Bring Firefox Sync back

There quite some apps that deliver some of the requested features (password sync, bookmarks), but they do not share a common API. I think the only way it will work out is to develop certain apps for sync tasks and write addons for different browser on the market implementing the app API.

In case new sync apps and addons will pop up, this approach will get closer and closer to what FF sync can offer.

Edit: the opposite approach would do one app implementing a browser eco system. But then you dont want to speak about sharing between different browsers. Syncing between FF at home and IE at work wouldn’t be possible then.

You can connect Firefox with your own server. I am doing it with https://github.com/mozilla-services/syncserver as server. In about:config, you have to change the key identity.sync.tokenserver.uri to https: //yourserver/token/1.0/sync/1.5

One thing: It is a pain to install the auth server. On a Raspberry Pi it seems to be impossible. So I run my own syncserver, authentication runs agains the Firefox-Server.

@franz.hartwig seems ok, but does it support https ?

@Cult: No, it does not support https. But no problem: On my Raspberry Pi runs Apache, I configured it as reverse proxy for the syncserver. Without reverse proxy the identity.sync.tokenserver.uri has to be http://yourserver:5000/token/1.0/sync/1.5.

To install and configure syncserver look at https://github.com/owncloudarchive/mozilla_sync/issues/33#issuecomment-195989676

To configure Apache as reverse proxy:

ProxyRequests off
        Order deny,allow
        Allow from all
        SetEnv force-proxy-request-1.0 1
        SetEnv proxy-nokeepalive 1
        SetOutputFilter proxy-html
        ProxyHTMLExtended On
ProxyPass /syncserver http://localhost:5000
ProxyPassReverse /syncserver http://localhost:5000
ProxyHTMLURLMap http://localhost:5000 /syncserver
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from all
        Satisfy any
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@franz.hartwig I never quite understood the use case where one wants to run the storage server and leave access authentication with a third party. But then someone suggested a setup where the storage server is accessible on a local network only (perhaps using a split-horizon DNS implementation). That would make sense, but it still seems an edge case to me. Storing your own data still only makes sense to me if you handle access authentication yourself.

@jknockaert Separating data storage and authentication is usual today. Logging in to help.nextcloud.com can be done via Twitter, Google, Github, Facebook and via help.nextcloud.com itself. Many other sites offer logging in via Google and several social media credentials. It is useful, you do not have to manage credentials for every site.
Ok, you don’t take this advantage with your syncserver. But it is pragmatical. Setting up the Firefox auth server is very complicated and impossible on a Raspberry Pi. The only way to sync Firefox to an own server is to use the syncserver with external authentication. There is, from my point of view, no security breach.

a service for the services!

[quote=“franz.hartwig, post:27, topic:103, full:true”]
@jknockaert Separating data storage and authentication is usual today. Logging in to help.nextcloud.com can be done via Twitter, Google, Github, Facebook and via help.nextcloud.com itself. [/quote]
Awfull solution in my opinion. Why should I trust an US based authentication service? Please let me know. And if trusting American Spyware Nation, why should I use a nextcloud instance? Why? Tell me, because I can use Dropbox, Office360Cloud, Google* facebook or whatever for my data. These authentication services - cost free - are honey pots. Easy to use, easy to misuse. And You praise them. Well done. Please respect that some poeple like me will never trust these services.
No, the other way arround: I am searching for a solution as secure as possible, under my own controll under my own responsibility. And it is not that simple for a rookie. So e.g. my joomla instance will never use google authentication services, as far as I can deactivate and delete them. Same for nextcloud.
back to discussion firefox sync with nextcloud: starting with a favorite-sync app would suffice.

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Think about what I wrote. It’s a big difference to authenticate with an external authentication service and to store data on external servers. Mozilla authenticates me, but Mozilla does not see any of my data. Of course it would be better to have the whole service under my control. But today it is not possible. Take a look at the discussion. Someone mentioned it is not possible to connect Firefox to an own server. I wrote, you can. I described my solution. This solution works with Firefox for Android, by the way. I want to sync several Firefox instances. I can do it with the native solution, offered by Mozilla. I can do it my way. I can resign syncing. So, what is the best solution today? Waiting until someone will present you a solution?

Tell me, how do you authenticate for nextcloud.com? If I interpret whois the right way, nextcloud.com is served in Hongkong. Hongkong, administrative region of China. More trustworthy?

So, go your own way. I choosed my way, pragmatically. But I do not want to justify myself for it.

No offense, but I guess you misunderstood the whole discussion. There has been an Owncloud/Nextcloud app called “firefox sync”. This app was working with older releases of firefox. Mozilla dropped support in Firefox for this old Firefox sync implementation. This Owncloud/Nextcloud app was doomed to die. @jknockaert opened this thread to revive the Firefox sync app. I share this interest with @jknockaert, but I tried to mention that there are many ways to have a sync functionality. The new Nextcloud app could be the old sync with addon for current Firefox, could be the new sync with custom content (and auth) server, or, this was my point in this thread so far, maybe many apps implementing these Firefox sync features for many browsers.

