Difference between revisions of "Firefox"

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== Troubleshooting ==
== Troubleshooting ==
=== Firefox 4 New Menu Bar ===
By default Archlinux shows the classic layout of the menu bar. To activate the new Firefox 4 layout with the "Firefox" button replacing the menu bar, uncheck View -> Toolbars -> Menubar.
=== Add-on installation fails ===
=== Add-on installation fails ===

Revision as of 18:58, 23 March 2011

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Template:Article summary start

Template:Article summary text Template:Article summary heading Template:Article summary wiki: Acquiring and installing plugins such as Flash Template:Article summary wiki: Configuration and modifications Template:Article summary end

Firefox is an open-source graphical web browser from Mozilla. The Firefox package in Arch Linux is compiled without official branding, which means that when Firefox is started it will use an alternate icon and will be named after its release series' codename. This has to be done because a distribution may use the name "Firefox" and its artwork only if there are no unofficial modifications, including security patches.

With Firefox 4.0 the arch package has branding.


The non-branded version of Firefox is available through the repositories:

# pacman -S firefox

To enable Mozilla-branding of the plain vanilla package without recompiling install the Template:Package AUR script and run it as root:

# firebrand

The branded version (Mozilla icons, etc) is in the AUR under the name of Template:Package AUR.


Highly effective ad and popup blocker with lots of options and a simplistic UI.
DownloadHelper is a tool for web content extraction. Its purpose is to capture video and image files from many sites.
Allows customizing every aspect of Firefox. Title bar, user agent, icons, about graphic, and more.
Integrate Firefox download complete messages with Linux notifications.
Blocks Flash animations from playing, can be disabled or enabled on a case-by-case basis. Very powerful.
Download all the links, movies and audio clips of a page at the maximum speed with a single click. Very powerful, lightweight and reliable external download manager.
Protect your privacy. Blocks tracking scripts such as Google Analytics.
Allows launching an embedded video from a website in an external application. Good for those who have problems with media plugins.
Selectively blocks javascript, flash, and other types of content. Allows active content to run only from trusted sites, and protects the system against XSS and Clickjacking attacks.
Adds a button to the browser UI to quickly toggle proxies on and off. Simple, clean, convenient.
Adds a menu and a toolbar button to switch the user agent of the browser.


See: Browser Plugins

To find out what plugins are installed/enabled, enter:


in the Firefox address bar. Or go to Addons from the main bar drop downs and select the Plugins tab.

Gnome integration

Install Template:Package AUR from AUR to integrate Firefox 3.6.x with Gnome-keyring.

You can also install Template:Package AUR to get libnotify/notifyOSD integration.

Dictionaries for spell checking

Right click in any text entry field and add the dictionary for the solicited language. Restart firefox, and click in a text entry field again to enable spell checking.

Or get it from pacman:

pacman -Ss hunspell

Adding Firefox search engines

Newer method

Visit https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/browse/type:4/ and install.

If you want to custom one, take a look at : ~/.mozilla/firefox/xxx.default/searchplugins/ where xxx is you profile id).

Method for root user

Firefox writes search engine files to Template:Filename, which is, by default, readable only by root. This means users cannot add search engines. You can chmod o+w this folder to install a search engine.

To remove search engines, remove the appropriate search engine files in Template:Filename. Next time you start Firefox the engine won't be in the list.


Adds Arch-specific searches (AUR, wiki, forum, etc, as specified by user) to the Firefox search toolbar.

# pacman -S arch-firefox-search

Projects related to Firefox

Firefox derivatives

  • Iceweasel - The name of two different Firefox forks. One was a GNU project; the name of this project has since changed to Icecat. The second is being developed by Debian and is based on 2.0. At the time of writing the AUR only has Icecat.
  • GNU/IceCat - formerly known as GNU IceWeasel, is a web browser distributed by the GNU Project. IceCat, which is made entirely of free software, is a fork of Mozilla Firefox. It is compatible with the GNU/Linux operating system and almost all of Firefox's addons. GNU/IceCat really can fully replace Firefox.
  • Swiftfox - An optimized and processor-specific build of Firefox. Currently available via AUR. It should be noted that, considering Arch Linux has ABS, you could build your own optimized build of Firefox.
  • Swiftweasel - Mostly like Swiftfox, but the binaries aren't under proprietary license. Some PKGBUILDs are available in AUR.

