uMatrix, uBlock Usage

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by stef204, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. stef204

    stef204 Registered Member

    Apr 26, 2016
    uBlocko 1.6.8 (will refer to it as just uBlock in this thread but it is uBlock Origin)
    Linux 4.5.1
    FF (main browser)
    (Vivaldi 1.0)

    New to this forum and these extensions.
    Coming from NoScript and ABP.

    I started testing Vivaldi browser very recently coming from FF. I looked for the equivalent of NoScript and stumbled on uMatrix. I had already seen uBlock in FF Add-ons in the past but was not using it (yet).

    I also watch the youtube video on HTTPSB which helped push me over the edge in trying out uMatrix.

    My first impression: both are very useful and deliver on their stated objectives, keeping a light footprint. These extensions seem very carefully designed and efficient.

    And the discussions/threads around these extensions be it here or on Github are very informative, reflecting a community well informed and well aware of the potential dangers of using the internet, nowadays.

    I also find both to be better than the combination of NoScript+ABP (which I have now dropped); more granularity,more control and, not least, websites seem to render better, out of the box.

    (I use the default block all/allow exceptionally model.)

    Here is where I need feedback:

    My (possibly uninformed opinion) is that there are several different ways to block ads, malware, etc., while browsing and that these do not necessarily work best together--due to potential overlap, or overkill, conflicts, etc. These are:
    1. hosfiles
    2. pattern filtering (ABP)
    3. CSS
    4. there might be others I am not aware of.
    I see that the developer himself in some thread has mentioned that uMatrix and uBlock are not designed to run together; but has also suggested running both concurrently in other threads.

    As well, looking through the HTTPSB doc (not finished reading it yet), the model is first Matrix filtering then ABP filtering, so while uMatrix and uBlock have been split off from HTTPSB, both types of filtering were applied, with some precedence (filtering priority), at some point.

    I do not know what overlap or conflict might be created, if any, running both extensions (I have read several threads on this very issue--and have disabled uBlock's default host based filters, leaving only pattern filtering); but I can say that I am trying to reduce the time I spent configuring/tweaking filtering extensions so as to actually have a pleasant or decent web surfing experience, as opposed to spending a lot of my time on configs; at the end of the day, I want safety and privacy, to be sure but also have to take into consideration the "time spent" element.

    Real world examples:

    - Yahoo Mail.

    As all of you know, Yahoo (and other "free" email providers like it) scan and parse through your email messages, looking for and "extracting" key words, and then serve you ads based on these keywords. Very intrusive.

    With NS+ABP, I never saw ANY of these ads in my inbox, nor any of their frames, not even empty ones.

    With uMatrix standalone (no uBlock), I started to see these ads. I looked in vein through the uMatrix display and the log, but just couldn't find a way to block these ads.

    It seems the scripts are embedded in the same domain(s) which cannot be blacklisted nor any of the different single parameters (scripts, frames, etc.) for Yahoo Mail to function properly. (I use "seems" as I could be incorrect.)

    I looked through the log and can see the scripts pulling in the ads (mostly these? but cannot find a way to block these scripts without breaking the site. I spent quite a bit of time on it.

    This led me to try uBlock Origin, alongside uMatrix, it instantly took care of it. However, due to trying to stick with only one way to address ads, etc. (option a, above), I could use feedback in how to go about blocking these ads using uMatrix only.

    One suggestion/feature request would be to be able to block the script right from the logger, by right clicking on it and selecting "block", with the use of wildcards, ABP style.

    Another solution might be available already in uMatrix and if so, please provide feedback (I just started to use these products, and while i have read some of the documentation, I am still finding my way around them.)


    It is quite revealing and appalling to see how this website is designed to pull in so many scripts, assets, from all over--you can really see the value of the concept of privacy and filtering products while navigating on that website. (There is probably a lot worse out there....)

    But the problem is: I just cannot get this website, no matter what I do, to properly display and render properly..... For example, once you input your parameters on the home page and click, it goes to a second page where a list of available cars are displayed. I just cannot see the list, The script (or other element) which is at work just continues to try to execute in an infinite loop but is somehow blocked and it never displays.

    If I use a different browser without filtering, I can see it (the list of cars) obviously.

    Can anyone take a look at that website and let me know if they are able to see it, with uMatrix installed and what settings are used for that website/scope? I spent a lot of time on this, and it can get really frustrating. I may have missed the obvious.

    - Lastly is there some precedence of filtering when one runs uMatrix and uBlock concurrently? I am not sure whether there are that many overlaps if one takes care to turn off anything "host-like" in uBlock, leaving only pattern (ABP) filtering. And does the precedence, if any, even matter?

