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This command is run in the standard Linux environment via the Terminal Activity. The GUI will probably not integrate comfortably with the XO Laptop's Sugar environment. Your user experience may vary considerably depending on the established environment and the other programs running on the laptop, may need re-installation after an OS Update. See the Linux software category for other commands.



Firefox is an internet browser, in fact it is the one that we based the Browse activity on. If you are looking for something with a few more features, (tabbed browsing, bookmarks, etc) then you might want to give Firefox a shot. It runs a little heavy for the XO, but if one doesn't go overboard opening tabs it runs fine, if slow.

There is now a version of Firefox 3 packaged as an activity available from the Activities page. This may be an easier alternative than the instructions below. See the Firefox page for more information.

Installing Firefox

Installing Firefox isn't as complicated as it looks. Take your time and read each instruction carefully. Be sure to note the spaces in the commands, and that the "slashes" slant forwards, not backwards like under Windows.

Before we start


  • At least 50 MB of free space
  • Patience. Firefox can be a bit sluggish on the XO at times.
  • Get the XO's WiFi connected to a wireless access point Wifi Connectivity.

This is a good activity for exploring your XO. If something goes wrong, it is very unlikely you will break your normal Sugar installation.

==== Install ====
( these instructions apply to firefox 2. Firefox 3 does not need the libstdc++ thing.) *
Start the Terminal Activity.
* When you see a prompt that looks roughly like "[olpc@xo-NN-NN-NN]$", start typing the following commands, pressing the <enter> key after each one: wget (This command may take a while, but be patient.)
tar -xzf firefox-
su - yum install compat-libstdc++*
Instalar ==== ==== (estas instrucciones se aplican a Firefox 2. Firefox 3 no tiene la cosa libstdc + +.) * Inicio de la Terminal de Actividad. * Cuando veas un símbolo que se ve más o menos como "[OLPC @ xo-NN NN NN] $ ", empieza a escribir los siguientes comandos y presione la tecla <enter> después de cada uno: wget (Este comando puede llevar un tiempo, pero sea paciente. ) tar-xzf firefox- su - yum install compat-libstdc + + *</span>

Running Firefox

When the above is finished you run Firefox from the same Terminal Activity with the following command:


Note: if the above fails and says file not found, then type the following command

cd /home/olpc

It will take quite a while to start for the first time, since it has a lot of setup tasks to perform. So be patient. At this point, FireFox may ask if you want to import any settings. Select "None" and continue.

  • FireFox will display this error message:
Firefox can't find the file at /usr/share/doc/HTML/index.html
  • You can ignore this error.
  • Click on the "Home" icon to go to the "Firefox Start" homepage. You're on your way!

Common Addons

  • Flash Player - Plays Shockwave, and Flash items on a webpage.

Running the Firefox browser after installation

  • Get the XO's WiFi connected to a wireless access point so the XO can download Firefox from the internet. Read more about how to do this at Wifi_Connectivity.
  • When you see a prompt that looks roughly like "[olpc@xo-NN-NN-NN]$", start typing the following commands, pressing the <enter> key after each one:
  • Firefox will display a blank (gray) screen by default. Click on the "Home" button to go to the "Firefox Start" page.
  • If Firefox displays an error, the XO's WiFi is likely not connected. Check the Wifi_Troubleshooting_Guide.

Running the Firefox browser outside of the Terminal Activity

  • In a shell outside X (ctrl+alt+F1, ctrl+alt+F2, ...):
    • As root, set an environment variable:
      • export DISPLAY=
    • Execute the firefox with the user olpc:
      • su olpc -c "/home/olpc/firefox/firefox &"
  • Through a shell in X (alt+=):
    • just type firefox from there

Opening PDF using the Read activity

Open the Terminal activity and run:

wget (server is dead)

Then when you click on a PDF link tell Firefox to always open with /home/olpc/Read

Note: this launches the Read activity with full access to your account. Be sure you trust the activity completely before doing this!

Known Problems

  • firefox is excluded from the repository on G1G1 machines. You must edit (as root) /etc/yum.repos.d/olpc-koji-ship2.repo to remove firefox from exclude list before installing with yum
    • One way to do edit the file is to use the built-in Vi editor as follows (type commands without the quotes):
  1. Start the Terminal activity (this gives you a line like "[olpc@...]$ )
  2. Click in the window
  3. Type "su" and Enter for super user mode
  4. Invoke the Vi(M) editor: "vi" and Enter
  5. (You might find the Vi cheatsheet at: to be of use)
  6. Load the file: ":e /etc/yum.repos.d/olpc-koji-ship2.repo" and Enter
  7. Use the arrow keys to move to the "f" of "firefox"
  8. Use the "x" key repeatedly to delete "firefox" and the following comma
  9. (If you get into a mode like insert that won't let you issue a command, use the circle-x key in the upper left corner of the keyboard to exit that mode.)
  10. Write the file out and quit: ":wq" and Enter
    • Installation of Firefox 2 appears to use about 42 MB. The installation downloads about 35 MB.
  • Performance issues
  • It is not "sugarizable"
  • Right-clicking in a flash closes the browser window

Older equipment notes

  • Requires A B4 or later XO-1 Laptop

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