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Mozilla News

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  • Get Better Firefox Look on Linux With These Extensions

    Firefox is one of the most used web browsers on the Web. According to Clicky, it holds around 20% of the global market share. Firefox is also installed by default in almost all Linux distributions. So it’s very likely to see Linux users using it all the time, although many other alternatives are available like Chromium and Epiphany.

    Since the web browser’s window is all what many of us see the whole day, you may want to customize its appearance. We are not talking about “personas” or those simple backgrounds that you put to colorize a small part of the browser’s window. We are talking about changing the theme totally. Firefox does this using “Complete Themes“.

  • Firefox sandbox on Linux tightened

    As just announced on, we landed a set of changes in today's Nightly that tightens our sandboxing on Linux. The content process, which is the part of Firefox that renders webpages and executes any JavaScript on them, had been previously restricted in the amount of system calls that it could access. As of today, it no longer has write access to the filesystem, barring an exception for shared memory and /tmp. We plan to also remove the latter, eventually.

  • Mozilla is working on Form Autofill for Firefox

    Mozilla is currently working on bringing form autofill functionality to its Firefox web browser.

    Firefox remembers form data by default that you enter on sites, but the browser does not ship with options to create profiles that you may use on any form you encounter while using the browser.

Mozilla awards $300,000 to four open source projects

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Mozilla's love of open source is nothing new -- just look to the Mozilla Open Source Support (MOSS) program. Loving a philosophy is one thing, but Mozilla has also put its money where its mouth is.

In the third quarter of this year, MOSS awarded more than $300,000 to four projects which it either already supported, or which were aligned with the organization's mission. One of the smallest awards -- $56,000 -- was made to Speech Rule Engine, a text-to-speech style component that makes mathematical and scientific content more accessible.

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Also: MOSS supports four more open source projects in Q3 2016 with $300k

Mozilla, Firefox News

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  • Firefox ready to block certificate authority that threatened Web security

    The organization that develops Firefox has recommended the browser block digital credentials issued by a China-based certificate authority for 12 months after discovering it cut corners that undermine the entire transport layer security system that encrypts and authenticates websites.

    The browser-trusted WoSign authority intentionally back-dated certificates it has issued over the past nine months to avoid an industry-mandated ban on the use of the SHA-1 hashing algorithm, Mozilla officials charged in a report published Monday. SHA-1-based signatures were barred at the beginning of the year because of industry consensus they are unacceptably susceptible to cryptographic collision attacks that can create counterfeit credentials. To satisfy customers who experienced difficulty retiring the old hashing function, WoSign continued to use it anyway and concealed the use by dating certificates prior to the first of this year, Mozilla officials said. They also accused WoSign of improperly concealing its acquisition of Israeli certificate authority StartCom, which was used to issue at least one of the improperly issued certificates.

    "Taking into account all the issues listed above, Mozilla's CA team has lost confidence in the ability of WoSign/StartCom to faithfully and competently discharge the functions of a CA," Monday's report stated. "Therefore we propose that, starting on a date to be determined in the near future, Mozilla products will no longer trust newly issued certificates issued by either of these two CA brands."

  • Firefox gains serious speed and reliability and loses some bloat

    There's no way around it. Firefox has struggled. As of this writing, Firefox 47 is the top of the Firefox market share heap at a scant 3.14 %. Given that Chrome 52 holds 23.96 % and IE 11 holds 17.74 %, the chances of Firefox displacing either, anytime soon, is slim. If you scroll way down on the browser market share listing, you'll notice Firefox 49 (the latest release) is at .19 %. Considering 49 is the stable release candidate that was only recently unleashed, that is understandable (to a point).

    Thing is, Firefox 49 is a really, really good browser. But is it good enough to give the open source browser any significant gains in the realm of market share? Let's take a look at what the Mozilla developers have brought to the fore with the latest release of their flagship browser and see how much hope it holds for the future of the software that was once leader among its peers.

