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- For WebExtensions, see FSD:IceCat WebExtensions (proposed)#Approved
GNU IceCat (originally GNU IceWeasel) is part of GNUzilla (the GNU version of the Mozilla Application Suite). GNU IceCat aim to be based on the the current official release of Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) with removal of trademarked artwork and proprietary components.
However, IceCat is not a straight fork of Firefox ESR; instead, it is a parallel effort that works closely with and re-bases in synchronization on the latest Firefox ESR as the upstream supplier, with patches merged upstream whenever possible; although it should be noted that additional security updates are customized to IceCat occasionally.
Differences between IceCat and Firefox ESR
Important differences between Mozilla's Firefox and GNU IceCat is that IceCat has a focus on freedom and privacy (see settings.js for details).
- EME is not implemented: Whereas Firefox are being created such that they support Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) systems through their implementation of the Encrypted Media Extension (EME), GNU IceCat doesn't include an EME implementation as it opposes efforts to popularize and ease the dissemination of DRM technology.
- IceCat is configured with: WebRTC disabled
- Telemetry is disabled.
Unlike Firefox ESR, IceCat comes pre-installed with add-ons. They are:
- SpyBlock (Adblock Plus fork) to block privacy trackers.
- HTTPS Everywhere to get redirected to HTTPS when possible.
- HTML5 Video Everywhere! to replace proprietary video players with Firefox native video player.
GNU IceCat was formerly known as GNU IceWeasel but changed its name in 2008 to avoid confusion with Debian IceWeasel (who was rebranded back to Firefox in 2017)ref.
- Rust is a memory-safe programming language, proposed by Mozilla.
- Zero-cost abstractions
- Move semantics
- Guaranteed memory safety
- Threads without data races
- Trait-based generics
- Pattern matching
- Type inference
- Minimal runtime
- Efficient C bindings
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