How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

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How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

Postby carmi on Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:01 am

There are other posts discussing simpler and better ways to remove the Linux Mint branded google custom search in Firefox including the simple way. But if you really want to get ugly and remove the mint google custom search files you can! Before you do this you should understand that this google custom search generates revenue for Mint, so donate first!

Deleting The Custom Search
This shouldn't be necessary at all. You should just be able to add your new search engines following the instructions below.

First, go into firefox and in the upper right corner go click on the search engine list and go to Manage Search Engines. From here delete the one titled Google. This is the custom google mint search on default installs.

Next let's remove the actual file.
The XML files for Firefox search engines are located here:
Code: Select all
/usr/lib/firefox-addons/searchplugins
Inside this directory you should find a google.xml file which contains the Mint custom search fields. Back this file up and remove it.
Code: Select all
sudo rm /usr/lib/firefox-addons/searchplugins/google.xml


Adding New Search Engines Manually

Inside your firefox profile create the directory searchplugins. In my case:
Code: Select all
mkdir /home/evan/.mozilla/firefox/3q8p08rn.default/searchplugins/


Place into this directory the XML files for your search engines. Note: It seems you cannot have the <ShortName> element of the XML file conflict with previously deleted search Engines, so Google is not a valid <ShortName>. Google Search is used instead.

