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authorPatrick Spek <p.spek@tyil.nl>2022-02-14 14:46:44 +0100
committerPatrick Spek <p.spek@tyil.nl>2022-02-14 14:46:44 +0100
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downloadblog-06346b459049bbeaadc159ef05554defc4aa392c.tar.gz
blog-06346b459049bbeaadc159ef05554defc4aa392c.tar.bz2
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+---
+date: 2022-02-14
+title: Trying out LibreWolf
+tags:
+- Firefox
+- LibreWolf
+---
+
+Over the past week, I've been trying out [LibreWolf](https://librewolf.net/) as
+an alternative to mainline Firefox. I generally don't hold a high opinion on any
+"modern" browser to begin with, but Firefox has been the least bad for quite
+some time. I used to actually like Firefox, but Mozilla has done their best to
+alienate their user base in search for profits, and is eventually left with
+neither. Their latest effort in digging their own grave is teaming up with Meta.
+
+As such, I have been searching for an alternative (modern) browser for a long
+time. One major requirement that I've had is to have something like
+[uMatrix](https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/umatrix/). And
+obviously major features to block any and all advertisements, as these are a
+major detriment to your own mental health, and to the resources your machine
+uses. So, when someone recommended me LibreWolf, which is just a more
+user-respecting fork of Firefox, I didn't hesitate to try it out.
+
+The migration from Firefox to LibreWolf was remarkably simple. Since I use [a
+small
+wrapper](https://git.tyil.nl/dotfiles/tree/.local/bin/firefox?id=1c8e9b136d9d00decc1d3570fe58072427107148)
+to launch Firefox with a specific profile directory, I just had to update that
+to launch LibreWolf instead. It kept all my settings, installed add-ons, and even
+open tabs. It seems that by default, however, it will use its own directory for
+configuration. If you want to try out LibreWolf and have a similar experience,
+you can just copy over your old Firefox configuration directory to a new
+location for use with LibreWolf. In hindsight, that probably would've been the
+safer route for me as well, but it already happened and it all went smooth, so
+no losses.
+
+Now, while LibreWolf is more-or-less like Firefox, but less harmful to its own
+users, some of the tweaks made by the LibreWolf team may or may not be desired.
+I've taken note of any differences that could be conceived as issues. So far,
+they're not breaking for me, but these may be of interest to you if you're
+looking to try LibreWolf out as well.
+
+## HTTP
+
+By default, LibreWolf will not let you visit sites over HTTP. This is generally
+a very nice feature, but for some public hot-spots, this may cause issues. These
+are generally completely unencrypted, and LibreWolf will refuse to connect. The
+page presented instead will inform you that the page you're trying to visit is
+unencrypted, and allow you to make a temporary exception. Not a very big issue,
+but it may be a little bit more annoying than you're used to.
+
+## Add-ons
+
+While all my add-ons were retained, I did want to get another add-on to redirect
+me away from YouTube, to use an Invidious instance. The page for installing
+add-ons itself seems to work fine, but upon clicking the Install button, and
+accepting the installation, LibreWolf throws an error that it simply failed to
+install anything. The Install button is nothing more than a fancy anchor with a
+link to the `xpi` file, so you can manually download the file and install the
+add-on manually through the [Add-ons Manager](about:addons).
+
+## Element
+
+I've been using Matrix for a while, as an atechnical-friendly, open source
+platform, for those unwilling to use IRC. Their recommended client,
+[Element](https://app.element.io/), is just another web page, because that's
+sadly how most software is made these days. The chat itself works without a
+hitch, but there are two minor inconveniences compared to my regular Firefox
+setup.
+
+The first one is that LibreWolf does not share my local timezone with the
+websites I visit. This causes timestamps to be off by one hour in the Element
+client. A very minor issue that I can easily live with.
+
+The other is that the "default" icons, which is a capital letter with a colored
+background, don't look so well. There's some odd artifacts in the icons, which
+doesn't seem to affect the letter shown.
+
+![Element Icon Artifacts](https://dist.tyil.nl/blog/matrix-icons.png)
+
+## Jellyfin
+
+For consuming all sorts of media, I have [Jellyfin](https://jellyfin.org/) set
+up for personal use. This worked fine in my regular Firefox setup, but does not
+seem to be willing to play any videos in LibreWolf. The console logs show some
+issues with websockets, and I've not been able to find a good way to work around
+this yet. For now, I'll stick to using `mpv` to watch any content to deal with
+this issue.
+
+All in all, I think LibreWolf is a pretty solid browser, and unless I discover
+something major to turn me off, I'll keep using it for the foreseeable future.