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How do I re-install ESR 52.9 on a Mac? I never wanted this new 60 ESR, and I need the old add-on behavior.

  • 11 replies
  • 1 has this problem
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  • Last reply by Shadow110

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Simple. I had Firefox ESR 52.9, along with some add-ons that will not work in 55+.

I thought I had disabled automatic updates. But to my surprise, I got updated to 60.

I don't like what I am seeing. My system has a standard of dark text (preferably black) on light background (normally white, light gray if not active), and you are basically forcing a dark theme even in the daytime, even if gray on black is hard to read, even if my monitor cannot go up to "bright" in a short space/pixel count.

I don't like the ultra-tiny little icons for the new tab page (I do like being able to see more sites; the old one capped at about 54 sites no matter what settings I chose). I don't like the new "hidden menu" that is appropriate for touch screens that doesn't respond to keyboard (control F2 on Mac, alt-space on Windows).

I don't like the look at some of my add-ons have changed to. I don't run a touchscreen tablets, and I don't want my computer to be forced to use a browser that pretends that it is.

I don't like that the new Firefox basically forces pocket on me. I don't like pocket, I don't trust its terms of service/privacy policy, I don't like that Firefox/Mozilla has chosen to basically make it a first-class citizen even though it doesn't put my interests first and foremost. I don't like that Firefox has basically decided to say "whatever Google does, we will follow". I don't like that Firefox/Mozilla has abandoned its view of "what is best for the browser user", and gone to "whatever is best for the website".

Ideally, I would like to have ESR 52.9, as well as ESR 60.X, side-by-side. I would use 52 for 99% of what I do, and only switch to 60 for those sites that simply will not work at all in 52.

Ideally, the only difference would be the display of the websites. They would share the same history, they would share the same set of bookmarks, etc. There would be no loss of data when I move between one and the other.

I have a Time Machine backup. What do I need to do to get the old Firefox back, and prevent it from instantly auto updating back to the new junk? Including my old add-ons.

All Replies (11)

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Hi Keybounce, it's normal for ESR versions to jump to the new major version 6-8 weeks after their final minor version release, so 52.9.0 auto-updates to 60.2.0.

For a link to a directory of older versions including 52.9.0, see: Install an older version of Firefox.

Bear in mind that some data files are not downward compatible and will not be usable after an upgrade and subsequent downgrade. Therefore, Firefox 52esr and Firefox 60esr cannot share a single profile folder. You will probably make good use of your backup, and you could consider using Firefox Sync to copy data between them.

Please find Mac-specific instructions if you want concurrent installations. Apple doesn't always make it easy.


Regarding a few other things:

(1) My system has a standard of dark text (preferably black) on light background (normally white, light gray if not active), and you are basically forcing a dark theme even in the daytime, even if gray on black is hard to read, even if my monitor cannot go up to "bright" in a short space/pixel count.

You shouldn't be forced into any particular theme. There are numerous choices.

(2) I don't like the ultra-tiny little icons for the new tab page (I do like being able to see more sites; the old one capped at about 54 sites no matter what settings I chose).

You can use custom style rules or an add-on to modify the icons

(3) I don't like the new "hidden menu" that is appropriate for touch screens that doesn't respond to keyboard (control F2 on Mac, alt-space on Windows).

Does the classic top menu bar no longer respond to the keyboard??

(4) I don't like that the new Firefox basically forces pocket on me. I don't like pocket, I don't trust its terms of service/privacy policy, I don't like that Firefox/Mozilla has chosen to basically make it a first-class citizen even though it doesn't put my interests first and foremost.

I don't know what the problem is, but you do not have to use Pocket and you can turn it off where it appears if you want to. A couple clicks.

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Here's what I've noticed so far:

1. I restored the old firefox.app and profile from time machine. 2. I made sure that Firefox's update setting was "Ask me" (I had extensions set to ask me, but not firefox itself). 3. When I quit and re-loaded Firefox, it updated on me even though I had "Ask me". 4. Restoring from backup again, setting it to "Never update", and it still updated on me. 5. Restoring from backup *again*, setting to "never update", and telling Finder to make Firefox read-only and locked resulted in "An update is ready to install and needs administrator permission". So at least I can continue using this, but I don't know how to actually get rid of the update prompt.

6. ** Despite restoring my entire profile directory from a backup, Local Storage is broken.

Going to Trimps http://trimps.github.io/ tells me "Your browser is preventing Trimps from accessing localStorage, and you will not be able to save or load your progress. Please check your browser settings to ensure that 3rd party cookies are not disabled, and that you're not using any addons that might interrupt storage! "

Going to Antimatter Dimensions http://ivark.github.io/ results in my save game being completely lost and starting from scratch.

I'm afraid to visit any other sites that rely on local storage until this can be solved.

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Regarding Local Storage:

Perhaps local storage got disabled? You could check:

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button promising to be careful or accepting the risk.

(2) In the search box above the list, type or paste storage and pause while the list is filtered

(3) If the dom.storage.enabled preference is bolded and "modified" or "user set" to false, double-click it to restore the default value of true

Or perhaps there is a permission issue with one of these folders in your profile:

  • [profile]/storage/default
  • [profile]/storage/temporary

I don't know.

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Odd. Local storage is enabled. Those folders exist, and have data for lots of sites. Permissions are fine.

But, for some reason, there is nothing for anything on github.io, or any .io game site.

Nor is there anything in the time machine backups. ???

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Sorry no idea. Not sure if it is in a Mac but please look for Updater.exe or Updater anyways in a Firefox folder and rename it to old so you do not get updated in 20mins.

