Distributing an add-on yourself

You aren’t required to list or distribute your add-on through (AMO); you can distribute it yourself. However, before distributing your add-on yourself, here are some things you should consider:

  • AMO is a very popular distribution platform, with millions of monthly visitors and installations. It’s integrated into the Firefox Add-ons Manager, allowing for easy installation of add-ons published on AMO.
  • When an add-on is listed on AMO, Firefox automatically updates installed copies when a new version is listed on AMO. To enable Firefox to automatically update self-distributed add-ons, the URL where Firefox can find updates needs to be included in the add-on manifest’s update_link key.

For self-distributed add-ons that don’t have an update URL, Firefox checks AMO for updates and the add-on is updated to a listed version, if one is available.

For more information on how to submit an add-on for distribution on AMO or self-distribution, see Submitting an add-on.

Self-distribution options

When you choose to distribute an add-on yourself, they can be installed using the following methods:

  • Web download—make your extension available on a suitable web accessible server and when the user downloads the signed add-on file Firefox will install it.
  • Sideloading add-ons—enables a user to install an add-on using an XPI file saved on their computer.
  • Add-ons for use with a desktop app—this section describes the best practices for delivering an extension for use with a desktop application.
  • Add-ons in an enterprise environment—this page discusses the use of signed compared to unsigned extensions, installation options, the Firefox settings affecting installation, and including add-ons with a custom Firefox install package.