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Pale Moon Browser in Slackware

From the Pale Moon website:

Pale Moon is an Open Source, Goanna-based web browser available for Microsoft Windows and Linux (with other operating systems in development), focusing on efficiency and ease of use. Make sure to get the most out of your browser!

Pale Moon offers you a browsing experience in a browser completely built from its own, independently developed source that has been forked off from Firefox/Mozilla code a number of years ago, with carefully selected features and optimizations to improve the browser's stability and user experience, while offering full customization and a growing collection of extensions and themes to make the browser truly your own. [1]

So Why Pale Moon Browser anyway?

Many prefer to use Pale Moon over FireFox, because, they feel Pale Moon is what FireFox ought to have been. Many claim that Pale Moon is faster than FireFox, because, it has less “garbage”; but instead has continued to polish an already winning formula. Moreover, many feel they can trust the Pale Moon community over communities such as Apple, Google, Mozilla, and Microsoft, because, it does not have the same history of spying on its users – that these communities do.

Some prerequisites.

According to the Pale Moon Linux developer(s), gcc 4.9.4, or alternatively a few other older versions of gcc, is required to produce a fully optimized (and still stable) Pale Moon Slackware package. A gcc-4.9.4 SlackBuild, to compile and package gcc-4.9.4 your self, can be found at SlackBuilds.org, here; and already built Slackware packages can be found here.

Installation instructions

Already built Slackware packages:

Arguable, the easiest way to install Pale Moon, would be to grab Pale Moon already compiled and packaged. You can find the Pale Moon Slackware package that is built with the following SlackBuild here

Alternatively, you can find packages built by alienBOB here. Note: aleinBOB's packages have been built in an alternative fashion, which may be better for older hardware, but, at least in theory, fails to take advantage of all of Pale Moon's development.

Compile, and package Pale Moon from source.

The following instructions shows how to compile and install Pale Moon web browser using scripts found at SlackBuilds.org. There is currently, at the time of writing this, two SlackBuilds that can be found at SlackBuilds.org: One that builds from source, and, one that repackages the officially pre built binary provided by the Pale Moon community. This guide focuses on the SlackBuild that builds Pale Moon from source.

Although, this guide primarily focuses on Pale Moon 27.9.3 and Slackware 14.2 and later, there is no reason that this SlackBuild cannot be used unmodified to build Pale Moon on earlier versions of Slackware, such as 14.1 or earlier. There also is no reason that this SlackBuild cannot be modified to build other versions of Pale Moon, such as Pale Moon 26.5.0 and earlier; in fact, the SlackBuild used in this guide, with very little alteration, has been fully tested, and confirmed to work, with Pale Moon 26.5.0 and 26.4.1 source trees – be that as it may, “your millage may very”.
Current, past, and possible future versions of the SlackBuild covered here, can also be found here..
If you desire to compile palemoon with gcc-4.9.4 and g++-4.9.4 (a good idea), a script to build and package them, can be found here

Installation instructions for Slackware 14.2 +

The steps are slightly different when downloading the SlackBuild off the notabug.org repo vs SlackBuilds.org
Although, the files used in this guide should be the same as the files found at SlackBuilds.org, we, in the interest of making this guide easier to maintain, grab the actual SlackBuild from the SlackBuild notabug.org git repository, found here, rather than the files hosted on SlackBuilds.org; therefore we advise favoring whats in the notabug repository over whats found on SlackBuilds.org
  1. In a terminal log in as root:
    su -
  2. Change to the temporary directory:
    cd /tmp/
  3. Download the SlackBuild from the Pale Moon SlackBuild git repository – we grab the SlackBuild from here rather than from SlackBuild.org for the sake making this guide easy to maintain – for 14.2 this can be found Here:
    wget https://notabug.org/khronosschoty/SlackBuilds/archive/master.tar.gz -O SlackBuilds-master.tar.gz
  4. Untar the Pale Moon SlackBuild archive:
    tar -xvf SlackBuilds-master.tar.gz

    Note: if the slackbuild is downloaded using a web browser the tar archive's name might not be correct; and will need to be adjusted.

  5. Change to the SlackBuild Pale Moon directory:
    cd slackbuilds/network/palemoon
  6. Download the necessary files indicated in the palemoon.info
    wget https://github.com/MoonchildProductions/Pale-Moon/archive/27.9.3_Release/Pale-Moon-27.9.3_Release.tar.gz \
  7. Make the Slackbuild executable:
    chmod +x palemoon.SlackBuild
  8. Run palemoon.SlackBuild script as root:
  9. At completion of the SlackBuild execution, a message similar to the following one will appear:
    Slackware package /tmp/palemoon-27.9.3-x86_64-1_SBo.tgz created.
  10. Install the newly created package as root. It will be located in the /tmp directory:
    upgradepkg --install-new /tmp/palemoon-27.9.3-x86_64-1_SBo.tgz

Resources for earlier versions of Pale Moon, and why

Why use an earlier version of Pale Moon?

With the introduction of Pale Moon 27.0.0, Pale Moon and FireFox have continued to significantly deviate from their common code origins; this deviation has caused many FireFox add-ons that used to work in Pale Moon, to no longer work in Pale Moon. Ideally there is no good reason to install an earlier version of Pale Moon, but, for those of us who feel that they must use an earlier version of Pale Moon, this is how, to do it, using the SlackBuild used in this guide.

