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Tuesday, March 23rd, 2004

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Mozilla Firefox tips for Linux
Hey!  I'm new here.  I have a few tips to share after installing Linux on my computer (Mandrake 10 Community, to be exact) and trying to setup Mozilla Firefox so that it would function as well as it does in Windows.  I thought I'd might as well post 'em here if ya don't mind.

The middle mouse button (this is usually the scroll wheel) closes tabs in the Windows version by default, but for some reason this is not the case in the Linux version.  This is easy to fix, but not very intuitive.  Open Firefox and type about:config into the URL bar.  Click the Filter field and type in middlemouse.  Now you should see three Preferences.  Double click middlemouse.contentLoadURL, and when the window pops up type in false and hit Enter or click OK.  That should do the trick -- you don't even have to restart the browser.

When you click on links in other programs, such as GAIM or Liferea they open in new Firefox windows if you tell such programs to open Firefox by default.  I'd rather have them open in new tabs, wouldn't you?  Fortunately this is simple enough to fix with a shell script.  Create a new text file anywhere you want (I put mine in /usr/bin) and name it, say, firefox-newtab.sh.  Put the following lines in it, but change the location to wherever your browser is installed.  (If you used the same RPM I did to install Firefox you won't need to change anything.)  Then tell programs to use this file instead of the browser executable.
/usr/bin/mozilla-firefox -remote "openURL($@, new-tab)" || exec /usr/bin/mozilla-firefox "$@";

This isn't really a tip for Linux in particular, but I'm used to Opera's SDI (Single Document Interface) option.  There's no way to prevent Firefox from opening new windows without installing an extension called Tabbrowser Extensions. Once it's installed and you've restarted Firefox, select Options from the Tools menu and click Extensions in the left pane.  Double click Tabbrowser Extensions and the Preferences window should open.  Click Advanced, and change the Window Mode to "Use only one browser always (Single Window Mode.)"  Now you won't have to deal with those pesky new windows.

Macromedia's Flash seems to have problems with Mandrake 10 Community.  I'd given up on trying to make it work until I found this page with Flash RPMs for various distributions, including Mandrake 10.  (It has to be installed as root, of course.)

Alright, that's all for now.  Hope this helped at least one or two people, or I'm just getting carpal-tunnel syndrome for no reason here. :p

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