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Firefox Color


Get Started

  1. Install Node 10.18.1+ (e.g. using node version manger)

  2. Clone the repo, install dependencies, start the dev environment:

    git clone
    cd FirefoxColor
    npm ci
    npm start

    This will start a webpack-dev-server instance at port 8080 and start a watcher that will rebuild the browser extension with every file change.

  3. To activate the extension:

    1. Find the XPI for the environment:

      • Locally: npm run package which adds an addon.xpi to the root of the project

      • DEV / STAGE: Visit the dev or stage version of the website and click on "Get Firefox Color" (i.e. open testing.html) and use one of the referenced XPI files

    2. Now load the XPI (from the previous step) to the browser by one of the following ways:

      • Go to about:debugging and click on "Load Temporary Add-on..." and add the xpi

      • (or) Go to about:config and add setting xpinstall.signatures.required and set to false. Next drag and drop the XPI to the browser. Note you must use Beta, Dev or Nightly browser with this approach.


To debug the background file, go to about:debugging and click the "Inspect" button

To toggle the add-on on and off or remove, you can go to about:addons

  1. Visit http://localhost:8080 to see the web-based theme editor - changes should be relayed through the temporarily installed add-on and alter the browser theme

Note: If you have problems seeing the editor at http://localhost:8080/ on your computer, it's possible that you already have some other service using port 8080. You can change the port that Firefox Color uses for local development:

  • For Linux & OS X: PORT=9090 npm start
  • For Windows: .\node_modules\.bin\cross-env PORT=9090 npm start

This example switches to port 9090, but you can supply a different port as needed.

Environment variables

There are a few environment variables used in building the site and extension that are handy to know about:

  • PORT - (default: 8080) Port at which the webpack dev server will start up
  • NODE_ENV - (default: production) setting to development will enable some features for development work
  • SITE_URL - (default: http://localhost:8080) the URL where the web app is hosted
  • SITE_ID - (default: empty string) the ID of the site for the extension - e.g. "", "local", "stage", "dev"
  • DOWNLOAD_FIREFOX_UTM_SOURCE - host name used in metrics when the button to download Firefox is clicked
  • LOADER_DELAY_PERIOD - (default: 2000) delay in ms used for web site loader, can be set to 0 during development to make the site appear faster but with visual glitches

Build & Release

Deploying a development release consists of pushing to the development branch on this repo. Production release consists of pushing to the production branch.

Upon push, CircleCI will run the following steps, as defined in the .circleci/config.yml file:

  • Run to define the SITE_URL and ADDON_URL applicable to the current branch.

  • Run code linter

  • Build the site for the current branch

  • Build the add-ons for all build targets (development, stage, release).

  • Run tests on the current branch.

When pushed to the development branch, npm run deploy is run to deploy the site to Github Pages.

Signing depends on WEB_EXT_API_KEY and WEB_EXT_API_SECRET environment variables being set for use by web-ext sign. Deployment depends on GH_TOKEN being set with a personal access token from GitHub. These are currently configured in CircleCI to support deployment after successful test runs.

Build, test and publish add-on

The script npm run xpi in package.json generates unsigned xpi files, which are added to build/web (and published to the root of SITE_URL by CircleCI), on all branches (development, stage, production). These XPIs can be loaded at about:debugging for manual testing.

  • firefox-color-dev-unsigned.xpi - test with Development (testing only).
  • firefox-color-stage-unsigned.xpi - test with Stage (testing only).
  • firefox-color-unsigned.xpi - test with Production (release candidate).

After passing QA, the XPI can be published by manually uploading it to AMO. Every release requires a version bump, because version numbers cannot be reused.

Environment list

Environment Github Branch URL
Development development
Stage stage
Production production

UI to install the addon:

  • Coming from AMO

    • The user clicks on the "Install" button and after granting permissions, a new tab opens to the addon's home page.
  • Coming from the addon's home page: The user can click on the "Get Firefox Color" button which will direct the user to a page from where the add-on can be installed, usually AMO.



Theming demo for Firefox Quantum and beyond




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