Tag Archives: firefox

Enable and test TLS 1.2 in Firefox 26

Firefox has (unfortunately) lagged behind other browsers recently when it comes to implementing the more secure TLS 1.2 and it’s only now officially landing in the upcoming release 27. It can always use more testing though and if you’re running version 26 you can still enable it and test.

Browse to:

Set the following:

This is the maximum supported protocol so it doesn’t mean that the sites you visit will now be using TLS 1.2. If you want to (try and) force it, there is a security.tls.version.min but be warned that probably most of your sites will fail.

You may also wish to disable this deprecated SSL3 algorithm:

You can test this out by browsing to http://howsmyssl.com.

Calomel is a handy addon (BSD licence) to tell you what your secure connection negotiated to when you visit a site and gives it a score.

If you notice breakage, please report upstream.

Kororaa 14 Beta3 – Remove KDE themed Firefox in GNOME

I accidentally included the KDE Oxygen theme for the GNOME version of Beta3 (it was correct in Beta2). This means that GNOME users of Kororaa will get a KDE themed Firefox – not quite what I had in mind! KDE users don’t need to do anything, and should have a nice, pretty Firefox.

So, thanks to Arv3n for posting it in the forums, I have fixed it for the next release, but you can also fix it yourself in Beta3. Here’s how.

System wide (for any new accounts created):
sudo rm -Rf /usr/lib*/firefox-3.6/defaults/profile/extensions/\{C1F83B1E-D6EE-11DE-B441-1AD556D89593\}
sudo rm -Rf /usr/lib*/firefox-3.6/defaults/profile/extensions/plasmanotify@andreas-demmer.de
sudo sed -i '/.*oxygen.*/d' /usr/lib*/firefox-3.6/defaults/profile/prefs.js

Your account, close Firefox and run:
rm -Rf ~/.mozilla/firefox/*/extensions/\{C1F83B1E-D6EE-11DE-B441-1AD556D89593\}
rm -Rf ~/.mozilla/firefox/*/extensions/plasmanotify@andreas-demmer.de
sed -i '/.*oxygen.*/d' ~/.mozilla/firefox/*/prefs.js

Sorry about that!!!


Firefox default print DPI fix

Firefox on my Dad’s machine always wants to print to 300 DPI by default. He can manually change it, but it’s annoying. Other browsers pick up the printer default of 600 DPI and are happy, but not Firefox. He posted a bug on Launchpad for it and then afterwards I found a fix for it upstream in Mozilla’s Bugzilla.

It’s as simple as:

As user, open a shell and enter:
lpoptions -o Resolution=600dpi

This will add a default resolution to ~/.cups/lpoptions

My ~/.cups/lpoptions contains:
Default IP4200 Resolution=600dpi

So anyone who has the same issue, here’s the work around.

MPEG LA confirms H.264 license needed for free software and end users

Currently, there is no default video format for use with the HTML5 video tag. The patent and royalty free Theora format was planned to be the default, but this was opposed by corporations like Apple and Nokia. The most popular video format at the moment is the heavily patent encumbered H.264, which is often encapsulated in Flash. As the move to HTML5 gathers steam, the battle for a video format rages on.

The issue of which format becomes prevalent is very important for the future of open web (and especially Linux). Youtube is one of the biggest providers of H.264 encoded media (currently encapsulated in Flash, but there is an HTML5 beta program) and Google will pay hefty royalties for the privilege.

The question of royalties over use of H.264 has become a popular talking point of late, because while Safari and Chrome support it, Chromium (the free software version of Chrome browser) Opera and Firefox don’t.

Now, a discussion on the Linux Weekly News site has answered the question as to whether the MPEG LA will require and enforce free software projects (and developers) to cough up for a license.

The question asked of MPEG LA via email exchange:

I read through the FAQ and can’t find out if Free and Open Source developers and products need to license the MPEG LA patents for MPEG-4 Visual. It was alleged in a comment that royalties are only necessary for products sold, not for free products. Is this correct? Could you please comment on the licensing options for Free (e.g. GPL) and open source implementations of MPEG-4 Visual, specifically h.264? What about downstream users/developers/distributors of Free and open source software?

The answer is a resounding “Yes” and even end users are liable:

In response to your specific question, under the Licenses royalties are paid on all MPEG-4 Visual/AVC products of like functionality, and the Licenses do not make any distinction for products offered for free (whether open source or otherwise)…

I would also like to mention that while our Licenses are not concluded by End Users, anyone in the product chain has liability if an end product is unlicensed. Therefore, a royalty paid for an end product by the end product supplier would render the product licensed in the hands of the End User, but where a royalty has not been paid, such a product remains unlicensed and any downstream users/distributors would have liability.

