67. About Mozilla Firefox

 < Day Day Up > 

The Mozilla Suite is a set of Internet-related tools including a web browser, email client, and newsreader. The various Mozilla tools are all open source.

Firefox is not the same as the standard Mozilla browser that is part of the Mozilla Internet tools but is a standalone browser created using the Mozilla browser source code. Firefox is a multiplatform web browser. It can operate on a number of operating systems including Microsoft Windows and Linux distributions such as NLD.


The Mozilla project was actually launched by Netscape in 1998 when it released the source code for the Netscape web browser. Available under GPL and GNU licenses, Mozilla tools such as the Firefox browser are open source.

If you haven't been following the news related to security and web browsers, you probably haven't seen all the positive press for the Firefox browser and its capabilities for dealing with security threats, pop-ups, and cookies. Firefox is not actually part of the operating system and so doesn't open you up to threats caused by security holes in the operating system itself. Firefox also does not run certain active content types such as ActiveX controls. (ActiveX controls were developed by Microsoft to provide active content to Microsoft Internet Explorer.) ActiveX controls have been identified as a route used by hackers to invade computer systems.

Most of the security issues that Firefox protects against are really issues related to the Windows operating system and Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser. So, you don't have to think about some of these issues at all. Remember that Linux (NLD) already provides a more secure environment from the get go; your use of Firefox as your NLD-based web browser just makes your web experience even more secure and flexible.

Firefox provides a number of enhancements (other than security-related enhancements) that differentiate it from other web browsers that you may have used. Some of these enhancements are

  • Tabbed browsing The Firefox window can be divided into multiple tabbed windows allowing you to open multiple websites. Move from site to site by selecting the appropriate tab.

  • Google search box You can quickly conduct a Google search using the Google Search box provided at the right end of the Firefox toolbar.

  • Extensions Extensions are add-on modules that can perform all sorts of tasks. There are a number of different extensions, with new extensions becoming available, including an extension that shows weather forecasts on the toolbar, an extension that provides more control over the download of PDF files, and an extension that will allow JavaScripts to run only when you browse trusted websites.

  • Download Manager The Firefox Download Manager allows you to track and access the files that you download from sites on the Web.

Firefox also makes it easy for you to configure the various user preferences. A Preferences dialog box (select Edit, Preferences) provides access to these settings:

  • General This group of preferences includes the setting for your home page and the fonts and colors used in the browser window.

  • Privacy These settings include the length of time to keep your browsing history and cookie management preferences. You can also view the history for the download manager and you can manage the passwords that you have saved for secure websites.

  • Web features A set of options related to pop-ups and scripting types that are allowed to run on accessed sites.

  • Downloads These settings include the ability to choose the folder for downloads and whether to show the Download Manager when a file is downloaded.

  • Advanced A series of options related to accessibility, browsing, and tabbed browsing. You can also select the type of security protocols used for secure connections.

Firefox will serve you well as your web browser; there are some downsides, however. Because Firefox will not run certain content types, you may have problems with some interactive sites, particularly sites that have been created with Microsoft Internet Explorer in mind. But the enhancements and security provided by Firefox more than make up for some of the compatibility issues you may have to deal with.

     < Day Day Up > 

    Novell Linux Desktop 9. User's Handbook
    Novell Linux Desktop 9 Users Handbook
    ISBN: 0672327295
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2003
    Pages: 244
    Authors: Joe Habraken

    flylib.com © 2008-2017.
    If you may any questions please contact us: flylib@qtcs.net