Firefox & python Selenium: Stopping auto update on browser test runs

Found a minor annoyance when running headless selenium browser tests on Ubuntu server 16. For some reason automated tests would start failing when opening Firefox. Apparently the configuration i’m running allows for Firefox to run auto update when opened.

To stop Firefox auto updates during your python Selenium test run, load a custom profile:

from selenium import webdriver

profile = webdriver.FirefoxProfile()
profile.set_preference('app.update.auto', False)
profile.set_preference('app.update.enabled', False)

driver = webdriver.Firefox(profile)

If this doesn’t seem to do the trick, verify that apt unattended-upgrades are not causing this behavior. In one case, I saw that the update was happening in the /var/log/unattended-upgrades/unattended-upgrades-dpkg.log log file.

I disabled auto updates via apt globally with the command:

dpkg-reconfigure -plow unattended-upgrades

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