Mozilla Firefox Finally Fixes An Awkward, 11 Year Old Linux Bug

Written by Michael Larabel in Mozilla on 5 September 2017 at 08:02 PM EDT. 66 Comments
It's taken more than a decade, but after enough user complaints, there is finally a patch queued for Firefox 57 to fix an arguably annoying default behavior of Firefox on Linux/Unix systems.

The default setting on Firefox has long been when the middle mouse button is clicked to open an URL based upon the contents of the clipboard. Most users don't expect this behavior by default and many have found it to be incredibly awkward accidentally opening a new tab with some web-page based upon what's in your copy-paste clipboard.

The ability has long been there to disable it by default with the middlemouse.contentLoadURL config value, but now beginning with Firefox 57 it is being disabled by default. This default behavior has been based upon the Unix standard of the middle button serving as paste, albeit Firefox taking it further by pasting it to the location bar in a new tab and going to the detected destination without any user intervention.

This 11 year old bug report has been tracking the issue and there have been many duplicate bug reports about this behavior as well as complaints filed via Ubuntu Launchpad and other bug trackers.
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