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Light build of Mozilla Firefox

By admin | June 30, 2011

Most of the time, a stock Firefox installation from Mozilla’s website or the apt repository usually works just fine on most machines. However, if you prefer a more plain and vanilla Firefox install without all the latest bells and whistles, then one can manually compile a build from source code. This has the advantage of being faster and leaner than the stock Firefox because the unwanted features are simply not present, although you will not have all the latest web bells/whistles with this method (e.g. WebM, WebGL, HTML5 video, etc).

Download a copy of the Firefox source, and extract it. Then run ./configure as follows:

--enable-application=browser --enable-official-branding --disable-debug --with-x --disable-profiling --disable-gnomevfs --disable-gconf --disable-accessibility --disable-ogg --disable-webm --enable-splashscreen --disable-angle --enable-crashreporter --disable-smil --disable-installer --disable-updater --disable-update-packaging --disable-parental-controls --disable-tests --enable-faststart --disable-safe-browsing --disable-meegocontentaction --enable-optimize=-O2 --disable-logging --enable-install-strip --disable-necko-wifi --disable-glibtest

A few points to note:

Then run make. If you want to test your build, you can find it under dist/bin of your extracted tarball. Change to that directory and then one can test it like so:

LD_LIBRARY_PATH=. ./firefox-bin -ProfileManager -no-remote

This will allow you to test without clobbering your existing profile. When you are done, you can run make install (beware of conflicts with the repository’s firefox) or if you would rather use checkinstall to make a package, checkinstall --fstrans=no.

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