Separate (non-free) Firefox repo


I’m using Firefox on my Android without GApps. I have used FF Updater and/or downloaded it manually and I guess that’s a common problem. I don’t like to depend on Google Play, so Yalp is not an option. So:

  1. As far as I have understood, it’s possible to make own F-Droid repos. I would just need a Web server, the F-droid server, a cronjob that fetches the latest Firefox .apk to the repo and runs fdroid update. Is that correct?
  2. Would you think it makes sense to provide such a repository publically? Maybe something like for Fedora or debian-non-free? Would be really cool if such a repo could be included in the default install of F-Droid (but disabled for opt-in, like the Guardian Project repos).

What do you think about it?


Welcome to the forum :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes, everyone can make their own repo. The post you linked is about outdated, though, so you may like to use the official guide from the F-Droid site

Basically you just need fdroidserver. When you have this set up, you can create a repo like shown in the guide and then upload it to somewhere you want. You don’t have to set up your own web server but also can use any Git service like GitLab or GitHub to publish your repo. If you have access to some FTP/SSH storage, you can publish it there too. Or you can use Amazon S3. There are many possibilites, but for the start a Git repo is enough, I think.

Yes, many people would like to use Firefox, I think. It would be better if the repo is created directly by the developer Mozilla, but since they don’t do it, the community has to find their own ways.

I’m personally against including repos that include non-free software and Firefox includes some Google Play dependencies iirc. Instead you can add your repo to the list of known repositories and we can think about linking this list from the client.


Thanks. I have set up such a repo for testing now. If it succeeds, I’ll think about making it public.

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Anyone interested in testing this approach and maybe set up a public repo together? Could share the URL privately.

I didn’t catch whether there was a problem with the FFUpdater? Isn’t it
enough for you? Why these complications with FD server setups?

Imagine you had for each of your app a separate app to keep it up-to-date. Having everything updated with F-Droid just makes things easier.


Here it is …

Just got my FF updated to 55.0.2 by it :smile:


Thank you! Your Repo works at advertised.
Unfortunately the QR code on the gitlab page din’t lead me to the repository.

I have update the link so that you can now open it directly with F-Droid.

The Gitlab pages don’t have an index.html or auto-index, but you can view index.xml:


Thank you! Great to have an inofficial Firefox repo.

I have a question about security, which I couldn’t answer myself by reading about the security model and the privileged extension. As far as I understand, on a nonrooted phone, the Android system will check that a new Firefox APK is signed by Mozilla. But what happens if I use the privileged extension on a rooted phone? Will it also check the APK signature during install?

Hi, the repo works great, thanks. The only issue I have is that it is updated daily and now Firefox always shows in the top position of the “newest” apps, although the version number has not changed for a while. Can we make it so that the repo only updates when the version actually changes?

I have also noticed that. Do you have an idea how to change that?

Sorry no, I have never used droidserver myself so I do know even know
what criteria fdroid uses to determine the “newness”:

@rfc2822, thanks for running this. May I suggest a commit to include the beta series as well here? The idea has been contributed by Seburo in the Mozilla support thread where I’m trying to push that issue upstream.

I have now

  • added the beta version download (thanks @chrysn – btw, I’m not a “he”)
  • added the whole F-Droid repo to the CI runner cache so that the packages hopefully won’t be “added” every day (from now on)

Thanks a bunch for investing the time to make this even better!

@rfc2822, thank you for setting up this F-Droid repository for “Firefox for Android” and its Beta. This way one can avoid using “FFupdater” or Aptoide an a Google-free device: Cool!

But unfortunately something is slightly wrong with it: When I manually check for updates in the F-Droid client, it always is “Saving application details” (which takes quite long on a slow device) for this repository in contrast to all other repositories (9 in total on my phone), even if it has just been updated minutes before.

Side note:
Some nitpicking about language: It should be “unofficial”, not “inofficial”, as long as there isn’t a play with language involved, which I fail to understand. You may change that in (twice) and in the


I have enabled merge requests

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Thank you, I created a PR/MR WRT the wording and a few more solely textual enhancements.

As I still have no idea what is causing the F-Droid client app to always do a “Saving application details” (and presumably a “Downloading repository data” before that, but with just two APKs that is likely too quick to be noticeable), even though I was thoroughly comparing with some other fdroid-index.xml, e.g., I am giving up on this one and hope somebody with higher F-Droid repository skills will have a look into this and ultimately resolve the issue.

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Thanks, will merge it.

As soon as I have noticed, it’s not always, but once per day, and this is because the repository actually is update once a day by the Gitlab runner (even if no packages were updated).