  2. gorhill

    gorhill Developer

    Nov 12, 2013
    Works fine for me using default settings in uBlock Origin (I entered "montréal").

    The first rule of blockers in the same class as uBO (AdBlock, Adblock Plus, Adguard, etc.) is: the filters dictate what is to be blocked or not.

    These filters are created by volunteers, and it may happen that one or more filters interfere with the proper working of a web site ("false positive"). So without any details about what filter lists you are using, can't help. uBO's logger is there to help people diagnose themselves such issue, see what gets block, by what filter in what filter list. If there is indeed a false positive, report to the maintainers of the filter list you have identified as containing the problematic filter.
  3. stef204

    stef204 Registered Member

    Apr 26, 2016
    The problem I described re. were not related to uBlock, I have it turned off on The issue was with uMatrix (on

    I am and have been looking through uMatrix's logger--yet unable to get to render properly on second page....
    I have also experimented turning off uMatrix and even then, website doesn't render properly.

    Update: culprit seems to be Palemoon.
    Palemoon 26 on Linux has a "problem" since I just noticed that Firefox and Vivaldi with uMatrix turned off works.

    Getting to render properly with uMatrix on (with or without uBlock), and trying to determine which requests to allow remains a nightmare for me, though.
    The number of requests but even more so the number of domains/subdomains used on that website is nuts (but I guess it's the trend nowadays.)

    Anything else re. the Yahoo Mail problem using uMatrix only?

    What about: "Lastly is there some precedence of filtering when one runs uMatrix and uBlock concurrently? I am not sure whether there are that many overlaps if one takes care to turn off anything "host-like" in uBlock, leaving only pattern (ABP) filtering. And does the precedence, if any, even matter?"
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  4. gorhill

    gorhill Developer

    Nov 12, 2013
    Doubtful. Turning off matrix filtering does not turn off any of the per-site switches, as these are not part of the matrix. So in all likelihood the site does not deal well with referrer or user-agent spoofing, or it could even be strict HTTPS. Try to disable these to find if any of these switches is interfering.

    No, these are two independent extensions, working in their own world, and they handle network requests as presented to them by the browser. The browser decides the order in which the extensions do their work.

    uMatrix does not deal with DOM filtering, it deals only with network requests.

    I do state clearly that uMatrix is for advanced users, so I do not offer support to assist people un-break sites, there are myriads ways to configure the rules, it's just impossible for one person to deal with everybody else's rules. Advanced users will typically understand what is happening under the hood.
  5. stef204

    stef204 Registered Member

    Apr 26, 2016
    I have already done all of the above: I always try to do all I can before posting and requesting feedback. I am not using strict https, and had already turned off ua spoofing and the referrer for

    One important point which I had missed: turning off uMatrix does not turn off the per-site rules/switches. I have now removed everything related to turo and started again but looks like I might still have some other rule in there which is interfering with the website. Need to investigate further.

    Update1: just tested in brand new Palemoon profile (no extensions, etc., whatsoever) and does render properly. So you are right, it is not Palemoon.

    Update2: I've got it, finally. After the test with new profile, I went back to my usual (default) profile and dug into Palemoon's Tools|Advanced Options (from "Palemoon Commander" extension) and in the Security|Privacy tab, I found a section on "Referrers (HTTP referrer Header)" with options related to "Send referrers, spoof referrers to target URL, trim referrers and Cross-Origin referrer policy. I must have modified the default settings in the past but didn't remember doing so; as soon as I went back to default settings on that tab, turo started to render properly (with the proper white/grey-listing in uMatrix.)

    I am now left with: * allow * allow * inherit * allow * allow * allow

    which seems to do the job.


    I do see some redundancy for example uBlock blocking: and
    based on Easylist pattern "/pagead2."

    and uMatrix blocking same exact scripts based on global blacklisting of and domains.

    Perhaps a way to run a single extension (as opposed to uBlock and uMatrix) would be to add uMatrix's lists (host-files) to uBlock and just run uBlock. The above redundancy would still be there but it could be more user friendly to use just one extension, not sure.

    Will read docs again, including HTTPSB.

    not sure what you are referring to exactly. I believe the ads I referred to (Yahoo Mail) are pulled in by a script. Are you saying uMatrix cannot block these ads?

    The above is understood; and I did not say Yahoo Mail was broken (it certainly is not) and did not request assistance to unbreak any site--again, it is not broken.
    My point was how to use uMatrix to block those intrusive ads appearing at the top of Inbox, which, no matter where I look in the logger or what I try to blacklist, cannot find a way to identify the right "parameter(s)" and block them. uBlock does block those but was trying to run uMatrix on its own.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016