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Browser alternatives to replace firefox - Waterfox?

Posted: 27 Jan 2018 07:06
by ilu
For some time now I'm researching possibilities to replace firefox as my main web browser. I disagree not only on Mozilla's design decisions but mainly on their lack of respect for privacy. And I have one XUL addon I need and can't replace.
So that would mean I'm stuck with firefox ESR 52 for eternity which would be a problem, security-wise. That's why I'm thinking about a firefox-based browser alternative.

Icecat will follow firefox 57 with only Web extensions, so it's no solution.

Cyberfox is EOL mid 2018.

Palemoon could be an alternative but I somehow don't like the "atmosphere" around that project but maybe someone who uses it (I know there are users around here) has some better insight. XUL Addons need to be compatible with FF 24 to reliably work which is quite long ago, newer addons might work or not. But they put some effort into the addon problem by building their own addon repo. Tere is even talk about a readonly copy of AMO.

Edit: But I faintly remember questionable, patronizing developer decisions from the past and here comes another one: Putting NoScript on a blocklist because it causes too many support requests. It supposedly breaks too many websites - which is the freakin' goal of the addon because those websites spy, spread malware ... https://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=19110 If they think globally allowing JS is a better solution it makes you doubt their priorities. I especially dislike the way they dealt with the community backlash.

Also this peace of poetry https://github.com/jasperla/openbsd-wip/issues/86 put me off. So palemoon is out.

Basilisk from the Palemoon team: permanent beta status?
Edit: The whole team lost my trust in the NoScript debacle. And the license poetry. So basilisk is out too.

Waterfox now uses a separate directory so it's easily installable together with firefox. There's just one guy behind it but he's heading in the right direction. The license looks good.

Librefox: a work in progress. Ghacks featured it and Kuketz plans a closer investigation. I will check it out for sure but it seems too early yet.

Any experiences? Any input?

Re: Browser alternatives to replace firefox

Posted: 27 Jan 2018 19:30
by troypulk
I have been using PaleMoon for years and like it a lot it was my main browser, but lately it has had stability issues and some web sites and video's don't work. Right now there in version Version: 27.7.1 and they have a unstable Version: 27.8.0a1 (64-bit) (2018-01-18).

So I have to use my other Web Browsers, I have Chromium Version 62.0.3202.89, Firefox 58.0, Vivaldi stable and Snapshot 1.14.1077.25

Vivaldi Snapshot is the one I have been using as my main lately.

If you need that XUL extensions so much have you tried finding it in other browsers?

I think you are just going to have to settle on Palemoon because I don't think there going to to go to WebExtenions

Re: Browser alternatives to replace firefox

Posted: 28 Jan 2018 00:51
by kurotsugi
For some time now I'm researching possibilities to replace firefox as my main web browser. I disagree not only on Mozilla's design decisions but mainly on their lack of respect for privacy.
can you elaborate this part?

Re: Browser alternatives to replace firefox

Posted: 28 Jan 2018 02:12
by docke
kurotsugi wrote:
can you elaborate this part?
Just my 2 cents.
Mozilla is getting tons of money from globalists in exchange of some features.
This means politics had poisoned the well.
Because these guys are anti free speech and Marxists, to trust in Mozilla at this point is naive.

Some of many red pills:
----> https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/09/0 ... a_privacy/
----> https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2017/08/0 ... on-online/
----> https://needtoknow.news/2017/08/soros-p ... ship-tool/
----> https://naturalnews.com/2017-08-14-fire ... roups.html
----> https://www.activistpost.com/2017/08/mo ... -news.html
---> http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/10/10/ ... roups.html

Re: Browser alternatives to replace firefox

Posted: 28 Jan 2018 03:10
by ilu
@docke: Don't bash political opinions you don't like and just keep to the facts please. Hate speech doesn't make a convincing argument.

Regarding the links you gave: The first link from the register just has rumours. The second link is very valid and gives food for thought. The next three comment on this with a political bias. The last one has nothing at all to do with privacy.