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jscher2000 said

(1) My system has a standard of dark text (preferably black) on light background (normally white, light gray if not active), and you are basically forcing a dark theme even in the daytime, even if gray on black is hard to read, even if my monitor cannot go up to "bright" in a short space/pixel count.

You shouldn't be forced into any particular theme. There are numerous choices.

But why install a dark theme by default? Why is the default behavior anything other than "behave like a default application". Whatever the system's default is (and normally, that's a light theme), that's how an app should behave.

(2) I don't like the ultra-tiny little icons for the new tab page (I do like being able to see more sites; the old one capped at about 54 sites no matter what settings I chose).

You can use custom style rules or an add-on to modify the icons

Again, why the change just for the sake of changing?

The old icons showed the preview of the web page. The new icons barely show anything more than a site generic icon, with almost nothing of the page itself.

(3) I don't like the new "hidden menu" that is appropriate for touch screens that doesn't respond to keyboard (control F2 on Mac, alt-space on Windows).

Does the classic top menu bar no longer respond to the keyboard??

Yes. But now there's the "triple line" menu, that has things not on the primary menu, that can only be accessed by finger on touch screens, or mouse on keyboards.

The more I need to stop and use the mouse, the less productive I am.

(4) I don't like that the new Firefox basically forces pocket on me. I don't like pocket, I don't trust its terms of service/privacy policy, I don't like that Firefox/Mozilla has chosen to basically make it a first-class citizen even though it doesn't put my interests first and foremost.

I don't know what the problem is, but you do not have to use Pocket and you can turn it off where it appears if you want to. A couple clicks.

Offhand, I remember seeing pocket show up in the library. I'm not sure where else it was. It's the whole idea of "This is now something that we are elevating to default for everyone", it's not even a case of "Here's an installer for program X, should we also bundle in add-on Y for you?" -- it's "Here's X and Y as well". Since Pocket is not a mozilla branded item with the same privacy/TOS rules as firefox, but is a third-party item with different rules/behaviors, that seems like a horrible thing to me. As I said, I have read the Pocket ToS (granted, over a year ago), and do not trust them.

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Sigh. Somehow, while I had Firefox 52.9 on my system, marked as read-only, and locked, there was also a copy of Firefox ESR 60.2 on my system. So guess which one ran this morning, and altered my profile to bring it up to "modern"?

Seriously, the loss of browsing history is a major loss. Forced upgrades of add-ons when they were set to "do not upgrade" is a loss. If you are going to force a non-reversable change, **MAKE A COPY/BACKUP FIRST**. Always let the user go back to the prior version.

1. "These performance upgrades come paired with a modern, intuitive design. ".

No. It is a different design. That does not mean "intuitive". You don't get to claim that unless you've tested on thousands of people, not just developers / aspergers / "Ohh, shiny!" / "New is better" / marketers people.

2. Library. Library is only accessible through a new menu, not through the normal menu.

3. Pocket. Geez. So from the Library "tour of new firefox" button, I look at pocket. It takes me to the "getpocket.com" site, with "Sign up with Firefox/Sign up with Email", and I cannot go back to the tour. While it has the Firefox name all over the place up until now, the bottom of this page says copyright "Read it Later", and the TOS makes it clear that this is not a mozilla product but another company that is getting prime access to my browsing activity -- from a company (Mozilla) that used to be concerned with user privacy.

4. Even if I don't want to use Pocket, **IT IS THERE ON THE MENU AND WILL NEVER GO AWAY! **. Heck, there is a "Save to Pocket" button in the address bar. This third party is now a first-class citizen of this browser. Not me.

5. Somehow, my Library includes a "Recent Highlights" that seems to be some sort of news article. The icon is far too small for me to figure out what company it comes from, and since I did not have the "recommended" sites in my site list before, I'm really surprised that they came back.

6. There is *ANOTHER* new menu, that I didn't even know was there, until I read the "Screenshots" tour page. I don't know how you can say "three dots in the address bar is a modern and intuitive menu". And that's more things not available in the normal menu.

Remember, the normal menu can be controlled by other programs, assigned keyboard shortcuts, etc.

7. Speaking of themes and styles, why is it that if I say I want MS Comic Sans 22 point as my default font, all these tour pages seem to be in 12 point, grey (harder to read), ... actually I have no clue what that font is. Hard for me to read, that's what it is.

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Meanwhile, I still have these issues:

1. How can I make sure that 52.9 never tries to update itself? 2. How can I make sure that if ESR 60 runs, it won't try to change my profile? How do I tell it to make a new copy of my old profile for its own use? 3. Why is Local Storage broken on some sites when I go back to 52.9? (I am restoring my profile from a Time Machine backup.) 4. "The address bar might be the most powerful tool in the sleek new Firefox toolbar. Start typing, and see suggestions based on your browsing and search history." -- except that the last time it behaved like that was Firefox 3.6. (NO JOKE). 45 and 52 have been horrible for their inability to find URL's from my history, and the very few number of URL's that they return for my review (less than 10, and if I'm typing in a number (chapter/post/comic/etc) to try to see where I left off in reading, being able to see all ten "next digits" is kinda significant.)

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So I don't know what happened, or why. But this time, I restored a different profile backup.

I also restored it as "Keep both", and then deleted the unwanted profile (instead of "Replace", which I had done before) and renamed the restored one.

Doing it this way, my local storage is working on the affected sites. I don't know if it's because the backup data is wrong on the other date, or if it was the "restore both" instead of "replace".

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And sadface: Local storage has died again.

After quitting firefox, restoring places.sqlite from places.sqlite.corrupt (to recover my browsing history), and restarting, both ivark.github.io and trimps.github.io/ cannot find local storage anymore.

There is no sign of any directory for these sites in the storage directory.

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