Tuesday, April 28, 2009

TIP: Pretending IceWeasel to be Firefox in Debian Linux

For those of you who have been using Debian Linux, you probably already know that the famous “Firefox” browser is called “IceWeasel” in Debian because of some licensing issues. There is nothing wrong with “IceWeasel” as only the name is changed. However there are some websites which will offer you different functionality based on the type of browser that you are using.

For example, if you would like to download Alexa Toolbar for IceWeasel in Debian Linux, you probably won’t able to because the Alexa website does not recognize “IceWeasel” although it is “FireFox” in reality with just a different brand name. It will tell you that your browser is not supported or recognized or something like that. What do you do in cases like these? Should you just give up? No, you should not. I will show you a trick by which you can make your “IceWeasel” appear as “FireFox” to websites like Alexa.

Step 1: Open your IceWeasel Web-browser

Now type:


in your URL/Address bar like this:


and click on “I’ll be careful, I promise!” button.

Step 2: Search for Iceweasel in the filter bar

You will see a “Filter” bar just below the URL/Address bar. Now type “iceweasel” (with quotes) in it and you will see some results in the result box below it as show below:


What you see above is very similar to Windows Registry key concept.

Step 3: Modify the string value

Now select the entry with name similar to “general.useragent.extra.firefox” and right-click on it and select “Modify”. An input box will appear with value set to:

will appear as shown above. Now change this to something like:

reanme to Firefox

Click “OK”.

Now close your browser and again open your web browser. Try going to the Alexa website and now it will welcome your browser (which it thinks as Firefox) and will allow you to download the toolbar.

Happy Firefoxing with Iceweasel!

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