Introduction to Firefox

Firefox is a stand-alone browser based on the Mozilla codebase.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-8.1 platform.

Package Information



The build times for this version of firefox (using stylo, the new CSS rendering code) seem to vary widely between different machines. On one old Intel i3 the build took 33 SBU. The reason for this is not understood. A build with stylo disabled is typically 1 or 2 SBU quicker and needs 0.8GB less disk space.

Additional Downloads



The tarball firefox-57.0.4.source.tar.xz will untar to firefox-57.0.4 directory. It will also reset the permissions of the current directory to 0755 if you have permission to do that. If you do this in a directory where the sticky bit is set, such as /tmp it will end with error messages:

tar: .: Cannot utime: Operation not permitted
tar: .: Cannot change mode to rwxr-xr-t: Operation not permitted
tar: Exiting with failure status due to previous errors

This does finish with non-zero status, but it does NOT mean there is a real problem. Do not untar as the root user in a directory where the sticky bit is set - that will unset it.

Firefox Dependencies


Autoconf-2.13, both GTK+-3.22.26 and GTK+-2.24.32, NSS-3.34.1, PulseAudio-11.1 (or alsa-lib-1.1.5 if you edit the mozconfig; now deprecated by mozilla), rustc-1.19.0, UnZip-6.0, yasm-1.3.0, and Zip-3.0




If you don't install recommended dependencies, then internal copies of those packages will be used. They might be tested to work, but they can be out of date or contain security holes.



With Firefox-31.0 and later versions, you must have installed Openssl before Python 2 or the build system will quickly fail with output including "ImportError: cannot import name HTTPSHandler". If you are in any doubt about this (e.g. upgrading from an older version of Firefox), check if /usr/lib/python2.7/lib-dynload/ exists. If it does not, reinstall Python-2.7.14 (after installing OpenSSL-1.1.0g). The latest version of any currently maintained version of Openssl should be satisfactory if already installed.


cURL-7.57.0, dbus-glib-0.108, Doxygen-1.8.14, GConf-3.2.6, FFmpeg-3.4.1 (runtime, to play mov, mp3 or mp4 files), libwebp-0.6.1, OpenJDK-, startup-notification-0.12, Valgrind-3.13.0, Wget-1.19.2, Wireless Tools-29, Hunspell, liboauth , libproxy, and (with the patch) Graphite2-1.3.10 and HarfBuzz-1.7.4

User Notes:

Installation of Firefox

The configuration of Firefox is accomplished by creating a mozconfig file containing the desired configuration options. A default mozconfig is created below. To see the entire list of available configuration options (and an abbreviated description of some of them), issue ./configure --help. You may also wish to review the entire file and uncomment any other desired options. Create the file by issuing the following command:

cat > mozconfig << "EOF"
# If you have a multicore machine, all cores will be used by default.
# You can change the number of non-rust jobs by setting a valid number
# of cores in this option, but when rust crates are being compiled
# jobs will be scheduled for all the online CPU cores.
#mk_add_options MOZ_MAKE_FLAGS="-j1"

# If you have installed dbus-glib, comment out this line:
ac_add_options --disable-dbus

# If you have installed dbus-glib, and you have installed (or will install)
# wireless-tools, and you wish to use geolocation web services, comment out
# this line
ac_add_options --disable-necko-wifi

# API Keys for geolocation APIs - necko-wifi (above) is required for MLS
# Uncomment the following line if you wish to use Mozilla Location Service
#ac_add_options --with-mozilla-api-keyfile=$PWD/mozilla-key

# Uncomment the following line if you wish to use Google's geolocaton API
# (needed for use with saved maps with Google Maps)
#ac_add_options --with-google-api-keyfile=$PWD/google-key

# Uncomment these lines if you have installed optional dependencies:
#ac_add_options --enable-system-hunspell
#ac_add_options --enable-startup-notification

# Uncomment the following option if you have not installed PulseAudio
#ac_add_options --disable-pulseaudio
# and uncomment this if you installed alsa-lib instead of PulseAudio
#ac_add_options --enable-alsa

# If you have installed GConf, comment out this line
ac_add_options --disable-gconf

# Stylo is the new CSS code, including the rust 'style'
# package. It is enabled by default but requires clang.
# Uncomment this if you do not wish to use stylo.
#ac_add_options --disable-stylo

# Comment out following options if you have not installed
# recommended dependencies:
ac_add_options --enable-system-sqlite
ac_add_options --with-system-libevent
ac_add_options --with-system-libvpx
ac_add_options --with-system-nspr
ac_add_options --with-system-nss
ac_add_options --with-system-icu