As an article over at OSNews states, we must ensure that H.264 does NOT become the de-facto standard for video on the web:

“In other words, h264 is simply not an option for Free and open source software. It is not compatible with “Free”, and the licensing costs are prohibitive for most Free and open source software projects. This means that if the web were to standardise on this encumbered codec, we’d be falling into the same trap as we did with Flash, GIF, and Internet Explorer 6.”

I guess it’s up to web developers and corporations to make the smart choice. If Google can purchase On2 Technologies, they might release later generation versions of VP (on which Theora is based) to surpass the quality of H.264.

openSUSE 11.2 web links don’t work in Thunderbird under KDE fix

My mum’s machine runs openSUSE 11.2, with KDE 4. She continues to use Thunderbird as her mail client as it is familiar. Naturally she also uses Firefox for web browsing.

Unfortunately, web links don’t seem to work which is rather annoying. Firefox is set as the default web client, as is thunderbird for email. My guess is that Thunderbird is looking for some GNOME configuration on what to do. I tried adding some custom handler arguements in Thunderbird’s config (like about:config in Firefox), but that didn’t work.

In the end, the simple fix was to use gconftool to set the appropriate parameters:
gconftool-2 -s /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/http/command
'/usr/bin/firefox %s' --type String

gconftool-2 -s /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/https/command
'/usr/bin/firefox %s' --type String

Restart Thunderbird and all is good!

Yahoo! pays Canonical to switch Firefox away from Google

While I’m not convinced that Google is our friend, this latest move from Canonical is interesting.

Microsoft has been paying companies to move their sites from Google to Bing and the Mozilla’s director of community development, Aza Dotzler, recommends that users switch Firefox’s default search engine from Google to Bing.

Now, Canonical has struck a revenue deal with Yahoo! and will change the default search engine away from Google (for new installs).

Canonical has negotiated a revenue sharing deal with Yahoo! and this revenue will help Canonical to provide developers and resources to continue the open development of Ubuntu and the Ubuntu Platform.

Yes, Google currently has the largest share of web marketing, but if more and more companies start switching to alternatives like Yahoo! and Bing, then things could change dramatically.

Make Firefox look like a KDE app in one simple step

Firefox is the most popular browser on the Linux platform, but it’s a GTK app and doesn’t integrate as nicely into KDE (which uses Qt). There are a number of ways to get it to integrate better, such as kgtk, but this is an easier and more stable method.

The Oxygen KDE Firefox addon does a great job of theming Firefox to look like a KDE app.

Simple download it and drag to add-ons. I scanned the extracted files with ClamAV and it was clean, but I always recommend that you do the same yourself for 3rd party add-ons.

Unfortunately it doesn’t modify Firefox to use KDE’s file manager or anything like that (unlike openSUSE’s modification), it’s just a theme. But it certainly looks great!

KDE Firefox themed

Other stuff
There are some extra things you can do to make it integrate even better.

KDE file picker
You can replace the GTK file picker with a simple KDE-ish file manager (as pictured above) by changing a setting in your config. Browse to:

Search for ui.allow_platform_file_picker and set it to False. Restart and now you’ll get a simple, but KDE themed file picker.

Plasma notifications
Install the PlasmaNotify add-on to get Firefox to use Plasma for notifications. Turn off the “Downloads window” under Preferences, for a more integrated experience.

Download with KGet
You can get Firefox to download with KDE’s KGet download program by installing the FlashGot add-on.

Here are some handy pages for integrating Firefox into KDE:
Making Firefox 3.x Look at Home in KDE4 (Part I)
Making Firefox 3.x Look at Home in KDE4 (Part II)

Bugging bugs with Firefox #1

I love Firefox, it’s a great web browser. But there are two things which have annoyed me forever and it’s about time I did something about it.

Numero Uno:
The first is the in relation to the ability to save tabs for the next time Firefox starts. I love this feature. When you have multiple tabs open and you close your last main window it prompts you to “Save and Quit”. When you open Firefox next time, it will automatically open the same pages in the same tabs.

But this doesn’t happen if you have another main browsing window open. Fair enough, I guess. The thing that bugs me is that it doesn’t prompt you if you only have the “Downloads” window open, for example. I get why this is the case – Firefox is still running. In fact, if you close the main browsing window and leave the downloads window up, Firefox is still running, just without any windows present.

What I’d like to see is for Firefox to prompt you to save your tabs if all you have open is the downloads window. It’s annoying to have to cancel the close quit request, go and close the download window, then come back and close Firefox again. Hell, close the download tab too if you like, I don’t mind!

I’m assuming the way it’s coded to work is to check if it’s the last “Firefox” window open, and is so, prompt if there are multiple tabs open. If not, then just quit. Changing the way it works might require a considerable re-write of the code and also open some new case bugs like what to do when the user is still downloading, but hey.

Try it yourself. Open a few tabs, quit Firefox and note the option to “Save and Quit”. Then open the download window (CTRL+Shift+Y on Linux) and try again. No option to “Save and Quit”.

Does this bug anyone else?