Hi all. This week I’ve been mostly
recovering from coming down from the fun that was the MacADUK conference (that my employer helped curate and direct). On the last day I bumped into Mike Kaply, on his second MacADUK speaker engagement.
Mike may be familiar to some of you as the developer of the great Firefox Client Customisation Kit v2 (or CCK2). This tool allowed you to create a management configuration using a nice clickable GUI, instead of editing a large number of various files and key/values. The tool could then spit out an extension (that could be installed in your Firefox deployment), or a Zip file (that could be injected in your Firefox App bundle) to control a whole host of options.
I still remember spending many hours (many years ago) manually carrying out this work (which can be found with a previous-previous-employer here). With the discovery of Mike’s CCK2 solution, that workload reduced significantly. Combined with Greg Neagle’s Firefox AutoPKG recipe, it pretty much vanished!
Mike eventually moved to a more ‘in-house’ role with Firefox but still remained active in the Firefox community, including with us admins. One of the key requests that many of us still had was “proper” macOS native management tool support (e.g. Configuration Profiles)!
With my own roles and employers changing, I lost track of the progress but it turns out Mike and the team got it all working with Firefox version 64!
Support is with both the (current at time of writing) mainstream Firefox release as well as the ESR. No more injecting files into the Application Bundle!
Details of the various settings and keys can be found here, however, Mike has strongly suggested, instead of building your own profiles by hand, use the great (and free) Profile Creator tool from Erik Berglund to generate your Firefox configuration profiles.
This weekend I had a play around with some profiles and created the following 3 examples that show you what you can do. For reference, all three were tested on Firefox version 66.0.2 and Firefox ESR version 60.6.1esr:
Setting the Homepage
This profile sets Firefox to open the Homepage when opening a new tab, sets the homepage to https://datajar.co.uk and locks this setting to prevent the user from changing it.
This profile disables Firefox’s built-in auto-update option (please ensure to patch Firefox often via an alternative system, as you should with all web browsers).
This is how this appears in the About menu for both Firefox and Firefox ESR
Generic Lab Setup
This last one is a bit more interesting. It contains a whole heap of settings that I personally feel may be ideal for a lab environment, including (but not limited to):
- Homepage set (same as above)
- Auto-update disabled (same as above)
- Add-ons and profiles disabled
- Default browser check disabled
- First run and recently updated pages disabled
- Default bookmarks removed
- Proxy set (and locked) to use the macOS system proxy settings
This post covers a much better way to manage Firefox settings, and keeps it in line with other fully-macOS support tools. Big thanks to Mike and his team for all their work and the MacADUK team for putting on a great conference! As always, if you have any questions, queries or comments, let me know below (or @daz_wallace on Mac Admins Slack) and I’ll try to respond to and delve into as many as I can.
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While the author has taken care to provide our readers with accurate information, please use your discretion before acting upon information based on the blog post. I will not compensate you in any way whatsoever if you ever happen to suffer a loss/inconvenience/damage because of/while making use of information in this blog.