How To Install IceCat On Any Distro
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Author Topic: How To Install IceCat On Any Distro  (Read 14503 times)

Offline Ben

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How To Install IceCat On Any Distro
« on: November 21, 2014, 07:08:35 PM »
Installing IceCat On Any Distro

Okay, first off, I want to explain why I wrote this guide. Mozilla recently brought back sponsored tiles in Firefox. I actually don’t have a problem with this, I realize they need to fund development, especially now that Google isn’t funding Mozilla. I would be fine with non-intrusive ads. BUT, the other aspect of this is that they are now tracking users' browser history to target these ads. The data they collect is being stored on Mozilla servers where it is ripe to be compromised. So, what can you do to opt out? Well, IceCat is a free, 100% FOSS version of Firefox (just like Debian’s IceWeasel), and Fedora are planning to drop Firefox and switch to it over these concerns if the tracking issues aren’t resolved (IceCat RPMs are already available for Fedora). But, what if you aren’t running Fedora, how can it be installed? Let’s find out.

1. The first thing we have to do is download IceCat. We will use the mirror directory located at: http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/gnuzilla/ Scroll down to the bottom for the newest release, in our case it is 31.2.0 Choose the correct file for your arch (i.e. 32 bit or 64 bit). Download the file (in my case icecat-31.2.0.en-US.linux-x86_64.tar.bz2) and save it to your Documents folder.

2. Okay, this file is a compressed archive. The .bz2 means it was compressed with bzip2 and the .tar means it is a folder turned into a single file with tar. Open up a terminal, su to root (or use sudo), enter the Documents folder by doing:
Code: [Select]
cd /home/yournamehere/Documents
and do:
Code: [Select]
tar -xvjf icecat-31.2.0.en-US.linux-x86_64.tar.bz2 This should create a directory called icecat, containing our browser and related files.

3. We need to move this folder to /opt. Do:
Code: [Select]
mv icecat /opt/icecat
We can go ahead and clean up by deleting the compressed file, by doing:
Code: [Select]
rm -rf icecat-31.2.0.en-US.linux-x86_64.tar.bz2

4. Now we need to make a symbolic link so that we can start IceCat. Do
Code: [Select]
ln -s /opt/icecat/icecat /usr/bin/icecat

IceCat can now be started from the terminal by doing
Code: [Select]
icecat

Make sure to do
Code: [Select]
exit

first if you have su’ed instead of sudo’ed, it’s never a good idea to use a browser as root.

5. Okay, now we are going to want a graphical launcher for IceCat. I use KDE and am going to give a walkthrough on making a launcher for it. I’ll link to guides on how to make launchers for others. I’ll do KDE first, scroll to the bottom for those links.

Let’s start by right clicking the KickOff icon. This is either a custom one (for Mageia a cauldron) or a generic K logo in the bottom left hand corner. After right clicking and choosing Edit Applications, click on the Internet line on the left hand side of the window (this should look familiar, it’s the listings hierarchy from the KickOff menu). With Internet highlighted, click on File (at the top of the window) and choose new item. At the name prompt, enter IceCat. We should see IceCat in the drop down under Internet (after clicking the arrow icon beside it), make sure it’s highlighted. In the menu on the right, you will see a text box box labeled Command. Type icecat (this is case sensitive, do NOT capitalize icecat) into that line. Now, there should be a blank square icon to the right. Click that icon, then check the box next to Other icons. Choose Browse. On the left (the system hierarchy), click on Root. Then click on the opt folder, then icecat, then browser, then icons. There should be an icon called mozicon128.png Click on it and choose “Open”. This will assign the icon to the launcher we just made.

Log out of KDE and log back in for this to take effect, at which point we should see IceCat in the Internet subsection of the KickOff menu. Start it, then right click the icon and choose Show A Launcher When Not Running to have a panel launcher. And that is it! Here are some screenshots of the process to help it make more sense.









