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Zotero package: disable update checking

edited February 2018 in Miscellaneous


we're using the PPA at to install Zotero Standalone on many machines. Recently we've ran into the following issue:

  • Zotero contains its own updater (based on the Mozilla Updater), which checks regularly for new updates.
  • The update then fails as Zotero doesn't have permissions to its own installation folder (as it was installed from the PPA). The user is presented with an error popup "update failed".

The fix for this would be to disable the update check inside Zotero, since the updates are applied through apt. That is possible in two ways: either disabling the updater at build time (using the --disable-updater option passed to the xulrunner build), or to set a configuration option. Since you don't rebuild Zotero in the PPA but just package the upstream binaries, the config setting option is the only way.

Applying the following patch in the build of the Debian package should do the trick:

--- prefs.js.orig       2018-02-05 13:49:04.721475281 +0100
+++ prefs.js    2018-02-05 13:49:28.429390804 +0100
@@ -88,12 +88,12 @@

 /** The below is imported from **/
 // Whether or not app updates are enabled
-pref("app.update.enabled", true);
+pref("app.update.enabled", false);

 // This preference turns on app.update.mode and allows automatic download and
 // install to take place. We use a separate boolean toggle for this to make
 // the UI easier to construct.
-pref("", true);
+pref("", false);

 // Defines how the Application Update Service notifies the user about updates:

Is this something you could incorporate into the Debian package?




  • Hi Philipp,

    Thanks for this, and good to hear that you're using the Zotero installer!

    Let me think about this. I see how this patch would be fairly easy to apply, but I'm afraid that it will break when the Zotero devs change something about the package structure. And I want to keep this package very low maintenance for myself.


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