Modifying the SlackBuild manually

This guide modifies the SlackBuild script used in this guide to compile and install Pale Moon 26.5.0… the same methods can presumable be used to compile and install even earlier versions of Pale Moon; by simple changing the version number to the desired value.

  1. Edit the palemoon.info file so that every instance of 27.9.3 is changed to 26.5.0.
  2. Edit the palemoon.SlackBuild so that every instance of 27.9.3 is 26.5.0
  3. Resume following the remaining step of this guide, "Installation instructions for Slackware 14.2 +" (found above). (That is follow steps 6 - 10). Except modify all the commands above so that 27.9.3 is replaced with 26.5.0. Here is an example:
    • Instead of downloading 27.9.3, like in step 6:
      wget https://github.com/MoonchildProductions/Pale-Moon/archive/27.9.3_Release/Pale-Moon-27.9.3_Release.tar.gz \

      Simple modify the version number so that the desired version is downloaded, like this:

      wget https://github.com/MoonchildProductions/Pale-Moon/archive/26.5.0_Release/Pale-Moon-26.5.0_Release.tar.gz \

Tips on installing Pale Moon and FireFox add-ons in Pale Moon Browser

Where to get Pale Moon add-ons

Pale Moon is capable of installing many add-ons that were made for FireFox, albeit not all FireFox add-ons will work; ideally one would install and use Pale Moon specific add-ons that can be found here. The Pale Moon add-on site recommends looking here, if you are unable to locate a desired Pale Moon specific add-on.

Sometimes older versions of a FireFox add-on, that otherwise won't work, will work in Pale Moon. Sometimes you can experiment via trial and error and find a version of the desired add-on that works. It is recommended that you explore the Pale Moon add-on site to learn more.

Additional suggestions on installing FireFox specific add-ons in Pale Moon

Although, the FireFox add-on website might be difficult when trying to install FireFox add-ons, there are several ways FireFox add-ons can be installed. One method of installation is to download and manually install the desired add-on. To do this go to the “add-ons” page in Pale Moon; by typing in the Pale Moon address bar about:addons and then pressing the enter key. You will then be presented with the Pale Moon add-on page. At the top of the screen you will notice a search box, with the text “search all add-ons”; to the immediate left of that search box is a small box; which if left clicked, will present you with a number of options – one such option is to install an add-on from file – select this option and the installation of the add-on will begin.

All add-ons recommended here have been tested and found working in Pale Moon versions 27.0.0 - 27.9.3.

User Agent add-ons

Most versions of Pale Moon have a “Firefox Compatibility Mode” enabled by default; the need, therefore, for customizing the Pale Moon user agent is not dire – the defaults that Pale Moon 27.9.3 ship with, should be sufficient for most users.

Some websites will block access to their site if Pale Moon's user agent does not indicate its one of the big 4 – Chrome, Internet Explorer, FireFox, or Safari. One solution is to install an add-on that allows you to modify Pale Moon's user agent on the fly, and, then if you wish, back again; one such add-on is “PrefBar”, which can be found here.

Password Manager add-ons

  • Some users like to use third party password managers, instead of their browser's built in password manager; there is several advantages for doing so, which we will not get into here. “KeePass” is an example of a password manager that can be used with Pale Moon or other browsers via an add-on – in this case, “KeeFox”, which allows a user to use KeePass with their Firefox browser. Unfortunately the newest versions of the add-on do not work with Pale Moon; fortunately “Version” does work and can be found here.
  • KeePassXC a fork of KeePass, is possible a better solution for Slackware users wishing to use an advanced secure password manager with Pale Moon. The plugin KeePassHttp which can be found here, used in combination with add-ons like PassIFox, found here, might prove more enjoyable then the before mentioned KeePass and KeeFox combination – the reason being, among many possible reasons, is that KeePassXC is a Linux native port of KeePass; and the most recent versions of PassIFox add-on work with current versions of Pale Moon. It should be noted that, PassIFox and KeePassHttp should also work with the before mentioned version of KeePass.

Bugs, crashes, etc; affecting Pale Moon

If you are having issues with Pale Moon, a potentially good resource to start with is, the Pale Moon "known issues" webpage.

Oxygen gtk segfaults etc

  • The theme "Oxygen gtk" (liboxygen-gtk.so) has been known to cause crashes in FireFox , and, in my experience does cause random crashes in Pale Moon. In my experience, the likelihood of crashing increases when an attempt to access history is made. As far as I know, this bug only affects FireFox and Pale Moon if the gtk 2 version of this theme is used. There is some question as to whether or not this is a palemoon bug (old FireFox bug), or a bug in the theme itself.
  • It appears that the Oxygen theme in KDE when used causes Pale Moon to crash; apparently, if the appearance in KDE is changed from “Oxygen” to something else the crashes cease to happen.
Possible workarounds
  1. Arguably the best solution would be to install a patched oxygen theme that does not suffer from the bug that causes Pale Moon to crash. alienBOB provides a patched oxygen theme; which can be found here.
  2. The most obvious work around is to use a theme other than Oxygen, or at the very least, find a version of the Oxygen theme that does not cause Pale Moon to crash or segfault (if there is such a version).
  3. Anther possible work around is to only change the theme Pale Moon is using (so that only Pale Moon is not using the Oxygen gtk theme) – to do this, enter the following command into a terminal (for example):
    GTK2_RC_FILES=/usr/share/themes/Adwaita/gtk-2.0/gtkrc palemoon-27.9.3


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