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Firefox is a popular open-source graphical web browser from Mozilla.


Firefox can be installed with the firefox package, available in the official repositories.

There are a number of language packs available for Firefox, other than the standard English. Language packs are usually named as firefox-i18n-languagecode (where languagecode can be any language code, such as de, ja, fr, etc.). For a list of available language packs see this.

If Firefox does not anti-alias and/or hint your fonts, try to install ttf-win7-fontsAUR (preferred) or ttf-ms-fontsAUR and take a look at Font Configuration.


Firefox is well known for its large library of add-ons which can be used to add new features or modify the behavior of existing features of Firefox. You can find new add-ons or manage installed add-ons with Firefox's "Add-ons Manager."

For a list of popular add-ons, see Mozilla's add-on list sorted by popularity.



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


in the Firefox address bar or go to the Add-ons entry in the Firefox Menu and select the Plugins tab.

GNOME Keyring integration

Install firefox-gnome-keyringAUR from the AUR to integrate Firefox 3.6.x with GNOME Keyring.

KDE integration

  • To use KDE's KPart technology with Firefox, by embedding different KDE file viewers into the browser, you can install kpartsplugin.
  • To get further integration with KDE's Oxygen theme, you can install Oxygen KDE, a very comprehensive theme that also has color scheme detection, support for Firefox's Persona themes, support for both the Oxygen and Faenza icons and various other customizations.

Dictionaries for spell checking

To enable spell checking for a specific language right click on any text field and check the Check Spelling box. To select a language for spell checking to you have right click again and select your language from the Languages sub-menu.

To get more languages just click Add Dictionaries... and select the dictionary you want to install from the list.

Alternatively, you can install the hunspell package, available in the official repositories. You also need to install dictionaries for your language, such as hunspell-fr (for the French language) or hunspell-he (for Hebrew).

Adding Firefox search engines

Search engines can be added to Firefox through normal add-ons, see this page for a list of available search engines.

A very extensive list of search engines can be found here.

Also, you can use the add-to-searchbar extension to add a search to your search bar from any web site, by simply right clicking on the site's search field and selecting Add to Search Bar...

If you want a manual solution, take a look at ~/.mozilla/firefox/xxx.default/searchplugins/ (where xxx is your profile ID).


Install the arch-firefox-search package, available in the official repositories, to add Arch-specific searches (AUR, wiki, forum, etc, as specified by user) to the Firefox search toolbar.

Firefox derivatives

  • Iceweasel — A fork of Firefox that is being developed by Debian. The main difference is that it does not include any trademarked Mozilla artwork. || iceweaselAUR
Note: For some more information about Iceweasel's existance see this blog post.
  • GNU IceCat — A web browser distributed by the GNU Project. It is made entirely of free software and is compatible with the GNU/Linux operating system and almost all of Firefox's addons. || icecatAUR
  • Swiftfox — A web browser based on Firefox but optimized for some newer Intel and AMD processors. || swiftfox-athlon64AUR swiftfox-prescottAUR swiftfox-i686AUR
  • Firefox KDE — A version of Firefox that incorporates an OpenSUSE patch for better KDE integration that can be offered through simple Firefox plugins. || firefox-kde-opensuseAUR


Setting your e-mail client

Firefox is usually set to open mailto links with a web application such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail. To set your e-mail client in Firefox to use with mailto links, go to Preferences > Applications and modify the action column corresponding to the mailto content type. You have set this to the exact location of your e-mail client (e.g. /usr/bin/kmail for Kmail).

Firefox 4 New Menu Bar/Firefox Button

To toggle between the new Firefox button and the classic menu bar:

  • if the button is active, check Preferences > Menu Bar, or right click in the toolbar area and check Menu Bar.
  • if the menu bar is active, uncheck View > Toolbars > Menu Bar, or right click in the toolbar area and uncheck Menu Bar.

In GNU/Linux, you will just get a plain grey button instead of the new orange one from Windows. However you can change this to either a Firefox icon or the icon followed by the "Firefox" text.

Adding the following to your ~/.mozilla/firefox/userprofile/chrome/userChrome.css file will place the icon before the text:

#appmenu-toolbar-button {
  list-style-image: url("chrome://branding/content/icon16.png");

Adding the following to the same file will remove the "Firefox" text:

#appmenu-toolbar-button > .toolbarbutton-text,
#appmenu-toolbar-button > .toolbarbutton-menu-dropmarker {
  display: none !important;
Note: You need to create both the chrome directory and userChrome.css, if they do not already exist.

