Desktop Web Apps – Landed in Nightly, Try it Out!

Jason Smith

Hi Everyone,

The web apps integration into desktop feature has just landed in nightly a few days ago. This feature allows you to install web applications to your machine, launch them as native applications, and uninstall these applications. Any help testing this feature in Nightly would be greatly appreciated. Below provides a summary on how to get started with the feature. Send an email to if you have any questions or feedback about the feature.

Installing an Application


  1. Go to
  2. Select an application to install
  3. When the door hanger appears, select “Install”


On Windows, a desktop shortcut is created for the application you installed. Additionally, the application will be in the start menu. If you search for the application in your start menu on Windows Vista or higher, you should be able to find the application you installed.

On Mac, the application is added to your /Applications directory.

Launching an Application


  • On Windows, launch the application previously installed from a desktop shortcut or the start menu
  • On Mac, launch it from the app file in /Applications directory, from the launcher pad, or by searching for it and clicking the application to run it


The application should start up with a simple menu and a content window containing the application content.

Using an Application Natively

After an application has launched, explore the functionality of the application and the menu associated. Try things such as:

Explore what the menu provides for the application:

  1. Does the menu make sense to you on what’s available? Why or Why Not?
  2. Try some of the menu options (such as cut/copy) – Do they work as you expect them to?

Explore how the content of the application operates:

  1. How does the content render in Desktop Firefox vs. the Application here?
  2. Try clicking links within the application, including links that go outside the scope of origin (clicking a facebook login within is an example of this)
  3. Try clicking links that will cause pop-ups to appear
  4. Try looking at pages that contain iframes or images that go outside of the origin (the iframe points to, but you are on
  5. Verify that you cannot install firefox add-ons within a chromeless application (try downloading a XPI file within an application, try dragging and dropping a XPI onto an application)

Uninstalling an Application Natively


  • On Windows, uninstall the application through finding the application in add or remove programs and selecting to uninstall the application
  • On Mac, drag the application into the trash bin and empty the trash bin


The application and all of its references (e.g. desktop shortcuts and start menu items on Windows) should be removed from your system.

Where do I File Bugs?

  • If it’s a bug with application installation, launching, menu, or uninstalling, then file the bug in Firefox Web Apps. Also, cc Jason Smith on the bug.
  • If it’s bug while using an application, then file the bug in Desktop Web Runtime. Also, cc Jason Smith on the bug.