Firefox customized for speed

Building with Profile-Guided Optimization (PGO) is now available with GCC 4 or newer. A PGO build consists of two passes: a first pass to build instrumented binaries, then a second pass to re-build optimized binaries using profile information gleaned from running the instrumented binaries. The Mozilla build system will run both passes for you, you simply need to provide a script to run the application through some profiling scenarios in between the build passes. TraceMonkey adds native‐code compilation to Mozilla’s JavaScript engine (known as “SpiderMonkey”). It is based on a technique developed at UC Irvine called “trace trees”, and building on code and ideas shared with the Tamarin Tracing project. The net result is a massive speed increase both in the browser chrome and Web‐page content.

XULRunner independent, PGO optimized, 64-bit TraceMonkey
XULRunner independent, PGO optimized, 64-bit TraceMonkey, beta

Experimental versions

Mozilla Firefox customizable web browser (XULRunner independent, PGO optimized, 64-bit TraceMonkey, Dev tree

This package is similar to firefox-pgo and firefox-pgo-beta. The difference is that it will track mozilla-current, the Firefox trunk, via Mercurial.

Mozilla Firefox customizable web browser (XULRunner independent, PGO optimized, 64-bit TraceMonkey, Dev tree, Multithreaded

See Mozilla Electrolysis project Read instructions given by the .install file to enable SMP, and enjoy! Expect this to be very unstable for quite a while

Firefox with better KDE integration

with OpenSUSE patch, integrates better with KDE. OpenSUSE's patch and integration of Firefox with KDE is considered the best by many users.
similar to firefox-kde-opensuse and projects are seeing into merging into one package. If it uses the OpenSUSE patch is unknown but it has other features that make Firefox integrate better with KDE


Firefox 4 New Menu Bar

By default Archlinux shows the classic layout of the menu bar. To activate the new Firefox 4 layout with the "Firefox" button replacing the menu bar, uncheck View -> Toolbars -> Menubar.

Add-on installation fails

Before you try to install add-ons, make sure that your Template:Filename directory was created with the right permissions. If addons won't install, Template:Codeline should fix it.

Open containing folder problems

Some versions of Firefox insists on using Cervisia (CVS manager) or Gwenview (Image viewer) to open folders using the "Open Containing Folder" option in the Downloads manager while in KDE. An effective fix for this was posted on the Mandriva forums: firefox 'open containing folder' in Gwenview not Dolphin. From the post:



, create a text file and name it:


and put this text in it:


(leave a blank line at the end). This should make "open containing folder" open in Dolphin or your default file manager. Restart Firefox.

Firefox keeps creating ~/Desktop even when I don't want it!

See this forum post.

Small fonts after upgrade

After upgrading to xorg7 some users have had fonts become too small in Firefox. Edit > Preferences > Content > Fonts & Colors > Advanced > Display resolution > System setting fixes the problem. Just changing the default fonts around doesn't.

Firefox hangs when trying to download files or images

Note: This issue no longer applies to simple_firewall.rules since recent updates.

If you use the default supplied simple_firewall.rules with iptables for your firewall and you have gnome-vfs installed you might be in trouble. Quoting Jan De Groot: "gnome-vfs calls FAM. To find out if FAM is reachable, it tries to contact portmap... which will take ages when your localhost interface is firewalled." So add something like

-A INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT

to your rules. This is due to the "famous GNOME/KDE loopback issue" which slows down all your GNOME and KDE activity.

If Thunderbird is open, Firefox refuses to open

This is a problem with the way that Firefox is packaged. Open Template:Codeline in your favourite text editor and comment out all lines of code. Add the following line instead:

exec /opt/mozilla-firefox/bin/firefox ${1+"$@"}

How to prevent plugins from allowing popups?

Ever wondered why popups appear even though you've blocked them? It seems that Flash plugin can bypass default settings and annoy us with those pesky popups. Fear not, for we can prevent it from doing that.

To get around it:

  1. Type about:config into the Firefox location bar.
  2. Right-click on the page and select New and then Integer.
  3. Name it privacy.popups.disable_from_plugins
  4. Set the value to 2.

The possible values are:

  • 0: Allow all popups from plugins.
  • 1: Allow popups, but limit them to dom.popup_maximum.
  • 2: Block popups from plugins.
  • 3: Block popups from plugins, even on whitelisted sites.

Middle-click errors

! The URL is not valid and cannot be loaded.

Another symptom is that middle-clicking results in unexpected behavior, like accessing a random webpage.

The reason stems from the use of the middle mouse buttons in UNIX-like operating systems. The middle mouse button is used to paste whatever text has been highlighted/added to the clipboard. Then there is the possibly conflicting feature in Firefox, which defaults to loading the url of the corresponding text when the button is depressed. This can be disabled like so:

Open the browser, and type the following into the address bar:


Search for middlemouse.contentLoadURL and set it to false.

