How do I
install Mozilla ?
There are several ways. Here is how you can
install an official Mozilla.org "tarball".
1: Get a build
A stabilized “Milestone release”, like
Mozilla 1.1, or a
nightly (frequently uploaded test-builds with
all the brand new fixes and bugs.) The files are around 10MB
2: Unpack it
Open an xterm or similar, cd to where you downloaded
the file, and:
tar -zxvf mozilla-i686-pc-linux-gnu-sea.tar.gz
Content unpacks to a subdirectory called
3: Run the installer
Always keep mozilla
in a separate directory. Do NOT change default install location
/usr/local/mozilla unless you know what you do. If you install to /usr/bin
the next installation will delete your whole bin directory. Yes, it's
If you customize: Keep the PSM module (Personal
Security Manager) if you use secure pages like webshops, yahoo mail
and online banking. PSM is the crypto part of Mozilla.
When selections are done, click “Install”.
Installer extracts required files to the chosen directory and
then runs Mozilla for the first time.
4: Initiate/register installed components
Still as root, Mozilla running: Start Composer and MailNews
once (if installed). There is no need to create a mail account: Just
cancel the account wizard if you don't want to create a mail-account
When this is done: QUIT Mozilla (File -> Quit). You
are ready to start Mozilla for the first time as your own private
5: For ease of use: Add Mozilla
to your path
If you use bash as a login shell, add Mozilla to path
by adding :/usr/local/mozilla to the end of the
PATH statements in your local .bash_profile
Next time you log in and start X, this path is included
and you can start Mozilla from an xterm by simply writing
Untill path is set you can start it with
Mozilla is still in development towards version
1. Now and then basic syntax may change. On those occations it's beneficial,
or even required, to create a new profile when you install. That can
be a lot of tedious work however, so personally I "fake" a new profile instead,
keeping my old profile directory and most files there intact.
Some steps to fake a clean profile are:
1: Delete possibly outdated "system" files:
Only a few key files normally need to be deleted / recreated when
choosing this "workaround" approach. Before deleting any of these system
files, always quit mozilla. The files I delete to fake a new profile
localstore.rdf: ~/.mozilla/Default User/<something>/localstore.rdf
XUL.mfasl: ~/.mozilla/Default User/<something>/XUL.mfasl
and on the odd occation:
You can find more about the various files in
your profile directory at
Henrik Gemal's Mozilla pages. Note: Some filenames vary since the page
is primarily based on MSWindows.
2: Change to a default theme:
Before installing a new milestone: Change to one of the default themes
(Classic or Modern). Theme syntax may have changed between versions. If
your profile use an external theme, it may have become incompatible in between
releases. In worst case an outdated theme can leave parts of windows invisible.
Consequences of deleting...
If localstore.rdf is missing on startup, a default version of
it is created. Various browser appearance settings get a little confused
then, some no longer in harmony with your settings in prefs.js. Your
mailnews settings for columns to display are also forgotten, so you must
de-select those you don't want displayed there.
To reset browser appearances: Start Mozilla,
open File/Preferences. Check ALL the buttons you can possibly add to
the interface under "Navigator", and click OK.
Now open preferences AGAIN. Uncheck all you don't want displayed,
and click OK.
Deleting XUL.mfasl doesn't cause any havoc. It's a "fastloader"
for XUL. Iif the file is missing, it is simply recreated on next startup.
Appreg contain information about (amongst others) your plugins. A bug causes
it to increment after a new version install. This normally doesn't do any
harm, but the file can grow huge over time if you're an eager beta-tester.
I get suspicious when this file is over 30K. (Bug 109739)
Deleting appreg is slightly tricky. After deletion, Mozilla loose
track of your profile on the next startup. But fear not: In order to
revive the old existing profile:
-Start Mozilla (Mozilla spawns the profile manager on next startup
after a appreg deletion, believing there are no profiles)
-Now click the button marked "Manage Profiles"
-In the next window, click "Create Profile..."
-In the popup, click "Next" button
-and under "Enter New Profile Name" add the exact name of your
OLD profile directory (found right under ~/.mozilla). This is by default
called "Default Profile".
-Then click the "Finish" button and then button labeled "Start
Mozilla now starts up with your old "Default
Profile", creates a fresh appreg, and live happily ever after.
Deleting component.reg is never required if you use the installer and
allow it to delete all in /usr/local/mozilla before a new installation.
