard running for charity (pretty epic btw) and 60 seconds in, it minimised the vid and begged me to upgrade. I wondered what the smeg it was.

      I'll upgrade when I'm happy thank you!

  6. Si 1
    Thumb Up

    I just turn compatibility checking off

    I've only ever had 1 add-on with problems in a newer version of Firefox and that was an old version of eBay's sidebar add-on. I refuse to use the newer versions because it buggers the minimum width of the bookmarks toolbar, so I've just uninstalled it altogether.

  7. chr0m4t1c
    Thumb Down

    I have one machine on the "old" version

    Because when I install 3.6 I can't install any plugins - they all cause the browser to crash on startup.

    It's not a widespread issue judging from the forums and it does only seem to be an issue on one of about 6/7 machines I've upgraded so far. Unfortunately, even following all of the various fixes to get what should be a completely clean install this machine still has a problem.

    So... no FF 3.6 until they issue a fix (or at least admit that there is a problem).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    ""The offer screen will only appear after 60 seconds of keyboard inactivity to ensure we don’t get in the way of anyone’s activities," said Beltzner."

    I hope they mean mouse as well.

    And 60 seconds will get in the way. I'll be on the vinegar strokes by then with a popup spoiling the view.

    Paris - because it might be a shot of her.

  9. Dan 55 Silver badge

    @Sadly Firefox 3.6 tabs are broken

    Go to about:config and change browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent. Fixed.

  10. Banfa

    I am waiting for a more definitive answer too ...

    The issue reported here

    The best answer still seems to be that no one has told Mozilla how to produce this alledged fault so they can do nothing about it.

    I have tried checking the Mozilla website but the latest information on this appears to be their initial response.

    Do they honestly expect me to upgrade to a browser version that has is acused of having a serious security vulnerability without them at least attempting to re-assure me that either the flaw does not exist or that they are patching it?

  11. Mark Boothroyd

    available since January?

    I've just had the notification to update pop up while reading this article on my lunch break. (I'm on 3.5.8).

    What I'm puzzled at is that I have automatic updates switched on for Firefox, so why did I not get the notification back in January when 3.6 was released?

    What's the point in having an auto update system if it doesn't notice a new version of itself has been released!

    1. Iain Thomas

      Minor updates only.


      AFAICT, the auto update only offers minor updates, unless the current version has become unsupported. Guessing when 3.5 gets end of lifed, it'll start offering the next major version...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    No go

    > Firefox 3.6 is "fast, stable, compatible with over 90 per cent of the thousands of Firefox add-ons, and contains new features such as lightweight themes and plugin version checking,"

    None of which is the slightest bit relevant to me. 3.5.8 works with 100% of the add-ons I have, end of story. I have no need of any further features and their accompanying bloat thankyouverymuch, so bugger off.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Uber Mozilla, what now?

    That use of Über is pretty clumsy and doesn't actually make sense in this context. The word signifies something that is over or beyond – and even as slang, in this usage, it would mean Super-Mozilla.

  14. Anonymous Coward


    No popup message here. I'm using Portable Firefox and as I can't install programs on here, an in-place upgrade would be useful. Without the fabled popup appearing, no upgrade for me.

  15. Slate
    Thumb Up

    Re: Tabs are Broken

    You can still have your tabs open at the end of the list by going into the about:config page (type exactly that in the address bar) and scroll down to the browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent field and change it io FALSE

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      But the point is...

      ...that they change basic functionality without any way for the average user to undo their "optimizations", and probably even without the average user asking for or even needing it. We might as well use IE the way things are going...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was just wondering

    I don't like how the "open link in new tab" behaviour has changed so that tab opens next to the current one. Does anyone know how to revert this?


  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No thanks

    If I could swap everything bookmarks, add ons etc from my version 3.0.18 to 3.6 THEN I would do so, until then I will stick with what works fine. Whats that saying "if it aint broke dont fix it" and that applkies to Firefox, or should do.

  18. cmaurand

    VMWare Console

    Except that my VMWare console plugin stopped working with 3.6. :-(

  19. Mike Flugennock

    Here, Fido, Fido! Come here, little puppy...

