MATE 2024.04 Google Intrudes as a Search Engine

IIn MATE 2020.04 I make DuckDuckgo (DDgo) the default search engine in Firefox. Initially only one search box is opened and it is opened in DDgo. See View 1. This is the behavior I want. Continuing in DDgo, geebee is entered into search as in View 2. Continuing, there is now the “main search box” which is still DDgo and an additional search box is opened, which presents as DDgo – see View 3.

In MATE 2024.04, the opening page has a search box which driven by DDgo, but below it GOOGLE INTRUDES WITH A GOOGLE SEARCH BLOCK, undersigned as “Powered By Google” – see View 4. The cursor opens in the Google search box. The top search box is no longer indicated as DDgo, as in 2020.04, and the Google Search Block is presented and forced below the DDgo box. If an entry is made in the Google search box, then the “DDgo search box above” switches to Google. NASTY! If the search for geebee is entered in the top search box (which is DDgo), geebee links are found. But if geebee is entered in the Google search box, well, one is into Google and can be tracked.

How can the unwanted Google intrusion be blocked/removed?

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Please don't tell me Mate sold out to Google. Many of us are here to avoid Google and MS.

it seems ddgo does not have a Linux port yet. I wonder how you installed it.

No, it's not Mate. It is Firefox that sold out to Google.
Google is the company that keeps Firefox financially alive.
It's been that way for years. So Google has some "wishes" that have to be fulfilled.


tkn, thanks for the reply. "Follow the money trail". Might there be a way to block the unwanted Google search box from presenting on the opening FF page?

[Collectively, I am really unhappy re the fixes I have, and am making to get MATE2024.04 work as before, and what I liked. I still have a battle with WINE ahead.]

FF has a DDG add-on, not sure if that would help you.

Install Librewolf instead.
Librewolf is Firefox with sane settings and without the crap.

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Or try Waterfox, which is Firefox which has telemetry shut down by default. You will have to install it from a tarball though.

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No fan of Google, but I understand developers have to make money too. There are other options.

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Another great thing about Waterfox is that it actually supports globalmenus if you like them!!
No need to install it from a tarball. There's a PPA: Install package home:hawkeye116477:waterfox / waterfox-kde

Note: the package waterfox-kde installs the latest waterfox browser with globalmenu enabled (suitable for MATE, Budgie, Cinnamon and other GTK based DEs. If you actually use KDE install the package waterfox-kde-full

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Waterfox classic has always had a ppa. So is that waterfox classic or waterfox (which I prefer)?

Couldn't the Google link/reference be avoided all together with a Firefox setting?

If I understand your question, I simply selected DDgo in the FF search choices. Pls see atch

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I am not that sophisticated a user - what is meant by "telemetry"? My plan is to try librewolf first.

You have to setup BOTH your search engine and your start page. You are using as your start page URL.

The "Blank Page" option is what you are looking for.

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What is telemetry?

Let’s start with a definition: Telemetry collects and analyzes data from remote sources to gain insights about a system’s performance — so you can pinpoint areas to improve.

Widely used in many industries, telemetry supports and can be critical in software and IT, agriculture, healthcare, weather forecasting and various research fields. A particularly important example: telemetry monitors critical medical patient metrics, such as blood pressure and heart rate.

Basically your web browser reporting back to the mother-ship everything you do. It is how they target you for ads and stuff like that. Some people want that others want privacy so shut telemetry off.


Perfect. A new word, maybe word use, for me to remember.

Boy, you nailed it. Use the Home>URL drop down and there Blank Page appears. Select it, and FF now opens as before with "Powered By Google". Althoh other comments have been useful, your comment shows the advantage of many persons chiming in with what they know.

You have saved me many hours of additional work as I struggle with PPA installs and do not know anything re flatpack installs.

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Not sure if it matters, but It seems the browser in question is managed by some other administration (organization) and not the user.