Unofficial Icecat builds for Windows and MacOS

GNUzilla is the GNU version of the Mozilla suite, and GNU IceCat is the GNU version of the Firefox browser. Its main advantage is an ethical one: it is entirely free software. While the Firefox source code from the Mozilla project is free software, they distribute and recommend non-free software as plug-ins and addons. Also their trademark license imposes requirements for the distribution of modified versions that make it inconvenient to exercise freedom 3.

Privacy protection features

  • LibreJS: GNU LibreJS aims to address the JavaScript problem described in Richard Stallman’s article The JavaScript Trap.
  • Https-Everywhere: Extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure.
  • SpyBlock: Blocks privacy trackers while in normal browsing mode, and all third party requests when in private browsing mode. Based on Adblock Plus.
  • AboutIceCat: Adds a custom “about:icecat” homepage with links to information about the free software and privacy features in IceCat, and checkboxes to enable and disable the ones more prone to break websites.
  • Fingerprinting countermeasures: Fingerprinting is a series of techniques allowing to uniquely identify a browser based on specific characterisics of that particular instance (like what fonts are available in that machine). Unlike cookies the user cannot opt-out of being tracked this way, so the browser has to avoid giving away that kind of hints.

Why this build exists is primarily due to the fact that I, Zach Bacon, believe in the freedom of choice, when the icecat windows binary was reported as dropped and when Jen’s Lody wasn’t available to compile a new unofficial release of icecat for Windows, I took a look at his patches and brought them up to speed so that they could be used again to compile on mingw-w64 compiler toolchain instead of non-free toolchains like visual studio.

This patch set allows the requirement of visual studio to be dropped and mingw-w64 to be used again.

I’ve also taken the task to provide an MacOS build, however even though I have access to a mac machine, it’s done completely from an ssh environment so I have no absolute way to test it out, so please be warned that it’s untested builds in this case.

That is without to say that this build is completely unofficial and doesn’t come from the icecat team.

Changes since v52.1.-ESR

  • Added extension collection
  • SpyBlock updated to 2.9.1
  • HTTPS Everywhere updated to 5.2.21
  • Removed Youtube player extension, as Youtube can no longer be browsed without running non-free javascript.
  • Fixed OCSP check settings that were impeding captive portal usage.

Windows Build Changelog

  • Backported Spectre mitigation patch
  • rebased Jens Lody patched against 52.3.0

Windows Build Environment

  • Host environment: Solus
  • compiler framework: MXE (M cross environment)

Note: It technically could be compiled from msys2 on Windows, but there’s way too much work involved since it’s python environment is lacking regarding virtual environment support in included python packages.

MacOS Build Changelog

  • Backported Spectre mitigation patch
  • backport patch in where if the updater is disabled, it shouldn’t try to bundle it.

MacOS Build Environment

  • Host environment: MacOS Sierra
  • Compiler framework: Clang targeting MacOS 10.7 for binary compatibility.