Firefox Embedded PDF print problem

The ERP software we use generates PDF delivery notes and when I click the print dialogue my only option in the print dialogue is "save". If I save it to the desktop and open it with "Document Viewer" the print dialogue show2s all the available printers.

How do I get the printers to show correctly in the print dialogue when printing directly from Firefox. Saving the file to desktop is not a good option because you have to browse to a location to save it. It drives me mad.

I suspect this may be due to the package format Firefox is installed as. By default Firefox is installed as a Flatpak, which is a containerized format with limited access to the filesystem. This would explain why it can't read the available printers.

I forgot to mention, you can check this really quickly by running the following command in the terminal (search for "terminal" in the application list):

flatpak list

If you see Firefox there, then it's installed as a Flatpak and you can replace it. Otherwise, it's most likely a different issue.

At least, this has been the case until very recently. The Zorin developers have decided to use the standard format for Debian-based distributions. I would recommend to install Firefox using this package format instead, following the instructions provided by Mozilla.

Please note that you can have have both versions of Firefox installed if you want. This can be helpful to quickly test if this is the actual cause for this particular issue without loosing your settings, bookmarks, etc.
But it can be quite tedious to "guess" which version of Firefox you're running at any given time so it'd be better to keep one or the other.

Here's a step by step post to uninstall Flatpak and install the .deb version:

Are you using Flatpak source of Firefox or apt/deb source version?

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I was using the FlatPack version. I have uninstalled it and followed ZenZen's suggestion and everything is working properly now. I am not sure what I have done as the instructions are quite confusing I might have downloaded the .deb version and installed it directly from the Mozilla website. There is only one version showing in Home/Internet

I followed the :

# Install Firefox .deb package for Debian-based distributions


# Install Firefox from Mozilla builds

I am not sure which worked. The data migration did not seem to work but I only had a few book marks so I have saved them manually.

I am flying blind really I just followed the script. I suspect that when I followed the Debian instructions something was missing and that I needed to do another non-documented step, I am not sure.

There are already two versions of Firefox in "Software" one is FlatPack and one is Snap Store, I presume that both these versions are no good. Is this print issue common to al flatpack and SnapStore apps?


I have the result I needed.

So, that page I shared shows different ways of installing Firefox. If you scroll to the top, you will see a table of contents, including the one that I mentioned to use the .deb package format. But it sounds like you followed two separate methods?
Well, let's just take a look although these two methods don't seem to overlap much so it should be fine for the most part. However, this may cause issues with future updates.

Can you please run this in the terminal? This should return the location of the binary file that is executed in order to run Firefox.

which firefox

Most likely, the result will be /usr/bin/firefox which is what we want. This path should be taking precedence over the one mentioned in the second installation method. At this point, it's probably best to leave this as they are to avoid any other problems trying to fix things. If you notice something else in the future, go ahead and ask before attempting anything.

Flatpak and Snap are just different package formats. There's nothing wrong with them, but they are designed in such a way that they are isolated from the rest of the system. This additional layer is what caused your issue, and tends to get in the way of usability quite often. There are other ways around it, but in my opinion is just more trouble than it's worth. The native package is more stable and reliable in just about every way.

Of course, as with most things in life, there's a time and place for everything. Snaps and Flatpaks have their use cases but there is a reason why the developers of Zorin OS have decided to revert to the native format going forward.

Fab I can confirm that we are using /usr/bin/firefox

So from what I understand from Zorin 18 Firefox will come direct from Mozilla. Do other browsers have this problem as well?

One more question is there anyway to suppress this pop-up:-

Screenshot from 2024-06-27 11-37-56

It is a pain having to dismiss it after each print?

It is already an .apt with Z17.1r2 I believe. See: Zorin OS 17.1 r2

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This change has already been implemented, but it's only for new installations. Anyone who has Zorin OS installed prior to this fairly recent release will continue as usual with the Flatpak version, if it hasn't been removed manually.

If by problem you mean the printer issue, then yes. But to be clear, this is not because of the browser but the package format i.e. flatpak.

You can try following the instructions on this page to disable popups, but I'm not sure you can only dismiss for printers, it looks like an all or nothing option:

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There is an option for Printer, but not for this notification specifically. Perhaps You may have to disable it and miss some notifications you want to see.

Is that correct? (I am unable to check myself as still on 16.3) Does anyone know if Firefox apt can now be installed from the Software Store or using Synaptic Package Manager now by Z17.1 users?

I don't have Firefox installed, I uninstalled it.

I have Zorin updated via software updates.
I checked now and there is only the option via Flatpak.

Does this mean that the only way to get Zorin 17.1r2 is through a reinstall?


Reading the devs announcement of 17.1r2 again, states that if you use their Software Upgrader to progress from Z16 to Z17 it will now give you Z17.1r2 with Firefox as apt. I don't think Upgrader can be used between Z17.1r1 and Z17.1r2 to give you the Firefox apt unfortunately. You would have to remove the Flatpak and install from Mozilla.

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I saw the announcement but didn't understand it at the time. It's clear now. Thanks.