The default google.xml search file is somewhat hard to find online. I haven't verified if this is up to date and official but it seems so: http://www.mozillalinks.org/download/google.xml
If you download this file you need to change the <ShortName> of the file to something else like Google Search instead of just Google. I've done this change and the result:
Code: Select all
<SearchPlugin xmlns="http://www.mozilla.org/2006/browser/search/">               
<ShortName>Google Search</ShortName>                                             
<Description>Google Search</Description>                                         
<InputEncoding>UTF-8</InputEncoding>                                             
<Image width="16" height="16">data:image/x-icon;base64,AAABAAEAEBAAAAEAIABoBAAAFgAAACgAAAAQAAAAIAAAAAEAIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA7PT7%2F3zF6%2F9Ptu%2F%2FRbHx%2F0227%2F%2BTzvb%2F9vv5%2F97h0f9JeBz%2FNHoA%2Fz98Av9AfAD%2FPHsA%2F0F6AP8AAAAA%2Fvz7%2F1%2B33%2F8Mp%2Bz%2FFrHw%2FxWy8f8bs%2FT%2FHqrx%2F3zE7v%2F%2F%2F%2F7%2Ft8qp%2FzF2A%2F87gwH%2FP4ID%2Fz59AP8%2BegD%2FQ3kA%2F97s8v8botj%2FELn3%2Fwy58f8PtfL%2FD7Lw%2Fxuz9P8vq%2Bf%2F8%2Fn%2F%2F%2F779v9KhR3%2FOYYA%2F0GFAv88hgD%2FQIAC%2Fz17AP%2F0%2B%2Fj%2FN6bM%2FwC07%2F8Cxf7%2FCsP7%2Fwm%2B9v8Aqur%2FSrDb%2F%2F7%2B%2Fv%2F%2F%2FP7%2FVZEl%2FzSJAP87jQD%2FPYYA%2F0OBBf8%2BfQH%2F%2F%2F3%2F%2F9Dp8%2F84sM7%2FCrDf%2FwC14%2F8CruL%2FKqnW%2F9ns8f%2F8%2Fv%2F%2F4OjX%2Fz%2BGDf85kAD%2FPIwD%2Fz2JAv8%2BhQD%2FPoEA%2F9C7pv%2F97uv%2F%2F%2F%2F%2B%2F9Xw%2Bv%2Bw3ej%2Fls%2Fe%2F%2Brz9%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2B%2Fz6%2F22mSf8qjQH%2FOJMA%2FzuQAP85iwL%2FPIgA%2FzyFAP%2BOSSL%2FnV44%2F7J%2BVv%2FAkG7%2F7trP%2F%2F7%2F%2Ff%2F9%2F%2F7%2F6%2FLr%2F2uoRv8tjQH%2FPJYA%2FzuTAP87kwD%2FPY8A%2Fz2KAP89hAD%2Folkn%2F6RVHP%2BeSgj%2FmEgR%2F%2FHo3%2F%2F%2B%2Fv7%2F5Ozh%2F1GaJv8tlAD%2FOZcC%2FzuXAv84lAD%2FO5IC%2Fz2PAf89iwL%2FOIkA%2F6hWFf%2BcTxD%2Fpm9C%2F76ihP%2F8%2Fv%2F%2F%2B%2F%2F%2F%2F8nav%2F8fdwL%2FNZsA%2FzeZAP83mgD%2FPJQB%2FzyUAf84jwD%2FPYsB%2Fz6HAf%2BfXif%2F1r6s%2F%2F79%2F%2F%2F58u%2F%2F3r%2Bg%2F%2B3i2v%2F%2B%2F%2F3%2FmbiF%2FyyCAP87mgP%2FOpgD%2FzeWAP85lgD%2FOpEB%2Fz%2BTAP9ChwH%2F7eHb%2F%2F%2F%2F%2Fv%2F28ej%2FtWwo%2F7tUAP%2B5XQ7%2F5M%2B5%2F%2F%2F%2F%2Fv%2BbsZn%2FIHAd%2FzeVAP89lgP%2FO5MA%2FzaJCf8tZTr%2FDyuK%2F%2F3%2F%2F%2F%2F9%2F%2F%2F%2F0qmC%2F7lTAP%2FKZAT%2FvVgC%2F8iQWf%2F%2B%2F%2F3%2F%2F%2Fj%2F%2Fygpx%2F8GGcL%2FESax%2FxEgtv8FEMz%2FAALh%2FwAB1f%2F%2F%2Ff7%2F%2F%2Fz%2F%2F758O%2F%2FGXQL%2FyGYC%2F8RaAv%2FOjlf%2F%2B%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F9QU93%2FBAD0%2FwAB%2F%2F8DAP3%2FAAHz%2FwAA5f8DAtr%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2Fv7%2B%2F%2B2bCT%2FyGMA%2F89mAP%2FBWQD%2F0q%2BD%2F%2F%2F%2B%2F%2F%2F%2F%2FP7%2FRkbg%2FwEA%2Bf8AA%2Fz%2FAQH5%2FwMA8P8AAev%2FAADf%2F%2F%2F7%2FP%2F%2F%2F%2F7%2FuINQ%2F7lXAP%2FMYwL%2FvGIO%2F%2FLm3P%2F8%2Fv%2F%2F1dT2%2FwoM5%2F8AAP3%2FAwH%2B%2FwAB%2Ff8AAfb%2FBADs%2FwAC4P8AAAAA%2F%2Fz7%2F%2BLbzP%2BmXyD%2FoUwE%2F9Gshv%2F8%2F%2F3%2F7%2FH5%2Fzo%2Fw%2F8AAdX%2FAgL6%2FwAA%2Ff8CAP3%2FAAH2%2FwAA7v8AAAAAgAEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAgAEAAA%3D%3D</Image>
<Url type="application/x-suggestions+json" method="GET" template="http://suggestqueries.google.com/complete/search?output=firefox&amp;client=firefox&amp;hl={moz:locale}&amp;q={searchTerms}"/>
<Url type="text/html" method="GET" template="http://www.google.com/search">
  <Param name="q" value="{searchTerms}"/>
  <Param name="ie" value="utf-8"/>
  <Param name="oe" value="utf-8"/>
  <Param name="aq" value="t"/>
  <!-- Dynamic parameters -->
  <Param name="rls" value="{moz:distributionID}:{moz:locale}:{moz:official}"/>
  <MozParam name="client" condition="defaultEngine" trueValue="firefox-a" falseValue="firefox"/>
</Url>
<SearchForm>http://www.google.com/firefox</SearchForm>
</SearchPlugin>
I can't seem to upload .txt or .xml files to this forum so let me know if the above doesn't copy and paste correctly. Copy and paste the above and place it into a google.xml file your searchplugins directory and restart firefox. Then in the upper right corner you can go back to Manage Search Engines and move the Google Search to the top. That's it.

