Software Update options should be system-wide, not profile specific.

NEW
Unassigned

Status

()

enhancement
14 years ago
3 years ago

People

(Reporter: bugzilla, Unassigned)

Tracking

Trunk
Points:
---

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Reporter)

Description

14 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8) Gecko/20051111 Firefox/1.5
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8) Gecko/20051111 Firefox/1.5

The option on what to do when an update is found should be a global configuration setting, not specific to the profile. Because the default option is to automatically install updates, even if you change the option to "Ask me what I want to do" in one profile, if there is an update available, it will be automatically installed when Firefox is lanched using another profile with the default options.

Requiring write access to the global install folder to change that option should not be an issue, because if you don't have such access, you shouldn't be able to install updates anyway, and Software Updates should be disabled.

The current situation defeats much of the purpose of disabling automatic updates, if multiple profiles are used.

A possible related bug that I don't have the resources to test for, but should be openned if the problem exists is, does the check for extension compatibility check extensions in all profiles for the current system user? Because profiles are stored in system user-specific locations, checking for all profiles for all system users would likely be extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Tools->Options->Advanced->Update
2. Under "When updates for Firefox are found:", click "Ask me what I want to do."
3. Close Firefox.
4. Open Profile Manager, and create a new profile.

Actual Results:  
"Automatically download and install the update" is selected under in the new profile under Tools->Options->Advanced->Update. If an update were available, the update would automatically be installed without asking.

Expected Results:  
Because updating Firefox is a application-wide operation, all options under Tools->Options->Advanced->Update related to the update of Firefox should be application-wide settings.

Workaround: System administrators may manually change app.update.auto to false in defaults/pref/firefox.js and in all existing profiles. This is however less than ideal. (Untested.)

Comment 1

13 years ago
I completely agree with this!

It is an absurdity to have a guest logged in on any foreign computer, innocently using a harmless application with some user (guest) related settings, finding himself confronted with anything only remotely related to system administration!

Since there is momentarily no "administrator profile" for firefox, automatic updates should be desabled per default, at least as long as multiple profiles will be used. As this is a widely used feature (i'm managing computers for multiple families and this feature is nowhere not in use), that behaviour is somewhat crucial. May be this problem is not so often encountered as such because of creating new profiles not being an everyday task.

Besides the annoyance for an innocent guest it is a security risk in terms of changing something on a machine without the knowledge or approval of an administrator or owner of the pc and with a person sitting before the pc, which is far away from being even able to realize whats going on there.
I suggest setting the severity up accordingly.

Thanks for the workaround!

Comment 2

13 years ago
Harry,

To work around the problem, I suggest making the Firefox installation directory readonly to your guest users.  If you do that, then Software Update will be disabled for those guest users.

Comment 3

13 years ago
Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X Mach-O; en-US; rv:1.8.0.3) Gecko/20060426 Firefox/1.5.0.3

Security minded users do run in non-admin accounts for their normal daily and web surfing activity.  If you follow the approach other OSX applications employ, then the user would be prompted for the administrator UID/PW when installation is required.  Users should be able to control this by their preferences.

A related symptom, if a non-admin user unchecks check for updates for "Firefox" the check box becomes grayed out and cannot be rechecked.  This inconsistent behavior leads to confusion for the user.

Updated

12 years ago
Severity: normal → enhancement

Comment 4

12 years ago
(In reply to comment #1)
> I completely agree with this!
> 
> It is an absurdity to have a guest logged in on any foreign computer,
> innocently using a harmless application with some user (guest) related
> settings, finding himself confronted with anything only remotely related to
> system administration!
> 
> Since there is momentarily no "administrator profile" for firefox, automatic
> updates should be desabled per default, at least as long as multiple profiles
> will be used. As this is a widely used feature (i'm managing computers for
> multiple families and this feature is nowhere not in use), that behaviour is
> somewhat crucial. May be this problem is not so often encountered as such
> because of creating new profiles not being an everyday task.
> 
> Besides the annoyance for an innocent guest it is a security risk in terms of
> changing something on a machine without the knowledge or approval of an
> administrator or owner of the pc and with a person sitting before the pc, which
> is far away from being even able to realize whats going on there.
> I suggest setting the severity up accordingly.
> 
> Thanks for the workaround!
> 

Well, how do you recommend handling it? Electronically block guest users from checking for updates?

