I have just installed fresh Ubuntu MATE 21.10 system.

Then I ran update-manager manually to check and get some new updates.

It showed a surprise for me - it will remove Firefox deb-package as shown on below screenshot to replace it with Snap:

Details of updates

  • Install or remove
    • Duplicate packages to be removed
      • Firefox Web Browser

update-manager is going to remove deb-package of Firefox

This is not acceptable for me, I want to use normal deb-package of Firefox.

Note: actually the result does not depend on online or offline installation, the first launch of update-manager will try to remove the Firefox deb-package.

  • Bill/franksmcb asked a question (irc) about this earlier on (friday probably) given 'reports' of this behavior and we (lubuntu) couldn't re-create this.... Your answer implies to me it'd impact us (lubuntu) too, but I've seen no reports of it, and haven't replicated it either (I can't recall if my install(s) was made off-line or online with some of each, but haven't replicated the issue & I know at least one was off-line install)
    – guiverc
    Oct 17 '21 at 12:14
  • 1
    @guiverc I know, just repeated the same scenario on offline installation Xubuntu, got the same result. Lubuntu does not ship update-manager, so is not affected.
    – N0rbert
    Oct 17 '21 at 12:45
  • Thanks - I suspected as such (I just apt install update-manager to test that theory); you beat me running it - Thanks !
    – guiverc
    Oct 17 '21 at 12:46
  • 1
    update-manager does the same thing on Lubuntu too (as you'd no doubt already know).. I watched it report it's removing the firefox deb package & I'm bored waiting for it to install the snap... I'm going to bed..
    – guiverc
    Oct 17 '21 at 12:57
  • 1
    This will be fixed when update-manager is updated to; it's currently sitting in proposed & on another QA-test install I repeated the testing in my prior comment(s) & running update-manager no longer causes firefox to switch from deb package to snap.
    – guiverc
    Oct 20 '21 at 0:36

This change is caused by Firefox deb → snap transition. The procedure is coded inside update-manager codebase and in /usr/share/ubuntu-release-upgrader/deb2snap.json from ubuntu-release-upgrader-core package.

A way to disable such behavior and continue to use deb-package of Firefox is to mark Firefox package as manually installed by using command below:

sudo apt-mark manual firefox

and then launch update-manager again and get no surprises.

I think that this behavior is a bug, so reported it at Launchpad as bug 1947501.

The above method also solves the problem for Ubuntu Budgie, UbuntuKylin and Xubuntu. Kubuntu, Lubuntu and Studio may be affected if user have installed update-manager here manually.

  • 1
    Thanks for this info. I just did my first 21.04 to 21.10 upgrade and it still uninstalled my .deb version and installed a snap version. I didn't expect that on an upgrade. Firefox as a snap launches very slowly, and doesn't use the proper theme. I already switched back to the .deb version, and I wasn't aware that it would switch it back. Sigh. I'll use your fix. +1. Thanks!
    – heynnema
    Oct 17 '21 at 13:32
  • I just checked, and on my primary computer, which is running 21.04, it looks like they've removed the .deb version of Firefox from the Ubuntu Software store. It also looks like mozilla.org doesn't have a .deb file to download either.
    – heynnema
    Oct 17 '21 at 14:39
  • 2
    Currently Firefox deb still sits in main - see packages.ubuntu.com/impish/firefox .
    – N0rbert
    Oct 17 '21 at 14:44

or just use this ppa: https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-mozilla-security/+archive/ubuntu/ppa regards


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