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Firefox plug-ins and fixes

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Firefox wants to be like Chrome. I’d rather just keep my old Firefox. Here’s the list of fixes to restore or remove some of their blunders:

Disable the “fancy” stuff. These settings can be reached from the special about:config page. I disable these

  • browser.tabs.animate
  • browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent
  • keyword.enabled
  • browser.fixup.alternate.enabled

Then some plug-ins:

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Firefox plug-ins and fixes

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Firefox versions continue to increase by one every week or so, but the more they change it, the more I’d just like it to stay the same. Here’s the list of plug-ins and fixes I usually go through on every new install.

Disable the “fancy” stuff. These settings can be reached from the special about:config page. I disable these

  • browser.tabs.animate
  • browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent

Then some plug-ins, some of them just to fix stuff as well

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Switch to Tab no more

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The list of annoying, unnecessary or inferior features  the new Firefox versions is getting longer. To get back to where it was about a year ago, you already have to tune it by putting back the status bar, disabling animations, opening tabs at the end. Add to that the disabling of the “switch to tab” feature, which does no longer let you pick a second tab from history if you already have it open elsewhere. Usually, you can disable these things from the about:config page, however for this one you need a third-party plugin to get back to normal. It’s called “Switch to Tab no more“.

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Personal Fedora 15 Installation Guide


Here my notes for my Fedora 15 install, again based on Mauriat Miranda’s guide. After you’ve gotten the DVD, this assumes you’re installing on a new 64 bits system, rather than upgrading.

A pleasant addition to the installation process is the ability to add the standard repositories (and any other repositories if you like). This means after a finished install, all basic packages will be up to date.

Third Party Repositories
You’ll need them for various patent encumbered libraries and apps, for playing MP3, DVD, etc.

sudo rpm -ivh
sudo rpm -ivh

Main Packages
For normal use

yum -y install audacity autossh digikam feh geeqie gimp gnupg gnucash gthumb gtkpod htop hugin ImageMagick k3b-extras-freeworld kdebase kdegraphics kino ktorrent lame-mp3x libcddb liberation-fonts-common liberation-mono-fonts liberation-narrow-fonts liberation-sans-fonts liberation-serif-fonts mplayer mencoder mjpegtools mozplugger mp3gain obexfs libreoffice-calc libreoffice-writer parcellite pidgin-otr thunderbird ufraw ufraw-gimp xine xine-lib-extras xine-lib-extras-freeworld xmms xmms-faad2 xmms-mp3 xmms-pulse

For development

yum -y install ant arj bash-completion dosbox dvdauthor dvgrab easymock easytag emacs enblend git gitk gnome-terminal gnome-system-monitor gnuplot htop iftop java-1.6.0-openjdk java-1.6.0-openjdk-javadoc java-1.6.0-openjdk-plugin java-1.6.0-openjdk-src joda-time joda-time-javadoc kdiff3 kover ncftp OpenEXR OpenEXR_Viewers python-dateutil python-mox qemu-launcher qtpfsgui quicksynergy rdesktop rssh subversion transcode unrar vcdimager vdr-mp3 vlc w3m wine wireshark-gnome

MPlayer Codecs

wget -O /tmp/all-20110131.tar.bz2
mkdir -p /usr/lib/codecs
tar -jxvf /tmp/all-20110131.tar.bz2 --strip-components 1 -C /usr/lib/codecs/

DVD Playback

wget -O /tmp/libdvdcss-1.2.10-5.fc15.x86_64.rpm
wget -O /tmp/libdvdcss2-1.2.10-5.fc15.x86_64.rpm
yum --nogpgcheck localinstall /tmp/libdvdcss2-1.2.10-5.fc15.x86_64.rpm /tmp/libdvdcss-1.2.10-5.fc15.x86_64.rpm

Change the SSHD port

You might want to run SSHD on a different port than 22 to avoid the worst influx of random attacks. For this example, let’s go for port 222.

In /etc/ssh/sshd_config, uncomment the Port setting, and change the number to 222.

Port 222

In /etc/sysconfig/iptables, add a line to accept incoming connections on this port. If you like, you can always keep the old as well.

-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 222 -j ACCEPT

Then, tell SELinux to accept this port by executing as root

semanage port -m -t ssh_port_t -p tcp 222
semanage port -l | grep ssh

Finally, restart the SSHD and iptables daemons. You can now test the new port by logging in locally:
/etc/init.d/sshd restart
/etc/init.d/iptables restart

ssh -p 222 localhost

Adding users

In the last versions of Fedora, the default user and group IDs moved from starting at 500 to start at 1000. However, you might want to keep the old IDs for compatibility with old external drives, NFS mounts, etc. You can and new users with custom user/group IDs simply by

adduser -u 500 myuser

Transferring from an old system

Finally, if you have and old system you need to transfer stuff from, you might want to remember:

  • Crontabs: /var/spool/cron
  • SSH keys: /home/*/.ssh

You might also want to reinstall or retune a few other settings:

Firefox: Old Style Status Bar

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In Firefox 4, the old style status bar at the bottom was removed. Instead, the URL of a link is randomly displayed left or right in a small pop-up bobble. Annoying.

Luckily, a fix is already made: The Status-4-Evar extension. Download, install and the URL is back in the status bar as before.

Firefox: Disable tab animation

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After the latest upgrade to Fedora 15, Firefox 5, and Gnome 3 (more about that in later posts), there are several annoying features to remove and customize. One common theme creping in again and again is animated windows, tabs and the like. It adds nothing be distractions. Luckily, it can be configured:

In Firefox 4 and later, type in about:config in the URL bar. Search for browser.tabs.animate on the filter line, and switch that setting to off.

Thanks to the Firefox Support Site for this tip.

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Firefox, Fedora & Ubuntu: Disabling notifictaions

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Notifications (a.k.a. OSD) is one of those UI features which seems fancy at first, but quickly gets in your face. Possibly originated on the Mac, the annoyance has now spread to Firefox, Fedora and Ubuntu as well. Here’s how to quickly switch them off:


Enter about:config in the location bar. Search for this preference, and double click.

Fedora and Ubuntu

sudo mv /usr/share/dbus-1/services/org.freedesktop.Notifications.service /usr/share/dbus-1/services/org.freedesktop.Notifications.service.disabled

Version Numbers in Hyperinflation

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Inflation is never a good thing. Not in the money markets, but not in other numbers either, including software version numbers. It seems Chrome has started a number war, though. In trying to catch up to the same version number as IE, they’ve gone from 1 in the beginning of 2009, to 9 two years later. Looking at the Timeline from WikiMedia, the major version bobbles are so crammed they overlap. IE on the other hand, took 16 years to get to the same number, where IE6 was responsible for five of those years. Now it looks like Mozilla wants to be part of the number game with Firefox. Apparently, they’re planning four new major version releases this year.



At least they’re still on numbers, though. The legacy of crazy OS names which Microsoft might have started with XP is still dreadful. “Crusty Cupcake”, “Frozen Ginger Lion”, “Snappy Lizard”. Even if some of the schema follow alphabetical order, I still find it a lot easier to know which version comes next by simply looking at a +1 number. I guess I would not make it very far in the marketing department.

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Firefox 3.6: Open New Tabs at the End of the Tab Bar

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Since Firefox 3.6, new tabs open next to its parent. This is probably one of the features written most about after the new release. Or rather how to disable it, that is. I’ll just add it to my notes, so I can perform the fix on every new install.

  • Type about:config in the address bar.
  • Type browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent in the Filter bar.
  • The the value to false, by double-clicking or right-clicking.
  • Done.
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