If you want it to be the actual default navigate to
Code: Select all
about:config
in firefox and type browser.search in the filter. Click on browser.search.defaultenginename and change the value to Google Search or whatever the <ShortName> is for your google.xml file.

This should now have you setup with the default google search. I don't guaranty this to work, it might even destroy all your valuable data, follow at your own risk.

Another cool search engine file I wrote is google-anonymoused.xml which just adds a Anonymouse'd google search to the search engine list.
Code: Select all
<SearchPlugin xmlns="http://www.mozilla.org/2006/browser/search/" xmlns:os="http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearch/1.1/">
<os:ShortName>Google [Anonymoused]</os:ShortName>
<os:Description>Google [Anonymoused]</os:Description>
<os:InputEncoding>ISO-8859-1</os:InputEncoding>
<os:Image width="16" height="16">data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAABAAAAAQCAYAAAAf8/9hAAABHklEQVQ4jbVSwXEEMQijFP+3CZrgTynqhO1EpbgU5bHG500m+YUZxh6MhMCYmRkAfw64fcwjgpkpd8cZf+UCcAAiqTmn1oNXleacIimSalDHADy5q4LGGCKpiGBVbcIGVJUigiQ1xpC767ouGgC5uzJTraSqBEBV9bqT1H3f6qIAZAA2uAn6/t3Pt03g7li99wyUmSKn3FPuz/1U2LljDJmZWUSwWeecqqoF9uW5Yr4rL0I3vG0PT5Kmu6aZ2u777ha2nV+JHtbTAsWqx8ndgplpAxd4LwUA9rd95PsmzMzd94k7FTiAvQdN0IO7rosH+KXiXOHXGmemIoJrhf/H3Myw3M2M32Lt9kveDp7Avwh4EPxQYPaz2kl4njQz/wJw6Zgu4tBEqgAAAABJRU5ErkJggg==</os:Image>
<SearchForm>http://anonymouse.org/cgi-bin/anon-www.cgi/http://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en</SearchForm>
<Url type="application/x-suggestions+json" method="GET" template="http://suggestqueries.google.com/complete/search?output=firefox&amp;client=firefox&amp;hl={moz:locale}&amp;q={searchTerms}"/>
<os:Url type="text/html" method="GET" template="http://anonymouse.org/cgi-bin/anon-www.cgi/http://www.google.com/search">
  <os:Param name="hl" value="en"/>
  <os:Param name="ie" value="ISO-8859-1"/>
  <os:Param name="q" value="{searchTerms}"/>
  <os:Param name="btnG" value="Google+Search"/>
  <os:Param name="aq" value="f"/>
  <os:Param name="oq" value=""/>
  <os:Param name="aqi" value=""/>
  <os:Param name="sourceid" value="Mozilla-search"/>
</os:Url>
</SearchPlugin>

Note: suggestions are enabled and are coming directly from google, you can change this by editing the file and deleting line 7 in the .xml file.

that line should look like:
Code: Select all
<Url type="application/x-suggestions+json" method="GET" template="http://       
suggestqueries.google.com/complete/search?output=firefox&amp;                   
client=firefox&amp;hl={moz:locale}&amp;q={searchTerms}"/>


Please let me know if there are any problems or suggestions for improving this.

