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I support a very large school district currently running Firefox 3.6. What will happen at end of life date? We're in the middle of online testing this week.

Posted

I run the test center for a very large school district with over 120k students. We've got a current deployed base of 54k client machines using Firefox 3.6. We haven't upgraded due to multiple reasons, the most important of which is removing the possibility of using In Private Browsing from the students, and dealing with plugin-updates for the non digital natives (read dumber than a bag of hammers users) that make up the majority of the client base.

We're testing ESR now, but just found out that end of life for 3.6 is tomorrow, 4/24. We are currently in the middle of statewide online testing. The question is, what will happen tomorrow when the browser goes end of life. The ESR wiki mentions that "an update to the current version of Desktop Firefox will be offered through the Application Update Service"

So the main question is, are my students/teachers going to get a popup telling them they have to update the browser if we have the updates already turned off? If so, can I turn it off remotely using SCCM, because it will cause all kinds of havoc.

Please advise asap, and thanks in advance.

Chosen solution

An addon such as https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/disable-private-browsing-pl/ may help, or http://kb.mozillazine.org/User:Dickvl/Private_Browsing_disable (keep in mind this is beyond what this forum can support you with if you need help making those changes).

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Additional System Details

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Just once or twice

This started when...

We read the end of life notice for 3.6

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 11.2 r202
  • Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape "9.5.1"
  • iTunes Detector Plug-in
  • RealJukebox Netscape Plugin
  • RealNetworks(tm) RealPlayer Chrome Background Extension Plug-In
  • RealPlayer(tm) HTML5VideoShim Plug-In
  • RealPlayer(tm) LiveConnect-Enabled Plug-In
  • 15.0.0.198
  • 5.0.61118.0
  • NPRuntime Script Plug-in Library for Java(TM) Deploy
  • The QuickTime Plugin allows you to view a wide variety of multimedia content in Web pages. For more information, visit the QuickTime Web site.
  • AppUp
  • Adobe Shockwave for Director Netscape plug-in, version 11.6
  • VMware Remote Console and Client Integration Plug-in
  • ActiveTouch General Plugin Container Version 105
  • Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape "9.3.2"
  • The plug-in allows you to open and edit files using Microsoft Office applications
  • Office Authorization plug-in for NPAPI browsers
  • 1.9.0042.0
  • np-mswmp

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:10.0.3) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/10.0.3

More Information

Firefox 3.6 deployed via SCCM to 54k laptops/desktops at 178 location, running a mix of windows xp and win7 (about 50/50 at this point).

Tyler Downer
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1166 solutions 6653 answers

If the updates are turned off, nothing will happen, Firefox will continue to operate normally at 3.6. However, if there are any security holes, issues, etc. with 3.6, they will not be fixed and you will be running an insecure version of Firefox. so yes, for your orginization I'd reccomend ESR. There are customizations you can make to remove Private Browsing so that users can't have access to it. but, private browsing has been in Firefox since 3.5, so your students already have it ;) But, no your students will be able to use Firefox, but it is unsafe.

Question owner

We had to do some serious gymnastics to remove at least most of the ability to use IPB. We removed it from the gui, but unfortunately, if they know the hotkey, they can still bring it up. Security has some serious headaches with this, as by law they have to be able to track where students go, and going with private browsing removes their ability to do forensic work they're required to be able to do. Not a very well thought out feature from Mozilla in my opinion, but it is what it is. Successive versions have made it even more difficult to remove even the gui portion.

We do plan to release ESR due to the aforementioned security issues, but testing has been slow.

But thanks for the reply. I think we can turn off the updates if it isn't already done.

Tyler Downer
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Administrator
  • Moderator
1166 solutions 6653 answers

Chosen Solution

An addon such as https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/disable-private-browsing-pl/ may help, or http://kb.mozillazine.org/User:Dickvl/Private_Browsing_disable (keep in mind this is beyond what this forum can support you with if you need help making those changes).

Question owner

I'm in management, so I don't actually do anything, but I'll pass it along to my test guy ;)

Thanks very much for the input.