[Bug 800304] [NEW] browser.search.defaultenginename does not work from distribution.ini

Martin Pitt martin.pitt at ubuntu.com
Tue Jun 21 17:21:17 UTC 2011

Public bug reported:

Binary package hint: firefox

As part of
I'm trying to set a system-wide default for Firefox' search engine.

The most straightforward way of doing this is to set e. g.

  browser.search.defaultenginename="Wikipedia (de)"

in /usr/lib/firefox-5.0/distribution/distribution.ini. However, while
distribution.ini works fine for the startup page and bookmarks, the
default search engine doesn't: I do see the updated default in
about:config, but it doesn't get effective (it stays at google).

I also tried various other combinations, like additionally setting
browser.search.order.1 to "Wikipedia (de)" as well (no effect), or
setting both to "Bing" (which interestingly _does_ change the default,
but to "Amazon (de)").

Changing the preference in /etc/firefox/sysprefs.js has no effect either
(but does appear in about:config).

When I change browser.search.defaultenginename (and no other keys) in
about:config, it does have the intended effect, so it seems that it
works in the per-user config, but not in the system config.

Chris says that this is because the system preferences are read after
most of Firefox (including the search engine widget) is already set up;
this seems a bit out of order to me, as it would forfeit the concept of
system wide preferences; but if that is hard to fix, could we do a
workaround in ubufox? That would be acceptable for this spec.


ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.10
Package: firefox 5.0+build1+nobinonly-0ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.0-1.2-generic 3.0.0-rc3
Uname: Linux 3.0-1-generic x86_64
Architecture: amd64
Date: Tue Jun 21 19:15:11 2011
EcryptfsInUse: Yes
 firefox 5.0+build1+nobinonly-0ubuntu1
 adobe-flashplugin N/A
 icedtea-plugin N/A
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" - Alpha amd64 (20110302)
 PATH=(custom, user)
SourcePackage: firefox
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

** Affects: firefox (Ubuntu)
     Importance: Undecided
         Status: New

** Tags: amd64 apport-bug oneiric running-unity unity-2d

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