author Brian R. Bondy <netzen@gmail.com>
Tue, 03 Jan 2012 22:09:29 -0500
changeset 86168 e57e271bf32838bd8c9d7b96d96409e445970fee
parent 23521 widget/src/os2/README.firefox@f7e50fb2070929f20a774d8969c0866b807b71e7
permissions -rw-r--r--
Bug 679226 - Fold widget/src into widget. r=roc


= = = = = = = = = = = = = =   Firefox Read Me      = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


Firefox is subject to the terms detailed in the license agreement
accompanying it.

This Read Me file contains information about system requirements and
installation instructions for the OS/2 build of Firefox.

For more info on Firefox, see http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/.
For more info on the OS/2 port see http://www.mozilla.org/ports/os2. To submit
bugs reports go to Bugzilla at https://bugzilla.mozilla.org.

For discussion and help for OS/2 specific problems, please use the newsgroup
mozilla.dev.ports.os2 on news.mozilla.org.  You can also get help by pointing
your IRC client to the #warpzilla channel on irc.mozilla.org.


                            Getting Firefox


Official Milestone builds of Firefox are published on the release page at


OS/2 releases are not created by Mozilla staff and may appear on the
page http://www.mozilla.org/ports/os2 before the releases page. Be sure to read
the release notes linked on the releases page for information on known problems
and installation issues.
OS/2 specific problems with this version are listed below.


                        System Requirements on OS/2


- This release requires the C runtime DLL (libc063.dll) from
  in order to run.  You can unpack them in the same directory as the
  Firefox executable or somewhere else in your LIBPATH.

- Minimum hardware requirements
  + 400 MHz Pentium class processor
  + 128 MiB RAM plus 128 MiB free swap space
  + 40 MiB free harddisk space for installation
    plus storage space for disk cache
  + Graphics card and driver capable of displaying more than 256 colors

- Recommended hardware for acceptable performance
  + 1.0 GHz processor
  + 512 MiB RAM plus 128 MiB free swap space
    NOTE: Firefox's performance and stability increases the more physical
    RAM is available.

- Software requirements
  + Installation on a file system supporting long file names
    (i.e. HPFS or JFS but not FAT)
  + OS/2 Warp 4 with Fixpack 15 or later (Warp 3 may work but is unsupported)
  + MPTS version 5.3
  + TCP/IP version 4.1
  + INETVER: SOCKETS.SYS=5.3007, AFOS2.SYS=5.3001, AFINET.SYS=5.3006
    NOTE: Do not attempt to use MPTS & TCP/IP versions below these INETVER
    levels. Although Firefox may seem to start and run normally with older
    stacks, some features Firefox needs are not implemented correctly in
    older MPTS versions, which may result in crashes and data loss.

  + Convenience Pack 2 or eComStation 1.0 or later meet these requirements
    out of the box.

  + Only Java plugins of version 1.4.1 or 1.4.2 are supported.
    (IBM Java 1.3.1 or earlier will crash the application!)

- Useful optional software
  The following packages enable additional features in Firefox. Download
  locations are listed below with a detailed description of the features.
  + Remote Workplace Server (RWS), version 0.8
  + Doodle's Screen Saver (DSSaver), version 1.8 or later


                          Installation Instructions


Unpack into a clean (new) directory. Installing on top of previously released
builds may cause problems with Firefox. It is therefore hightly recommended
to follow the instructions under "Separating profiles from installation

Note: These instructions do not tell you how to build Firefox.
For info on building the Firefox source, see

OS/2 Installation Instructions

On OS/2, Firefox does not have an installation program. To install it,
download the .zip file and follow these steps:

1. Click the "Zip" link on the site you're downloading Firefox from to
   download the ZIP package to your machine. This file is typically called
   firefox-x.x.x.en-US.os2.zip where the "x.x.x" is replaced by the
   current Firefox version.

2. Navigate to where you downloaded the file and unpack it using your favorite
   unzip tool.

3. Keep in mind that the unzip process creates a directory "firefox" below
   the location you point it to, e.g.
      unzip firefox-3.1.en-US.os2.zip -d c:\firefox-3.1
   will unpack Firefox into c:\firefox-3.1\firefox.

4. Make sure that you are _not_ unpacking over an old installation. This is
   known to cause problems.

5. To start Firefox, navigate to the directory you extracted Firefox to,
   ensure that the C library DLL is copied to the installation directory or
   installed in the LIBPATH, and then double-click the Firefox.exe object.


                      Tips and Problems


Running multiple versions concurrently

If you want to run more than one copy of Firefox, you have to use the
-no-remote parameter or set MOZ_NO_REMOTE=1 in your environment.

Because various members of the Mozilla family (i.e. SeaMonkey, Mozilla, Firefox,
Thunderbird, IBM Web Browser) may use different, incompatible versions of the
same DLL, some extra steps may be required to run them concurrently.

