Add-on SDK and the beta of Add-on Builder now available!

Add-on Builder Beta and Add-on SDK are here!

Firefox offers users complete control over the look and functionality of their Web browser with a gallery of hundreds of thousands of add-ons. With the launch of Add-on SDK and Add-on Builder Beta, web developers  need only knowledge of HTML, JavaScript and CSS to create great add-ons for Firefox that are restartless by default.

The Add-on SDK enables local development of add-ons through a command line interface, while the Firefox Add-on Builder Beta provides a hosted online build environment.

To find out more, head over to the Add-ons blog or the new Add-on SDK & Add-on Builder page.


  1. sroucheray

    This bug prevents me to install Firefox Addons Builder Helper addon for months :(

    June 21st, 2011 at 08:23

  2. vogrim

    Can’t run any of the listed addons including the snippet from the explanation. is there any problems with add-on builder and firefox 5? i don’t see any changes after clicking on “test”. i installed the addon builder helper 0.0.19 and restarted two times.

    thanks for any help :-)

    June 21st, 2011 at 11:00

    1. posi

      Same for me here on 4.0.1 (XP, Win7)… Can’t get anything working – neither the tutorial nor the code from the video.

      June 24th, 2011 at 00:44

  3. zalun

    @vogrim – just checked and the first few addons are installed fine.

    June 22nd, 2011 at 02:46

  4. vogrim

    Hi guys,

    i found a solution for my problem. just change the Addon Kit from 1.0 to 1.0b4
    Now the two snippets worked for me (not fortget to display the Add-on-bar)

    Hope this will fix our problems too.

    June 24th, 2011 at 11:51

    1. posi

      1.0b4 didn’t solved the problem for me. I’m still not sucessfull in using the builder. Only way I ever got the tutorial code working was using the add-SDK (on linux, windows dependencies are a pain in the ass).


      June 28th, 2011 at 05:08

  5. Alfonso

    I have yet to understand why the choices are:
    a) If you want to develop with local files you must install a framework and use the command line
    b) If you don’t want to use the command line you must use our hosted service.

    Why isn’t it possible to create the extensions using the SDK API but using local files and without requiring the install of anything system-wide and using the command line?

    As long as it remains this way I don’t think that I’ll move my extensions to the SDK. It’s hard enough to learn how to do everything with the new API, if that includes changing and learning a new IDE then that’s too much.

    Just look at how extensions are developed for other browsers, they don’t force me to install anything (besides the browser) and I can keep using my prefered editor.

    June 26th, 2011 at 01:05

  6. Jon

    The getting started tutorial in the add-on builder doesn’t work as written. Not the best way to introduce new developers to your platform.

    June 28th, 2011 at 05:04

  7. zalun

    Yes, it’s fixed – will show up in the next release.
    If you need it now – source is here and page here:

    June 28th, 2011 at 05:11

  8. zalun

    For the local development you don’t have to install any framework. It’s just a python SDK used to pack the add-on into a xpi.
    You can edit your files in your favorite editor, and the only need is to run “cfx xpi“ from virtual environment.

    I agree it might be complicated for people on Windows, using cygwin helps. One can use the builder, If hitting [test] is showing you an error it’s the same error you’d have on the local system under SDK.

    @posi 1.0b4 wasn’t raising any exception if requested module wasn’t found. It is like that from 1.0rc2. All SDKs prior 1.0 will be purged from Builder very soon.

    June 28th, 2011 at 10:14

  9. posi

    @zalun: Yes, it works for me! Thanks for fixing – I would like to propose to make clear in the tutorial that the “type the following code into the editing area” means to add this to the exports.main function – maybe that’s logically for seasoned addon developers by I think it isn’t for the target audience of such a tutorial.


    June 28th, 2011 at 23:16

  10. Alfonso

    Installing the Python SDK (plus Cygwin) just to create the .xpi?
    You must be joking.

    In case you don’t know, here’s how to use the API of Firefox to create a zip:

    I’m finding so hard to believe that you want to move the people to a different API and instead of providing a nice extension that allows to create the basic skeleton and configure several parts from a dialog and finally a button “create my xpi”, we have to deal with using new environments and external tools.

    Really. Installing a SDK and Cygwin will make some people just ignore the new API and wait for you to provide something sane.

    June 29th, 2011 at 08:55

    1. Dan

      This is precisely why we developed the Builder, to eliminate all the tooling requirements so you can “Just go”. That said, there is discussion about creating a JS version of the SDK that we would implement in the Builder to construct add-ons locally on the user’s machine.

      June 29th, 2011 at 14:30

  11. Alexandre poirot

    You don’t necessary have to use cygwin, you only have to install python 2.5+.
    Or, if you want a better console, you can use MozillaBuild that comes with python and set of command line tools (it is easy to install):

    But we are aware of the complexity of the command line tool on Windows. That’s why I started working on “Jetpack runner”, an application that aims to implement all SDK command line application features inside of a Firefox extension:
    It would help us running addons from Addon builder and ease local development.
    I’m currently updating this tool to make it work with SDK 1.0.

    June 29th, 2011 at 14:11

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