runtime

This module provides information about your add-on and the environment it's running in.

It also provides messaging APIs enabling you to:

  • Communicate between different parts of your add-on.
  • Communicate with other add-ons.
  • Communicate with native applications.

Types

runtime.Port
Represents one end of a connection between two specific contexts, which can be used to exchange messages.
runtime.MessageSender

Contains information about the sender of a message or connection request.

runtime.PlatformOs
Identifies the browser's operating system.
runtime.PlatformArch
Identifies the browser's processor architecture.
runtime.PlatformInfo
Contains information about the platform the browser is running on.
runtime.RequestUpdateCheckStatus
Result of a call to runtime.requestUpdateCheck().
runtime.OnInstalledReason
The reason that the runtime.onInstalled event is being dispatched.
runtime.OnRestartRequiredReason
The reason that the runtime.onRestartRequired event is being dispatched.

Properties

runtime.lastError
This value is set when an asynchronous function has an error condition that it needs to report to its caller.
runtime.id
The ID of the add-on.

Functions

runtime.getBackgroundPage()
Retrieves the Window object for the background page running inside the current add-on.
runtime.openOptionsPage()

Opens your add-ons's options page.

runtime.getManifest()
Gets the complete manifest.json file, serialized as an object.
runtime.getURL()
Given a relative path from the manifest.json to a resource packaged with the add-on, returns a fully-qualified URL.
runtime.setUninstallURL()
Sets a URL to be visited when the add-on is uninstalled.
runtime.reload()
Reloads the add-on.
runtime.requestUpdateCheck()
Checks for updates to this add-on.
runtime.connect()
Establishes a connection from a content script to the main add-on process, or from one add-on to a different add-on.
runtime.connectNative()
Connects the WebExtension to a native application on the user's computer.
runtime.sendMessage()
Sends a single message to event listeners within your add-on or a different add-on. Similar to runtime.connect but only sends a single message, with an optional response.
runtime.sendNativeMessage()
Sends a single message from a WebExtension to a native application.
runtime.getPlatformInfo()
Returns information about the current platform.
runtime.getBrowserInfo()
Returns information about the browser in which this add-on is installed.
runtime.getPackageDirectoryEntry()
Returns a DirectoryEntry for the package directory.

Events

runtime.onStartup
Fired when a profile that has this add-on installed first starts up. This event is not fired when an incognito profile is started.
runtime.onInstalled
Fired when the add-on is first installed, when the add-on is updated to a new version, and when the browser is updated to a new version.
runtime.onSuspend
Sent to the event page just before the add-on is unloaded. This gives the add-on an opportunity to do some cleanup.
runtime.onSuspendCanceled
Sent after runtime.onSuspend to indicate that the add-on won't be unloaded after all.
runtime.onUpdateAvailable
Fired when an update is available, but isn't installed immediately because the add-on is currently running.
runtime.onBrowserUpdateAvailable
Fired when an update for the browser is available, but isn't installed immediately because a browser restart is required.
runtime.onConnect
Fired when a connection is made with either an add-on process or a content script.
runtime.onConnectExternal
Fired when a connection is made with another add-on.
runtime.onMessage
Fired when a message is sent from either an add-on process or a content script.
runtime.onMessageExternal
Fired when a message is sent from another add-on. Cannot be used in a content script.
runtime.onRestartRequired
Fired when the device needs to be restarted.

Browser compatibility

ChromeEdgeFirefoxFirefox for AndroidOpera
MessageSender26Yes45.0 *48.0 *15
OnInstalledReasonYesYes45.048.0Yes
OnRestartRequiredReasonYesNo45.048.0Yes
PlatformArchYesNo45.048.0Yes
PlatformInfoYesNo45.0 *48.0 *Yes
PlatformNaclArchYesNo45.048.0Yes
PlatformOsYesNo45.048.0Yes
Port26 *15 *45.0 *48.0 *15 *
RequestUpdateCheckStatusYesNoNoNoYes
connect26No45.048.015
connectNative291550.0No16
getBackgroundPage22Yes45.048.015
getBrowserInfoNoNo51.051.0No
getManifest22Yes45.048.015
getPackageDirectoryEntry29NoNoNo16
getPlatformInfo29No45.048.016
getURL22Yes45.048.015
id22Yes45.048.015
lastErrorYes *Yes47.048.0Yes *
onBrowserUpdateAvailable27NoNoNo15
onConnect26No45.048.015
onConnectExternal26No545415
onInstalled22Yes52.0 *52.0 *15
onMessage26 *Yes *45.048.015 *
onMessageExternal26No545415
onRestartRequired29NoNoNo16
onStartup23No52.052.015
onSuspend22NoNoNo15
onSuspendCanceled22NoNoNo15
onUpdateAvailable25No51.051.015
openOptionsPage42No48.0No29
reload251551.051.015
requestUpdateCheck25NoNoNo15
sendMessage26 *Yes *45.048.015 *
sendNativeMessage291550.0No16
setUninstallURL411547.048.028

Edge incompatibilities

Promises are not supported in Edge. Use callbacks instead.

Chrome incompatibilities

None.

Example add-ons

Acknowledgements

This API is based on Chromium's chrome.runtime API. This documentation is derived from runtime.json in the Chromium code.

Microsoft Edge compatibility data is supplied by Microsoft Corporation and is included here under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: abbycar, wbamberg, chrisdavidmills
 Last updated by: abbycar,