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Out of the box, Firefox has a feature designed to help users who mis-typing URLs in the browser bar. If a URL fails to resolve, Firefox tries a couple of alterations of the URL to try find what the user 'might have' really intended, appending a .com or prefixing a www. to the host name portion of the URL to see if they resolve.

This feature, which was introduced in the early versions of Firefox, is somewhat annoying for developers. The feature means that when a server running on localhost fails to respond, Firefox decides to try or This often resolves to a not found page.

To disable this feature:

  1. Enter about:config in the browser bar
  2. Click "I'll be careful" and enter the special configuration page
  3. Enter browser.fixup.alternate.enabled in the search box that appears
  4. Right click on the browser.fixup.alternate.enabled that appears in the filtered list below and choose toggle to set the value to false.