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Developer(s) Jason Halme
Stable release 3.6.13 [±]
Preview release 4.0.0 [±]
Operating system Linux
Type Web browser
License binaries: proprietary
source: MPL 1.1
Website www.getswiftfox.com

Swiftfox is a web browser based on Mozilla Firefox. It is available for Linux platforms and distributed by Jason Halme. Swiftfox is a set of builds of Firefox optimized for different Intel and AMD microprocessors. Swiftfox is freely downloadable with open source code and proprietary binaries. Firefox extensions and plugins are compatible with Swiftfox, with notable exceptions. The name Swiftfox comes from the animal Swift Fox. Swiftfox differs from Firefox by a limited number of changes, and builds for different processors. As these differences are technical, for general information on the browser see Firefox.


The Swiftfox build is optimized using the following methods:

Binary code optimization

Increased Security

  • Better protection from Buffer overflow attacks[6] (Swiftfox 2.0 uses -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2; Firefox 2.0 uses gcc 3.x, which does not support this).[2]


Changed default preference values


Firefox speed[edit]

Firefox has been criticised for slow startup compared with other browsers,[10] a criticism confirmed by pre-Firefox 2.0 speed tests.[11][12] A speed comparison of various Linux (and other) browsers has been done.[12]

Swiftfox speed[edit]

No definitive benchmarking has been reported, but a quicker startup time and a 1.7% webpage rendering speedup has been reported on version[13] There are no benchmarks for the different processors builds.

Additional options[edit]

Swiftfox is bundled with the following freely available Firefox plugins and extensions:

  • XForms extension is installed and enabled
  • libunixprintplugin.so plugin is installed

Downloads available[edit]

  • The latest released version of Firefox 2.0 - separate builds are available for each processor type covering Intel and AMD processors:
    • packaged as a tar file
    • packaged for Debian installs
  • Recent snapshots of development versions of Firefox 2.0 and 3.0 (trunk) - separate builds for AMD Athlon XP processors and Intel Pentium 4 (and compatible).


The same as Firefox, the Swiftfox source code is open source, with the source code under MPL 1.1 except for parts relating to branding.[14] Unlike Firefox, the Swiftfox binaries have a proprietary license[14] which does not allow redistribution. According to the author, this is to prevent the possibility of any confusion with tainted versions (see the Firefox branding argument Mozilla Firefox#Trademark and logo issues). The name Swiftfox is trademarked by Jason Halme, and accordingly cannot be used on other third party Firefox builds without his permission.


Swiftfox binaries are available as Debian packages from official site. Note that the proprietary binary license prevents Debian and other Linux distributions from having Swiftfox available as part of a distribution. To redestribute Swiftfox they would have to change the name and the icons, just like Debian did it with Firefox (Iceweasel).


  • Firefox source code and Swiftfox changes are freely available for download, allowing anyone to create their own build.
  • Swiftweasel is an optimized build of the Mozilla Firefox code that is licensed under the MPL 1.1.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Swiftfox Forum". 
  2. ^ a b c d Using url of about:buildconfig to check the details of the 2.0 builds
  3. ^ a b "Optimize Options - Using the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC)". 
  4. ^ a b c d "Swiftfox 2.0pre changelog". 
  5. ^ "Swiftfox Forum". 
  6. ^ "Limiting buffer overflows with ExecShield". redhat.com. 
  7. ^ "Script Gallery - Pango". 
  8. ^ a b "Swiftfox changelog". 
  9. ^ "Swiftfox Forum". 
  10. ^ Muradin, Alex (November 30, 2005). "Mozilla Firefox 1.5 Final Review". Softpedia. Retrieved 2007-01-24. 
  11. ^ "Mozilla Firefox Review". Softpedia. Retrieved 2006-10-30. 
  12. ^ a b "Browser speed comparisons". 
  13. ^ "APC Magazine: What's The Worlds Fastest Browser". Retrieved 2006-10-30. 
  14. ^ a b "Swiftfox license". 

External links[edit]