Deleting it is only relevant to those who do
NOT use the installer, but merely unpack mozilla to a directory where files
already exist. In this case (and also when you build it yourself) component.reg
might grow old and outdated over time. This is the situation that might
become a problem, and is mended by deleting the file and allowing it
to regenerate automatically. (Read: "fix version mismatch")
-If you for some reason need to delete component.reg
manually when Mozilla is installed in a root-owned directory: Start
mozilla and components once as root afterwards (before starting as regular
user) in order to re-initiate the registration of installed components
-If you have component.reg in a directory
you are owner of: Quit moz, delete the file, restart moz, and that's all
there's to it. The file recreates and takes care of itself from there
Other files it is safe to delete to clean things up "when in doubt"
are the *.msf files in your mail directories. (~/.mozilla/Default/<salt>/Mail/mailaccount/*.msf).
Again: Quit Mozilla before deleting anything. The .msf files are indexing
files corresponding to each their real mailfolder, and are recreated on
next startup if missing.
How do I
change the date-format in Mail ?
Mozilla will use what your locale is set
to. To list it, write “locale” in an xterm. The particular
environment variable deciding date format is LC_TIME. If "LC_TIME="en_US"
is set, MailNews will show the American syntax of Month/Day/Year.
If you want the british Day/Month/Year, add this to your .bashrc (provided
you use bash as your login shell)
Or, if you want to do it strictly correct
and are in Norway (where the same date format is used)
The next time you start Mozilla where the
new variable is set, dates in MailNews will display accordingly. To list
all available locale variables: locale -a
to body in mail-replies
There is a preference with three possible
variables for this. No UI yet - this must be added manually. An interface
for this in preferences is bug 107884
Here are some headers you can add manually for now:
0 = No reply header at all
1 = "<author> wrote:"
2 = "On <date> <author> wrote:"
3 = "<author> wrote On <date>:"
play wav's when new mail arrive?
Not in the current nightly builds. The feature
is being re-coded: Bug
The old method still works in the 0.9.5 release
however: Add this in your prefs.js (or user.js) and let the path
be a valid path to a wav-file:
does it work?
NS4 needed some
additional tweaking to wheelscroll, but Mozilla scrolls like a dream
if X is set up right. Here a setup for a PS/2 Logitech Pilot wheelmouse
under XFree86 v.4.0.1 as found in /etc/X11/XF86Config-4
Option "Device" "/dev/mouse"
Option "Protocol" "IMPS/2"
Option "Emulate3Buttons" "off"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
Wheeling magic is done by the ZAxisMapping.
If the mouse behaves erratic: Note the Protocol option.
in new window often paste to URL-bar..
A typical wheel-mouse accident. NC4.* disallow
scrolling while button is pressed, but Mozilla will happily slide,
paste and send you off on new adventures. To avoid it: Disable the
feature that allows pasting URLs while over content-area. Add this
to prefs.js (or user.js). Exit Mozilla before modifying the file:
I should know?
Where are they documented?
Mozilla.org has a
general overview and below is a scattered handfull I
picked up here and there. General preferences are listed/documented in
defaults/all.js and *nix specific settings in defaults/unix.js.
Your own settings go in prefs.js or (preferably) user.js in your mozilla
Always quit Mozilla
before modifying prefs.js by hand.
Don't autohide tooltips after 5 seconds
Don't let moz autoraise on it's own when
window get focus:
View the caret in browser content area:
Toggles on/off with F7
Enable “snap-slide” scrollbar by defining
the width of a "grab sensitive" area on both sides of it. Slide cursor
out/in of this area during a grab, and page will "snap" to/from the
scrolling position. Neat feature. Higher numbers than 0 turns
the feature on, width is number multiplied by scrollbar width.
Make newsgroups display with full names
e.g. have n.m.p.builds display as netscape.mozilla.public.builds
Printing: Switch location of date-stamp
and page numbering
Disable the <blink> tag:
the URL bar clean with one click
A little addon - diggler - will do this, by adding
a tiny button on left side of URL-bar.
