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Thread: 22.04.2 LTS - In-built Firefox 110 - Backspace key does not work as a "back" button

  1. #1
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    Question 22.04.2 LTS - In-built Firefox 110 - Backspace key does not work as a "back" button

    TBH I'm not sure whether I should be asking this here on the Ubuntu forum or raising it directly with Mozilla, but...

    I've recently installed Xubuntu 22.04.2. Using the in-built (snap) version of Firefox 110.0, I have come across an irritating behaviour that I don't seem able to change.

    On every other device, OS and browser I've ever used, hitting the Backspace key takes you back to the webpage you were previously viewing - i.e. it works as a "back" button. On this version of Firefox, for some reason, it does nothing. And that bugs me. Dragging my mouse cursor all the way up to the back arrow every time is tedious!

    I've looked through the Firefox settings panels, but I can't find any way of mapping the backspace key to perform this function. Is there a way of achieving this, or is this just one of the several reasons to stop using the snap version of Firefox and go for a "proper" version downloaded from Mozilla?

    ADDED LATER: OK, so apparently I can go back by pressing Alt+Left arrow, but it's still non-intuitive for me. If anyone knows how I can force the backspace key to = "back", I'd be very interested to know.
    Last edited by wheelright; February 22nd, 2023 at 06:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: 22.04.2 LTS - In-built Firefox 110 - Backspace key does not work as a "back" butt

    Just remove the snap version and grab the binary from Mozilla.

    extract it in your $HOME. click firefox to launch, that's it. If you answer yes to "choose firefox as default" it will create a .desktop file (launcher) in ~/.local/share/applications and it will stay even if you choose a different default browser later.
    Update is done when you restart firefox (if there is an update), or you can do it manually by going to Help > About Firefox

    There is no point trouble shooting the snap. It is crippled and buggy, they are pushing a beta technology on users.

    Code:
    sudo snap remove firefox
    cd ~/snaprm -r firefox

  3. #3
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    Re: 22.04.2 LTS - In-built Firefox 110 - Backspace key does not work as a "back" butt

    Thanks, monkeybrain20122. I have now got rid of the snap version and installed the proper version of Firefox, as per your instructions. Alas, the backspace key still doesn't act as a "back" button. So if anyone knows how I can map it to do so, I'd be very interested to know how.

  4. #4
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    Re: 22.04.2 LTS - In-built Firefox 110 - Backspace key does not work as a "back" butt

    No way I know of, as that is not the function of the Backspace Key. It can ONLY back-up your cursor when you are typing something. Are you using a Desktop, Laptop or Tablet???
    Curious ... what other devices and OS's allow this feature to jump the Backspace key from controlling your cursor to controlling your Browser???

    Peace,
    Rick

  5. #5
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    Re: 22.04.2 LTS - In-built Firefox 110 - Backspace key does not work as a "back" butt

    Hi Rick,

    It's interesting to hear you say that. The "backspace key as back-button" behaviour when using a web browser is pretty common IME, across all the different platforms and OSes I've used over the years (Win, Mac, Linux etc) on desktop and laptop machines - to the extent that I just regard it as 2nd nature, so I was surprised when it was absent on this version of Firefox. For example, if I open Firefox on my Mac, it acts that way. Obviously, when actually typing something into a webpage form - like I am doing now - it reverts to its usual role as a text input key. When merely viewing a page, though, it's always acted as a back button for me.

  6. #6
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    Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish

    Re: 22.04.2 LTS - In-built Firefox 110 - Backspace key does not work as a "back" butt

    Quote Originally Posted by wheelright View Post
    Thanks, monkeybrain20122. I have now got rid of the snap version and installed the proper version of Firefox, as per your instructions. Alas, the backspace key still doesn't act as a "back" button. So if anyone knows how I can map it to do so, I'd be very interested to know how.
    The backspace key not defaulting to a back button in Firefox in Ubuntu happened over 5 years ago, possibly nearer 10, so I'm surprised you hadn't seen this before. Also, this has absolutely nothing to do with the snap version. You can configure either the snap version or the conventional version the following way. Again, this has been so for about 5-10 years.

    Type "about:config" (no quotes) in the address bar and press return. Click the accept the risk button in the warning page - so long as you do accept the risk. Type "back" (again no quotes) in the search bar. About 5 down you'll see "browser.backspace_action". Change the 2 to a zero with the pencil icon. Voila - the backspace key now works as a back button, as well as its normal backspace function when entering text..

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick St. George View Post
    No way I know of, as that is not the function of the Backspace Key. It can ONLY back-up your cursor when you are typing something.
    Not so. You've been able to reconfigure the backspace key as I describe above since... almost for ever. I'm fairly sure that a few years ago Firefox in Ubuntu came preconfigured this way just as, as wheelright says, in Windows. Although, since I haven't used Windows for a very long time, I don't know whether this is still the case.
    Last edited by coffeecat; February 22nd, 2023 at 11:27 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Re: 22.04.2 LTS - In-built Firefox 110 - Backspace key does not work as a "back" butt

    @coffeecat - many thanks for your advice re. the "about:config" settings. Greatly appreciated.

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