Unbranded Firefox in Debian

Mozilla Firefox is a widely used web browser in many GNU/Linux distibution, including Debian OS. Debian uses a slightly patched version of Firefox and due to the brand/name restrictions isn’t allowed to call their version Firefox anymore. Therefore, Debian re-brands the Firefox browser and calls it Iceweasel. (Same restrictions apply to Thunderbird which is called Icedove)

Iceweasel is Firefox, only with different name and logo. It performs exactly like Firefox and the extensions/add-ons are 100% compatible.

Manually Installing Firefox

Download Firefox

Download the latest version of the unbranded Firefox from Mozilla’s Website:
Link on their Website to 32bit builds: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/all/
For 64bit builds for Linux goto: http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/latest/

Install Firefox

#copy firefox tarball to /opt

sudo cp firefox-*.tar.bz2 /opt

#change to /opt directory

cd /opt

#extract tarball

sudo tar -xvf firefox-*.tar.bz2

#remove the tarball

sudo rm firefox-*.tar.bz2

Create Symbolic Link for Startup

If you previously had Iceweasel installed the file /usr/bin/firefox might already exist. On further inspection it’s just a script:


#!/bin/sh

FIREFOX="$(which $0)"
[ -x "$FIREFOX.real" ] && exec "$FIREFOX.real" "$@"

exec iceweasel "$@"

Basically it means if a file called firefox.real exists the shell is going to execute the firefox.real binary otherwise it will start iceweasel. Therefore create a symbolic link to /usr/bin/firefox.real


sudo ln -s /opt/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox.real

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