One workaround is the LIBPATHSTRICT variable. To run Firefox one can create
a CMD script like the following example (where an installation of Firefox
in the directory d:\internet\firefox is assumed):

   rem The next line may be needed when a different Mozilla program is listed in LIBPATH
   rem set BEGINLIBPATH=d:\internet\firefox
   rem The next line is only needed to run two versions of the same program
   rem set MOZ_NO_REMOTE=1
   cd d:\internet\firefox
   firefox.exe %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8 %9

Similarly, one can create a program object to start Firefox using the
following settings:

   Path and file name: *
   Parameters:         /c set LIBPATHSTRICT=T & .\firefox.exe "%*"
   Working directory:  d:\internet\firefox

(One might need to add MOZ_NO_REMOTE and/or BEGINLIBPATH as in the CMD script
above depending on the system configuration.)

Finally, the simplest method is to use the Run! utility by Rich Walsh that can
be found in the Hobbes Software Archive:


Read its documentation for more information.

Separating profiles from installation directory

To separate the locations of the user profile(s) (containing the bookmarks and
all customizations) from the installation directory to keep your preferences in
the case of an update even when using ZIP packages, set the variable
MOZILLA_HOME to a directory of your choice. You can do this either in Config.sys
or in a script or using a program object as listed above. If you add

   set MOZILLA_HOME=f:\Data

the Firefox user profile will be created in "f:\Data\Mozilla\Firefox".

If you are migrating from Mozilla, Firefox's import routine will only find
the existing Mozilla profile data if MOZILLA_HOME is correctly set to point to

Other important environment variables

There are a few enviroment variables that can be used to control special
behavior of Firefox on OS/2:

  This causes Firefox not to use OS/2's high resolution timer. Set this if
  other applications using the high resolution timer (multimedia apps) act

  Use this to run two instances of Firefox simultaneously (like e.g. debug
  and optimized version).

- set MOZ_NO_RWS=1
  Use this to disable Remote Workplace Server support (see below).

Find more information on this topic and other tips on

Support for WPS objects

Firefox can make use of Rich Walsh's Remote Workplace Server (RWS) library
to access Workplace Shell objects from the application. This allows helper
applications for downloaded files to be selected based on their default WPS
association. In addition, the WPS icons of files will be displayed in the
download dialog and in directory views.

To enable this functionality, Firefox has to find the RWS DLLs. They have to
be located in a directory on the LIBPATH, in the Firefox directory, or
already be registered as a WPS class. For eComStation 2 this is already the
case. If RWS is not yet available on your system, download it from

If RWS is found on the system, it is used by Firefox automatically. In case
you need to disable RWS support, create an environment variable MOZ_NO_RWS and
set it to 1.

Idle timer for internal cleanups

If Doodle's Screen Saver (DSSaver) v1.8 or later is installed, Firefox can
determine how long the user has been inactive. If the user has been inactive
for a while, cleanup operations are performed (e.g. on the browsing history)
and reloads of "Live Bookmarks" are suspended.

DSSaver can be downloaded from

Setting the OS/2 default browser

The default web browser can be set using WPS URL objects.  The properties
notebook of every URL object contains a "Browser" tab where the browser
executable can be selected. Any changes to these settings will be stored and
reflected in all URL objects once the user presses the "Set Default" button.

Two small applications make this change a bit easier and provide options to also
set default programs for other types of internet-related activities:

- ConfigApps

- Internet Application Integration

Changed font handling

To be able to display text, Firefox cannot make use of normal OS/2 routines
but has to use FreeType and FontConfig. This has the advantage that text can
be displayed with antialiasing, but at the same time has some caveats:

- Firefox cannot make use of OS/2 fonts like WarpSans and others which
  are not available in Type1 or TrueType format. It is therefore
  recommended to install the "Workplace Sans" font from
  which Firefox will use as a replacement of WarpSans.

- Display of text in some languages (e.g. Arabic) does not yet take into account
  that different forms of some characters exist.

To tweak the appearance of text, you can add two preferences, preferably using

- gfx.os2.font.antialiasing (Boolean)
  This preference controls whether antialiasing is enabled, and defaults to

- gfx.os2.font.hinting (Integer)
  This preference controls the hinting level, and can be between 0 (no hinting)
  and 3 (full hinting). The default value is 2.
  Font hinting improves the contrast of displayed text, but may produce poor
  results for certain characters of some fonts, most notably the OS/2 version
  of "Times New Roman".

Note that these preferences only take effect when a font gets used for the first
time, so you may need to restart the application to see the full effect.

Known Problems of the OS/2 version

Cross-platform problems are usually listed in the release notes of each
milestone release.

- Printing to normal OS/2 printer queues had to be disabled. It was slow even
  for simple pages and used huge amounts of RAM, so that in most cases the
  application crashed, see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=415522.
  While the queues are still displayed in the printing dialog, any printing
  operation will instead create a PDF file. By default this file is placed on
  the Desktop, with the name Firefox_<date>_<time>.pdf, where <date> and
  <time> are replaced by the current system time. If you want to use another
  name, select "Print to file" before pressing the Print button.
  The resulting PDF file can be printed using applications like Lucide, Acrobat
  Reader, or GSview.

- Fonts with names containing special characters (like Asian Unicode names)
  will not display correctly in the list of fonts in the Options panel.

- Firefox will beep when copying more than 64 kB of text to the clipboard.
  This is to alert users that many applications (most notably the system
  editor, EPM, and applications running in VIO windows) cannot paste more
  than this.

Other known problems can be found by following the link "Current Open Warpzilla
Bugs" on the OS/2 Mozilla page <http://www.mozilla.org/ports/os2/>.