I’m actually going to take a break from Operator for a few days to talk about deploying Firefox 2 within the Enterprise. Note that when you deploy Firefox within an enterprise or organization, you can customize Firefox without worrying about Mozilla trademark policies. Just be sure your customized Firefox is not deployed outside of your enterprise or organization.
We’re going to cover:
- Building a custom version of Firefox
- Adding Enterprise specific customizations to Firefox
- Creating a Firefox installer
- Setting up your own update server to deploy Firefox patches
My assumptions are going to be that you actually need to build Firefox for your own purposes, not that you can simply use a prepackaged build from Mozilla. Also, I’m going to focus on Windows. If you don’t need to actually build Firefox, you can use the CCK Wizard to customize Firefox (we’ll talk more about that in part 2) and the Firefox Release Repackager to repackage it. The Firefox Release Repackager is Mac only right now, but I’ve sent Ben a patch to make it work on Windows as well.
Setting up a Firefox build environment
The Windows Build Prequisites page at MDC has the information on setting up a build. In order to recreate an official build, you’ll need to have Microsoft Visual C++ version 6. Unfortunately, this is not available anymore, so you might have to get it from eBay. I can’t say enough about the MozillaBuild package that bsmedberg put together. It makes setting up a build really easy.
Once you have setup the build environment, it’s time to get the code and build Firefox. Create a directory in which to check out your code and then change to that directory:
mkdir firefox cd firefox
Checking Out the Code
Now we need to check out the code. We’re going to checkout Firefox 188.8.131.52.
cvs -d :pserver:firstname.lastname@example.org:/cvsroot co -r FIREFOX_2_0_0_2_RELEASE mozilla/client.mk cvs -d :pserver:email@example.com:/cvsroot co -r FIREFOX_2_0_0_2_RELEASE mozilla/browser/config
Now we’re going to go into the mozilla directory and create a .mozconfig file. This file specifies the configuration options for the build. Here’s what ours looks like:
. $topsrcdir/browser/config/mozconfig mk_add_options MOZ_CO_TAG=FIREFOX_2_0_0_2_RELEASE mk_add_options MOZ_CO_MODULE=mozilla/other-licenses/bsdiff,mozilla/tools/update-packaging mk_add_options MOZ_OBJDIR=@TOPSRCDIR@/obj ac_add_options --enable-update-channel=release ac_add_options --enable-official-branding ac_add_options --enable-optimize ac_add_options --disable-debug ac_add_options --disable-tests ac_add_options --enable-static ac_add_options --disable-shared ac_add_options --enable-svg ac_add_options --enable-canvas ac_add_options --enable-update-packaging ac_add_options --enable-extensions=default,-inspector
Most of this file you don’t have to worry about, but let me explain a few pieces:
This sets the tag we will be checking out from (not really needed since we checked out a makefile that had the corresponding tag, but we’ll put it there just in case)
This specifies additional code we need to check out in addition to the base Firefox code. These two directories will be needed when we do update packaging.
This specifies that we want to build our code in an “obj” directory. This means that the output code is separate from the source code, so if we want to easily remove the output code, we can just remove the obj directory.
This specified that we do not want to include the DOM Inspector in our build. This is going to be our “customization” for this build, although if this is really all we wanted to do, there are easier ways.
Incidentally, the way we knew most of these options, was by typing about:buildconfig in a Firefox 2 build. This gives us the official list of build config options.
Building a Localized Firefox
There’s a possibility you might want to build a version in another language. For instance, if you wanted to build the French version of Firefox, you could add the following to your .mozconfig file:
mk_add_options MOZ_CO_LOCALES=fr mk_add_options LOCALES_CVSROOT=:pserver:firstname.lastname@example.org:/l10n ac_add_options --enable-ui-locale=fr
In order to build “official” builds, you must set two environment variables in your build environment:
MOZILLA_OFFICIAL=1; export MOZILLA_OFFICIAL; BUILD_OFFICIAL=1; export BUILD_OFFICIAL;
If you don’t set these, your builds will have a build ID of 00000000.
Now we’re ready to build. Go to the mozilla directory and type:
make -f client.mk
And wait patiently until the source code is pulled and the build is finished.
If you need to apply patches, you’ll need to pull and build the code separately:
make -f client.mk pull_all
Now you can any apply patches or changes that you want in your custom version of Firefox. This might be a bugzilla patch that is not included in the default Firefox, or other changes. Then:
make -f client.mk build_all
In our next installment, we’ll go over customizing and packaging an installer.