  • Mozilla's Project Mortar Wants Pepper API Flash & PDFium In Firefox

    This week word of Mozilla's "Project Mortar" surfaced, which aims to explore the possibility of bringing the PDFium library and Pepper API based Flash plugin into Firefox. This project is being led by various Mozilla engineers.

    Mozilla is so far developing Project Mortar in private while they plan to open it up in the future.

Mozilla's Rust 1.12

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  • Announcing Rust 1.12

    The Rust team is happy to announce the latest version of Rust, 1.12. Rust is a systems programming language with the slogan “fast, reliable, productive: pick three.”

    As always, you can install Rust 1.12 from the appropriate page on our website, and check out the detailed release notes for 1.12 on GitHub. 1361 patches were landed in this release.

  • Rust 1.12 Programming Language Released

    Rust 1.12 has been released as the newest version of this popular programming language with a focus on "fast, reliable, productive: pick three."

Firefox Changes

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  • Mozilla has “stopped all commercial development of Firefox OS”

    Remember when Mozilla said it was ceasing development of Firefox OS for smartphones, but that it wasn’t giving up on the browser-based operating system altogether? Yeah, now the organization has pretty much thrown in the towel.

    After shifting the focus from phones to smart TVs and other Internet of Things products for a while, Mozilla senior engineering program manager Julie McCracken says development of the operating system was “gradually wound down” and that as of the end of July Mozilla has “stopped all commercial development of Firefox OS.

  • Firefox’s Test Pilot Program Launches Three New Experimental Features

    Earlier this year we launched our first set of experiments for Test Pilot, a program designed to give you access to experimental Firefox features that are in the early stages of development. We’ve been delighted to see so many of you participating in the experiments and providing feedback, which ultimately, will help us determine which features end up in Firefox for all to enjoy.

    Since our launch, we’ve been hard at work on new innovations, and today we’re excited to announce the release of three new Test Pilot experiments. These features will help you share and manage screenshots; keep streaming video front and center; and protect your online privacy.

Mozilla, Firefox, and FirefoxOS

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  • B2G OS and Gecko Annoucement from Ari Jaaksi & David Bryant

    In the spring and summer of 2016 the Connected Devices team dug deeper into opportunities for Firefox OS. They concluded that Firefox OS TV was a project to be run by our commercial partner and not a project to be led by Mozilla. Further, Firefox OS was determined to not be sufficiently useful for ongoing Connected Devices work to justify the effort to maintain it. This meant that development of the Firefox OS stack was no longer a part of Connected Devices, or Mozilla at all. Firefox OS 2.6 would be the last release from Mozilla. Today we are announcing the next phase in that evolution. While work at Mozilla on Firefox OS has ceased, we very much need to continue to evolve the underlying code that comprises Gecko, our web platform engine, as part of the ongoing development of Firefox. In order to evolve quickly and enable substantial new architectural changes in Gecko, Mozilla’s Platform Engineering organization needs to remove all B2G-related code from mozilla-central. This certainly has consequences for B2G OS. For the community to continue working on B2G OS they will have to maintain a code base that includes a full version of Gecko, so will need to fork Gecko and proceed with development on their own, separate branch.

  • Firefox 53 Will Drop Support for Windows XP and Windows Vista

    Software companies are one by one giving up on Windows XP support for their products, and now it appears that it’s Mozilla’s turn to switch the focus to newer versions of Windows.

    Firefox 53 will be the first version of the browser which will no longer support Windows XP and Windows Vista, so users who haven’t yet upgraded to Windows 7 or newer will have to either stick with Firefox 52 or move to a different browser.

  • Boot 2 Gecko Being Stripped From Mozilla's Codebase

    At the end of 2015 Mozilla effectively put an end to Firefox OS / Boot 2 Gecko by concluding things weren't working out for Mozilla Corp and their commercial partners to ship Firefox OS smartphones. All commercial development around it has since stopped and they are now preparing to strip B2G from the mozilla-central code-base.

