Add-ons

Native manifests

Native manifests are specially formatted JSON files that are provisioned on the user's computer by some means outside the extension installation process. For example, a native manifest might be provisioned by a device administrator or by a native application installer.

There are three different types of native manifest:

Native messaging manifests Enable a feature called native messaging, in which an extension can communicate with a native app installed on the device.
Managed storage manifests Define read-only data that an extension can access using the storage.managed API.
PKCS #11 manifests Enable an extension to use the pkcs11 API to enumerate PKCS #11 security modules and install them in Firefox.

For all native manifests, you need to arrange things so the browser can find the manifest. The section on manifest location describes these rules.

Native messaging manifests

The native messaging manifest contains a single JSON object with the following properties:

Name Type Description
name String

Name of the native application.

This must match the name passed into runtime.connectNative() or runtime.sendNativeMessage() by the extension.

On OS X and Linux, it must also match the native messaging manifest's filename (excluding the ".json" extension).

On Windows, it must match the name of the registry key you create, that contains the location of the native messaging manifest.

The name must match the following regular expression: "^\w+(\.\w+)*$". This means that it may only contain lowercase alphanumeric characters, underscores and dots. It may not start or end with a dot, and a dot cannot be followed by another dot.

description String Description of the native application.
path String

Path to the native application.

On Windows, this may be relative to the manifest itself. On OS X and Linux it must be absolute.

type String

Describes the method used to connect the extension with the app.

Currently only one value can be given here, "stdio", which indicates that messages are received by the app using standard input (stdin) and sent using standard output (stdout).

allowed_extensions Array of String

An array of Add-on ID values. Each value represents an extension which is allowed to communicate with this native application.

Note that this means you will probably want to include the applications key in your extension's manifest.json file, so you can set an explicit ID during development.

For example, here's a manifest for the "ping_pong" native application:

{
  "name": "ping_pong",
  "description": "Example host for native messaging",
  "path": "/path/to/native-messaging/app/ping_pong.py",
  "type": "stdio",
  "allowed_extensions": [ "ping_pong@example.org" ]
}

This allows the extension whose ID is "ping_pong@example.org" to connect, by passing the name "ping_pong" into the relevant runtime API function. The application itself is at "/path/to/native-messaging/app/ping_pong.py".

Managed storage manifests

The managed storage manifest contains a single JSON object with the following properties:

Name Type Description
name String

The ID of the extension that can access this storage, given as the ID you've specified in the extension's applications key.

description String Human readable description, ignored by Firefox.
type String

This must be "storage".

data Object

A JSON object that may contain any valid JSON values, including strings, numbers, booleans, arrays, or objects. This will become the data in the browser.storage.managed storage area.

For example:

{
  "name": "favourite-colour-examples@mozilla.org",
  "description": "ignored",
  "type": "storage",
  "data":
  {
    "colour": "management thinks it should be blue!"
  }
}

Given this JSON manifest, the "favourite-colour-examples@mozilla.org" extension could access the data using code like this:

var storageItem = browser.storage.managed.get('colour');
storageItem.then((res) => {
  console.log(`Managed colour is: ${res.colour}`);
});

PKCS #11 manifests

The PKCS #11 manifest is a file containing a JSON object with the following properties:

Name Type Description
name String

Name of the PKCS #11 module.

This must match the name used in the pkcs11 API.

On OS X and Linux, it must also match the manifest's filename (excluding the extension).

On Windows, it must match the name of the registry key you create, that contains the location of the manifest.

The name must match the following regular expression: "^\w+(\.\w+)*$". This means that it may only contain lowercase alphanumeric characters, underscores and dots. It may not start or end with a dot, and a dot cannot be followed by another dot.

description String

Description of the module.

This is used to set the friendly name for the module in the browser's UI (for example, the "Security Devices" dialog in Firefox).

path String

Path to the module.

On Windows, this may be relative to the manifest itself. On OS X and Linux it must be absolute.

type String This must be "pkcs11".
allowed_extensions Array of String

An array of Add-on ID values. Each value represents an extension which is allowed to interact with the module.

Note that this means you will probably want to include the applications key in your extension's manifest.json file, so you can set an explicit ID during development.

For example:

{
  "name": "my_module",
  "description": "My test module",
  "type": "pkcs11",
  "path": "/path/to/libpkcs11testmodule.dylib",
  "allowed_extensions": ["my-extension@mozilla.org"]
}

Given this JSON manifest, saved as ""my_module.json", the "my-extension@mozilla.org" extension could install the security module at "/path/to/libpkcs11testmodule.dylib" using code like this:

browser.pkcs11.installModule("my_module");

Manifest location

On Linux and Mac OS X, you need to store the manifest in a particular place. On Windows, you need to create a registry key that points to the manifest's location.

The detailed rules are the same for all the manifest types, except that the penultimate component of the path identifies the type of manifest. The examples below show the form for each of the three different types. In all the examples, <name> is the value of the name property in the manifest.

Windows

For global visibility, create a registry key with the following name:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Mozilla\NativeMessagingHosts\<name>

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Mozilla\ManagedStorage\<name>

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Mozilla\PKCS11Modules\<name>

The key should have a single default value, which is the path to the manifest.

Note that for native messaging manifests, this key should not be created under Wow6432Node, even if the app is 32-bit. The browser will always look for the key under the "native" view of the registry, not the 32-bit emulation. To ensure that the key is created in the "native" view, you can pass the KEY_WOW64_64KEY or KEY_WOW64_32KEY flags into RegCreateKeyEx. See Accessing an Alternate Registry View.

For per-user visibility, create a registry key with the following name:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Mozilla\NativeMessagingHosts\<name>

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Mozilla\ManagedStorage\<name>

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Mozilla\PKCS11Modules\<name>

The key should have a single default value, which is the path to the manifest.

Mac OS X

For global visibility, store the manifest in:

/Library/Application Support/Mozilla/NativeMessagingHosts/<name>.json

/Library/Application Support/Mozilla/ManagedStorage/<name>.json

/Library/Application Support/Mozilla/PKCS11Modules/<name>.json

For per-user visibility, store the manifest in:

~/Library/Application Support/Mozilla/NativeMessagingHosts/<name>.json

~/Library/Application Support/Mozilla/ManagedStorage/<name>.json

~/Library/Application Support/Mozilla/PKCS11Modules/<name>.json

Linux

For global visibility, store the manifest in either:

/usr/lib/mozilla/native-messaging-hosts/<name>.json

/usr/lib/mozilla/managed-storage/<name>.json

/usr/lib/mozilla/pkcs11-modules/<name>.json

or:

/usr/lib64/mozilla/native-messaging-hosts/<name>.json

/usr/lib64/mozilla/managed-storage/<name>.json

/usr/lib64/mozilla/pkcs11-modules/<name>.json

For per-user visibility, store the manifest in:

~/.mozilla/native-messaging-hosts/<name>.json

~/.mozilla/managed-storage/<name>.json

~/.mozilla/pkcs11-modules/<name>.json

 

 

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 Last updated by: wbamberg,