Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Installing Pale Moon and Firefox ESR browsers in Linux Mint and Windows





1.

Introduction (Windows and Linux related)


March, 2017

The NPAPI plug-in support has been removed from Firefox 52 (with the exception of Adobe Flash). Some of the plugins that will no longer load include Java, Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Acrobat etc. In case you’re not yet ready for this to happen and require NPAPI plug-ins, Firefox Extended Support Release (Firefox ESR) will keep those plug-ins support enabled until May 2018.

As an alternative, you may install the Pale Moon browser. Pale Moon is an open-source browser forked from Firefox. It has the fully customizable interface similar to Firefox 28. Pale Moon uses Goanna engine, which is a fork of Firefox’s Gecko. A good number of Firefox extensions will work in Pale Moon thanks to its Firefox extension compatibility mode, though the two browsers are not the same, and sometimes you will have to check the list of add-ons with known compatibility issues and possible workarounds here: https://addons.palemoon.org/incompatible/ (Pale Moon will continue to support XUL and XPCOM based add-ons, contrary to Mozilla’s plan to deprecate them in Firefox 57.)

In the standard Firefox versions 52, 53 and 54 the user can turn on NPAPI plugin support using about:config (Nevertheless, please note that in Firefox 55 and later the ability to restore NPAPI plugin support has been removed completely.)  

Here is how it can be done:

1.
Open a new tab in Firefox and enter the following text in the address bar:

about:config

Confirm that you will be careful if a warning message appears for you.

2.
Create a new boolean option and name it plugin.load_flash_only

3.
Set the plugin.load_flash_only option to false.

4.
Restart Firefox.
 

Background  information

Most of add-ons will cease working with Firefox:
https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2016/11/23/add-ons-in-2017/


The Road to Firefox 57 – Compatibility Milestones(post and comments):
https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2017/02/16/the-road-to-firefox-57-compatibility-milestones/



2.

Installing Firefox ESR in Windows


Just download and run Firefox ESR setup file for your system and language from this page:
https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/all/


3.

Installing Firefox ESR in Linux Mint


1.
Please download the latest Firefox ESR from here:
https://www.mozilla.org/firefox/organizations/all.html

For the US English ESR installer these urls could be pasted into the location bar of a browser:

Linux (64bit)
https://download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox-esr-latest&os=linux64&lang=en-US
Linux (32bit)
https://download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox-esr-latest&os=linux&lang=en-US
Windows (64bit)
https://download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox-esr-latest&os=win64&lang=en-US
Windows (32bit)
https://download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox-esr-latest&os=win&lang=en-US
OS X
https://download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox-esr-latest&os=osx&lang=en-US

Current Firefox ESR release with non-flash plugins re-enabled (they are disabled in the regular 52.0 and later releases) :

firefox-52.3.0esr (August 2017)

Its FTP link:
https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases/52.3.0esr/

Expected end-of-life Firefox 52.x ESR branch: 1Q 2018


Previous Firefox ESR release:
https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases/45.9.0esr/
(End-of-life 45.x ESR branch - June 13, 2017)

Please be sure to download the appropriate archive that matches the architecture of your OS and language. So, use linux-x86_64 (64-bit OS) or linux-i686 (32-bit OS) directory.

2.
Extracting tarball

If directory /opt doesn't exist:
sudo mkdir /opt

Open terminal in the download directory and extract archive to /opt:
sudo tar -xvjf firefox-52.3.0esr.tar.bz2 -C /opt

Just replace firefox-52.3.0esr.tar.bz2 file name if newer version is available

3.
Linking the new Firefox ESR:

sudo ln -s /opt/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox-esr

4.
Creating a shorcut:

Right-click on the Desktop and choose Create a new launcher here...
In the Launcher Properties window browse from the Command field to /usr/bin/firefox-esr
In the name field enter Firefox-ESR
Click on the generic icon on the  left and browse to /usr/share/pixmaps/ and select the firefox.png icon, then click OK.
Press OK to Would you like to add this launcher to the menu also?


This will create a copy of Firefox ESR alongside your current Firefox browser. You may add the Firefox ESR launcher to the Panel and remove from the Panel a standard Firefox launcher. No need to export add-ons and bookmarks, as both versions would use the same profile, located in /home/user/.mozilla/firefox/ , something like xyz0xyz.default

That's it.



4.

Installing Pale Moon browser in Windows


Just download and execute a file from these pages:
Pale Moon - portable
http://www.palemoon.org/palemoon-portable.shtml
Pale Moon Windows 32-bit
http://www.palemoon.org/palemoon-win32.shtml
Pale Moon Windows 64-bit
http://www.palemoon.org/palemoon-win64.shtml

Installing Pale Moon browser in Linux Mint


1.
Download a tar.bz2 tarball from here:

http://linux.palemoon.org/download/mainline/
 

Please be sure to download the appropriate archive that matches the architecture of your OS. Current Pale Moon for Linux version is 27.4.2 (September 2017).

2.
Extract the tarball anywhere you like and execute the "palemoon" file inside it. Or follow the instructions below if you want to install manually.


If directory /opt doesn't exist:
sudo mkdir /opt 

Open terminal in download directory and extract the archive into /opt:

sudo tar -xvf palemoon-27.4.2.en-US.linux-x86_64.tar.bz2 -C /opt

Just replace
palemoon-27.4.2.en-US.linux-x86_64.tar.bz2 file name if newer version is available

3.
Create a symbolic link /usr/bin/palemoon that points to /opt/palemoon/palemoon:

sudo ln -s /opt/palemoon/palemoon /usr/bin/palemoon

Icons:

sudo ln -s /opt/palemoon/browser/chrome/icons/default/default16.png /usr/share/icons/hicolor/16x16/apps/palemoon.png
sudo ln -s /opt/palemoon/browser/chrome/icons/default/default32.png /usr/share/icons/hicolor/32x32/apps/palemoon.png
sudo ln -s /opt/palemoon/browser/chrome/icons/default/default48.png /usr/share/icons/hicolor/48x48/apps/palemoon.png
sudo ln -s /opt/palemoon/browser/icons/mozicon128.png /usr/share/icons/hicolor/128x128/apps/palemoon.png

4.
Creating a shorcut:

Right-click on the Desktop and choose Create a new launcher here...
In the Launcher Properties window browse from the Command field to /usr/bin/palemoon
In the name field enter Pale Moon
Click on the generic icon on the left and browse to /usr/share/icons/hicolor/48x48/apps/ and choose the palemoon.png icon, then click OK.
Press OK to Would you like to add this launcher to the menu also?

That's it. 



About copying existing Firefox profile to Pale Moon
It is recommended you export your bookmarks in Firefox and import them in Pale Moon, and otherwise start fresh.
Extensions are best re-installed on Pale Moon anew.
Recomended extensions:
uBlock Origin
NoScript