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Status: proposal, looking for feedback

This document is to outline plans to remove the Firefox Hotfix and replace it with a system add-on.


The hotfix was created to provide a way to make quick changes to Firefox, such as pref flipping, without having to do a full release of Firefox. At the time no other mechanism existed for this. With system add-ons we have a new distribution mechanism to be able to ship out an add-on that does the same thing.

Removing the hotfix and just using one update mechanism would allow us to simplify a few areas. Specifically:

  • Only having one workflow for doing this kinds of changes instead of two
  • Removing hotfix specific handling in add-ons manager
  • The fact that the add-on is visible on AMO


  • Get sign off from release engineering and others that system add-ons are the way to go. [DONE]
  • Change the wiki page to point to the push process for system add-ons. [DONE]
  • Land code in Firefox to automatically remove the Firefox hotfix if it’s present.
  • Remove as much other code from Firefox around the hotfix as we can. Because we still need code to detect and remove the hotfix, we might not be able to remove it all. We should ensure that the user never sees the hotfix in about:addons or any
  • Remove the add-on from AMO.
  • In a few releases time, remove the code from Firefox that we landed in step 3 and anything else that involves the hotfix.


A system add-on is deployed to its users at a rate shown by these graphs, thanks to analysis done by rhelmer. Given those rates of uptake, there’s no real advantage to having the hotfix anymore (this are internal only)