    The news to report on now is that Ari Jaaksi and David Bryant have announced, "Today we are announcing the next phase in that evolution. While work at Mozilla on Firefox OS has ceased, we very much need to continue to evolve the underlying code that comprises Gecko, our web platform engine, as part of the ongoing development of Firefox. In order to evolve quickly and enable substantial new architectural changes in Gecko, Mozilla’s Platform Engineering organization needs to remove all B2G-related code from mozilla-central. This certainly has consequences for B2G OS. For the community to continue working on B2G OS they will have to maintain a code base that includes a full version of Gecko, so will need to fork Gecko and proceed with development on their own, separate branch."

Mozilla Firefox 49.0 and Thunderbird 45.3 Land in All Supported Ubuntu OSes

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Today, September 22, 2016, Chris Coulson from Canonical published two security advisories to inform the Ubuntu Linux community about the availability of the latest Mozilla products in all supported releases.

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Mozilla Says Goodbye to Firefox Hello in Firefox 49

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In October 2014, as part of the Firefox 34 beta release, Mozilla introduced its Firefox Hello communications technology enabling users to make calls directly from the browser. On Sept. 20, 2016, Mozilla formally removed support for Firefox Hello as part of the new Firefox 49 release.

The Mozilla Bugzilla entry for the removal of Firefox Hello provides little insight as to why the communications feature is being pulled from the open-source browser. As it turns out, the Firefox Hello removal is related to shifting priorities at Mozilla.

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Web browsers for GNU/Linux

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Firefox 49.0 Is Now Available

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While being delayed one week due to last-minute bugs, Firefox 49.0 is now available this morning.

Firefox 49 ships with Linux Widevine support for handling this CDM similar to the existing Windows support for being able to play more protected HTML5 video content.

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Also: Mozilla emits JavaScript debugger for Firefox and Chrome

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More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

Leftovers: KDE


  • 4 Useful Cinnamon Desktop Applets
    The Cinnamon desktop environment is incredibly popular, and for good reason. Out of the box it offers a clean, fast and well configured desktop experience. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make it a little better with a few nifty extras. And that’s where Cinnamon Applets come in. Like Unity’s Indicator Applets and GNOME Extensions, Cinnamon Applets let you add additional functionality to your desktop quickly and easily.
  • GNOME Core Apps Hackfest
    The hackfest is aimed to raise the standard of the overall core experience in GNOME, this includes the core apps like Documents, Files, Music, Photos and Videos, etc. In particular, we want to identify missing features and sore points that needs to be addressed and the interaction between apps and the desktop. Making the core apps push beyond the limits of the framework and making them excellent will not only be helpful for the GNOME desktop experience, but also for 3rd party apps, where we will implement what they are missing and also serve as an example of what an app could be.
  • This Week in GTK+ – 21
    In this last week, the master branch of GTK+ has seen 335 commits, with 13631 lines added and 37699 lines removed.

