Iceweasel vs. Icecat


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Thread: Iceweasel vs. Icecat

  1. #1
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    Iceweasel vs. Icecat

    I did a bit of reading and wasn't aware till now about the whole Firefox logo trademark issue and Debian. Anyways it looks like they have their own version. I read various articles and some contradicted each other so I have a few questions...

    1.) Is Iceweasel the same program as Icecat or are they 2 different forks of Firefox?

    2.) Is the code of the Debian version the same as Firefox? I want the one that is Firefox or as close as possible.

    Thanks.
    My Systems:
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  2. #2
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    1.) Is Iceweasel the same program as Icecat or are they 2 different forks of Firefox?
    Iceweasel is the Debian rebranding of Firefox. Icecat is GNU project's rebranding of Firefox. Neither one is a fork.
    2.) Is the code of the Debian version the same as Firefox? I want the one that is Firefox or as close as possible.
    Pretty much, yes. Iceweasel contains some Debian-specific patches, but that's par for the course for most software in most distributions. Mostly, Firefox was renamed to Iceweasel because Mozilla didn't like Debian's security policy for the stable branch: that is, security fixes are backported to the old version rather upgrading to a new version. Mozilla wanted Debian to obtain approval for every patch that was different from what Mozilla was shipping. From a security standpoint, that was unacceptable.

    I hope this helps. There's a lot of misinformation circulating regarding the name change, but it's really quite an innocent thing. If I were you, I'd just use Iceweasel. It works, it's in the Debian repositories, and it's fully supported. What more could you ask for?
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  3. #3
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    I think the reason is Debian = free in every sense of the word.

    Firefox, however, isn't released "for free" since the icon is "proprietary".

    This proprietary restriction makes Debian not "free", so they had to change it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by happybunny
    I think the reason is Debian = free in every sense of the word.

    Firefox, however, isn't released "for free" since the icon is "proprietary".

    This proprietary restriction makes Debian not "free", so they had to change it.
    I can't tell if you're being sarcastic, but the Debian folks came up with one solution: replace the non-free artwork and continue to use the Firefox name. This was unacceptable to Mozilla. Their trademark policy requires that any browser that calls itself Firefox also use the non-free artwork.
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  5. #5
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    no sarcasm at all...that's just what happened.

  6. #6
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    Okay. You put quotes around the word free, so I was wondering.
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  7. #7
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    I-m "terrible" at ;!puncuation?

  8. #8
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    Back on topic, if you feel the need to be running the official Firefox, you can download the tarball from mozilla.org and install it. However, apt won't receive updates for that version of Firefox. The onus will be on you to stay abreast of security advisories and new releases.
    Registered Linux User No. 321,742

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  9. #9
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    Thanks guys. That was my first point of confusion. So iceweasel and icecat are 2 different products. I looked in the debian repos and icecat wasn't there. So i took your suggestion and installed iceweasel. It seems fine. Installing the mozilla tarball is another option and I might try that sometime. My uses for Firefox are pretty meager. I need Adobe's flash player to work and I need a couple of plugins like adblock and flashkiller etc. Thats about it. If that works reliably in Iceweasel, then I can stay with that. If I start running into problem, then I will try the firefox tarball. My use over the days will tell. Thanks.
    My Systems:
    Custom Desktop: Kubuntu 8.04.1 x86 + 2.6.24 kernel
    Thinkpad T61p: Debian SID x64 + 2.6.26 kernel

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