Comment 5

12 years ago
Software Updates should only be done when the user is something like administrator. On windows this would be a membership in the administrator or power users group.

It would already suffice to restrict updates to users with write access to the program directory, as discussed by all other posters. But this should be reflected as such by the option settings, which is not the case at the moment!
And the browser should not try to update himself if those access rights are not given!
(Reporter)

Comment 6

12 years ago
I was under the impression that Firefox already respected filesystem security controls on the Firefox program directory. If it does not, perhaps that should be another bug.

The concern I was trying to express with this bug was what happens when you disable automatic updating in one profile, create another profile for someone else (who also has admin rights), and then suddenly become surprised because Firefox updates itself without your permission.

If you explicitly disable automatic updating, it is probably because you wish to exert some degree of control over which version you have installed. On a system with multiple admin users, this becomes difficult unless you take some measure, such as denying write access to everyone, or manually changing the profile default setting.
I confirm that this is an enhancement request.  :)

The present situation means that none of the users in any of the profiles 
can ever be sure that he has successfully disabled updates.  In an environment
where the administrator is really trying to control binaries, and not allow
binaries to change willy-nilly, and wants to ensure that binaries are backed
up, the simple addition of one new profile blows all his efforts to stop auto
updates.  

There needs to be some way to store the auto-update enabling info in the 
directory of program files, rather than (or in addition to) the profile. 
Maybe the existence of a file named noupdates in the program directory 
should defeat all auto updates.  
Status: UNCONFIRMED → NEW
Ever confirmed: true
(Assignee)

Updated

11 years ago
Product: Firefox → Toolkit
Version: unspecified → Trunk
(In reply to comment #7)
>...
> There needs to be some way to store the auto-update enabling info in the 
> directory of program files, rather than (or in addition to) the profile. 
> Maybe the existence of a file named noupdates in the program directory 
> should defeat all auto updates.  
This can already be done by adding a pref file named a.js to defaults/pref/ with a value of pref("app.update.enabled", false);
In reply to comment 8:
> This can already be done by adding a pref file named a.js to defaults/pref/

So, that's what you recommend that the UI described in comment 0 should do,
rather than what it's doing now?
(In reply to comment #10)
> In reply to comment 8:
> > This can already be done by adding a pref file named a.js to defaults/pref/
> 
> So, that's what you recommend that the UI described in comment 0 should do,
> rather than what it's doing now?
No, I was specifically replying to your suggestion that a "file named noupdates in the program directory should defeat all auto updates" in that this is already possible using the methods in comment #8 and comment #9.
OK, but this bug/RFE says that when you use the UI to say "no updates",
it should have installation-wide effect.  Your comments 8 and 9 suggest
ways to effect that installation-wide pref.  Now it just needs to get 
hooked up to the UI.
You forget that a user may want to disable auto app update and might not have write access to the install directory... so, it isn't quite that simple.
So then the suggestions in comments 8 and 9 are not the solution to this 
RFE/bug.
Nope... I was replying to your suggestion specifically in regards to creating a new file in the app dir to disable auto app update..

Comment 16

10 years ago
I would like to see the UI improved so that I get update alerts. For reasons which I describe below, true automatic updates are impractical for me. I do day-to-day surfing in an unprivileged account for security reasons. However, if I am alerted to the need to do so, I have easy access to privileges. Thus I have write access to my program files AFTER, but not before, the manual step of switching to the privileged account.

Concerns have been raised about users in public libraries, who might generate a flurry of trouble tickets if notified of a Firefox update. This problem is easily worked around; I will leave the specifics to those who know what they are.

If I have posted this in the wrong place, please tell me the right place.

Windows XP; day-to-day surfing in an unprivileged account for security reasons, but I have access to privileges upon request.

Tom
Tom, that will likely get implemented in the release after Firefox 3.5 in bug 407875 and bug 318855

Updated

3 years ago
Duplicate of this bug: 1239931
Conflicting update settings in different profiles are still a problem 10 years later, in Firefox v43.

Essentially, automatic updates are global- updating effects every other profile. Global features do not belong within a profile or user account in the first place!

However, a quick fix would be to make the update *settings* global, and to title them as such. Each newly created profile must then conform to any one of the preexisting profiles' global settings.

Example:

"Advanced Menu > Update Settings
(These settings apply to each user profile.)"
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