Firefox Configuration

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The NST configuration for firefox is maintained in the nst-config-firefox package. Updating the contents of this package is a bit of a challenge. Unfortunately, this package needs to be reviewed each time a new release of firefox comes out.

The Goal

The general goal of updating the nst-config-firefox package is to replace the following files with newer versions taking directly from a Live NST system:

  • yum/pkgs/nst-config-firefox/src/bookmarks.html
  • yum/pkgs/nst-config-firefox/src/localstore.rdf
  • yum/pkgs/nst-config-firefox/src/mimeTypes.rdf
  • yum/pkgs/nst-config-firefox/src/prefs.js

Getting Started

To make sure you get a "clean" copy of the files, you must first complete the following tasks:

  • Boot the Live version of the NST.
  • Use the VNC page in the NST WUI to create a default VNC session.
  • Connect to the default VNC session.
  • Use a terminal and remove the directory: "/root/.mozilla" (if present).
  • Start up a desktop applet (like gkrellm).
  • Start up Firefox (as root).
  • Continue with the rest of the customization steps.

Tool Bars

  • Only the "Menu Bar", "Tab Bar" and "Navigation Toolbar" should be visible by default.
  • Make sure the "Bookmarks Toolbar" is hidden.
  • Open the firefox Menu 'Customize' toolbar (right button mouse on firefox menu):
    • Check the option labeled: "Use Small Icons".
    • Install the "Full Screen" icon to the right of the "Stop" icon on the navigation toolbar bar.

Firefox Preferences

Open the firefox Preferences and do the following:

  • In the General section, set the download directory to: "/tmp" and then check the "Always ask me where to save files" option.
  • In the Tabs section, make sure that the option to open new windows in "a new tab" is selected.
  • In the Content section under Fonts & Colors do the following (you will need to select the "Advanced" button for most of these settings):
    • Make sure the "Default Font" is: "serif".
    • Make sure the "Default Font" size is: "14".
    • Make sure the default "Fonts for": "Western".
    • Make sure the default "Proportional" font is: "Serif".
    • Make sure the default "Proportional" font size is: "14".
    • Make sure the default "Serif" font is: "serif".
    • Make sure the default "Sans-serif" font is: "sans-serif".
    • Make sure the default "Monospace" font is: "monospace".
    • Make sure the "Monospace" font size is: "13".
    • Make sure the "Minimum font size" is: "none".
  • In the Advanced section, select the General tab and turn on "Use smooth scrolling" and "Check my spelling as I type".
  • In the Advanced section, select the Data Choices tab and turn off all features which transmit data to external sites.
  • In the Advanced section, select the Update tab and turn off all options related to automatic updates.

Java Configuration

When you launch a Java Web Start application, if things are working correctly, you should see the application download and display automatically (no user interaction). If instead, Firefox displays a pop-up window asking you what to do with the Java Web Start file, you will need to:

  • Make sure that /usr/bin/javaws is used. If you see something other than javaws displayed (like gedit), click on the pull down list, select Other... and then specify /usr/bin/javaws.
  • Make sure that the Do this automatically for files like this from now on. option is selected.

Window Sizing and Positioning

  • Make sure there is room for dock apps on right side when starting firefox using the funky VNC default size defined in the VNC NST WUI page (this should be OK unless you accidently resize/position firefox).

Finishing Up

  • Continue to quit firefox and then restart firefox until ALL of the extra tabs, windows, and pop-ups stop appearing.
  • At this point, we need to locate the following configuration files which were just created by the previous steps: localstore.rdf, prefs.js, and mimeTypes.rdf. Search for these files under the /root directory and transfer them back to the: yum/pkgs/nst-config-firefox/src directory on your development machine.


  • On the NST system, quit firefox and remove the: "/root/.mozilla" directory.
  • On the development system rebuild and probe install the nst-config-firefox package:
cd ~/nst/yum
make nst-config-firefox-remove
make HOST= nst-config-firefox-probe-install
  • Back on the NST system, start firefox again and make sure that the new settings are what you expect.