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 * {{{Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20091123 Iceweasel/3.5.6 (like Firefox/3.5.6; Debian-3.5.6-1)}}} ''DebianTesting, on 2010-01-15''  * {{{Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20091216 Iceweasel/3.5.8 (like Firefox/3.5.8)}}} ''DebianTesting, on 2010-03-01''

What is iceweasel?

Iceweasel is a fork [from Firefox] with the following purpose :

  1. backporting of security fixes to declared Debian stable version.

  2. no inclusion of trademarked Mozilla artwork (because of #1 above)

Beyond that, they will be basically identical. (quoting Roberto C. Sanchez post in debian-devel mailing list)

Also note that iceweasel is NOT Iceweasel from http://www.gnu.org/software/gnuzilla/.

How to install Iceweasel (Firefox)

To install Iceweasel, simply do:

aptitude install iceweasel   #(it provides mozilla-firefox)

GNOME users might also want to install GNOME support:

aptitude install iceweasel-gnome-support

Native language versions are also available (like iceweasel-l10n-fr).


The plugin directory is

  •  /usr/lib/iceweasel/plugins

for more info on iceweasel plugins, refer to the plugins section of the Mozilla page.

User Agent String

IceWeasel's user agent strings (at the time of writing... ) is :

  • Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20091216 Iceweasel/3.5.8 (like Firefox/3.5.8) DebianTesting, on 2010-03-01

  • Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; fr; rv: Gecko/2009061212 Iceweasel/3.0.6 (Debian-3.0.6-1) DebianLenny

  • Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; ja; rv: Gecko/20080129 Iceweasel/ (Debian- DebianEtch

  • Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20060830 Firefox/ (Debian-1.5.dfsg+ DebianSarge

Some application are checking the browser's user agent string, which prevent you from accessing the site. You can change the user agent string manually or with the User Agent Switcher plugin.

You can use the User Agent Switcher plugin, then download a UA profile :


To change the user agent string manually so that your browser is identified as 'Firefox' instead of 'Iceweasel'. Do the following.

  • In your address bar, type about:config.

  • Click the "I'll be careful, I promise!" button.
  • Find the Preference Name "general.useragent.extra.firefox".
  • Right click the current value that's set for this preference and click "Modify".
  • Change "Iceweasel" to "Firefox", leaving the rest of the text alone, and click OK.
  • Check that your browser is now identified as "Firefox" by going to about: in your browser. The Build Identifier should resemble something like this:

    • Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/2009020409 Firefox/3.0.6 (Debian-3.0.6-1)

    {i} geticeweasel.org has more information on Iceweasel user agent string.

SSL / Secure Connection warning

The message :

  •   Secure Connection Failed
      XXXX uses an invalid security certificate.
      The certificate is not trusted because it is self signed.
      The certificate is only valid for 00:16:b6:82:73:60
      (Error code: sec_error_untrusted_issuer)

Can be disabled. see : http://changetheworldwithyourpassion.blogspot.com/2008/07/turn-off-secure-connection-failed-in.html


  1. My iceweasel is consistently crashing on a website
  2. First run iceweasel without loading any extensions and see if the problem persists. This can be done by using the -safe-mode option

    iceweasel -safe-mode
  • If the problem goes away, then it means that one of the installed extensions is the root cause of the problem. If not then read on!
  • Create a new user and try to reproduce the problem on the new user's account.
  • If there is no problem with iceweasel on new user's account, chances are that your ~/.mozilla/iceweasel/ directory is corrupt.
  • In order to see if the ~/.mozilla/iceweasel is infact corrupt or not, move it to some other directory and start iceweasel again

    mv ~/.mozilla/iceweasel ~/old_iceweasel
    iceweasel &
  • If the problem goes away, well and good. Otherwise you can ask for help on debian-user mailing list by providing all the relevant information like "the way to reproduce the crash", "the version of iceweasel you are using", and "the distribution you are using" etc., Finally, if you are confident that it is a bug in the iceweasel package please consider filing a bug against iceweasel package.

Unsuported Browser Error

  • In order to browse websites like mlsni.net which allows firefox but not iceweasel, you'll need to change the user agent string of your browser. Look at the section "User Agent String" on how to change the user agent string.

See also