Linux Mint announced that it would continue to keep Mozilla Firefox as its default web browser; however, it will add some new changes to it. Mint has described the deal as a “commercial and technical partnership.”
The commercial partnership was announced on January 12, and as part of its agreement, Firefox will no longer ship with Mint-specific customizations. The changes which will either be removed or replaced include the following: Start page will no longer point to linuxmint.com/start, and Google will become the default search engine.
Other search engines are Mozilla partners, not Mint’s, Default settings are now set by Mozilla, No patches outside upstream, and App will use the default Firefox icon.
Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, and it is one of the more popular Linux distributions. Moreover, it has offered Firefox as the default browser for years, but now Ubuntu has shifted to a new Snap app packaging format that does not align with Linux Mint. Thereby, it became necessary for Linux Mint to find a different distribution method. Now Linux Mint users will get Mozilla defaults because Firefox will continue to distribute the Linux Mint repositories using the same .deb packaging technology. Still, now this work will be done by Mozilla. This not only means that there will be a few changes as to how the browser is configured, but it also means that the default start page for Mint users will also change.
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Now Mint users will get Google as the default search engine. It will also include Mozilla but not Mint. As a source mentioned, “Firefox will no longer include code changes or patches from Linux Mint, Debian, or Ubuntu. It will be stock Firefox, in other words.” “For Mozilla, the goal is to make Firefox work the same way across all platforms to ease maintenance and simplify development and bug fixing,” Mint explains. “For us, this change means a tremendous simplification in terms of maintenance and development … We now package the Mozilla version of Firefox instead.”