Mozilla and Linux Mint sign a partnership agreement
Linux Mint, developer of the popular Linux distribution, and Mozilla, maker of the popular Firefox web browser and Thunderbird email client, have signed a partnership agreement.
The Linux Mint team announced the partnership on the official blog. According to the information published there, the company is of a commercial and technical nature.
Some things will change for Linux Mint users who use Firefox as their browser on the system. Linux Mint shipped Firefox with a custom set of tweaks and settings in the past, and most of these will be removed to return to default.
The team mentions the following changes in particular:
- The default start page will no longer be https://www.linuxmint.com/start/.
- Firefox default search engines are restored, Linux Mint search partners are no longer included (unless they match the default list of search engines in Firefox).
- Firefox uses Mozilla’s default configuration switches.
- Firefox will no longer include code changes or patches from Linux Mint, Debian, or Ubuntu.
For Linux Mint, the change means freeing up development and maintenance resources. The team used to build Firefox using the Ubuntu package, but will package the version of Firefox provided by Mozilla instead.
For Mozilla, it is mentioned that the organization wants Firefox to work identically on all supported platforms. Not mentioned, but probably just as important is the business benefit Mozilla stands to gain from this, as the company’s search partners and Firefox’s default home page are shown to Linux Mint users in the future.
An FAQ entry notes that Linux Mint gets a portion of the revenue generated when Linux Mint Firefox users use Google Search. No other details are mentioned.
The transition has already taken place in Linux Mint 20.3, which the team released last week. For all other supported versions of Linux Mint, Linux Mint 19.x, 20.x and LMDE, it will take place with the release of Firefox 96. Firefox 96 will be released on January 11, 2022.
Custom user settings should not be affected by the change as advertised. If a user has changed their preferences in Firefox, they should stay changed. However, the team notes that defaults can change and users may want to check preferences after upgrading to Firefox 96 to ensure that these defaults have the correct values.
The partnership of Linux Mint and Mozilla should benefit both organizations. Linux Mint is freeing up development and maintenance resources, Mozilla is getting more users to use its search partners and other offerings. While details have not been mentioned, it is likely that Linux Mint will see an increase in revenue from this partnership. It is unknown if it is limited to a revenue sharing agreement between the two parties or money Mozilla paid directly to the organization.
Now you: What is your opinion about the association?