I was wondering whether it's possible for Firefox to check the status of the graphics card drivers - in them being up to date or not. If currently not possible is this planned to be included, considering WebGL is being pushed as a future 3D graphics framework.

I expected them to be accessible from the Add-ons Manager:

Add-ons Manager link

Mozilla plug-in checker

Microsoft themselves believe WebGL is a security problem, see Microsoft Blog - WebGL Considered Harmful.

The security of WebGL as a whole depends on lower levels of the system, including OEM drivers, upholding security guarantees they never really need to worry about before.

So Mozilla may feel obligated much like keeping Flash up to date, to decrease this security risk? I feel this is a valid question about where this functionality within Firefox resides, or could be bolted on.

  • Do you really want your browser collecting all of this data and then sending it off asking for updates every time you use it? I have no idea what data it does capture/send for marketing etc, but still, this would be very invasive. – Dave May 2 '13 at 14:35
  • Well I already use Mozilla's Firefox Sync tool, and adding my graphics card information into the mix is hardly pushing the boat out. Besides part of the reason I use Firefox is because of their impartiality compared to others. Mozilla did also score highly in user perceptions as a trusted company: blog.mozilla.org/blog/2013/01/28/privacy-day-2013 – wonea May 2 '13 at 14:52
  • Keep up with the times! IE11 in Windows 8.1 will support WebGL, so obviously Microsoft's position has changed. – Karan May 3 '13 at 15:45
  • I read that change of position earlier, although I was giving Microsoft the benefit of the doubt, in believing the article had/has truths (when composing my question). – wonea May 3 '13 at 16:10

That Firefox page only shows its plugins, which are something related to the browser and are needed to show additional content (i.e. Flash).

A hardware driver instead is a system-wide software, used to make the operating system talk to the hardware; they are not specifically related to a browser, so there is no reason why Firefox should be expected to update them.

If you want to check for upgrades to your drivers your best option is to manually go to every manufacturer's website.

  • 4
    The first part is correct. However, I have never trusted the driver update tools and websites. Stick with Windows Update or the manufacturer's website – Keltari May 2 '13 at 11:40
  • Do you say this for the sake of security? When I need to update drivers I do that manually too, but I wasn't aware that those tools shouldn't be trusted – Sekhemty May 2 '13 at 12:50
  • 1
    I have yet to see a driver website 1) actually provide the correct driver 2) usually they have malware/spyware – Keltari May 2 '13 at 13:16

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