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Old 07-02-2004, 07:57 AM   #1
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Mozilla default settings

I administer a small linux server for a research group at uni. We have 10-20 users, but have a realtively high turnover as the undergrads come and go. At the moment, everytime I set up a new account I have to set mozilla up to use our proxy server manually in the mozilla preferences menus. To my mind there must be a mozilla default config, or pref.js default file lurking somewhere. I've asked my local user group and the answer I got was 'yeah, I'd like to do that too!'. I've had a poke about on and googled, but to no avail. Do i really need to set this up manually or write some tricky (to a relative newbie) code to create a prefs.js file for each new user?

Any tips?

Thanks as ever,

Old 07-02-2004, 08:17 AM   #2
Andrew Benton
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I can't help with the details as I've never had to use a proxy server, but I can tell you that the prefs.js file in the users profile is automatically generated and overwritten everytime you start Mozilla. If you want to put something in prefs.js you should copy and paste the settings that work from a prefs.js file into a plain text file and call it user.js . Put user.js in the profile alongside prefs.js and everytime you start Mozilla it will copy the settings from user.js into prefs.js . So, what you should do is open Mozilla, setup the internet connection, close Mozilla, open ~/.mozilla/default/$RANDOM.slt/prefs.js in a text editor and copy the settings you like into a user.js . The grammar must be perfect, one semi-colon out of place and it will give up. Then you need to write a script to put the user.js in every new profile. The $RANDOM.slt folder may be a problem, but if you can find ~/ -name prefs.js there should be a way around it
Old 07-02-2004, 08:51 AM   #3
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Cheers Andrew.

Originally posted by Andrew Benton
Then you need to write a script to put the user.js in every new profile
So there's not just a default file I an change. This was the answer I'd found but was trying to avoid

I'll look more into this but it's unlikely that I'll have time/motivation to do anything too elegant. Just to satisfy my curiosity/desire for logic, if mozilla rewrites the prefs.js file every use, where does it get the values from? does it just save any changes made in the GUI menus or does it have a reference file for any suff that's unchanged? I was hoping that by changing that reference file I could make that a global setting for all users. that seems to be the kind logic I've come to expect from linux setups...

Cheers again,

Old 07-14-2004, 02:59 PM   #4
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There is a proxy discovery mechanism that's been around forever. As far as I know it works on all browsers for all platforms. It involves creating a javascript file and putting it on a webserver (usually This is called "Web Proxy Auto Discovery".

Then you just turn on the auto discovery, which can be done with a user.js file if you'd like, or manually.


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