(The closest you get with Mozilla itself is Ctrl+L and then a
Related bugs: 24651 and 104634
and Helper applications
Your mileage and directories may
vary. Here is approximately how you do i in versions of Mozilla
older than 0.9.9: Note that some of the commands span
two lines on this page:
ln -s /usr/local/jre1.3.1/plugin/i386/ns600/libjavaplugin_oji.so
To use the Acrobat Reader plugin (instead
of using acroread as a helper application) link the plugin to the mozilla
plugins dir, and place the binary executable in a directory in your
path. For instance:
In version 0.9.9 bug 45699 was
fixed: From now on you can place plugins in ~/.mozilla/plugins
(You may have to create the directory manually)
An alternative for those with older builds:
Create the dir and in ~/.bashrc add:
If you modify the plugin path but already had a .mozilla dir from before,
you have a file called appreg in the .mozilla dir. The file contains
data about plugin whereabouts. It will not yet update correctly. If you get
strange plugin results after adding new path: Read above about how to fake a clean profile.
Works without problems in most cases, grab
a tar.gz or an rpm - install - and copy files as described above.
(Or link to the .so file)
There are still a few open Flash bugs in Mozilla,
in particular: Very large animations may tax the CPU.
RealPlayer may have problems as a plugin if
built with egcs, the currently default compiler. Get the
RH7* rpm or build it yourself with gcc 2.95-2 or higher to get
it to work as an inline plugin. At some point the official compiler
will be upgraded so this will work for all. Actually it WAS upgraded,
but people were a little miffed mozilla wouldn't start at all
anymore, and didn't want to install the tiny .so file required
to utilize the new binaries.
Mozilla can do SVG (vector
graphics format) internally. This is "work in progress". If you want
a plugin for it instead, Adobe has a beta of their SVG v.3.0 for
Linux. Seems to work just fine. Here is a link you can test it on once
The Quicktime plugin from Apple is not available for Linux
as such, but can be run using the WINE based Crossover plugin from
CODEWEAVERS . The plugin is commercial, licenced on a per-user
basis. If you ever purchase a single piece of code for Linux, this
is The one. Worth every cent.
My experience with WINE-based applications
on Linux was so-and-so, but reviews of Crossover were
good. I took my chances - ordered the CD - and it turned out to
be a true gem. Finally a WINE implementation that just plain works.
After install, you never notice it isn't native.
Shockwave for Director:
Available only for Mac and Windows, but again
accessible via the Crossover plugin (see above). I still haven't
come across anything it doesn't handle, but according to release-note
such cases exist. Works for me. If you install, let this one
replace your native Flashplayer plugin. Shockwave handles
more formats and is newer.
The next release of CrossOver will support
many more plugins. Here is the first screenshot ever made of Mozilla playing MS
Media Player on Linux.
For an overview
of multimedia formats handled by the above plugins:
Here is my current
*.doc attachments in Mozilla
There are too many approaches to mention
them all. You can use the original MS WordView on Linux as a helper
application, if you buy the excellent Crossover plugin from Codeweavers.
And as most things on Linux, you can do it all for free. Here is
how I browse MSWord .doc attachments on the fly in Netscape 4.*, provided
they don't contain spaces in the filename. The exact same approach
is valid for Mozilla, it will actually load the page in whatever
browser you have open at the moment.
WV and libwmf
For image-support in WV: install
WV includes scripts to convert from just about anything
text-related to ... something else. wvMime will let you
open a file from Netscape and display in Ghostview, but for me
that was way too slow. I picked up an idea or two in that and
other scripts and came up with this simple 5-liner that converts
a .doc file to html:
wvWare "$*" > $FILE 2>/dev/null
netscape -remote 'openUrl(file://'$FILE')'
rm -f $FILE
As root, save the script in /usr/bin as for
“chmod ugo+x showdoc” to make it executable
Then add a Netscape preference for helper apps:
Microsoft Word Document
The script removes the temporary
html-file from your home-dir again once it's been rendered
in the browser. The result may not be 100% identical to
the original document, but WV does a very good job at it. Support
for “walking ants” and “fireworks” is absent, but I doubt anyone
really miss it.
Netscape won't handle filenames
with spaces on Linux, so if they contain a space you must
save to disk first and run the script from commandline
showdoc “stupid file name.doc”
The html'ified file will still render in Netscape, if
it's running. If Mozilla 5 is running, it will render there.
Make KVirc open
links in Mozilla
Similar to above: In KVirc: open Options/General
Under Interface>Outputwidget to the right of “Browser
Commandline (%=filename)” fill in this and click OK:
mozilla -remote openURL(%)
Afterwards, web-links you double-click will
open in Mozilla.