... making kittens cry since 2001

MANS - Make Applications Not Suck.

This started out as a way for me to document my favourite about:config settings that help make Firefox behave the way I like... Thunderbird quickly followed, and then Thunar. Now that I am running XP again, the settings are still useful for me and hopefully for other people too.


Disable being asked to share your location. [link]

geo.enabled = false

Disable Geolocation for default search engine = BLANK

Disable remembering per-site download directories. [link] = false

Disable hiding "http://" at the front of the URL bar. [link]

browser.urlbar.trimURLs = false

Disable IPv6. [link] NOTE: some people seem to believe that disabling IPv6 will help speed up browsing, I can't imagine there is any real percievable difference by doing this, I just prefer not enabling things that I can't take advantage of anyways.

network.dns.disableIPv6 = true

Disable prefetching. [link] A browser should read a web page for the purpose of displaying it to me, not to interpret that page and think about what I may do.

network.dns.disablePrefetch = true
network.prefetch-next = false
network.http.speculative-parallel-limit = 0

Disable clipboard notifications. [link] This setting controls whether web sites are informed about what text is selected on their pages.

dom.event.clipboardevents.enabled = false

Disable offline cache. [link] Does anybody actually use Firefox's offline browsing?

browser.cache.offline.enable = false

Disable WebGL. [link] WebGL is a potential security risk.

webgl.disabled = true

Disable battery status. [link] Why would a web site need to know the status of my battery?

dom.battery.enabled = false

Disable weak ciphers (only the first one on FFv52.2.0esr).

security.ssl3.rsa_des_ede3_sha = false
security.ssl3.rsa_aes_128_sha = false
security.ssl3.rsa_aes_256_sha = false
security.ssl3.ecdhe_ecdsa_rc4_128_sha = false
security.ssl3.ecdhe_rsa_rc4_128_sha = false
security.ssl3.rsa_rc4_128_md5 = false
security.ssl3.rsa_rc4_128_sha = false

Disable thumbnail previews when hovering over tabs or on the "new page" default. [link]

pageThumbs.enabled = false

Disable thumbnail previews when hovering over tabs in SeaMonkey. [link]

browser.tabs.tooltippreview.enable = false

Use Flash player instead of HTML5 player. Yeah... I have heard that Flash is old, will make my PC catch on fire, and will email my credit card info to everyone in Nigeria. So how is it that none of those things has happened yet on my XPx64/SP2 machine? Because it is a lie. The HTML5 player refuses to remember my volume settings and Flash just plain works.

media.webm.enabled = false
extensions.blocklist.itemurl = BLANK
extensions.blocklist.url = BLANK

Disable self-repair

browser.selfsupport.url = BLANK

Disable snippets

browser.aboutHomeSnippets.updateUrl = BLANK

Disable addon metadata updating

extensions.getAddons.cache.enabled = false

Disable WebRTC

media.peerconnection.enabled = false
media.peerconnection.identity.enabled = false = false
media.peerconnection.p9_enabled = false

Disable captive portal detection [link]

captivedetect.canonicalURL = BLANK
network.captive-portal-service.enabled = false

Disable reader mode

reader.parse-on-load.enabled = false

Disable pocket

extensions.pocket.enabled = false

Built in URLs that you may wish to disable. Some of these are "phone home" URLs, some are unwanted update URLs, and some are supposedly security URLs. Pay attention to which ones you disable rather than just disabling them all. = BLANK = BLANK = BLANK
app.update.url = BLANK
app.update.url.details = BLANK
browser.customizemode.tip0.learnMoreUrl = BLANK
browser.geolocation.warning.infoURL = BLANK = BLANK
browser.uitour.themeOrigin = BLANK
browser.uitour.url = BLANK
datareporting.healthreport.infoURL = BLANK = BLANK
extensions.getAddons.get.url = BLANK
extensions.getAddons.getWithPerformance.url = BLANK = BLANK
extensions.getAddons.recommended.url = BLANK = BLANK = BLANK
extensions.systemAddon.update.url = BLANK
extensions.update.background.url = BLANK
extensions.update.url = BLANK
extensions.webservice.discoverURL = BLANK = BLANK
identity.mobilepromo.ios = BLANK
lightweightThemes.getMoreURL = BLANK
lightweightThemes.recommendedThemes = BLANK
media.gmp-manager.certs.1.commonName = BLANK
media.gmp-manager.certs.2.commonName = BLANK
media.gmp-manager.url = BLANK
privacy.trackingprotection.introURL = BLANK
security.ssl.errorReporting.url = BLANK
browser.safebrowsing.provider.mozilla.gethashURL = BLANK
browser.safebrowsing.provider.mozilla.updateURL = BLANK
startup.homepage_welcome_url = BLANK
toolkit.crashreporter.infoURL = BLANK
toolkit.telemetry.infoURL = BLANK
toolkit.telemetry.server = BLANK
webchannel.allowObject.urlWhitelist = BLANK
captivedetect.canonicalURL = BLANK

Disable screen sharing default list

media.getusermedia.screensharing.allowed_domains = BLANK


Disable quoting only selected text when replying. [link] I will frequently highlight parts of an email as I am reading through it partially to help focus on particular sections and partially to mark where I have already read in case I get distracted. The problem is that if I then hit reply before I unselect all text, then the reply will only quote the selected portion of text. To turn this off, go to about:config in Thunderbird and set the following two values:

mailnews.reply_quoting_selection = false
mailnews.reply_quoting_selection.multi_word = false

Show "short date" in message list instead of abbreviated crap like "today". = 2

At the beginning of server-to-server mail transfers the "sending" server uses a command called HELO (or EHLO) to identify itself. Thunderbird likes to send the name of the computer it is running on as its HELO identifier, which can cause problems if the name of your computer is not a FQDN. Using this setting will tell Thunderbird exactly what to present as its HELO idenification. Note that if you have more than one SMTP server setup you'll need one of these entries for each one.

mail.smtpserver.smtp1.hello_argument = mail.yourname.tld

If you do not want to disclose that you are using Thunderbird (and/or its specific version) you can override the User-Agent header contents with this:

general.useragent.override = My Mail Application v1.0

If you do not want to disclose that you use Enigmail (and/or its specific version) you can disable its header insertion with this:

extensions.enigmail.addHeaders = false


Disable xscreensaver while playing. [link] I was getting tired of the screensaver kicking in while watching movies so I found this little gem. Edit your ~/.mplayer/config and add this to it:

heartbeat-cmd="xscreensaver-command -deactivate >&- 2>&- &"


Stop Thunar from automatically resizing columns in the file pane. [link] By default, Thunar likes to "auto resize" the file list columns, even though it usually opens with the same window dimensions each time. This frequently results in the column of file names being much too small and the column for modified date much too big. This setting is controlled by a simple checkbox in the GUI but I had an irritating time locating it.

  • In the menu go to "View"
  • Select "Configure Columns"
  • Uncheck "Automatically expand columns as needed" at the bottom.

Stop Thunar from ignoring non-alpha-numeric characters when sorting. [link] This is not actually a Thunar problem but is in fact a Linux problem with locales. The link actually points to a post of mine which has a better description of the problem and also includes external links to where I found the solution. The short answer is to put this in your ~/.config/openbox/environment or other environment autostart file.


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