Keep in mind that the icon location and start up command
Code: [Select]
icecat

I mentioned earlier apply to creating shortcuts on other DEs.
Here are some good tutorials on creating launchers:

XFCE - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntNVv-1HEQA#
LXDE - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXDPCoM6FP8#
Unity - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSU9YuE_36w#ws
Cinnamon - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ygYdoErjPk#
GNOME - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQleM0DrLvQ#ws

MATE – Couldn’t find a video, here is a text tutorial. http://tutorialforlinux.com/2012/06/21/createnewapplauncherlinuxmint13mate/

LXQt – (courtesy of JayVii) Menu Icon in LXQt
so, after following your tutorial, I simply created a file "icecat.desktop" in my "/usr/share/applications/". You need to be root, to do that (you can replace "nano" with the text-editor of your choice):

Code: [Select]
sudo nano /usr/share/applications/icecat.desktop
Quote
[Desktop Entry]
Version=1.0
Name=IceCat
Comment=Browse the World Wide Web
Keywords=Internet;WWW;Browser;Web;Explorer
Exec=icecat %u
Terminal=false
X-MultipleArgs=false
Type=Application
Icon=/opt/icecat/browser/icons/mozicon128.png
Categories=Network;WebBrowser;Internet;
MimeType=text/html;text/xml;application/xhtml+xml;application/xml;application/rss+xml;application/rdf+xml;imag$
StartupNotify=true
Actions=NewWindow;NewPrivateWindow;

You don't need all of those parameters, but I included them anyway for the sake of it. After that, a simple re-login will give you the IceCat symbol in your Menu from where you can drag it to your Quick-Launch if you so desire.

Alright, now I am going to provide a few tips on running IceCat.

1. It is still FireFox at the core, but comes with some plugins by default that a lot of users won’t want. Here they are pictured:

SpyBlock and GNU LibreJS break a lot of websites I want to visit, and are generally not as good as AdBlock Plus and NoScript IMHO.  EDIT:  I have been experimenting, and for whatever reason AdBlock Edge plays much better with IceCat than AdBlock Plus (AdBlock Plus was breaking websites, AdBlock Edge doesn't seem to break any). /EDIT. The first thing I would do is remove these and get the add ons you normally use with Firefox.  To manually delete these plugins, do:
Code: [Select]
rm -rf /opt/icecat/browser/extensions
Here’s an example of LibreJS breaking Youtube:


The IceCat Home add on just sets your homepage to the IceCat one, it’s not a big deal either way. BUT, AGAIN, IF SITES YOU VISIT ARE BROKEN REMOVE THOSE ADD ONS.

2. IceCat has its own add on store, but it lacks a lot of the FireFox add ons (even the open source ones). Just go to the FireFox add ons store and manually install them if they aren’t there. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/

3.  IceCat comes with Gnash, which actually is usable now, but I still find that you are better off going with HTML5 and removing it.  You can also install the old NPAPI libflashplayer.so flash plugin from Adobe if you need to by removing Gnash (from the plugins folder) and pasting it in.  You can also import your Firefox profile this way, by just pasting those files into IceCat.

One final thing to keep in mind, because we haven’t installed IceCat with our package manager, it’s important to keep it up to date. The browser will notify us of a new release, but we have to manually install it while removing the old version. To first remove the old version, do:
Code: [Select]
rm -rf /opt/icecat

Then, we once again download the new version of IceCat from the mirror http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/gnuzilla/ into our home directory. Let’s cd into it and extract it.
Code: [Select]
cd /home/ben/Documents

Then find the file name.
Code: [Select]
ls -a

Copy the name and do
Code: [Select]
tar -xvjf yournewicecatnamehere.tar.bz2

Now we just need to move it to /opt/icecat by doing
Code: [Select]
mv icecat /opt/icecat

We didn’t delete our symbolic link or launcher, so none of that needs to be repeated. That’s it, just repeat the process with each new release.

Another tip (courtesy of JayVii):

Moving from Palemoon to Icecat

Actually, that was easier than I thought it would be. I simply copied the profile-folder over and restarted the browser. Those have different names for everyone, but as you can see in the screenshots below, it's really that simple...

1. Right-click and copy your PaleMoon profile-folder located in
"~/.moonchild productions/pale moon/"



2. Paste the previously copied folder into your Icecat-folder located in
"~/.mozilla/icecat/"



3. Edit the profiles.ini in your icecat-folder to match the new profile-folder (you only have to adapt the last line)



4. Close Icecat COMPLETELY and relaunch it afterwards. All your bookmarks, addons, history, passwords, website-settings, etc will be there.


PS: In case you want a prove for HTML5 videos working properly (H.264 working out of the box)


*Another tip from JayVii*

For those of you that use DuckDuckGo as default search-engine:

The standard java-script version doesn't really work in IceCat atm...

both, the html and the lite version however DO work. Sadly you cannot set a color-theme for them which you can for the java-script version, but I found a neat workaround...

Below you can see screenshots of me using duckduckgo-html (and duckduckgo-lite) with a USERSTYLE installed via the "Stylish" addon.
So for now I'll be using the html-version which I already set to be my default.

