I also don’t really feel it’s been demonstrated that Arkenfox is significantly worse to use.
As someone who has never used Arkenfox before, I thought it’d be a good opportunity to go in blind as though I was setting it up for the first time. First thing I did was open up ddg and search for Arkenfox. This brings me to a github page, not a traditional website. As a software developer, it’s my personal experience that GitHub is not the most friendly to non-technical users. But let’s push on.
Second issue is a normal user will be looking for a download link. There doesn’t seem to be a “download” link anywhere on the page, but perhaps they get lucky and instead find “Releases.” Now they have a link to download a zip file called “source code.” Not quite what most users are looking for - they want an executable that’ll do everything for them.
Back on the main page, perhaps they get lucky and find a link to the wiki in the readme file. This takes them to this page discussing the user.js file, and immediately their eye gets drawn to the big code block showing how to write
At this point the flow is mostly the same as though they had clicked WIKI at the top. They scroll through the page, find no “install” or “how to” link, give up, and install Chrome because it’s easy and doesn’t make their brain hurt.
People hate reading, and my example explores the journey of a user with a very generous amount of patience for a non-technical user trying to figure out technical things on their own. Many would not have made it this far.
Installing LibreWolf on the other hand is very easy for end users. Go to the website, click the big blue Installation button, click on their OS (probably Windows), and there’s a big blue Download button. No thinking involved and very minimal reading. At this point, a user will probably install the auto-updater too (especially if they click through the installer without reading anything), or perhaps they’ll opt to install the version from the Microsoft Store. Either way, they’re now using a browser comparable to FireFox + Arkenfox but in a way that’s much more user friendly, and one which will automatically update itself, even if it’s not in a way that we might call “ideal.”
Yes, MacOS is supported.
And on Windows I don’t think the existence of third-party package managers like Chocolatey excuse actual automatic update functionality.
I just installed a fresh copy. It looks like there are now two options that do not require a third-party package manager:
- Install a plugin, mentioned previously, which will notify you when updates are available.
- Install librewolf-winupdate, which is officially recommended on their Windows Installation page and included in the Windows installer.
It seems they still lack a native auto-updater, and the root cause appears to be them trying to figure out how to get an update server to work using Mozilla’s documentation. In the mean time, even if we wouldn’t consider the available auto-update methods “ideal,” they do still work.