From Hack Sphere Labs Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search


Iceweasel is a fork of Firefox with the following purpose :
 1. backporting of security fixes to declared Debian stable version.
 1. no inclusion of trademarked Mozilla artwork (because of #1 above)

Notes: Debian Iceweasel Wiki Original Post Stating This Other Information

Debian has two problems with Firefox. Firefox's logo and name is trademarked and FF wanted Debian to follow the Firefox patch structure/update cycle. That is if Debian wanted to patch the browser the would have to get Firefox's approval. While the logo thing did not bother me. The patch thing did. I originally wanted to use Firefox direct from source and at one point I did.

Now I like the new Iceweasel. I have yet to experience any problems with any plugins as I did before (I am sure I will). I know eventually when I meet a site I will have to get a switch user agent plugin installed.

Instructions For Install

You can use the version of Iceweasel in the normal repos by doing:

aptitude install iceweasel

But that was not going to work for me. While it may be secure I want the same thing that the current version of Firefox has.

You need to add the repos of that the Debian Mozilla Team runs. The version that I chose is the "release" version because it is the same version that the Mozilla Firefox team releases. If you want to know more information about the releases on take a look at the official Mozilla Firefox Development Github or our Firefox article.

Instructions to install most current version of Iceweasel @:

Copy and pasted (modified a bit) install instructions for "release" version:

You need to add the following entry in /etc/apt/sources.list or a new file in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/:

   deb squeeze-backports main
   deb squeeze-backports iceweasel-release

The archive is signed, so APT may complain until you add the archive key to your apt keyring.

You can do so by installing the pkg-mozilla-archive-keyring package. Once installed, you can check the key with the following command (requires the debian-keyring package to be installed):

Note: The instructions below are old.

You can do so with the following sequence of commands (requires the debian-keyring package to be installed:

   $ wget -O- -q | gpg --import
   gpg: key 06C4AE2A: public key "Debian Mozilla team APT archive <>" imported
   gpg: Total number processed: 1
   gpg:               imported: 1  (RSA: 1)
   $ gpg --check-sigs --fingerprint --keyring /usr/share/keyrings/debian-keyring.gpg 06C4AE2A
   pub   4096R/06C4AE2A 2010-11-20 [expires: 2011-11-20]
         Key fingerprint = 85F0 6FBC 75E0 67C3 F305  C3C9 85A3 D265 06C4 AE2A
   uid                  Debian Mozilla team APT archive <>
   sig!3        06C4AE2A 2010-11-20  Debian Mozilla team APT archive <>
   sig!         54FD2A58 2010-11-20  Mike Hommey <>
   1 signature not checked due to a missing key

(keep reading to finish import)

The latter message about signature not being checked is expected, as the archive key is signed by two keys, but only one being in the Debian keyring at a given moment: 54FD2A58 is an old key that is going to be deprecated and replaced with A6AA8C72. You can thus also expect the last signature validation to differ depending on the Debian keyring version you use.

You may want to check the trust path from your key to the one that signed the archive key. Or you can choose to trust the Debian keyring.

Once you're confident with the key, you can import it in the APT keyring:

   $ gpg --export -a 06C4AE2A | sudo apt-key add -
Note: The old stops here.

Then update the APT sources:

   $ sudo apt-get update

You can install Iceweasel now with the following command:

   apt-get install -t squeeze-backports iceweasel

Please report any problem to the list.

User Agent String Change

I have had to change my user agent string on some broken sites to make them understand that I am really using Firefox. You can do it with a plugin or modding it in about:config

Here are some directions from the Debian Wiki:

Note: The plugin that is publicly available does not work for Firefox Version 7.01 because its max version has not been updated. I modded the plugin and have a version hosted here:


You can use the User Agent Switcher plugin, then download a UA profile or manually input the string into the switcher. :

Firefox 3.0.6 - Lenny

Firefox 3.5.16 - Squeeze


To change the user agent string manually so that your browser is identified as 'Firefox' instead of 'Iceweasel'. Do the following.

  • In your address bar, type about:config.
  • Click the "I'll be careful, I promise!" button.
  • Find the Preference Name "general.useragent.extra.firefox".
  • Right click the current value that's set for this preference and click "Modify".
  • Change "Iceweasel" to "Firefox", leaving the rest of the text alone, and click OK.
  • Check that your browser is now identified as "Firefox" by going to about: in your browser. The Build Identifier should resemble something like this:
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/2009020409 Firefox/3.0.6 (Debian-3.0.6-1)

I use (taken from a Windows box):

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:7.0.1) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/7.0.1


  1. Nothing ATM.