Alternatively, having the traditional scroll cursor on middle-click (default behaviour on Windows browsers) can be achieved by searching for general.autoScroll and setting it to true.

Backspace does not work as the 'Back' button

As per this article, the feature has been removed in order to fix a bug. Follow the next steps to retain the original behaviour.

Open the browser and type the following address:


Search for browser.backspace_action and set it to 0 (zero).

Firefox does not remember login information

It may be cause of a corrupted Template:Codeline file in Firefox's profile folder. In order to fix this, just rename or remove the cookie.sqlite while Firefox is not running.

Open a terminal of choice and type the following:

$ cd ~/.mozilla/firefox/xxxxxxxx.default/
$ rm -f cookies.sqlite
Note: xxxxxxxx represents a random string of 8 characters.

Restart Firefox and see if it solved the problem.

Broken websites / input fields with dark Gtk Themes

When using a dark GTK theme, one might encounter Internet pages with unreadable input and text fields (p.e. Amazon - white text on white background). This can happen because the site only sets either background or text color, and Firefox takes the other one from the theme.

A work around is to explicitly setting standard colours for all web pages in Template:Filename.

The following sets input fields to standard black text / white background; both can be overridden by the displayed site, so that colors are seen as intended:

input {
    background-color: white;
    color: black;

textarea {
    background-color: white;
    color: black;

This will force the colours ("Allow paged to choose their own colors [..]" setting, in the Preferences > Content > Color dialog):

input {
    background-color: pink !important;
    color: green !important;

textarea {
    background-color: pink !important;
    color: green !important;

Change color values to suit, or use an add-on like Stylish.

Preferences window appears blank

This seems to be caused by files used by an older version of Firefox. Removing the ~/.mozilla/firefox/[profile]/chrome directory fixes it. See the Mozilla Support page.

File association problems

For non-GNOME users, Firefox may not associate file types (in the "Open With" part of the download dialog). Installing Template:Package Official ammends the problem:

pacman -S libgnome

"Pop-in" Facebook chat won't work

Facebook only enables the pop-in chat feature for specific browsers, your browser is most likely not one of those. You can change your user agent string to mimic a specific browser version. A user agent string is the piece of information your browser sends to the webserver to let it know what kind of browser you are using to visit the website. This helps the server provider the content from the site in a format supported by your browser.

If you are using Firefox, read below.

The current Firefox provided from pacman (pacman -S firefox) is Namoroka 3.6.3 (however version number/codename is subject to change).

Facebook has to know that you are using Firefox, and not a unsupported browser.

To edit the Firefox user agent string:

Open up a new tab in firefox, and visit the page below


Once the page is loaded there is a Filter bar where you need to type


when the result has returned it will most likely read "Namoroka/3.6.3" under value.

If your value is something else, that's alright too. Just double click the value, and change the word BEFORE the slash to "Firefox" and leave the version number the same.

To test your new user agent string go to "about:" in a new tab and your new agent string will be listed at the bottom.

Funky colors of images

Firefox's color management is somehow buggy, so depending on your hardware and drivers, you may encounter images with apparently wrong colours. Before you complain to your friends about the poor quality of their photos you have seen on Facebook, try the following (see the forum thread for more)

  1. Enter about:config into your address bar (and accept the warning that follows)
  2. Change the value of the gfx.color_management.mode preference to 0
  3. Restart Firefox

"I'm Feeling Lucky" Mode

"I'm Feeling Lucky" mode lets the user harness the power of Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" search engine feature via the Firefox address bar.

To activate this mode, do the following (solution from this forum post):

  1. Type "about:config" in the address bar.
  2. Search for the string keyword.url
  3. Modify its value (if any) to

"I'm Feeling Ducky" Mode (for DuckDuckGo)

"I'm Feeling Ducky" is similar to the Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" but using the DuckDuckGo search engine.

To activate this mode, do the following (solution using the above one):

  1. Type "about:config" in the address bar.
  2. Search for the string keyword.url
  3. Modify its value (if any) to

The last character is a space ' '. It's necesary because if you don't put it, it will become a !Bang.

"Do you want Firefox to save your tabs for the next time it starts?" dialog does not appear

From the Mozilla Support site:

  1. Type "about:config" in the address bar.
  2. Set browser.warnOnQuit to true.


An account of the trademark issues from the Firefox package maintainer for Debian.
Official website for the GNU Mozilla forks.