Ubuntu's default home page for Firefox and Epiphany will be changed to, and the default bookmarks will be altered to include information accurate for Ubuntu.


When you install Firefox or Epiphany for Ubuntu, its default home page is a local file full of boring text:

  • My only other cosmetic gripe would be the default web browser home page. It is pretty ugly and scary as well since its a solid page of small text text text. In fact more than a single screen of text. You've got to scroll to read all the fine print. Confusing and technical and fairly ugly text.

    -- Pete Shinners

Epiphany's default bookmarks are confusing:

  • The epiphany "bookmarks bar" shows no bookmarks, only a "Search the web" entry box. What can I do with it? Is there similar functionality to the firefox bookmarks toolbar where I can define my own bookmark buttons and menus?

    -- Raul Acevedo

And Firefox's default bookmarks link to plugins that don't actually work in Ubuntu.

We can do better.

Use cases

  • Sally, an ex-windows user, is greeted by a giant page of text upon opening her browser. She doesn't understand this.
  • Corey wants to let more people know about and get more docteam members.
  • Jeff wants more people to know about the cool things happening in Ubuntu.


  • Home page
  • Bookmarks menu
  • Bookmarks Bar

Out of scope:

  • CA certificates
  • default browser chrome


Home page


Modern dedicated Web browsers have useful default home pages that let you search the Web.


The default home page for Firefox and Epiphany will be If we decide to change the effective default later on, we can do that by setting up a redirect.

What is presented on this site is yet to be decided, but it should:

  • be useful
  • not steal focus from the URL field
  • provide links to local (GeoIP-detected) Ubuntu resources
  • not slow people down by discouraging them from the browser's/OS's toolbar Web search.

Possible elements include:

  • a feed from the fridge
  • a link to help
  • a link to participate.


The default bookmarks should also be (a) useful, and (b) a subtle hint to how to use bookmark folders (Firefox) or topics (Epiphany).


Vanilla Firefox has "Quick Searches" and "Firefox & Mozilla Links" folders in its Bookmarks menu, including links to pages of plugins that don't work in Ubuntu. In its Bookmarks Toolbar it has "Firefox Help", "Firefox Support", and "Plug-in FAQ".

Vanilla Epiphany defaults to six empty topics in its Bookmarks menu, which looks broken, and a search field in its Bookmarks Bar, which is confusing:


The Bookmarks Bar should include these items:


Do these things early in the cycle to get good feedback.


  • Remove existing FF bookmarks
  • On the FF quick launch bar, remove the current buttons and add the above.

  • Look to community to get a good layout, possibly including a design contest.

Outstanding issues

BrowserDefaults (last edited 2008-08-06 16:29:14 by localhost)