Open containing folder problems (KDE)

If Firefox launches something other than your preferred file manager when using the "Open Containing Folder" option in the Downloads manager, make sure you select your file manager of choice (e.g. Dolphin) in KDE's System Settings under Workspace Appearance and Behavior > Default Applications > File Manager.

If Firefox is still not opening your file manager of choice, modify your user's ~/.local/share/applications/defaults.list to include these two lines:


Firefox keeps creating ~/Desktop even when this is not desired

Firefox uses ~/Desktop as the default place for download and upload files. To set it to another folder, create ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs and add:


Change <user> and <dir> to the actual directory.

Make plugins respect blocked pop-ups

Some plugins can misbehave and bypass the default settings, such as the Flash plugin. You can prevent this by doing the following:

  1. Type about:config into the address 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

A common error message you can get while using the middle mouse button in Firefox is:

The URL is not valid and cannot be loaded.

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

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 easily disabled by going to about:config and setting the middlemouse.contentLoadURL option to false.

Alternatively, having the traditional scroll cursor on middle-click (default behavior 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. To re-introduce the original behavior go to about:config and set the browser.backspace_action option to 0 (zero).

Firefox does not remember login information

It may be due to a corrupted cookies.sqlite file in Firefox's profile folder. In order to fix this, just rename or remove 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.

Unreadable input fields with dark GTK+ themes

When using a dark GTK theme, one might encounter Internet pages with unreadable input and text fields (e.g. Amazon can have 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 colors for all web pages in ~/.mozilla/firefox/xxxxxxxx.default/chrome/userContent.css.

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 {
    -moz-appearance: none !important;
    background-color: white;
    color: black;

textarea {
    -moz-appearance: none !important;
    background-color: white;
    color: black;

This will force the colors ("Allow pages to choose their own colors..." checkbox in the Preferences > Content > Color dialog):

input {
    -moz-appearance: none !important;
    background-color: pink !important;
    color: green !important;

textarea {
    -moz-appearance: none !important;
    background-color: pink !important;
    color: green !important;

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

File association problems

For non-GNOME users, Firefox may not associate file types properly or at all (in the "Open With" part of the download dialog). Installing libgnome from the official repositories amends the problem.

If you are using KDE you can also do the following:

ln -s ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list ~/.local/share/applications/mimeinfo.cache

From now on Firefox should use the applications which are explicitly set in KDE.

"I'm Feeling Lucky" Mode

Some search engines have a feeling lucky feature. For example Google has "I'm Feeling Lucky" and DuckDuckGo has "I'm Feeling Ducky".

To activate them:

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

For Google, set it to:

For DuckDuckGo, set it to:\

"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.
  3. Set browser.showQuitWarning to true.

Firefox has high CPU usage and feels slow on scrolling with NVIDIA GPUs

In some cases, forcing the proprietary NVIDIA driver to store pixmaps in video memory instead of system memory can yield massive improvements in the perceived performance of pixmap-intensive applications like Firefox. Run

$ nvidia-settings -a InitialPixmapPlacement=2

from the terminal; if the desired results are achieved add this line to a script and use your desktop environment's autorun facilities to execute it on every startup. Alternatively, add the parameter to your ~/.nvidia-settings-rc and run

$ nvidia-settings --load-config-only

on startup. This setting is documented in nvidia-settings source code. For other performance-improving settings see NVIDIA.

Firefox uses ugly fonts for its interface

If the fonts in the menu bar look ugly to you, chances are you're missing better looking fonts for Firefox to use. As a quick remedy, just install Type 1 fonts from the xorg-fonts-type1 package, available in the official repositories.

Firefox uses ugly fonts on certain webpages

When Firefox uses bitmap fonts, it can happen that on certain webpages the fonts are very ugly (compared to Google Chrome for example): vs

To fix that, just disable bitmap fonts for X:

$ sudo ln -s /etc/fonts/conf.avail/70-no-bitmaps.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d/

The menu cannot pop-up after updating to Firefox 13

This problem can occur for users of the Fcitx input method and it is due to incorrect environment variables. Please check that Fcitx is set up correctly.

If it is indeed set up correctly, you can also try installing fcitx-gtk2, fcitx-gtk3 and {Template:Kg.

See also