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Puppet Unveils New Docker Build and Phased Deployments
    Puppet released a number of announcements today including the availability of Puppet Docker Image Build and a new version of Puppet Enterprise, which features phased deployments and situational awareness. In April, Puppet began helping people deploy and manage things like Docker, Kubernetes, Mesosphere, and CoreOS. Now the shift is helping people manage the services that are running on top of those environments.
  • 9 reasons not to install Nagios in your company
  • Top 5 Reasons to Love Kubernetes
    At LinuxCon Europe in Berlin I gave a talk about Kubernetes titled "Why I love Kubernetes? Top 10 reasons." The response was great, and several folks asked me to write a blog about it. So here it is, with the first five reasons in this article and the others to follow. As a quick introduction, Kubernetes is "an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications" often referred to as a container orchestrator.
  • Website-blocking attack used open-source software
    Mirai gained notoriety after the Krebs attack because of the bandwidth it was able to generate — a record at well over 600 gigabits a second, enough to send the English text of Wikipedia three times in two seconds. Two weeks later, the source code for Mirai was posted online for free.
  • Alibaba’s Blockchain Email Repository Gains Technology from Chinese Open Source Startup
    Onchain, an open-source blockchain based in Shanghai, will provide technology for Alibaba’s first blockchain supported email evidence repository. Onchain allows fast re-constructions for public, permissioned (consortium) or private blockchains and will eventually enable interoperability among these modes. Its consortium chain product, the Law Chain, will provide technology for Ali Cloud, Alibaba’s computing branch. Ali Cloud has integrated Onchain’s Antshares blockchain technology to provide an enterprise-grade email repository. Onchain provides the bottom-layer framework for Ali Cloud, including its open-source blockchain capabilities, to enable any company to customize its own enterprise-level blockchain.
  • Netflix on Firefox for Linux
    If you're a Firefox user and you're a little fed up with going to Google Chrome every time in order to watch Netflix on your Linux machine, the good news is since Firefox 49 landed, HTML5 DRM (through the Google Widevine CDM (Content Decryption Manager) plugin) is now supported. Services that use DRM for HTML5 media should now just work, such as Amazon Prime Video. Unfortunately, the Netflix crew haven't 'flicked a switch' yet behind the scenes for Firefox on Linux, meaning if you run Netflix in the Mozilla browser at the moment, you'll likely just come across the old Silverlight error page. But there is a workaround. For some reason, Netflix still expects Silverlight when it detects the user is running Firefox, despite the fact that the latest Firefox builds for Linux now support the HTML5 DRM plugin.
  • IBM Power Systems solution for EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server
    The primary focus of this article is on the use, configuration, and optimization of PostgreSQL and EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server running on the IBM® Power Systems™ servers featuring the new IBM POWER8® processor technology. Note: The Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.2 operating system was used. The scope of this article is to provide information on how to build and set up of PostgreSQL database from open source and also install and configure EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server on an IBM Power® server for better use. EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server on IBM Power Systems running Linux® is based on the open source database, PostgreSQL, and is capable of handling a wide variety of high-transaction and heavy-reporting workloads.
  • Valgrind 3.12 Released With More Improvements For Memory Debugging/Checking
  • [Valgrind] Release 3.12.0 (20 October 2016)
  • Chain Launches Open Source Developer Platform [Ed: If it’s openwashing, then no doubt Microsoft is involved]
  • LLVM Still Looking At Migration To GitHub
    For the past number of months the LLVM project has been considering a move from their SVN-based development process to Git with a focus on GitHub. That effort continues moving forward.
  • Lumina Desktop 1.1 Released With File Manager Improvements
    Lumina is a lightweight Qt-based desktop environment for BSD and Linux. We show you what's new in its latest release, and how you can install it on Ubuntu.
  • Study: Administrations unaware of IT vendor lock-in
    Public policy makers in Sweden have limited insight on how IT project can lead to IT vendor lock-in, a study conducted for the Swedish Competition Authority shows. “An overwhelming majority of the IT projects conducted by schools and public sector organisations refer to specific software without considering lock-in and different possible negative consequences”, the authors conclude.
  • How open access content helps fuel growth in Indian-language Wikipedias
    Mobile Internet connectivity is growing rapidly in rural India, and because most Internet users are more comfortable in their native languages, websites producing content in Indian languages are going to drive this growth. In a country like India in which only a handful of journals are available in Indian languages, open access to research and educational resources is hugely important for populating content for the various Indian language Wikipedias.
  • Where to find the world's best programmers
    One source of data about programmers' skills is HackerRank, a company that poses programming challenges to a community of more than a million coders and also offers recruitment services to businesses. Using information about how successful coders from different countries are at solving problems across a wide range of domains (such as "algorithms" or "data structures" or specific languages such as C++ or Java), HackerRank's data suggests that, overall, the best developers come from China, followed closely by Russia. Alarmingly, and perhaps unexpectedly, the United States comes in at 28th place.