"Gnuzilla is the GNU version of the Mozilla suite, and IceCat is the GNU version of the Firefox browser. Its main advantage is an ethical one: it is entirely free (as in speech) software. While the source code from the Mozilla project is free software, the binaries that they release include additional non-free software. Also, they distribute non-free software as plug-ins. (IceCat does keep the triple licensing used by Firefox to facilitate the reuse of code.)"
From the Gnu website: (Previously, this GNU browser project was also named Iceweasel, but that proved confusing.)
IceCat is the GNU version of the popular Mozilla Firefox Web browser. While Ubuntu versions to date have included Firefox by default, its future is under scrutiny with the apparent conflict between Debian's definitions of free software and Mozilla's trademark of the Firefox logo.
IceCat is the counterpart to Firefox. Icedove is the Thunderbird equivalent and Iceape corresponds to the Seamonkey suite.
If you want more information about these programs, try the Gnuzilla home page first. For a synopsis of the issue, try this InternetNews.com article. You can also read the original Debian bug report describing the dispute.
This wiki entry began as a forum howto, but is better suited to a wiki page so other community members can fine-tune the methods described here.
Gnuzilla Team Repository (Recommended)
IceCat is available in a repository created by the Gnuzilla Team. By adding this repository, you will be able to install IceCat through any package manager of your choice, and will automatically stay up to date with the latest upgrades from the Gnuzillla Team.
Quick Method (9.10 Karmic and later)
If you are using a version of Ubuntu which is 9.10 Karmic or later, you can add the IceCat repository with one command. The following command will add the Gnuzilla Team's repository, update your package lists, and then install the IceCat browser all in one go:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnuzilla-team/ppa && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install icecat -y
To begin, add the correct entries below to your sources.list file. We will start by using a terminal to open your souces.list file:
gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
kdesu kate /etc/apt/sources.list
gksu mousepad /etc/apt/sources.list
Now add the correct lines below for the version of Ubuntu you are using to the bottom of the source.list file you just opened:
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/gnuzilla-team/ppa/ubuntu natty main deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/gnuzilla-team/ppa/ubuntu natty main
Maverick (Trisquel 4.5):
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/gnuzilla-team/ppa/ubuntu maverick main deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/gnuzilla-team/ppa/ubuntu maverick main
Lucid (Trisquel 4.0):
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/gnuzilla-team/ppa/ubuntu lucid main deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/gnuzilla-team/ppa/ubuntu lucid main
Karmic (Trisquel 3.5):
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/gnuzilla-team/ppa/ubuntu karmic main deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/gnuzilla-team/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
Hardy (gNewSense 2.3):
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/gnuzilla-team/ppa/ubuntu hardy main deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/gnuzilla-team/ppa/ubuntu hardy main
Adding the Key: Note: If you only add the repository lines above to your sources.list file, you will receive an error when refreshing your packages. You can still install IceCat when this error message is present, but to add the Gnuzilla Team's key and get rid of this error, run the following in a terminal:
gpg --keyserver subkeys.pgp.net --recv-keys 08A255AF && gpg --export --armor 08A255AF | sudo apt-key add - && sudo apt-get update
That will download the Gnuzilla Team's key, add it to your "Trusted Software Providers" list, and update your package info. After this, you are ready to install IceCat.
Installing: Now that the IceCat package is available in your repositories, you may add it with any package manager - aptitude, apt-get, Synaptic, etc. For our example we will use apt-get. So in a terminal run:
sudo apt-get install icecat
That's it, you're ready to go! You can now run IceCat through the main menu, or by running the command "icecat" in a terminal.
If you prefer to download a compressed package of IceCat, click on this link for the download page:
Find the correct package for you, and download it to your computer. If you don't yet have a browser installed, use the wget command to download it. Here is a sample command that will do the trick for you.
From the terminal: Open a terminal and move to the folder where you put the file. If this was your home folder, simply use:
Extracting IceCat: Now we need to extract the package with:
tar -xvf icecat* -C /the/directory/you/want/icecat/installed/
If you decide to put it outside your own home directory, remember to use sudo before that command. Tar will decompress the package into a folder called something like "icecat-x.x.x.x". Now might be a good time to rename that folder too, if you want it to be easier to type in the future.
From the GUI: You can also browse to the package with Nautilus/Dolphin/, right-click on the package, and extract it to wherever you like.
Making IceCat the default
Inside that folder is the icecat shell script -- it's called (of all things) "icecat" (Not icecat-bin. You don't want that one.) The trick now is setting your desktop to open that shell script by default.
For Openbox, just edit your menu.xml file to point at the shell script, or use ObMenu to change the trigger line.
For Xubuntu or XFCE fans, open Applications > System > Preferred Applications, and select Other. Browse to the icecat shell script.
For Gnome, click System > Preferences > Preferred Applications. Change the Web browser option to point at the icecat shell script.
For KDE ... well, I'm not very familiar with KDE, and chances are if you're using KDE, you're a Konqueror fan. If someone can chime in on that, I'd appreciate the help.
One last note: Remember that the "globe icon" on your desktop might or might not trigger your desktop's default browser. In that case, you'll have to change the properties of the icon and redirect it to the icecat shell script.
If you're having trouble with browser identification -- in other words, sites block your access because you're "not using Firefox" -- try this:
- Open "about:config" in Icecat's address bar
In the "Filter" box, type general.useragent.extra.firefox
- Where you see the entry "Icecat/x.x.x", right-click and pick "Modify"
Then replace the word "IceCat" with "Firefox" - so it should look like "Firefox/x.x.x"
- Close the page (or the tab)
"Masquerading" your browser like that simply prevents the host site from telling you you're not using Firefox. Aside from that, it should have no effect whatsoever on your collective Internet experience.
To associate your Mozilla plugin directory with IceCat, use this command line
- ln -s /path/to/mozilla/plugins ~/.gnuzilla/
If you have Firefox installed, this command will do the trick.
- ln -s /usr/lib/firefox/plugins ~/.gnuzilla/
Getting the Icons replaced in the Titlebar
There is an easy way to get all the IceCat icons to show up properly, replacing that ugly icon in the left corner of the title bar:
sudo mkdir /usr/local/icecat/chrome/icons
sudo mkdir /usr/local/icecat/chrome/icons/default
sudo cp /usr/share/pixmaps/icecat32.png /usr/local/Icecat/chrome/icons/default/default.xpm
Getting Help with Icecat
If you have any questions, or need help with an issue relating to IceCat, there are several ways to find support.
The Gnuzilla project has a mailing list which you can subscribe to and ask your questions. You can find the mailing list subscription page here:
You can also find help in Icecat's IRC channel. If you are unfamiliar with IRC, HERE is a guide that will help you setup an IRC client (Xchat) and get connected to the #icecat channel.