Browser Home Page

Running 20.04 I use as the home page for my browser but for me, annoyingly, the default search engine is google. I'm having trouble connecting to google as I use a vpn connection so constantly have to select another search engine. Is there a way of configuring this page so the default engine is not google?

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Hi @quarkrad :slight_smile:

Of course you can :slight_smile:

Inside google-chrome or chromium-browser settings :

Inside Firefox config :

Good luck :slight_smile:


:point_up_2: What @olek mentions above changes the search engine when typing in the address bar - like in Firefox:

For, the spanner in the top-right is designed to save your preference across sessions.

It saves it into local storage for that site, and needs JavaScript enabled. If you've got an extension or setting that's clearing everything on exit, then you're out of luck, unless you can make an exception for this site.

Alternately, you can change the home page to the search engine of your choice, losing the Ubuntu MATE branding (since that's all it is, really).


The engine is not being saved across sessions - I've turned all my extensions off.

[email protected]:~$ java --version
openjdk 11.0.11 2021-04-20
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 11.0.11+9-Ubuntu-0ubuntu2.20.04)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 11.0.11+9-Ubuntu-0ubuntu2.20.04, mixed mode, sharing)

Which browser are you using?


What the heck is this about? I don't think anybody asked you about Java; the only thing I saw was @lah7 mention that you need JavaScript enabled, in your browser. I know it's confusing, but JavaScript is not at all related to Java; they were both created at roughly the same time, by computer programmers who were both ... enthusiastic about coffee.

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Apologies for my lack of understanding between java and javascript. I am running ff 88.0.1(64bit) and have a Disable Javascript add-on installed. The changing to DuckDuckGo is not maintained whether the add-on is disabled or enabled.

@quarkrad I am using FF v88.0.1 (64 bit) on MATE 21.04 completely vanilla and can report that DDG is maintained on closing FF and reboot without any problem.
Where are you making the changes?
You should navigate to the hamburger menu (3 parallel lines icon), select Preferences then Search in the left pane and navigate down to Default Search Engine using the drop down menu to select DuckDyckGo from the list. Then just close the Preferences tab and you are done.
Next time you open a new tab, you should see that the search box under the FF logo contains the DDG logo image

Just to clarify, there's two issues cross firing:

  • needs JavaScript and "local storage" to store the preferences. If disabling that add-on did nothing, there could be another one (like uBlock Origin, which I use to disable JavaScript by default and enable on a site-by-site basis)

  • Or, switch the home page to or the Firefox Start Page, in which @24601's and @olek's suggestions make sense.

However, if changing it on works, but it isn't remembered after closing Firefox, something is likely deleting cookies and other site data on exit. The site doesn't use cookies, but rather local storage which is "site data".

If this is checked in :wrench: Preferences:lock: Privacy & Security, add an exception for the website:


Thank you lah7 - that did it. I added the start page to the exceptions list and it all works. Many thanks.


While this question has been answered, I have a question about this "What @olek mentions above changes the search engine when typing in the address bar - like in Firefox:"

Are you sure about that? I thought in Firefox you get a search bar, as long as it's enabled that shows on the toolbar. By default, the search bar is enabled and shows at the right side of the toolbar. I'm pretty sure that the search engines you select to use in options controls THAT search bar, not the address bar. The address bar isn't a search engine. It will show URLs that you've been to or are registered in your instance of Firefox with bookmarks for instance.

Actually, in FF 88 it is

The default new tab also includes a search box.

Enter something in the address bar and it will present options just as it will with the main search box in the second graphic but put an address in the address bar and it will resolve directly to the address entered as expected.
I use DDG as my search engne but it works exactly as shown with Google, the normal default. You can see in the first graphic it does say Search with DuckDuckGo or enter address


Then the setting affects both the address bar and the search bar in the toolbar, not just the address bar. Yes you're correct that the newer versions of FF allow search from the address bar. I actually should have remembered that before I commented because I've noticed it once or twice. I use bookmarks mainly so I don't often type into the address bar, or when I do I'm typing a known URL and that's what pops up first.