Tag Archives: Firefox

Installing Firefox Quantum on Debian Stretch

Debian only provides the ESR (Extended Support Release) line of Firefox. As a result, currently, the latest version of Firefox available for Debian Stretch is Firefox 52, which is pretty old. Lately, Firefox 57, also known as Quantum, was released as Beta. It provides many improvements over older Firefox releases, including both security and performance.

Begin by downloading the latest beta (for Firefox 57) and extract it to your home directory:

$ wget -O firefox-beta.tar.bz2 "https://download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox-beta-latest&os=linux64&lang=en-US"
$ tar -C ~/.local/ -xvf firefox-beta.tar.bz2

This installs Firefox to your current user. Because Firefox is installed in a user-specific location (and without root-priveleges), Firefox will also auto-update when new versions are released.

If you prefer using the stable version of firefox, simply replace the first step by

$ wget -O firefox-stable.tar.bz2 "https://download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox-latest&os=linux64&lang=en-US"

Next, we take care of desktop integration. Put the following in ~/.local/share/applications/firefox-beta.desktop:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Firefox Beta
Exec=/home/guyru/.local/firefox/firefox %u

Building CookieJar out of Firefox’s cookies.sqlite

Firefox 3 started to store it’s cookies in a SQLite database instead of the old plain-text cookie.txt. While Python’s cookielib module could read the old cookie.txt file, it doesn’t handle the new format. The following python snippet takes a CookieJar object and the path to Firefox cookies.sqlite (or a copy of it) and fills the CookieJar with the cookies from cookies.sqlite.

import sqlite3
import cookielib
def get_cookies(cj, ff_cookies):
    con = sqlite3.connect(ff_cookies)
    cur = con.cursor()
    cur.execute("SELECT host, path, isSecure, expiry, name, value FROM moz_cookies")
    for item in cur.fetchall():
        c = cookielib.Cookie(0, item[4], item[5],
            None, False,
            item[0], item[0].startswith('.'), item[0].startswith('.'),
            item[1], False,
            item[3], item[3]=="",
            None, None, {})
        print c

It works well for me, except that apperantly Firefox doesn’t save session cookies to the disk at all.