Enjoy,
Evan
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Re: How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

Postby Husse on Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:26 am

Well it's been said above but the custom search generates income to Mint - in fact it is probably the largest source of income, so much so that no custom search = no Mint - we probably can't afford the servers we have in that case
Some servers are sponsored and we are grateful for that
I can't understand the big fuzz about this - and I can tell you that I use Google a lot
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Re: How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

Postby scott_R on Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:01 am

Hmm, well, I wanted to remove it, simply because it's annoying when you want to go to another facet of google's search (news, finance, images, etc.), but now I suppose it's worth the little bit of extra effort to do so manually. That said, it would be nice if the custom search included those items (big hint! lol)
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Re: How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

Postby Husse on Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:16 am

The Mint search enhancer puts a long list of links at the top including News and Images but not Finance
And it is about the thing you search for :)
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Re: How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

Postby Alpha-Geek on Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:37 am

To elaborate on Husse's comments, if the search feature you want to use is not listed at the top of the Google/mint search page, just click on the "More" link. Then they are ALL there. One or 2 more mouse-clicks are really not that big of an inconvenience to help support an OS like Linux Mint. I think we can all agree on that. :D
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Re: How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

Postby DKqwerty on Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:27 pm

I had the same problem. Just started using Mint, a among other problems, the custom search in Google is incredibly annoying. I understand it helps pay the bills, but I have Google's link-tracking shut off anyway, so they're not garnering any revenue from my searches anyway. It was suggested that one simply remove the search engine, then reinstall it through Firefox, which is a great idea, I had it myself. However, the original, out-of-the box Google search engine for Firefox simply isn't listed through their add-on service; I poured through most of those listings, not one was the actual Google that comes with the browser, they're various users' custom engines.

In the end, I tried a couple of the user-made one from the listings. "Google.com in English - always '.com'" seems to be the simplest alternative which maintains the overall original functionality (if you're an American) with low overhead and high ratings.
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Re: How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

Postby dennus on Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:35 pm

I just deleted the Google engine. Then selected "get more search engines". There I selected my preferred Google search engine, in my case Google Language EN. That's it.
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Re: How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

Postby teej on Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:03 pm

The Linux Mint custom search was annoying as all get-out. I almost uninstalled the entire distribution because of it.

On my little eee PC, the giant logo+ad combination takes up the entire screen. I use advanced Google searches all the time, and my time is like gold. :x
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Re: How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

Postby randomizer on Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:18 pm

teej wrote:The Linux Mint custom search was annoying as all get-out. I almost uninstalled the entire distribution because of it.

Aren't we picky? Of all the things that could turn you off using an operating system, it was the default search page. Man, if only all of the world's problems were so simple.
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Re: How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

Postby rabideau on Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:25 am

As an old Ubuntu...new Mint user, I would suggest that the Mint Custom search be made to look like the standard Google-en search page without the huge header and missing the left menu options. In the meantime, I will add Google-En and search using that option (on Google).

Truth be told, I'd rather help Mint though with my clicks, it's just that my eeePC realestate and the missing functionality (left options) are problematic for my research. Sorry. :(
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Re: How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

Postby ellipse55 on Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:36 am

Also, it doesn't display the number of hits, which is useful for me since I'm a translator. I often wish to see to what degree an expression is used. I now use Ixquick as it now displays said number of hits, among other advantages. I support Linux Mint through donations.

Best,
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Re: How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

Postby lmintnewb on Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:59 am

Was thinking the thing was annoying too. But if it supports the Mint development team. Then willing to use it. Out of curiousity ... wondering how the arrangement is set up. Clem +fellows get paid anytime I perform a search with FF ? Paid more based on traffic to sponsored ads ... aka: adwords ? Just curious as to how it works.

lol ... I've been wanting to visit some major corporations landing pages anyway. Hmmmm ... always nice to see what M$ is doing with their landing page layouts and check out their latest deals and stuff. :D Now that I know this though. Gives me a reason to keep FF around and use it more.
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Re: How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

Postby thouartsimple on Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:54 pm

I use the custom search even though I dislike it. I also disabled ad-block on google, as well. I love this distro and if this is the primary source of income, then I will use it.
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Postby Chaos on Mon May 02, 2011 10:17 pm

It is what it is. Mint team needs to get paid but at the same time, %!@$I"Q&^%URFJSDLFS)$(@!, if you know what I mean.

