What does HackerNews think of uMatrix?

uMatrix: Point and click matrix to filter net requests according to source, destination and type

Language: JavaScript

To those familiar with the HTML DOM I recommend uMatrix from the same author as uBlock origin. It makes a good companion to uBlock Origin and provides much finer control.


My understanding is that uMatrix is a bit different. By default, it will block just about all third-party requests. It can sometimes be a pain to manage, in particular for sites with many redirects and an absurd number of domains. I'm thinking Azure/Office365.

It's not a full replacement for uBO either because it won't attempt to do anything fancy to block ads specifically.

However, uMatrix is no longer maintained. Its GitHub page [0] says the project has been archived. I'm still using it, don't know whether there are any risks in doing so.

[0] https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix

While they often are, there’s no rule that web apps have to be a privacy nightmare.

Thanks to Hacker News¹, I recently came across Learn systemd by example². The site itself is hosted by Hetzner, a German hosting provider that take user privacy seriously³ and uses Cloudflare as a privacy-conscious CDN⁴. The only third-party resources it uses are Google fonts. Users of uMatrix⁵ or uBlock Origin⁶ can easily block these resources and the web app works perfectly fine without them.

I’d also use Wordle itself as an example of a reasonably user-privacy friendly web application. The only third-party resources it uses is Google Tag Manager (which is blocked by default by uMatrix).

I use Firefox with a number of web extensions (Firefox Multi-Account Containers⁷, Decentraleyes⁸, uMatrix, uBlock Origin, Privacy Redirect⁹). These all provide me, an end-user, much greater control over my online privacy than I’d have with a mobile app. I’ve also recommended Decentraleyes and uBlock Origin to non-technical friends as extensions they can install and not worry about configuration.

1. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=30071240

2. https://systemd-by-example.com/

3. https://www.hetzner.com/legal/privacy-policy

4. https://www.cloudflare.com/privacypolicy/

5. https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix

6. https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock#ublock-origin

7. https://github.com/mozilla/multi-account-containers#readme

8. https://decentraleyes.org/

9. https://github.com/SimonBrazell/privacy-redirect

Though unfortunately uMatrix is no longer maintained: https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix
I love uMatrix but development on it has stopped so it won't receive bug fixes and it will probably stop working someday. I don't think I would recommend new users start using it.

https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24532973

To those looking for alternatives, use uMatrix: https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix.

It has the option “Block all hyperlink auditing attempts” enabled by default.

Thank you! I was not. The GitHub repo has indeed been archived.[1]

Any ideas where to go for similar functionality that will be supported in the future?

[1] https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix

Heads up to anyone who doesn't already know, uMatrix[0] can be set up to block websockets by default from 3rd-party and/or first-party domains. In the UI, websockets are grouped under the "xhr" column[1].

I'm a pretty big Javascript advocate, but I do recommend advanced users run uMatrix and consider disabling at least 3rd-party JS by default. uMatrix is a fantastic tool and it really doesn't take long to get used to. And honestly, a relatively large portion of the web works with only 1st party Javascript, and a surprising chunk of the web still works just fine with no Javascript at all.

This is also why I advise advanced users to run Firefox. uMatrix isn't available for Safari, and it's looking extremely likely that it'll be at least underpowered in Chrome once Manifest v3 comes out. Or I guess run Brave or Vivaldi or whatever. Dang kids running around with their hipster browsers, I can't keep track of them all.

The point is, even though I'm extremely bullish on the web as a secure application platform, part of the reason I'm bullish is because the web makes it relatively easy to take simple security measures like disabling scripts by default. You should absolutely take advantage of that, you should absolutely be disabling at least some Javascript features when you browse.

You can even globally turn off fingerprinting vectors like WebGL[2]/Canvas[3] in Firefox, and just swap to a different profile whenever you want to visit the rare game/app that requires them. Although with more and more people trying to embed their own DOM models in Canvas, maybe that'll be harder in the future.

[0]: https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix

[1]: https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix/wiki/The-popup-panel#the-...

[2]: about:config -> `webgl.disabled` -> true

[3]: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=967895

As for the browser suggestions: it forgets to mention uBlock Origin and uMatrix. As far as I know you can block everything with uMatrix.

https://getublockorigin.com, https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix

One thing I found recently That would help with data usage, as well as preventing tracking (like facebook) is uMatrix:https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix. It allows you to selectively block ads, cookies, frames, scripts, xhr etc; from each individual source sending data on a particular site. You can even block individual sources across the board & they will be prevented from sending data on any site, as long as uMatrix is enabled. The link is the official github & contains links to the chrome, firefox, & opera versions.
If you turn off cookies and JavaScript in your browser, you can read this and many other paywalled sites. I'm using the uMatrix[1] extension, which can automatically do this on a per-site basis.

[1] https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix

Disclaimer: I'm a Googler, but don't work on anything related.

This seems like probably a good thing for casual users. Safari adblockers have shown that declarative lists can work well enough. The people who will suffer, I fear, are those of us who run more flexible and powerful tools, like [uMatrix](https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix).

> I am dumbfounded that uBlock Origin, arguably the single most important extension in modern web browsing

Also it's recommended[0] to install uMatrix[1] or eMatrix[2] side-by-side with uBlock Origin.

[0] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17361827

[1] https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix

[2] https://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=21561

People are talking about uBlock Origin...

I really like it, no doubts it's good and everyone should consider using it.

BUT, since we are talking about uBlock Origin, I'd like to mention another awesome extention Raymond Hill made.

uMatrix (https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix)

uMatrix alone is very powerful, and will prevent most ads.

Yes you as a user need to do the work, but the result is better.

If you like the idea of uMatrix, you may also look at NoScript!

Actually, I live almost ad free using NoScript + uBlock Origin for at least 2 yrs.

$rewrite... what a dumb feature btw!

just use Umatrix - https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix

you can get the add-on for Firefox mobile also. It can be a hassle for the lazy user, but the addon will provide visibility into scripts, cookies and services used by websites.

Most scripts are blocked by default which dramatically improves page load times and privacy.

This 100%. It will also make your web experience a lot better because so much of the javascript out there just does things you don't want anyway, such as loading ads and displaying popups.

If you are a web developer or are familiar with web terminology like origins, domains, frames, XHR, etc on the web, and are willing to put in some time learning how to use it (15 mins for a seasoned web dev, maybe 30-60 mins otherwise) get uMatrix (https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix). It will change your life! If not, use ScriptBlock on Chrome or NoScript on Firefox. Block all scripts (and if using uMatrix, cookies, XHR, and frames) by default and whitelist as you go for sites you trust (or want to use bad enough to potentially open yourself up for tracking).

You can disable images in some mobile browsers (e.g. firefox for android) [0]. That significantly knocks down the size of pages. I have mine set to only load images when on a wifi connection.

If you can use a desktop browser tethered through your mobile data connection, you can use the extension uMatrix [1] to selectively block scripts, css, images, outbound requests, and more. This would allow you to turn most pages into lightweight, text-only pages.

[0] https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/block-or-load-images-ov...

[1] https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix

The author is the same as uBlock Origin; here is the repo: https://github.com/gorhill/uMatrix

From the wiki page, there are many useful FAQ/ guides/ docs. Specifically, there is a link to a decent guide:


edit: using both is redundant