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GNUzilla and IceCat

 [GNU IceCat logo]

Introducing GNUzilla and IceCat

GNUzilla is the GNU version of the Mozilla suite, and GNU IceCat is the GNU version of the Firefox browser. Its main advantage is an ethical one: it is entirely free software. While the Firefox source code from the Mozilla project is free software, they distribute and recommend non-free software as plug-ins and addons.

In addition, GNU IceCat includes some privacy protection features, included in a separate addon:

  1. Some sites refer to zero-size images on other hosts to keep track of cookies. When IceCat detects this mechanism it blocks cookies from the site hosting the zero-length image file. (It is possible to re-enable such a site by removing it from the blocked hosts list.)
  2. Other sites rewrite the host name in links redirecting the user to another site, mainly to "spy" on clicks. When this behavior is detected, IceCat shows a message alerting the user.

To see these new features in action, some test pages are available.

Downloads

Official releases of IceCat are available from ftp.gnu.org, or any GNU mirror. Please use a mirror if possible. Besides the sources, a binary release for GNU/Linux / x86 (32 bit) is available.

Free addons

We maintain a list of free addons. Fredrik Hubbe's web site can be used to test free plugins.

Free plugins

GNUzilla runs its own plugin finder service at gnuzilla.gnu.org. To specify this at runtime, visit the url about:config in your browser, find the pfs.datasource.url attribute, and change the host to gnuzilla.gnu.org. Also change the protocol from https to http, if necessary. Be careful not to change the rest of the string (after the first single /).

Be sure the plugin.default_plugin_disabled attribute is set to false.

Langpacks

You can find langpacks for IceCat on the official GNU FTP: ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnuzilla/lang/

Archives are available at: http://gnuzilla.gnu.org/download/langpacks/

These langpacks are generated automatically from the original Firefox ones, if you notice problems in your locale, please let us know at the <bug-gnuzilla@gnu.org> mailing list.

Mailing lists

General discussion of these projects take place on the mailing list bug-gnuzilla@gnu.org (it's not just for bug reports, despite the name). Feel free to subscribe or browse the archives.

To subscribe to the GNU IceCat mailing list, either use the mailman web interface or send empty email with a Subject: header line of just subscribe to bug-gnuzilla-request@gnu.org.

Found a bug? Have a suggestion? Please report it to the mailing list, trying to specify all the information that could be involved (platform, program version (the command icecat --version will report this), and build tools version if building from source code). Please report both the behavior you expected to the actual behavior you observed.

Getting involved

Development of IceCat, and GNU in general, is a volunteer effort, and you can contribute. For information, please read How to help GNU. If you'd like to get involved, it's a good idea to join the discussion mailing list (see above).

Maintainer
GNU IceCat is currently being maintained by Loic J. Duros. Please use the mailing lists for contact.

Origin of the name

The name “IceCat” was coined to show our relationship to the Mozilla Firefox browser. Ice isn't Fire and a Cat isn't a Fox, so it is clearly a different package (we don't want Mozilla blamed for our mistakes, nor cause confusion with their trademarks), but is equally clearly intimately related (of course nearly all of the work comes from the Mozilla foundation effort, so we want to give credit).

The gNewSense BurningDog browser and the Debian IceWeasel browser are similarly derived from Firefox, also with the intent of being free software. Technically, however, these projects are maintained entirely independently of IceCat. (Previously, this GNU browser project was also named IceWeasel, but that proved confusing.)

About GNU and the GNU Philosophy

The GNU Project was launched in 1984 to develop a complete Unix-like operating system which is free software—free as in freedom, not price. Its principal sponsor is the Free Software Foundation.

The free software philosophy is the root and motivation of the guidelines and goals of the whole free software movement, a worldwide community.

Please join us!


Please send FSF & GNU inquiries to <gnu@gnu.org>. There are also other ways to contact the FSF.
Please send broken links and other corrections or suggestions to <bug-gnuzilla@gnu.org>.

Copyright 2012 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

We thank the Hitflip team for the IceCat logos.

Updated: $Date: 2012/08/22 01:51:19 $