No one said that Firefox sync 1.5 is not possible, its just not possible as a Nextcloud app. I hope we are back on topic :slight_smile:

@godfuture I understand you and the discussion very well. I referred to jknockaert who mentioned, you cannot connect Firefox to you own server.
You mentioned, there seems to be no plan for implementing a Nextcloud app for syncing Firefox. This is my impression, too. I used the Owncloud app for awhile syncing my Firefox instances with Sync 1.0. Recognizing that Firefox would drop the support for Sync 1.0, I looked for a way syncing without Owncloud. I found my way and told you about it - hoping to give a hint for other people here. Of course, it would be nice to have an app for Nextcloud, either Sync 1 and a add on for Firefox, perhaps other browsers, too, or supporting Sync 1.5. But we don’t have this app and I am not able to write it. Just claiming a sync app isn’t a solution. I found a solution for me and wanted to tell it. Sorry, if it is not helpful. Just ignore it.

Sorry to necro this thread, but it seems like an extremely useful function.

My 2 cents: imho the best solution would be an approach where a browser data store app is created in Nextcloud, using an internal API to communicate. Then per supported browser create an API translator app, also to run on Nextcloud (perhaps even 2 in case of Firefox: an authentication translator, and a storage translator)
That way it is both possible to support multiple browsers as well as give users a (near) native experience. Furthermore if upstream decides to suddenly change the API it /might/ be easier to port the translator app to the new API.

It still works with Palemoon (a Firefox fork, www.palemoon.org) because they retained the old sync protocol.

I think the best thing would be to integrate Sync 1.5 into NextCloud, but I doubt that’s possible.

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Over the last months, there has been quite some work on the bookmark-app by marcelklehr to get this going. There are still some open pull requests being reviewed right now. It’s probably worth to test this as well and give feedback (we are not right there) or even give a little financial support via https://www.bountysource.com/teams/nextcloud

Sadly, Floccus slows down Firefox on some machines substantially until complete unresponsiveness. The last release is also from half a year ago. Same goes for the Github repository. And the app is sadly broken too.

Any updates on a new release?

They need to work on some features of the bookmark app:
https://github.com/marcelklehr/floccus/issues/7

Yes, that would be a great thing too. But actually it needs both an authentification server as well as the actual sync server. It is possible to run both on your own system, but it is more complex than Sync 1.1 (Weave). Here is a small tutorial on how to do it (sorry, only in German):

https://www.pixelcontainer.net/firefox-syncserver-1-5-installieren/

People don’t appear to realise the difference in Mozilla’s 1.1 sync and their 1.5 sync.

The 1.1 sync (used up to Firefox 25) simply sync’d user bookmarks and history data, etc. It was secure, and all user data was encrypted client-side so Mozilla never saw unencrypted user data and never held the decryption key. Pale Moon still uses this system today (making the 1.1 sync useful to people like me!)

Mozilla’s 1.5 sync is split into three parts, the accounts server, authorisation server, and actual sync server. You need to have an account, authorisation to access the account is separate, then sync data is held separate again. On top of this, Mozilla now holds a copy of your decryption key. It is inherently less secure and also more complex.

Back in the day, I was able to save something on Seamonkey, make changes on Pale Moon, and then view it on Firefox. Now Pale Moon and Firefox use incompatible sync methods, and Seamonkey can’t sync at all!

@franz.hartwig seems to think that because…[quote=“franz.hartwig, post:27, topic:103”]
Separating data storage and authentication is usual today
[/quote]
…that somehow makes it ok for some foreign company to decide who can and can’t access the data that I’m holding (using the decryption key that I don’t have control of!) He seems to forget that if that foreign company goes down, I can no longer access the personal data that I’m hosting!

It would be wonderful if someone (with skills that I lack) could create two Nextcloud apps, one that handles accounts and auth, and the second that handles sync data.

Until then, I’m stuck on ownCloud using Pale Moon and the unmaintained 1.1 sync server app.

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You are hosting your data, correct. But this data are just backups. Your data is stored on your syncing devices. So, even if Mozilla would decide to turn off this service, you can access your data on your devices and you can delete your data on your own server. The problem, you are talking about, is not there.

Yes, of course. But I cannot do something like that on my own. I have to hope, someone other does it. Until this will happen - if ever - I will use my own Mozilla syncserver and Mozilla’s account server.

Yes.

No. Hell no. This data is live, and available to whatever foreign company has (and authorises) access, as well to whatever individual or group cracks that foreign company.

…then you’re shit-outta-luck and need to set up your own server anyway, hoping that nobody else scooped up your auth key before Mozilla shut down, as well as hoping that Mozilla didn’t sell your personal info in the meantime.

It is there, even if you choose to be wilfully ignorant of everything I said.[quote=“franz.hartwig, post:40, topic:103”]
I cannot do something like that on my own
[/quote]

Given everything you’ve already said, and given your complete misunderstanding of privacy, I wouldn’t trust any app you write anyway.