Firefox and Abrowser

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Davide0
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Joined: 12/01/2015

The only difference between Abrowser and Firefox is the addons repository? If so, if I install Firefox and only free addons am I using a GNU-compatible software?

SuperTramp83

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Joined: 10/31/2014

Yes, Firefox, the software is free software with a free software license. The logo is not libre. A logo is not software though, but art, or symbol. So.. if you are ok with that, with the nonfree painted fox, go for it, yes.

aloniv

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There are other differences between the browsers other than artwork licensing, such as Abrowser removing support for HTML5 DRM and also removing telemetry/data collection/tracking (and linking to a free add-on repository).

FindEssential
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Joined: 08/23/2017

As far as I am aware these "features" are not removed per-say. Its just that by default EME and telemetry are turned off which can be done in mainline Firefox as well. Firefox ships with EME opt-in only, but I believe Telemetry is on by default. Beyond that there is the branding and the add-on repo as well. Pocket is removed too.

Icecat/Abrowser are ESR as apposed to stable. Normally this isn't a problem, but with Quantum serving as a significant upgrade I can understand why people would want to dump an ESR rebrand for mainline Firefox. Especially if they fall in the "branding is not software" camp, which is a legitimate point.

Icecat/Abrowser do not have support for Sync, so there might be a freedom issue there I am not aware of.

aloniv

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IceCat is ESR - based on Firefox 52. Abrowser is not (it's based on newer Firefox 56). Abrowser/Icecat also hide the DRM option in the main menus.

Davide0
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Joined: 12/01/2015

And is it possible to disable telemetry/data collection/tracking in Firefox (and also HTML DRM)? And if I disable them is Firefox like Abrowser (apart the logo)?

Magic Banana

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There are more differences: https://devel.trisquel.info/trisquel/package-helpers/blob/e635557062a4ae58271908143b644d10ed2a8b12/helpers/make-firefox

For instance, uBlock Origin is installed by default, DuckDuckGo is the default search engine, settings.js in https://devel.trisquel.info/trisquel/package-helpers/tree/e635557062a4ae58271908143b644d10ed2a8b12/helpers/DATA/firefox tweaks many settings, etc.

FindEssential
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Joined: 08/23/2017

Davide0,

This sort of inquiry hearkens to an important issue in Free Software, whether to define it narrowly or broadly. Here in this forum people tend to define it broadly to encompass things that are not software or additional points that can be easily replicated with mainline software.

For many people mainline Firefox with EME and telemetry turned off is sufficient. Branding isn't software and though non-free repos are available, if you don't use them the end product is the same. Many, many people feel the same way about Debian. As it ships, it is free software, the issues advocates raise are software adjacent. It really just depends on where you want to stake out your position.

For example, I wouldn't use Debian as Trisquel is sufficient for my needs. I find Icecat/Abrowser wanting in performance which is important in my use case. I also don't really share the "freedom concerns" regarding Firefox others share and have no issue using it on Trisquel. I do turn off EME and Telemetry though. I also only install add-ons I know to be free software, but I do use the Mozilla repo to do so because I want my add-ons updated in a timely manner as Quantum rolls out. I am not confident that would happen with the Trisquel or FSF repo.

Davide0
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Joined: 12/01/2015

Yes, I got the point FindEssential, thanks to everyone