@kurotsugi:
Overriding about:config privacy settings silently and without consent on almost every new version, you'll have to research this one for yourself, to many things to list. Telemetry and studies, to name the latest fuckups:
Mr Robot advertising addon without consent
Cliqz tracking addon without consent
I (and others) see a downhill tendency there.

Re: Browser alternatives to replace firefox

Posted: 28 Jan 2018 06:17
by kurotsugi
well...I already know about the trend but I don't know about their latest move (I'm still stuck on ESR). the mr.robot addon is definetely new for me. thanks for the info :3

on topic: I think the situation is actually quite dire. there aren't many available option for us. the only "privacy safe" browser would be webkit based browser but I found most of them doesn't works as good as firefox. my second browser is epiphany but I primarily choose it because it's light. it can't replace firefox in term of functionality. opera sounds good at first but anything with build in adblock, vpn, will raise a privacy concern. perhaps I'm cursed to stick with ESR :lol:

Re: Browser alternatives to replace firefox

Posted: 28 Jan 2018 07:04
by grizzler
ilu wrote:Overriding about:config privacy settings silently and without consent on almost every new version
Strange. I've heard that mentioned before, but it never happened to me. I just checked: everything I switched off manually two or three versions ago is still off.

Re: Browser alternatives to replace firefox

Posted: 28 Jan 2018 15:12
by ilu
They do that by changing the names of the settings. It might not always be intended but it has the same effect. I have a user.js and I have to read up on the settings again and again and again because they can't let stuff well enough alone. I like about firefox that fine-tuning is possible but if I say "telemetry off" that should be enough. Instead I have to say "telemetry-a off", "telemetry-b off" and next version they introduce "telemetry-c" which defaults to on and next version they change the name into "experiment-x" which also defaults to on.

Those preconfigured user.js by either pylukko or ghacks help but I still have to look through the rather long file because they are too restrictive in some parts. So I would be glad if somebody else or a community would be checking the vast part of those changes for me and Alex Kontos from Waterfox says he does. I will still leave firefox (for multimedia stuff) and firefox ESR (for logins) and chromium (for riot) installed but I'm testing waterfox as my bread-and-butter-browser now. If the test turns out well I willl install waterfox on all friends&family computers because they typically never fumble with about:config or user.js.

Re: Browser alternatives to replace firefox

Posted: 28 Jan 2018 16:44
by Arjen Balfoort
I'm testing the following settings on FF 58 from this guide (scroll down to the about:config section), but it's too short to say anything sensible about it:

Code: Select all

// Privacy settings
user_pref("privacy.donottrackheader.enabled", true);
user_pref("privacy.donottrackheader.value", 1);
user_pref("privacy.trackingprotection.enabled", true);
// Disable telemetry
user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.enabled", false);
user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.archive.enabled", false);
user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.rejected", true);
user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.server", "0.0.0.0");
user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.unified", false);
user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.unifiedIsOptIn", false);
user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.prompted", 2);
// Disable WebRTC
user_pref("media.peerconnection.enabled", false);
// Disable safe browsing - reports to Google when true
user_pref("browser.safebrowsing.phishing.enabled", false);
user_pref("browser.safebrowsing.malware.enabled", false);
// Do not upload health report to Mozilla
user_pref("datareporting.healthreport.uploadEnabled", false);
// Prevent sites from tracking your copy-paste behavior
user_pref("dom.event.clipboardevents.enabled", false);
// Disable your geo location
user_pref("geo.enabled", false);
user_pref("geo.wifi.uri", "127.0.0.1");
// Only allow cookies from the site you visit
user_pref("network.cookie.cookieBehavior", 1);
// Delete cookies after session ends
user_pref("network.cookie.lifetimePolicy", 2);
// Disable DNS prefetching
user_pref("network.dns.disablePrefetch", true);
// Do not send the referer header
user_pref("network.http.sendRefererHeader", 0);
user_pref("network.http.sendSecureXSiteReferrer", false);
// Do not pre-download linked web pages
user_pref("network.prefetch-next", false);

Re: Browser alternatives to replace firefox

Posted: 28 Jan 2018 18:20
by ilu
I think these two are the best:
https://github.com/pyllyukko/user.js/
https://github.com/ghacksuserjs/ghacks-user.js
Wiki
Lot of explanations on main site also but I can't find the one about FF 57: https://www.ghacks.net/2017/10/05/firef ... s-changes/. The guy running that site is deeply involved with all things firefox.