Unless Mint is being paid every time I search for something using their sponsored engine (a euphemism FOR TOTAL POS!), they're not making any money off of me. I rarely, rarely, rarely if ever click PPC ads. The only time I do click them is when they're so atrociously awful that I am compelled to click and then laugh at someone else's dumbassity (plus cost them money in the process). :evil:

So really it is just an annoyance to me. Assuming that Mint only gets paid when I click PPC ads, the "money" it has cost me in terms of my time figuring out a way to fix this atrocity is much greater than the total amount of money Mint is ever going to make off of me clicking on sponsored results, even over the course of many years.

Some constructive criticism for the Mint bros:
I would HAPPILY purchase everything off Amazon using your Amazon affiliate links from now on, which is practically handing you $100s of dollars because I do almost all of my shopping there. I'm the type to manually remove any referring affiliate links once I hit Amazon, but I would absolutely use your link for all of my purchases as a token of appreciation. I'm guessing a lot of others would feel the same way.

If you can execute on this idea elegantly, in a way that users are fully informed of what is going on and can easily opt out at any time, you'd probably be making a lot more money, and you'd probably have a lot more happy users.

Just my $0.02

P.S. lol i have no ideaz how youz could possibly implement this. but maybe you could do something like conjure up a pop up every time the URL for Amazon's cart page gets loaded into a URL. The pop up reminds the user to use the official Linux Mint affiliate link, give back to the community, and whatnot. Same thing could be done @ Newegg, Ebay, etc. I'd sign up for all of that.

You could take it to the next level by tracking affiliate revenue, and awarding Linux Mint users who gave you the most affiliate commissions with some kind of prize at the end of the year.

Then you take it to the NEXT level 8) by requiring people to sign up to the official affiliate program using their real name, address, phone #, Paypal email address, etc. If they do that, they get back 10% of the revenues they generated for you by using your referral link at Amazon. It's like cash back and it's a win-win for all parties. <-- esp. cuz now you can send us offers in the e mailz and such.
Last edited by Chaos on Mon May 02, 2011 10:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

Postby lmintnewb on Mon May 02, 2011 10:28 pm

^ Like this guys style.

Pretty much feel about the same on the issue. The branded Mint search is annoying w/o a doubt. Also more than likely driving people away from using FF and into the luvin greedy arms of chrome/ium. Where google knows it doesn't have to pay a dime.

Though google isn't doing themselves any favors lately by putting out crappy browsers. Recently got frustrated and canned chromium and chrome. Back to FF for me. Honestly if ya tweak it nothing beats firefox. Esp for all you RAM rich Mint users.

If needing to shop and dig through sponsored links while in Mint. Will attempt to use the branded search. Otherwise no thanks. Many work arounds for it. Have seen people in the forums talking about google placing restrictions on Mint search. Thus why it's more crappy than it needs to be.

Think the magic Mint developers might want to put their thinking caps on and see if they can't come up with a way to skirt google's terms. While still allowing all us big time Mint fans to better deal with the branded search. Showing our support and appreciation for the great software Mint HQ creates.

ie: Like a discrete ... I'm going shopping button that activates it and takes us to the helpful Mint shopping assistant search interface, lol ? Perhaps some product search. Price comparision apps/tools ... Could poss even make it a really useful feature.

I have been known to click on major corp sponsored ads when I have a lil idle time on me hands. Esp M$ ... it's always nice to see what deals they have going and admire their landing page designs. :D
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Re: How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

Postby Chaos on Mon May 02, 2011 11:06 pm

Yea, M$ ads are all bs, especially the IE9 ads.

