Repurposing Build Your Own Browser

Over two years ago we launched Build Your Own Browser as a way to create customized versions of Firefox that could be shared with friends, family, and affinity groups. Since that time we’ve had almost 6,000 individual registrations and almost 4,000 customized versions of Firefox submitted for distribution. We’re very happy with the response we’ve received, and have learned a lot during the time since we launched.

Moving forward we’re going to be re-focusing Build Your Own Browser as a customization framework, and will be shutting the current website down at the end of this month. The product will live on, but future versions will be the engine that creates customized versions of Firefox behind other web applications instead of web application in its own right.

Customized versions of Firefox that have passed review will continue to be available through 20:00 Eastern on June 30th 2012, after which the site will be closed and all account and build information deleted. If you’ve been using Build Your Own Browser to create customized builds for your organization, we recommend that you join the Enterprise Working Group mailing list, where browser customization for organizations is discussed at length.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who’s used Build Your Own Browser over the past two years. It’s been a great learning experience, and we hope to take what we’ve learned with Build Your Own Browser and use it to power newer, easier-to-use customization applications in the near future.

14 thoughts on “Repurposing Build Your Own Browser

  1. Hi Kev,

    I’m not sure I understand this sentence:

    “The product will live on, but future versions will be the engine that creates customized versions of Firefox behind other web applications instead of web application in its own right.”

    Could you expand on what that means? 🙂

    Does EWG membership come with the same rights to call your browser “Firefox” that the BYOB program offered?


    1. Hey Gerv,

      In a nutshell, we’re looking to keep the bits that create the builds, and use the repack framework for creating customized versions of Firefox, and use it to power other customized Firefox building apps.

      EWG membership doesn’t imply anything. Many people came to BYOB with the aim to create a build for a corporate deployment, and BYOB really wasn’t a good tool for that. I just wanted to refer people to the EWG, where customization for corporate/organizational deployments is discussed frequently, as a potential source for information that may be better suited for their goals.


  2. I would love to see a post on what you learned from Build a Browser and what people actually used it for.

    It was pretty limited in terms of the add-ons you could bundle.

    What was the general feedback?

  3. That’s a great idea, Mike, and I’ll do that. General feedback was that it was a really good idea, but very limited in what you could do with it. Lots of inquiries around corp customization which we redirected to the EWG, and some requests which were just… no. 😀

    I’ll follow-up after the end of this month.

  4. This seems reasonable, except for the part where you’re giving less than a week’s notice…

  5. njn: We can keep it going to the end of the month, but typically users create the build, download it, and then never re-visit it.

  6. Up until now Mozilla has offered “deep customization tools” for Firefox, but they weren’t always obvious to the average user and there has never been a good way for someone to build a customized version of the browser, Beltzner said.

  7. is there any way you can help me to stuck with this project . Because i am trying to build a customized version of browser..and need an experts help and guideline..or else please direct me to anybody else who can help me with this..

    Thank you

  8. please can help me..i want to construct a very simple browser wit some new features but i don’t have any idea how to start my project. Because i am trying to build browser.which can be used by visually handicraft people and and it should have language translation.i need guide..or else please direct me to anybody else who can help me with this..

  9. Organizations have business requirements that warrant a certain extent of customization of vendor provided applications. The story is the same when it comes to the browser. For IE Microsoft has a IE customisation kit while Mozilla has one too. However the extension of customization and the flexibility is quite restrictive and limited. Hence I chose to build my own deployable build of Firefox. The instructions here have worked for the Firefox 1.5 series and are here to provide an inside on how it works for me. This is an update from my old post about Firefox Enterprise Deployment Guide (Windows) . I shall be posting a Linux version of the instructions soon.

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