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Firefox can't update to the latest version

Posted

A couple versions back, I started getting this pop-up message each morning, "Firefox can't update to the latest version". I downloaded a newer version and upgraded manually a couple times, now up to 70.0, and the pop-up keeps happening. I see a couple other people have reported a similar problem, one here was blown off because they were, supposedly, running a beta version. I'm not running beta. The other one I found was fixed by doing something to the registry, but I'm on Linux, not MS Windows so there's no registry (at least none that I know about).

The one other symptom I've noticed is that when I bring up the "About Firefox" window, it takes a really long time to figure out that "Firefox is up to date". And it always says it's up to date (if I wait long enough) even when there's a newer version available.

It would be greatly helpful if that pop-up would say *why* it couldn't update itself but it does not give any useful information.

Thanks for any help on this.

A couple versions back, I started getting this pop-up message each morning, "Firefox can't update to the latest version". I downloaded a newer version and upgraded manually a couple times, now up to 70.0, and the pop-up keeps happening. I see a couple other people have reported a similar problem, one here was blown off because they were, supposedly, running a beta version. I'm not running beta. The other one I found was fixed by doing something to the registry, but I'm on Linux, not MS Windows so there's no registry (at least none that I know about). The one other symptom I've noticed is that when I bring up the "About Firefox" window, it takes a really long time to figure out that "Firefox is up to date". And it always says it's up to date (if I wait long enough) even when there's a newer version available. It would be greatly helpful if that pop-up would say *why* it couldn't update itself but it does not give any useful information. Thanks for any help on this.

Chosen solution

Looks like I found the problem, sort of. Anyway, I wanted to document it for the next time someone runs across this. The short answer is that it was DNS related.

I was cued in on this because of that clue that bringing up the About Firefox window took a long time to decide that my Firefox was up-to-date (even when it was not up to date). It looked like a timeout of some sort, so I got to thinking about networking problems.

I changed my DNS server to 1.1.1.1 and it came right up, downloaded an update, and everything was good. I changed my DNS server back to my ISP's DNS server and it still works. My speculation is that somehow I got a bad DNS response that was cached and that was getting me stuck all these months. I can't say if that bad information was from someone maliciously trying to take over the Firefox update path (is that a thing?), the update server changed IP address and I was stuck using the old address, or just something weird.

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Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

Startpage.com Adblock Plus (disabled to test) uBlock Origin (disabled to test)

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:70.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/70.0

More Information

James
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
1602 solutions 11345 answers

Helpful Reply

If you are using Firefox from your Linux distro then you get updates in your package manager (with deb or rpm) as Mozilla does not provide updates to third-party package builds.

If you are using Firefox tarballs from mozilla.org or say www.mozilla.org/firefox/all/

Then make sure the Firefox folder has read/write permissions for the users so it can do updates. Many people for example put Firefox in a folder in /home to make this simple.

If you are using Firefox from your Linux distro then you get updates in your package manager (with deb or rpm) as Mozilla does not provide updates to third-party package builds. If you are using Firefox tarballs from mozilla.org or say www.mozilla.org/firefox/all/ Then make sure the Firefox folder has read/write permissions for the users so it can do updates. Many people for example put Firefox in a folder in /home to make this simple.
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Question owner

I'm using the tarballs (firefox-esr in the Debian distro is waaay old) and it updated itself successfully for quite a while. Then something changed and it no longer could.

A file permissions problem seems highly likely but I haven't been able to find a file or directory with permissions against me and the error message neglects to say. That's my biggest frustration. I know the code knows why it couldn't do the update but it just doesn't pass on that information to the poor user who's going to try to fix the problem.

I'm using the tarballs (firefox-esr in the Debian distro is waaay old) and it updated itself successfully for quite a while. Then something changed and it no longer could. A file permissions problem seems highly likely but I haven't been able to find a file or directory with permissions against me and the error message neglects to say. That's my biggest frustration. I know the code knows why it couldn't do the update but it just doesn't pass on that information to the poor user who's going to try to fix the problem.
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dlsakbo 0 solutions 11 answers

hay you can update firefox via using this link https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/update-firefox-latest-release thank you

hay you can update firefox via using this link https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/update-firefox-latest-release thank you
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Question owner

Afraid that doesn't work. If I bring up the About Mozilla Firefox window as it says, it takes a long time but it always says that Firefox is up-to-date, even when it's not.

Afraid that doesn't work. If I bring up the About Mozilla Firefox window as it says, it takes a long time but it always says that Firefox is up-to-date, even when it's not.
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Chosen Solution

Looks like I found the problem, sort of. Anyway, I wanted to document it for the next time someone runs across this. The short answer is that it was DNS related.

I was cued in on this because of that clue that bringing up the About Firefox window took a long time to decide that my Firefox was up-to-date (even when it was not up to date). It looked like a timeout of some sort, so I got to thinking about networking problems.

I changed my DNS server to 1.1.1.1 and it came right up, downloaded an update, and everything was good. I changed my DNS server back to my ISP's DNS server and it still works. My speculation is that somehow I got a bad DNS response that was cached and that was getting me stuck all these months. I can't say if that bad information was from someone maliciously trying to take over the Firefox update path (is that a thing?), the update server changed IP address and I was stuck using the old address, or just something weird.

Looks like I found the problem, sort of. Anyway, I wanted to document it for the next time someone runs across this. The short answer is that it was DNS related. I was cued in on this because of that clue that bringing up the About Firefox window took a long time to decide that my Firefox was up-to-date (even when it was not up to date). It looked like a timeout of some sort, so I got to thinking about networking problems. I changed my DNS server to 1.1.1.1 and it came right up, downloaded an update, and everything was good. I changed my DNS server back to my ISP's DNS server and it still works. My speculation is that somehow I got a bad DNS response that was cached and that was getting me stuck all these months. I can't say if that bad information was from someone maliciously trying to take over the Firefox update path (is that a thing?), the update server changed IP address and I was stuck using the old address, or just something weird.
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Senali Madawala
  • Top 25 Contributor
2 solutions 157 answers

update Firefox by downloading and installing it directly from Mozilla

Depending on how you have Firefox configured, updating may be completely automatic, meaning you don't need to manually download and install each update.

Depending on your version, you can check your update settings in Firefox from Options > Firefox Updates or Options > Advanced > Update.

update Firefox by downloading and installing it directly from Mozilla Depending on how you have Firefox configured, updating may be completely automatic, meaning you don't need to manually download and install each update. Depending on your version, you can check your update settings in Firefox from Options > Firefox Updates or Options > Advanced > Update.
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