An extension for Firefox that allows one to remote control FF with TCP sockets
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Latest commit 51b5cab Feb 27, 2016 @nneonneo nneonneo Merge pull request #29 from funivan/master
fix: start firefox automatically with FIREFOX_START_REMOTE_CONTROL

Welcome to the Remote Control Firefox Extension.

It allows you to remote control a particular Firefox window with a TCP connection (such as telnet or netcat).

Something like this:

base@peter:~> telnet localhost 32000

You send any Javascript commands to firefox in a single line, and it sends either a result or an error back JSON-encoded. As a convenience, a command of reload is taken to be a shortcut for window.location.reload()

Using netcat/nc, you can therefore:

echo reload | nc -q 1 localhost 32000

and the page will reload.

Getting Started

  • Download and install the extension
  • Select a Firefox window or tab you want to remote control
  • Click the Remote Control toolbar button
    • If firebug is installed and active in that window, you can see logging in the Firebug console. (Firebug is not required, but the firebug console will be used if installed and active)
  • Use telnet, nc or any other tool to send javascript commands to your Remote Controlled Firefox.

Preferences and Controlling Behavior

There are preferences for:

  • Whether to listen for connections from localhost only (default = localhost only).
  • Which TCP port number to listen on (default = 32000)
  • Whether to send remote commands to currently active tab (default = false)

In addition, by default when firefox is initially started, Remote Control is not active. You have to select a window/tab and start Remote Control by clicking the toolbar button.

But it is possible to start Remote Control automatically when Firefox starts by setting the environment FIREFOX_START_REMOTE_CONTROL=1. If that environment variable is set and the icon is present on the toolbar, it will start when Firefox starts. The requirement for the icon to be present is to avoid this extension being used for malicious purposes without the user knowing.

VIM Integration

If you are using VIM and if VIM is compiled with python support, you can add the following to your .vimrc to integrate the plugin with a VIM shortcut.

function! ReloadFirefox()
py << EOF
import socket
s = socket.socket()
s.connect(('x.x.x.x', 32000))
nmap <leader>r :call ReloadFirefox()<CR> 

x.x.x.x should be replaced with actual IP of the machine running Firefox. If FireFox is running on the same machine as VIM, you may use

With the above, pressing leader followed by r should cause the Firefox page with the plugin activated to be refreshed. Of course, this is my key mapping and you're free to choose a different mapping, one that fits you best.

To test whether VIM is built with python support, run

vim --version

and if you see +python in the list of features, VIM is built with python support.

If you don't see +python, you can rebuild VIM from sources with +python support. Iinstructions for this can be found here.


Please report any problems to the Issue tracker


Remote Control is licensed under the GNU General Public License v2.0 (See also gpl-2.0.txt)