Icecat is the GNU project version of Mozilla Firefox. The main
advantage of Icecat over Firefox, and the major difference between
the two, is that Icecat codebase and ecosystem is entirely free
software while Firefox is not. Firefox reccomends non-free plugins
and add-ons, and Icecat only reccomends and distributes free
You can get the source for Icecat
from Savannah and built in the usual manner.
If building from source isn’t quite your thing, the GNUzilla team
also provides built tarballs that you can easily download,
un-archive, and run. The latest version of Icecat can be
from GNU FTP (make sure to get the 32bit or 64bit version,
whichever is right for your system).
You should then untar the archive
tar -xzvf path/to/archive
and then move the resulting directory to somewhere in your $PATH. On
my system, I moved the icecat-17.0.1 directory to /usr/local/bin
sudo mv icecat-17.0.1 /usr/local/bin
You will then need to `cd` to /usr/local/bin and create an
executable symlink the icecat executable.
sudo ln -s icecat-17.0.1 ./icecat
If you now execute
the path to this newly created symlink should be printed to your
terminal. You now have a fully installed and useable Icecat on your
Adding Icecat to the Debian Alternatives System
The Debian Alternatives system allows for user configurable
‘default’ applications to use for specific functions. Using the
Alternatives system, you can easily configure which program your
system uses as an editor, a mail client, a web browser, etc. In
order to set Icecat as the browser that all links will open in,
you must add it to the Alternatives system. By executing
sudo update-alternatives –install /usr/bin/icecat x-www-browser /usr/local/bin/icecat 90
Icecat will be added the Alternatives system and set to the
highest priority. Now, all links will open in Icecat.