    So, _that_ explains the goddamn' nag screen that got in my face while I was trying to get shit done. Tools. Gimme a goddamn' break, here. Hell, they _still_ haven't dealt with the issue of it attempting to phone home behind my back to upgrade my add-ons even though I _specifically_asked_it_not_to_. Luckily, I have Little Snitch running; it's flagged every time so I can just Deny Until Quit.

    Actually, though, I _did_ move up to 3.6 a few weeks ago. Slower than death. I went to import my bookmarks file and 3.6 ate it. I immediately downgraded back to 3.5.7.

    Don't waste your time. Hold out as long as you can. 3.6 is dog food... fucking dog food.

  20. C Yates

    You bastards!

    How dare Mozilla force people to upgrade in such a way!

    It's bad enough the bastard thing seemingly updating itself every other time I open the browser (yes I know I can turn this off, but I shouldn't have to... maybe if if ran the latest vers... wait >_<).

    *hates popups*

  21. ClosedJar

    No Thanks!!

    I guess I'm one of the few that firefox 3.6 hosed their setup. If it wasn't because I made a backup image of my drive I would be in dead waters spending hours trying to figure out what happened. I also backed up my profile folder just to make sure it stayed the same. Firefox 3.6 was slow, froze a lot (I tested it without extensions). I run Vista Ultimate. My computer have been running in harmony since the beginning. And firefox 3.6 brought it down to its knees . I have old programs, new programs perfectly running in my computer then firefox came in and ruined it. I run a taut ship and that was unacceptable. I went back to firefox 3.5.8 and everything is humming in harmony again. I will give 3.6 a shot in 6 to 8 months, after I make a whole drive image. I figure the kinks in the program should have been clean up by then. (hopefully)

  22. Moonshine Mick

    Disappearing posts - anybody else?

    Since upgrading to 3.6 some weeks back I've been experiencing a weird - intermittent - problem with data-entry and posts to certain websites.

    What happens: I'll fill in my data (happened today on PayPal - very worrying), hit 'submit', and the entry boxes will clear, but the message/data has not been sent. I've now lost so many longish posts that I do a save (when I remember) before submitting. If I have saved first, the post will generally go OK at second try. Of course, when - as with PayPal - the data is in multiple boxes you're stuffed and have to enter everything again.

    BTW, I'm on a Macbook. Mac OSX 10.4.11.

    Anyone else experiencing this? If so, any advice?

    1. Ezekiel Hendrickson


      *looks up*

      *looks down*

      It would appear that the PEBKAC addon is 100% compatible with Firefox 3.6

  23. Moonshine Mick

    Disappearing Posts - 2nd try

    Since upgrading to 3.6 some weeks I've been experiencing a weird - intermittent - problem with data-entry and posts to certain websites.

    What happens: I'll fill in my data (happened today on PayPal - very worrying), hit 'submit', and the entry boxes will clear, but the message/data has not been sent. I've now lost so many longish posts that I do a save (when I remember) before submitting. If I have saved first, the post will generally go OK at second try. Of course, when - as with PayPal - the data is in multiple boxes you're stuffed and have to enter everything again.

    BTW, I'm on a Macbook. Mac OSX 10.4.11.

    Anyone else experiencing this? If so, any advice?

    As it happens this post also vanished first time.

  24. Andrew Moore


    I did this quick hack:

    1. Go to %appdata%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\YOUR DEFAULT PROFILE\extensions\{8b86149f-01fb-4842-9dd8-4d7eb02fd055}

    2. Edit the install.rdf file there (any text editor will do or XML editor if you want to be fancy).

    3. Find the maxVersion element. It is currently set to 3.5- Change this to 4.0

    And viola. The only thing I've noticed is the mouse "trails" have disappeared but I'll live with that until the update is posted.

  25. Jeff Deacon

    WHat happened to Mozilla selling users browsing habits?