# If you are going to apply the patch for system graphite
# and system harfbuzz, uncomment these lines:
#ac_add_options --with-system-graphite2
#ac_add_options --with-system-harfbuzz

# Stripping is now enabled by default.
# Uncomment these lines if you need to run a debugger:
#ac_add_options --disable-strip
#ac_add_options --disable-install-strip

# The BLFS editors recommend not changing anything below this line:
ac_add_options --prefix=/usr
ac_add_options --enable-application=browser

ac_add_options --disable-crashreporter
ac_add_options --disable-updater
# enabling the tests will use a lot more space and significantly
# increase the build time, for no obvious benefit.
ac_add_options --disable-tests

# Optimization for size is broken with gcc7
ac_add_options --enable-optimize="-O2"

ac_add_options --enable-official-branding

# From firefox-40, using system cairo caused firefox to crash
# frequently when it was doing background rendering in a tab.
# This appears to again work in firefox-56
ac_add_options --enable-system-cairo
ac_add_options --enable-system-ffi
ac_add_options --enable-system-pixman

ac_add_options --with-pthreads

ac_add_options --with-system-bz2
ac_add_options --with-system-jpeg
ac_add_options --with-system-png
ac_add_options --with-system-zlib

mk_add_options MOZ_OBJDIR=@TOPSRCDIR@/firefox-build-dir

Compile Firefox by issuing the following commands:

If you have installed system versions of graphite2 and harfbuzz and wish firefox to use those instead of its shipped versions, apply the patch and uncomment the appropriate entries in the mozconfig file.

patch -Np1 -i ../firefox-57.0.4-system_graphite2_harfbuzz-1.patch

If the geolocation APIs are needed:



The Google and Mozilla API Keys below are specific to LFS. If using these instructions for another distro, or if you intend to distribute binary copies of the software using these instructions, please obtain your own keys following the instructions located at and respectively.

echo "AIzaSyDxKL42zsPjbke5O8_rPVpVrLrJ8aeE9rQ" > google-key
echo "d2284a20-0505-4927-a809-7ffaf4d91e55" > mozilla-key


If you are compiling Firefox in chroot, make sure you have $SHELL environment variable set or prepend SHELL=/bin/sh.

export BINDGEN_CFLAGS=$(pkg-config --cflags nspr pixman-1) &&
make -f                                          &&

The mozconfig above disables the tests because they use a lot more time and disk space for no obvious benefit. If you have nevertheless enabled them, you can run the tests by executing ./mach gtest. This will require a network connection, and to be run from within an Xorg session - there is a popup dialog when it fails to connect to ALSA (that does not create a failed test). One or two tests will fail. To see the details of the failure(s) you will need to log the output from that command so that you can review it.

Now, as the root user:

make -f install INSTALL_SDK= &&
chown -R 0:0 /usr/lib/firefox-57.0.4   &&

mkdir -pv    /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins  &&
ln    -sfv   ../../mozilla/plugins /usr/lib/firefox-57.0.4/browser

Command Explanations

export BINDGEN_CFLAGS=$(pkg-config --cflags nspr pixman-1): This works around a bug in the style rust package to allow it to find the system headers for nspr and pixman.

make -f ...: Mozilla products are packaged to allow the use of a configuration file which can be used to pass the configuration settings to the configure command. make uses the file to get initial configuration and setup parameters.

mkdir -p /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins: This checks that /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins exists.

ln -sv ... /usr/lib/firefox-57.0.4/browser: This command creates a symbolic link to /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins. It's not really needed, as Firefox checks /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins by default, but the symbolic link is made to keep all the plugins installed in one folder.

Configuring Firefox

If you use a desktop environment like Gnome or KDE you may like to create a firefox.desktop file so that Firefox appears in the panel's menus. If you didn't enable startup-notification in your mozconfig change the StartupNotify line to false. As the root user:

mkdir -pv /usr/share/applications &&
mkdir -pv /usr/share/pixmaps &&

cat > /usr/share/applications/firefox.desktop << "EOF" &&
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Firefox Web Browser
Comment=Browse the World Wide Web
GenericName=Web Browser
Exec=firefox %u

ln -sfv /usr/lib/firefox-57.0.4/browser/icons/mozicon128.png \


Installed Programs: firefox
Installed Libraries: Numerous libraries, browser components, plugins, extensions, and helper modules installed in /usr/lib/firefox-57.0.4
Installed Directory: /usr/lib/firefox-57.0.4 and /usr/lib/mozilla

Short Descriptions


is a GTK+-3 internet browser that uses the Mozilla Gecko rendering engine.

Last updated on 2018-01-05 14:41:43 -0600