Re: Browser alternatives to replace firefox - palemoon, waterfox?

Posted: 29 Jan 2018 23:30
by mistergil
I run PaleMoon 25.2.1 as my main browser and as already mentioned some web pages and video are quirky. Been playing with the Yandex Browser (Beta for Linux) which is faster than any I've ever used but the Russian language primarily used is sometimes problematic. If they come out with an English version (planned) it will be my choice because of the speed and feel. The Firefox I have installed was updated to 58 without any noted issues or rouge addons and is only used via proxy. Chromium seems bloated to me but I have it installed for occcassional use along with Opera.

Re: Browser alternatives to replace firefox - palemoon, waterfox?

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 05:04
by kurotsugi

Code: Select all

// Disable WebRTC
user_pref("media.peerconnection.enabled", false);
I think this one doesn't pose any threat and should be enabled :3

Re: Browser alternatives to replace firefox - palemoon, waterfox?

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 05:44
by ilu
It's still recommended to keep it off: https://www.privacytools.io/#webrtc but I don't know whether that really helps. If somebody wanted to use WebRTC it would not work without it being obvious why.

Most sites recommend that donottrackheader should be set to false because nobody honors that header anyway and it just makes your browser more unique.

If you surf with JS on the browser exposes a lot of its settings to websites and a unique combination of settings is as good as any other tracker. (That's why it's recommended to not change anything if you use the TOR browser - no different settings, no additional addons.) If one wants more secure settings for firefox those user.js from ghacks and pyllukko are probably a good way, if you take them as they are, because a lot of people use them.

I'm trying to surf with JS off as far as possible but It's still the reason why I'm looking for a browser where I can leave the settings at default.

Re: Browser alternatives to replace firefox - palemoon, waterfox?

Posted: 31 Jan 2018 14:50
by Arjen Balfoort
I've moved the Firefox privacy discussion here: viewtopic.php?f=72&t=7167

Sorry Ilu, for hijacking your topic.

Re: Browser alternatives to replace firefox - palemoon, waterfox?

Posted: 14 May 2018 15:56
by ilu
I've updated my first post to reflect on the latest developing decisions of the palemoon team. And because of another occasion where they completely antagonized even polite members of their community. :facepalm: At least the worst guy - a teammember ! - got banned ... whatever happened ... anyway ... :roll:

I'm using Waterfox for some time now and I will not switch back to Firefox (non ESR). Regarding ESR I will stop updating with Firefox 52.9 which is expected for June.
Forced upgrade to ESR 60 will probably happen in September. I haven't read anything from Debian though. Firefox-ESR 60 is in experimental and Firefox-non-ESR 60 is in sid - no idea what that means.

Remember, with ESR 60 all old type - non webext - addons will be gone.

Re: Browser alternatives to replace firefox - Waterfox?

Posted: 22 Jun 2018 02:18
by BillZM
I'm on the same quest, for something to replace Firefox pre-57 in Windows and Linux. Running Basilisk Mar21 version (the last one based on FF53+) very successfully at present with tweaks for E10s, but their latest versions revert back to FF52ESR base and strip out some code; I've had less luck with these and will shift back to FF52ESR for a while I guess. I may try Waterfox next.

I've tried Pale Moon v27 too but run into some compatibility and stability issues. This may improve when v28 is released (built on the updated platform used for Basilisk).

Re: Browser alternatives to replace firefox - Waterfox?

Posted: 03 Jan 2019 21:57
by ilu
So waterfox thankfully has made it in our repositories.

I've edited the opening post to add Librefox, a work in progress, which very much sounds like my personal dream.

Re: Browser alternatives to replace firefox - Waterfox?

Posted: 03 Jan 2019 22:35
by BillZM
Running Pale Moon v28.2.2 now as main browser in both Windows and Linux. MUCH improved compatibility from v27. Pretty stable now too 28.2+. Flushing memory with Lull The Tabs extension helps. Feels modern despite 2008-2010 laptops.