How to compile GNU IceCat 17.0.1 from source

Gnuzilla GNU IceCat is the free software version of the Mozilla Firefox web browser. However, gNewSense 3.1 doesn't come with GNU IceCat 17.0.1 and it's not possible to simply install it from software repositories. GNU IceCat has a richer set of features than the default Web brower (Epiphany) and is considerably more recent than the version of Iceweasel packaged for gNewSense 3.1. Icecat 24.0 cannot easily be compiled on gNewSense 3.1 because of the age of some of the shared libraries in gNewSense 3.

All instructions refer to a plain and fresh gNewSense installation, which should grant the reproducibility as long as the hardware meets the minimum requirements for each step and finally the program run.

Installing libraries and compiling a later version of yasm

To avoid the need to resolve a lot dependencies manually, a general patch update should be made with

 sudo apt-get update
 sudo apt-get upgrade

as appropriate followed by a reboot of the system.

The next step is to obtain the GNU IceCat source code files. Download the package icecat-17.0.1.tar.gz from the GNUzilla project. Simply decompress the package with

 tar -zxf icecat-17.0.1.tar.gz

In order to get ./configure of IceCat statisfied, further dependencies have to be resolved:

 sudo apt-get install libgtk2.0-dev
 sudo apt-get install libnotify-dev
 sudo apt-get install libasound2-dev
 sudo apt-get install libiw-dev
 sudo apt-get install libxt-dev
 sudo apt-get install mesa-common-dev
 sudo apt-get install checkinstall

Only one dependency is still left - the Yasm Modular assembler. It can't get resolved by apt-get install yasm because the version in the repository is 0.8.0 where the IceCat build system requires at least 1.0.1. So download yasm-1.2.0.tar.gz from the Yasm project page and compile/install it with this command sequence:

 tar -xzf yasm-1.2.0.tar.gz
 cd yasm-1.2.0
 ./configure -prefix=/usr
 sudo checkinstall make install
 cd ..

Compiling GNU IceCat 17.0.1

After having all preparations in place, IceCat should finally compile/install successfully:

 cd icecat-17.0.1
 ./configure -prefix=/usr
 chmod +x ./build/unix/
 sudo make install
 cd ..

The steps above will take some time (around 45 minutes on a Core Duo 2 laptop) and require approximately 3Gb of hard drive space.

IceCat should now come up when invoked by icecat & on the terminal.

If all goes according to plan, Icecat should find the Gnash flash player and other plug-ins used with the existing Iceweasel profile. You will have to import existing bookmarks and reinstall fully-libre plugins.

You can make a menu entry for Icecat by right clicking the Gnome Main Menu, selecting Edit Menus and making a New Item. The command field of the New Item dialog box should be 'icecat'

You can also add a custom launcher to the Gnome Panel by right clicking over the panel, selecting Add to Panel... and clicking Custom Launcher. Again the command field should be 'icecat'.

An Icecat icon is available for download from the Wikipedia page

Documentation/3/MiscellaneousGuides/CompileGnuIcecatSeventeen (last edited 2014-02-27 02:30:30 by HarryPrevor)