Very rarely do I feel "good will" towards anyone advertising anything. That's why affiliates in jaded markets blatantly plug their aff link sometimes. That way, if you've got some good will built up, people will buy with your link just to support you. Now imagine if you actually felt good will towards your OS development team, and they plugged blatant affiliate links on the OS level.

This is taking toolbars to new heights.
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Re: How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

Postby lmintnewb on Tue May 03, 2011 1:12 am

Not in the case of Mint though. A lot of differences there to me. Just saying in Mints case they aren't forcing anyone to use anything.

Someone has no end of options. For that matter can nix the branded search at will. Aside from that don't think it's unreasonable to give someone something as good as the software Mint HQ develops and at least try to work in a way to pay their bills. I mean if a jackazz like Bill Gates can bank 60+ bil off of the garbage software M$ makes. Then surely the opensource developers of the world deserve a decent living out of their efforts.

Thinking as mentioned in other post. They could actually turn it into summin useful for Mint fans. Wouldn't be an imposition, if it's actually useful/beneficial to Mint users. Though have no idea what the agreement they have or terms involved are. lol ... agree with ya in the FF branded search being a bit untowards. Sure there are reasons outside of Mint HQ's control. Would like to see them reap some benefits for giving the world a great OS.

I mean we all know money might not make the world go round. But it sure helps, lol. In fact ... would be really nice if all the Minters of da forums would send me a dollar. Errrr I have 232 starving children and a cat to feed !!! Yeah that's it.


:D
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Re: How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

Postby zengeek on Tue May 03, 2011 11:46 pm

So, questions...

What's wrong with it?
How does it work?

I remember disliking it, but the main reason I didn't like it is because I use the location bar (ctrl + L)for 'I feel lucky' or resolving domain names, and I use the search box (ctrl + K) for searching google etc.
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Re: How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

Postby Chaos on Wed May 04, 2011 1:38 am

zengeek wrote:So, questions...

What's wrong with it?
How does it work?

I remember disliking it, but the main reason I didn't like it is because I use the location bar (ctrl + L)for 'I feel lucky' or resolving domain names, and I use the search box (ctrl + K) for searching google etc.


Cliffs
  • Google's search results pages are terribly handicapped whenever we Google things using Firefox's convenient search Google feature.
  • The Linux Mint sponsored Google search results pages are painful to look at.
  • This really annoys some Linux Mint users.
  • To get around having to wince every time you google something in Firefox, savvy users manually remove the default annoyance-ware from Firefox, or switch browsers to Chrome.
  • This is a bad solution for the Linux Mint community as a whole, because the Linux Mint developers get paid when Linux Mint users search using the painful, handicapped Linux Mint sponsored Google search engine.
  • This is the dilemma.
  • On one hand, the Linux Mint devs need to get paid, and everyone who likes Linux Mint should want them to get paid.
  • OTOH, the Linux Mint branded Google search results pages make you want to !@$#%^T@%!$$$$$$@!
  • A possible solution is proposed, which would make Linux Mint devs more money, and put an end to search engine pains.
  • Linux Mint devs should eliminate the painfully annoying sponsored search results page, and instead make a serious effort to encourage all Linux Mint users to buy stuff on Amazon, Ebay, and such through official Linux Mint affiliate links.
  • The Linux Mint devs will make more money and have happier users this way.
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Chaos
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Re: How To Remove Linux Mint Custom Google Search in Firefox

Postby dwasifar on Mon May 09, 2011 10:08 pm

I'm surprised no one has asked the obvious question: How much, on average, does the Mint project lose each time someone gets rid of the branded search? I know it's going to vary widely, but surely someone's done the numbers at some point.

The OP says if you're going to do this, be sure to donate; so it'd be nice to know how large of a donation would offset removing the branded search. I'd sure like to know.

Also - I see some people mentioning Amazon affiliate links. Do these actually exist, or are you guys just suggesting they should?
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Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 
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