    Early in the development of Firefox 3, they announced that they would be selling their users' browsing habits to Giggle (who fund much of Mozilla anyway), in much the same way as if you had installed a Giggle Toolbar. Never did hear if they had backed away from that, so never bothered to change to version 3. Actually works very nicely thank you! I just hope all the exploits are aimed at the new glitzy features that only exist in version 3.

    1. Patrick Finch

      @ Jeff Deacon

      (N.B. I work for Mozilla)

      I do not think Mozilla announced any such thing. I believe that there was a discussion in 2008 about the potential value of an opt-in programme to collect and share publically data on browsing, as it was considered this might have a number of beneficial uses for research, policy etc. Mozilla was / is probably one of very few organisations capable of delivering this data that would not seek to use it for competitive advantage.

      I do not believe that at any stage the idea was to sell users' habits to anyone (and I am not sure Google really need to buy usage data from anyone!), and as far as I am aware, this project was not funded, and Mozilla does not collect data about browser usage.

      I am delighted that you like Firefox 2 so much, but I tend to think that 3.6 is an improvement and I would recommend upgrading.

  26. Stevie


    These dickwads are bombarding me with pop-up (one so far) urging me to download the latest and greatest.

    1) Our corporate browser is IE, so they should be grateful I'm even using their stupid browser. Did I see any mention of thanks, or of a cheque in the mail in their offensive spam? No I did not, just the implication I was a nitwit for not racing to install the new version with all my might.

    2) Our firewall won't let me download their stupid upgrade (or anything with a zip or exe extension), so why bug me with these idiotic messages? Surely they could run a simple test with the updater nagware, then shut the damn thing down in perpetuity since it will never work? Between firefox and adobe reader I am fed up with exhortations to try just one more time.

    3) Linux etc! Mac etc! Windows etc! Kindle, rubbish! iPad, democracy in action! Etc! More Etc!

    1. mangobrain

      That's nice.

      Yes, Stevie, of course they'll pay you to use their browser. Oh, and don't worry about your organisation's "firewall" - if you do decide to take the upgrade, it'll be delivered directly into your hands on a silver platter. I'm sure you'll be fully reimbursed for the time it took you to close all one of the pop-ups they displayed to you, and if you try hard enough, you might even get some compensation for the intense emotional trauma it has clearly caused you. Have you tried contacting your personal injury lawyer?

    2. junkmaninohio

      Don't download

      You'll regret it...all I got was a looping pop up that won't die saying upgrade won't go away...

  27. Keith Doyle
    Thumb Down

    Already gave up on FF

    Some time ago I dumped FF for another browser. I don't quite understand why an open source project has acquired the same bad habit that the closed source products do-- an incessant need to upgrade. Fix bugs, yes, but the feeping creaturism I can do without. The reason I went to FF in the first place, is it was supposed to be so much leaner and meaner than Mozilla/Netscape (which I had already dumped). Not anymore it's not, time to move on...

  28. DavidK


    Pisses me off that no Linux distro keeps up to date with this. Even Windows does better in that regard.

    1. mangobrain


      You install it through your distribution's package manager, and you get the latest version they consider stable - presumably having tested it with as much of the rest of the distribution as is feasible, and applied any distro-specific customisations. Typically one such customisation is to turn off the update checker, because after all, you've opted to have the package managed for you. This is, after all, the raison d'être of a "package manager".

      Or, you uninstall the distro's packaged version and download it yourself directly from Mozilla, staying as bleeding-edge as you like. However, if it breaks, you get to keep both pieces.

  29. junkmaninohio

    pop up window saying "upgrade failed"

    tried to upgrade and all I get now is a looping pop up window telling me "upgrade failed"...can't get rid of it...this system is garbage and it's time I switched to something else.

  30. amehaye

    How to always run the latest version on Ubuntu

  31. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Kamal Hashmi

      Re: I like Chrome → #

      You like chrome because it upgrades itself without telling you?

      And you don't like it for not just growing and growing in its use of memory?

      Are you the anti-me from the other Earth on the opposite side of the sun?

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Don't ship buggy stuff then

    If you want to annoy people about updating, don't ship a browser that crashes everytime you try to print! (Current problem with FF 3.6 on MacOS X)

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