HTML-Version





LITE-Version


« Last Edit: November 26, 2014, 03:38:05 PM by Ben »

Offline Spatry

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Re: How To Install IceCat On Any Distro
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2014, 07:25:33 PM »
Excellent work as always! You covered most distributions in use today which makes this article COL WIKI friendly.
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Offline Ben

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Re: How To Install IceCat On Any Distro
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2014, 07:36:23 PM »
I will post it there shortly Spatry, as soon as I fix a few formatting quirks caused by pasting from Libre Office.  EDIT:  By the way, this guide also works for anyone who just wants to install the latest Firefox on a distro that ships with the ESR version.  Just replace IceCat with Firefox and download the tar.bz2 file from Mozilla.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 07:42:29 PM by Ben »

Offline JayVii

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Re: How To Install IceCat On Any Distro
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2014, 05:34:32 AM »
I've been waiting for you to put that tutorial out. And I gotta say: I'm highly impressed with Icecat.
I formerly used Palemoon and will describe here how to get all your history, addons, bookmarks, etc into Icecat without a hassle.
Also I'll talk about how to create a Menu-icon in LXQt.


Menu Icon in LXQt
so, after following your tutorial, I simply created a file "icecat.desktop" in my "/usr/share/applications/". You need to be root, to do that (you can replace "nano" with the text-editor of your choice):

Code: [Select]
sudo nano /usr/share/applications/icecat.desktop
Quote
[Desktop Entry]
Version=1.0
Name=IceCat
Comment=Browse the World Wide Web
Keywords=Internet;WWW;Browser;Web;Explorer
Exec=icecat %u
Terminal=false
X-MultipleArgs=false
Type=Application
Icon=/opt/icecat/browser/icons/mozicon128.png
Categories=Network;WebBrowser;Internet;
MimeType=text/html;text/xml;application/xhtml+xml;application/xml;application/rss+xml;application/rdf+xml;imag$
StartupNotify=true
Actions=NewWindow;NewPrivateWindow;

You don't need all of those parameters, but I included them anyway for the sake of it. After that, a simple re-login will give you the IceCat symbol in your Menu from where you can drag it to your Quick-Launch if you so desire.



Moving from Palemoon to Icecat


Actually, that was easier than I thought it would be. I simply copied the profile-folder over and restarted the browser. Those have different names for everyone, but as you can see in the screenshots below, it's really that simple...

1. Right-click and copy your PaleMoon profile-folder located in
"~/.moonchild productions/pale moon/"



2. Paste the previously copied folder into your Icecat-folder located in
"~/.mozilla/icecat/"



3. Edit the profiles.ini in your icecat-folder to match the new profile-folder (you only have to adapt the last line)



4. Close Icecat COMPLETELY and relaunch it afterwards. All your bookmarks, addons, history, passwords, website-settings, etc will be there.











PS: In case you want a prove for HTML5 videos working properly (H.264 working out of the box)




EDIT:
Alright, I installed a few more addons to restore the old FF-theme and make it more netbook-friendly (minimize UI and make it slimmer, as australis is pretty bloated and heavy).
So what do you guys think? (the navigation-bar appears by hovering, min/max/close buttons INTEGRATED, FF24-style is back)


Runs a lot faster now and is more responsive.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 06:58:33 AM by JayVii »

Offline Spatry

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Re: How To Install IceCat On Any Distro
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2014, 07:29:11 AM »
I am building ICECAT from the AUR...
Code: [Select]
yaourt icecatI will copy the contents of my firefox profiles over to where icecat is stored.
Then I will disable "SpyBlock", "GNU LibreJS" & "IceCatHome" because I prefer other plugins. See my findings below...
« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 12:50:43 PM by Spatry »
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Offline Synrgy87

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Re: How To Install IceCat On Any Distro
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2014, 08:28:24 AM »
I just hope my extension to keep tabs on bottom still works with IceCat, I assume it will, I really really really dislike having tabs above the address bar.

Offline JayVii

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Re: How To Install IceCat On Any Distro
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2014, 09:17:59 AM »
As far as I can see, all addons work. Anyway you gotta be careful as IceCat is a bit behind in version numbers (currently 31) so SOME extension will not work yet (like FireFTP).

Offline Spatry

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Re: How To Install IceCat On Any Distro
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2014, 09:31:55 AM »
UPDATE: After installing Icecat, I have found that all of my essential plugins worked EXCEPT FireFTP which is a personal requirement. I installed Filzilla as an alternative as I found that Icecat is really fast by comparison to Firefox and well worth the time it took to compile it from the AUR.

