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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 variants

  • Iceweasel — 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 — 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
  • Firefox KDE — Version of Firefox that incorporates an OpenSUSE patch for better KDE integration than is possible through simple Firefox plugins. || firefox-kde-opensuseAUR


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. See also List of Firefox extensions on Wikipedia.



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 with GNOME Keyring. To make firefox-gnome-keyring use your login keychain, set extensions.gnome-keyring.keyringName to "login" (without the double quotes) in about:config. Note the lowercase 'l' despite the the keychain name having an uppercase 'L' in Seahorse.

KDE integration

  • To bring the KDE look to GTK apps (including Firefox), install oxygen-gtk2 and kde-gtk-config. After that, go to System Settings -> Application Appearance -> GTK. Be sure to choose 'oxygen-gtk' in 'Select a GTK2 Theme' and check 'Show icons in GTK buttons' and 'Show icons in GTK menus'.
  • To use KDE's KPart technology with Firefox, by embedding different KDE file viewers into the browser, you can install kpartsplugin.
  • For integration with KDE’s mime type system and file dialogs, one can use firefox-kde-opensuseAUR variant from AUR with OpenSUSE’s patches applied, or firefox-kde-global-menuAUR for that and appmenu integration.

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).

By default, Firefox will try to symlink all your hunspell dictionaries in /usr/lib/firefox/dictionaries. If you want to have less dictionaries offered to you in Firefox, you can remove some of those links. Be aware that it may not stand an upgrade of Firefox.

Adding 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/xxxxxxxx.default/searchplugins/ (where xxxxxxxx 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.

Enable HTML5 H264 playback

For Firefox >= 26, install the gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg package from the official repositories. Restart Firefox, and go to YouTube's HTML5 page or this page to verify that it is correctly installed and is in use.


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).

Open containing folder problems (GNOME 3)

If you expect Firefox to launch Nautilus when using the "Open Containing Folder" option in the Downloads manager, but Thunar or Wine Explorer launches instead, check these two lines in your user's ~/.local/share/applications/defaults.list:


If someprogram is not nautilus, change them to be so.

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. kdebase-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;

select {
    -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;

select {
    -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.

"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 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 web pages

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

To fix that, just disable bitmap fonts for X:

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

Terminus & Dina

To disable all bitmap fonts but Terminus create a fonts.conf as below:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
    <!-- reject all bitmap fonts, with the exception of 'terminus' & 'dina' -->
                <patelt name="family"> <string>Terminus</string> </patelt>
                <patelt name="family"> <string>Dina</string> </patelt>
                <patelt name="scalable"> <bool>false</bool> </patelt>

Solve some Firefox font issues with Google Fonts

Some Firefox font issues may also be solved by installing the Google Fonts via the AUR packages ttf-google-fonts-hgAUR or ttf-google-fonts-gitAUR. These fonts may greatly improve the appearance of Google Drive apps.

The menu cannot pop-up after updating to Firefox 13

This problem is most probably related to this bug and it may affect any user that sets


while configuring their input method.

It appears to happen especially to those who are using Fcitx 4.0.x (at that time Fcitx only supported XIM). With newer version of Fcitx, XIM is discouraged and you should set:


For more information see the Fcitx page.

HTML5 MP3 Audio

Firefox experiences problems with playback of MP3 files inside HTML5 <audio> elements. You can verify this by checking for these messages in the debug console:

 Media resource could not be decoded.

A workaround to make sites like Soundcloud use the Adobe Flash player instead of relying on HTML5 audio is to set media.gstreamer.enabled to false in your about:config. According to this bug it should be fixed with FF 26, but it still appears to be a problem for some users.

See also