A POSIX shell script for updating your Firefox and Thunderbird user.js from privacy-handbuch.de

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This is a POSIX compliant shell script for downloading and updating the Firefox and Thunderbird user.js from Privacy-Handbuch.


If you are using Arch Linux you can install from the AUR with your favorite helper, for example:

paru -S ph-userjs-updater

Otherwise you have to download the updater to a path of your liking, e. g. ~/.local/bin/ph-userjs-updater. If you put it into a directory which is included in the PATH variable you can omit the directory later on when calling the script. After downloading you need to make the script executable: chmod +x ~/.local/bin/ph-userjs-updater.


It is recommended to close Firefox and/or Thunderbird before changing their user.jses, i. e. before running the updater. Changes will take effect at the next start.

The first thing you likely want to do is decide which Firefox or Thunderbird configuration you want to install to which profile.

To install a new user.js you have to specify which configuration you want and a profile path. For the latter you might either use -l, -p /path/to/a/profile or cd into the profile directory prior to calling the updater. It might look like this: ph-userjs-updater -c moderat -p ~/.mozilla/firefox/bqwe10y4.profile1 (Replace the executable name with whatever you have chosen when downloading the script and prepend the directory if it is not included in your $PATH).

For updating user.jses the option -a comes in handy. It will update every profile in the default directory locations (~/.mozilla/firefox/ and ~/.thunderbird/) where a user.js from Privacy-Handbuch is already present. So make sure all profiles are set up individually prior to automated updating. For automation you should also at least use the option -y so the updater won't hang waiting for your confirmation. You might also let the updater update itself through the option -u if you did not install via AUR and get your updates from there. One example for updating all Firefox and Thunderbird profiles with previously installed user.jses is ph-userjs-updater -adquy.

The updater will by default search for a user-overrides.js in each selected profile directory and append it to the downloaded user.js. The options from user-overrides.js will take precedence over those from the user.js which allows you to override individual options permanently so you can adjust your profile to your needs.


Is this software still maintained?

Yes. There's not much to update, that's why the last commit might date back quite a while. Don't worry though, I will be notified of new issues.


This script is based on the ghacks (now known as arkenfox) user.js updater.sh. Thanks for all your work!

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