Web browsers on DICE

On DICE we have a number of web browsers installed, Firefox, Konqueror, chrome… Officially we only support the version of firefox that is packaged with SL6, and actually comes from RHEL6. We do this because we then get all the security patches from Redhat for free and because this code is stable we can make changes to the browser to suit our infrastructure and not have to continually release new, updated copies. Equally we recognise that some people want access to browsers that are perhaps faster or have different capabilities so we provide other browsers like google chrome, links,lynx, konqueror or more recent versions of firefox. Some of these come with SL6 and some have been added but they’re there on a “goodwill” support basis. If there’s a problem we’ll update the browser if we can but we may not be able to spend any more resources than that.

So looking at the browsers we have available:

Firefox (3.6, 5)
As stated above the officially supported browser is the version of firefox that ships with SL6, at the moment this is 3.6.24, it gets a number of configuration tweaks tosuit the department. This includes iinstalling the EUCS CA in the nss libraries, which means that ssl will “just work” with officical university websites. We also configure cosign to work with the schools cosign authentication service and do a number of other configuration tweaks

Firefox 5+
We provide a more up to date version of firefox in /opt/firefox- which can be executed from a shell by running the firefox script. Unfortunately this does tend to lag a bit behind the latest official release and it’s likely that we will switch to the staticaly compiled binaries provided by mozilla.

Google Chrome
Again in /opt/ there will be a version of google chrome which is the most up to date one we can reliably provide on DICE and where possible we tweak the configuration to make cosign and ssl work with School and University websites.

Firefox ESR
Because it’s not really possible for Enterprise based firefox installations to keep up with the new six week releae schedule for firefox mozilla will be nominating a firefox release to be an ESR (extended Support Release) and will be supported with security and performance patches for a 6-9 month period. It’s not clear what Redhats strategy is with respect to ESR but we will almost certainly follow their lead in either using ESR or a more up to date version of firefox itself.

There are a number of other browsers installed including terminal based links,feel free to use these but bear inind that support mayl not be able to help you with them if you run into problems.

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