As stated in my previous post I performed the aforementioned tasks and everything went without a flaw. Because of the amount of time it takes to build ICECAT, I may not be able to include it in the next mCOLe release unless I can convince the Manjaro team to include it in the Community repository.

There are plenty of screenshots on this thread so I do not feel the need to include one. That I can see, all of my plugins are working properly... I was able to easily change icecat to default in the XFCE preferred applications utility without any issue... In other words, Icecat seems to fit like a glove despite the fact that a few of my plugins (themes and cache viewer) are not working, luckily I am able to work around them.

At the end of the day, this appears to be a competent replacement for Firefox. For those of you who are concerned with Yahoo ads and tracking, this should be an acceptable solution.
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Offline Ben

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Re: How To Install IceCat On Any Distro
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2014, 10:33:35 AM »
I'm glad that you were able to get everything sorted, Spatry.  I just hope that other distros besides Fedora (Manjaro!) take notice and start offering proper packages.  :D

Offline Spatry

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Re: How To Install IceCat On Any Distro
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2014, 12:55:50 PM »
The good news is that Manjaro has ICECAT in the TESTING repositories in 64 bit only. I sent a friendly request to Phil M. (Developer of Manjaro) asking that IceCat gets added to the community repository. This will be an excellent addition for future releases of mCOLe.

IF this has been added in time for the next release, mCOLe will get a nicely tweaked IceCat browser they can toy around with along with all of the nice additions the current Firefox browser has.
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Offline Synrgy87

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Re: How To Install IceCat On Any Distro
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2014, 06:14:25 PM »
I wasn't able to build IceCat from the AUR via yaourt, the build failed, I shall try installing from the testing repo as I have no issues attempting that :)

Offline pete284

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Re: How To Install IceCat On Any Distro
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2014, 09:25:28 AM »
Thanks for this now have IceCat and QupZilla installed.
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Offline JayVii

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Re: How To Install IceCat On Any Distro
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2014, 08:15:54 PM »
For those of you that use DuckDuckGo as default search-engine:

The standard java-script version doesn't really work in IceCat atm...

both, the html and the lite version however DO work. Sadly you cannot set a color-theme for them which you can for the java-script version, but I found a neat workaround...

Below you can see screenshots of me using duckduckgo-html (and duckduckgo-lite) with a USERSTYLE installed via the "Stylish" addon.
So for now I'll be using the html-version which I already set to be my default.

HTML-Version








LITE-Version







EDIT:
I noticed another issues and actually, it's a pretty bad one.
You cannot comment on youtube. If you click the comment-box a pop-up appears and closes immediately again - nothing more.
I tried changing some related settings but found no solution/workaround. I remembered having that in Chromium once...
Sadly, that's a deal-breaker for me. So if I cannot find a solution for it (or it has no fix in future versions), I'll move on to another browser.
Anyway, I'm convinced there HAS TO BE a solution for this problem (probably the same issue with DDG, mentioned above).


NEVERMIND it was my own mistake *lol*. One of my addons interfered. (silly me). Commenting on youtube works JUST FINE!
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 08:01:44 PM by JayVii »

Offline 11ryanc

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Re: How To Install IceCat On Any Distro
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2015, 04:23:56 PM »
Just followed the guide and installed this myself under Ubuntu MATE and my Android tab. I like it. And about version, IceCat follows Firefox ESR. More stable because it only updates when it NEEDS to. Typically, one version branch a year with maintenance/security patches. Pale Moon follows a similar philosophy. Extensions are severely broken though, as with some sites as it's modified Gecko engine isn't always well accepted. Generally ok.
Using IceCat 31.6.0 as of writing this. Installed my fav addons too. Adblock Edge, Downloadhelper, Screengrab, Stylish, Classic Theme Restorer, Classic ToolBar Icons (Ubuntu icon set) Status 4 Ever, Downloads Window, Old Addons Manager, Element Properties.
Just a kind note though, extensions may stop working because of devs keeping up with mainstream branch. Not usually the case, but if that is so. Simply install an older version. Most of the time updates are just keeping up with Mozilla's, excessive changes.
Interestingly enough this supports Windows, even PowerPC Mac's on OS X 10.4. Very neat. Sort of like TenFourFox. Site could use some better documentation though.
Anyone know how to obtain Icedove and the rest of the suite though? TB is alright, they follow an ESR pattern. Though I like FossaMail the most.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 04:33:04 PM by 11ryanc »
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