Chapter 11. Surfing the Web with Firefox

As with other open source software, many Web browser options are available to Ubuntu users. Desktop systems such as GNOME and KDE both have multipurpose object browsers (Nautilus and Konqueror, respectively) that can also browse Web pages and are fine for that purpose if you want to learn only one tool and use it for almost everything. However, Ubuntu installs the Mozilla project's Firefox browser as its default Web browser for a good reason — it's the best Web browser available on Linux systems (and on any other system, too, in my opinion). Firefox is the most popular open source browser available today, and it's the only browser in the past decade or so to have actually taken market share away from Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Many of the innovations that Windows users are looking forward to in upcoming releases of Internet Explorer were first introduced in Firefox and have been present for quite a few versions.

This chapter begins with a bit of history and explains what a long, strange trip it has been for Firefox, and then discusses how to start, configure, use, and customize Firefox.

A Quick History of Firefox

Firefox has what is perhaps the best possible pedigree in Web browsing history — it is the latest descendant of the original Mosaic Web browser, the original graphical Web browser for UNIX systems. Mosaic was created ...

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