Closed Bug 401769 Opened 14 years ago Closed 14 years ago

KB article: Chrome registration failed

Categories

(support.mozilla.org :: Knowledge Base Articles, task)

task
Not set
normal

Tracking

(Not tracked)

VERIFIED FIXED

People

(Reporter: cilias, Assigned: cilias)

References

()

Details

"Chrome registration" seems to be one of the top search phrases in sumo.
Thats kind of odd. This error should only appear when installing a faulty extension. I would expect authors to not release the extension with such a fault. Unless it is extension authors finding it and looking for help on it, in which case a link through to MDC might be appropriate.
Looks like it may be the result of a pre-installed extension.
http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=594592
So a rough glance suggests that it is just a bad extension, but could be worth filing a bug in Firefox::Extension Manager, there are suggestions of the message happening on every startup which shouldnt be the case.
Assignee: nobody → bmo2008
It could be the case if the extension is bundled as part of the installer, and there is no chrome.manifest included with the extension. we ran into this with creating the Campus Edition a while back.

If the extension is bundled in the installer, it is installed into the application directory, not the profile. If a user with non-admin/rw rights to the application directory starts Firefox up, and no chrome.manifest exists for the extension, Firefox will attempt to create the file automagically on registration and fail when it attempts to write the file to the application directory.

I've seen a number of extensions that do not include a chrome.manifest. Normally it's not a problem, but if for whatever reason it's not included with an extension, and the user attempting to run Firefox doesn't have read-write access to the extension directory (or some third party app blocks access), they will get a registration error.

More info on registering chrome is available at http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/Chrome_Registration , and it's probably something we want to make extension developers aware of, as well.
With reference to the link in #2, you'd get the same issue if the extension (without the manifest) was installed/copied (I've seen a bunch of third party apps do this :/ ) directly into the application directory as well.
Apologies for the spam I'm creating, just wanted to clarify in #4 when I said "Normally it's not a problem..." 

The reason that it's normally not a problem when an extension doesn't have a manifest is because the extension is usually installed to the user's profile directory. In most cases the user has read-write access to their profile dir, so Firefox will be able to create and write the chrome.manifest file.

Thanks for explaining the technical reason for the error. To recap:
This error occurs if an extension that came bundled with Firefox, requires the user to have admin rights.

As far as I can tell, the only solution is to disable the problematic extension.
Status: NEW → RESOLVED
Closed: 14 years ago
Resolution: --- → FIXED
Another solution is to run as an administrator, but that sucks as solution.

-Do we want to say specifically that Lenovo bundles ThinkVantage Password Manager?
-Do we want to point extension authors to the devmo article? I have a feeling that they'll end up on our article.
-How about giving them instructions to install it normally, as described at http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?p=3107806#3107806 ?
-Step 1 is Windows and Linux specific
-Include something after Step 3 that tells the user to restart Firefox and try again to see if the problem's gone (and possibly if it isn't, re-enable the extensions).

Nitpicks:
-"Registration" shouldn't be capitalized in the first sentence.
-There are too many commas. The first paragraph should only have a comma after the word "file". The second paragraph shouldn't have any. Step 3 should drop the first comma, and I think "which" should become "that".
(In reply to comment #9)
> Another solution is to run as an administrator, but that sucks as solution.
> 
> -Do we want to say specifically that Lenovo bundles ThinkVantage Password
> Manager?

Good idea. I've added that.

> -Do we want to point extension authors to the devmo article? I have a feeling
> that they'll end up on our article.

I don't think so. The article is for users. Any extensions causing the problem are bundled.

> -How about giving them instructions to install it normally, as described at
> http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?p=3107806#3107806 ?

That is dependent on whether or not the XPI is available.

> -Step 1 is Windows and Linux specific

When the only difference is "At the top of the Firefox window" vs. "On the menu bar" I don't think we need to split it up. Only if the menu path is different. I'm confident Mac users will understand it. I'm not confident Windows users will understand "menu bar".

> -Include something after Step 3 that tells the user to restart Firefox and try
> again to see if the problem's gone (and possibly if it isn't, re-enable the
> extensions).

Done. :-)
Firefox 3 has a restart button in the Add-ons window, so we'll have to add this article to the list, that needs updating for Fx3.

> 
> Nitpicks:
> -"Registration" shouldn't be capitalized in the first sentence.

Fixed.

> -There are too many commas. The first paragraph should only have a comma after
> the word "file". The second paragraph shouldn't have any. Step 3 should drop
> the first comma, and I think "which" should become "that".

Fixed.
The only other part I'd add is that, if it's an option, running Firefox as an admin user may solve the problem. An admin user can generate and write the manifest file to the appdir, which should clear up the problem for non-privileged users. 

I'd also add an explicit invitation for folks to post problem extensions in the comments.
Oh yes, I just realized that should be able to run as administrator once to create the file, and then you should be fine running like a normal user.
Instead of adding that solution to what we've got, I think we should replace the 'disable add-on' solution with the 'get your system admin to run it once' solution. What do you think?
I wouldn't replace it, as sometimes running as admin isn't an option. I'd leave them as "try this first, and if you can't/it doesn't work, disable the extension"
Okay done. Ready for another review.
Status: RESOLVED → VERIFIED
Filed bug 486507 for comment #3
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