Tips and tricks

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and value:  
and value:  
or wherever you have installed firefox (e.g., /opt)
Do the same for https and ftp.
Do the same for https and ftp.
<br>NOTE: If the config editor is not there, go here: and download '''about:config''', save it, install it (Tools-> Addons-> Install).
<br>NOTE: If the config editor is not there, go here: and download '''about:config''', save it, install it (Tools-> Addons-> Install).

Revision as of 11:45, 9 September 2011






The following information applies only to the builds. See the Firefox page for more info. Do not use if you have MEPIS's default Firefox or if you installed Firefox via Synaptic from the repos.

There are five Firefox update channels:

  • release - all final releases
  • beta - beta releases, release candidates and final releases
  • aurora - pre-beta releases
  • nightly - all nightly builds
  • default - no updates

To see which release channel you are on, click Help > About Firefox and you will see a message, "You are currently on the ____ update channel."

To change the preferred update channel, modify the file channel-prefs.js using KWrite or another text editor. For example, if you firefox is installed to /opt directory, you would edit, as root: /opt/firefox/defaults/pref/channel-prefs.js. Set the string value to one of the five available update channels: release, beta, aurora, nightly, or default. If that does not work, you can use the Update Channel Changer extension (go to Help -> Check for Updates -> Change Update Channel).

The update options are set in Edit > Preferences > Advanced > Update where there are three check boxes under the header labeled Automatically check for updates to:

  • Firefox
  • Add-ons
  • Search Engines

By selecting the Firefox check box, you can select one of two things that will occur when an update is found:

  • Ask me what I want to do
  • Automatically download and install the update

By selecting the first choice, a pop-up notifier will appear when an update for your update channel is found.

If you neither want to be notified when updates are available, nor want to automatically install updates, simply uncheck the box labeled Firefox under Automatically check for updates to:. You can always check for updates manually by clicking Help > About Firefox > Check for Updates.

If Firefox is installed in the /opt directory, you will need to start Firefox as root in order to install the update. To do that, hit the Alt+F2 keys, and type the following command in the command box:

kdesu /opt/firefox/firefox

After the root password is entered, the update can be installed.

Note: When running Firefox as root, the update options in the root profile may be different than the options in your user profile. Be sure to set the appropriate root profile options while you are running Firefox as root.


Click on Edit > Preferences > Content and play with the Fonts & Colors. Use the "Advanced ..." button. Try using "Allow pages to choose their own fonts, instead of my selections above" checked.


A dictionary add-on must be installed for spellchecking to work.
Goto and install the add-on dictionary of your choice.


Depending on your version, Firefox may not assign an application to handle "mailto" links. To change that behavior:

1) Click Edit --> Preferences --> Applications, then type "mailto" in the search box, and click the entry in the right-hand column to select the action you want.
2) Alternately: type "about:config" into the address bar, then right-click the page containing a long list of preference names. Select New --> String, then enter for preference name:

and for preference value the path to the email client you want to use, for instance,


or for kmail, enter


Transferring profiles

When transferring a Firefox profile, whether in migrating from Windows, another Linux version, or from one MEPIS installation to another, you will need to change the file profiles.ini following these directions in order to access your bookmarks, cookies and preferences.


If you have web access in Konqueror but not in Firefox, you may have to change the way addresses are being handled by disabling IPv6. See this page on how to disable it, and here for an overview of how different applications handle this protocol.

Laptop scroll button navigation

If your laptop has a 4 way scroll button (older models often had these) you will find that the up/down button scrolls the page up and down, but to get the page back/forward mappings working for the left/right click on the button, you need to make the following adjustment in the Firefox/Iceweasel config:
  • Enter about:config in the url bar, hit return and dismiss the warning message,
  • Paste mousewheel.horizscroll.withaltkey into the filter bar and hit return,
  • Edit values (double click on config, for pop up window or toggle True,False values), so that the values are set to:
 mousewheel.horizscroll.withnokey.action       user set  integer   2
 mousewheel.horizscroll.withnokey.numlines     user set  integer  -1
 mousewheel.horizscroll.withnokey.sysnumlines  user set  boolean  false

Firefox on KDE4 See this page


  • Notes feature:
Select text in a web page -> rightclick and choose "copy to note" or use the shortcut Ctrl-Shift-C. To access your notes press Ctrl-6 or press F4 to see the sidebar and select Notes from there. When you double click on the note it will open the site from where you copied the note. It is very useful when you do research and need to copy things from many separate pages and then still be able to go back to those pages.
  • Search feature:
To add a search engine from any webpage, right-click the search box, select "Create search," fill in a name and a keyword (optional), and click OK. The site will be added to the pull-down search menu.
  • Tray icon
By default, Opera puts an icon into the system tray when it opens. To stop that behavior -- useful if kicker space is limited, for instance--add -notrayicon (include the single dash) to the command space in the KMenu entry and on the Application tab of any kicker or desktop icon. Note: not valid for Opera 10.
  • Java and Java Script
You can test your current capability on the Java Tester website. If you encounter problems, be sure to consult the troubleshooting section of the Opera page on how to make a soft link to the Firefox plugins directory.
  • Default screen size
To set a default screen size other than 100%, open up the file

At the end of the first section "[User Prefs]" add


or whatever zoom factor you would like.


Custom search

See Custom search.

Email clients


  • External links
To get Thunderbird to open hyperlinks in Firefox (alter as needed for another browser):
  1. Open preferences --> advanced --> config editor
  2. Right-click and create a new entry ("string") with name:

and value:


or wherever you have installed firefox (e.g., /opt) Do the same for https and ftp.
NOTE: If the config editor is not there, go here: and download about:config, save it, install it (Tools-> Addons-> Install).

  • Transferring profiles
When transferring a Thunderbird profile, whether in migrating from Windows, another Linux version, or from one MEPIS installation to another, you will need to change the file profiles.ini following these directions in order to access your mail and preferences.
  • Changing the font

First go to the Thunderbird chrome folder. You do this by opening Konqueror and going to the menu option VIEW and select SHOW HIDDEN FILES. Now go to the following chrome folder.


where the XXX's will be some random numbers and letters that represent your profile. The key is to select the folder with the .default extension.

If there is no userChrome.css file in this folder, create a new text file with that name and enter the following text. If the file exists, then you either need to add the following two preferences or modify these preferences if they already exist in the file, choosing a font size such as 12 or 14:

/* Global UI font */
* { font-size: 14pt !important;
font-family: Verdana !important; 
/* Menu font */
menu, menulist, menuitem { 
font-family: Times New Roman !important; 
font-size: 14pt !important;

In KDE 4.3, this should read (again, choose font size):

/* Global UI font */
* { font-size: 14pt !important;
font-family: DejaVu Sans !important; 
/* Menu font */
menu, menulist, menuitem { 
font-family: DejaVu Sans !important; 
font-size: 14pt !important;

Save the file and restart Thunderbird.


  • External links
To get Kmail to open hyperlinks in Firefox, you can set firefox as your default browser in KDE Component Chooser. In particular, see steps 1 & 2.


  • drag&drop -- you can drag a file or folder to Konsole. You'll get a short menu with choices to move the file, copy the file or cd to that folder.


  • Wallpaper: Right-click on the Desktop -> Configure Desktop -> Background -> Press "Get New Wallpapers" to get wallpapers from

Useful bash commands

Finding largest files

find . -type f -printf "%k %p\n" | sort -rn | head

Turn off window scaling for faster surfing

echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_window_scaling

Find memory type and speed

lshw -short -C memory
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