Talk:Mozilla software rebranded by Debian

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origins of the name[edit]

I fixed the bit about the origins of the name. There was a false etymology there. Please, editors, don't make stuff up when it's easy enough to check -- I inserted a reference to the first known use of the term, which is my coining of it. The name has a somewhat generic usage as well: the process of stripping and replacing all trademarks in a piece of software is often called the "Iceweasel route" in Debian discussions, and the usage seems to be spreading throughout free software. I'm not sure how to integrate that in the article. --Nathanael Nerode. 03:37, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

The name IceWeasel has long been Mozilla's suggested name for what they call "Community Editions" or non-Mozilla Firefox builds. Nathanael did not coin the name Mozilla suggested the name as they do everyone they tell to stop using the name Firefox.
Do you have a cite for Mozilla making this suggestion before February 2004? --Kevin McCarty 18:40, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
from "The original Iceweasel name was coined by Nathanael Nerode. Ice isn't Fire and a Weasel isn't a Fox, so it is clearly a different package". Oh, I see that he posted above... Anyway it seems to be the official story. -- AdrianTM 23:32, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
In case you're curious, search the debian-legal archives -- Mozilla was recommending the name _because_ of my post in debian-legal in February 2004, and I mention that in a later debian-legal posting. I came up with the name for a throwaway example of legal unlicensed trademark use -- I'm surprised at how far it's travelled! --Nathanael Nerode 09:15, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
Iceweasels can also be attributed to this quote from Matt Groening [1], in his "Life is Hell" book series: "Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come."

About the difference beetween Debian Iceweasel and GNU's Iceweasel[edit]

I quote from Facts about Debian and Mozilla® Firefox®

Update: Debian is going to replace Firefox® with a GNU fork called Iceweasel Half-true. For the etch release, Iceweasel will only be Firefox® with a different branding. We are taking the Iceweasel name because it was already know as a possible alternative name for Firefox® when the trademark concerns have been raised more than 2 years ago (thanks Nathanael Nerode for this nice name, by the way). It appears that the GNU guys decided to start a fork with this name… that’s quite unfortunate, actually. Anyways, the plan is to get in touch with them to see what we can do together, but with the etch release approaching, we can’t and won’t do more than a rename for the moment.

The article doesn't reflect the fact that Debian's Iceweasel won't be the same as GNU's Iceweasel (in short term at least). Shoudn't this be explained? Chali2 06:40, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Well, we have this, but it does need at least a grammar cleanup:
The "IceWeasel" name was revived in the Debian community as a possible name to give the rebranded version of Firefox. The IceWeasel used in Etch will not be the GNU application of the same name. But will be a rebranded Firefox created by Debian.[10]
Separately[10] in August 2005[11], the Gnuzilla project adopted the Iceweasel name for a Firefox distribution [11]using free artwork, which Debian plans to support[10]. Iceweasel is a full fork of Firefox, rather than a renamed package. This will allow free software distributions a single point upstream for development. Debian intends to remain synchronized to the Mozilla Foundation's Firefox releases.[12]'
ptkfgs 12:44, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Is there an animal named iceweasel?[edit]

How about an article about that as well?

There's an early (1985, maybe?) Matt Groening cartoon, I believe from "Love is Hell," that has the punchline, "At night, the ice weasels come."

Good question! There is a "real" (cute) animal in a "real" picture at, but there is no reason to think that it is really called an iceweasel -- can't find any google evidence of such. 00:11, 15 December 2006 (UTC)


Iceweasel's great in concept; however, there's little detail anywhere on what exactly in Firefox didn't meet GNU standards of Free-dom, and what same will be replaced with. The best I can find is a tenuous link to Plugger, which depends on mplayer, which basically depends on legally grey use of win32 binaries where available; AFAIK, Moz Foundation Firefox ships with no major multimedia plugins at all. This should be clarified, as it will be the big "visible" difference between official Mozilla Foundation releases and the patchset/"psuedo-fork" GNU will maintain for the convenience of third-parties deriving. -- 15:52, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

The problem is the trademark restrictions on the name 'Firefox' and the Firefox logos. The point was that Mozilla uses its trademark to prevent anyone from modifying Firefox and still calling it Firefox, and therefore the 'no restriction on modifications' requirement of free software is not met. Cynical 18:05, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes, obviously. However, [2] states "While the source code from the Mozilla project is free software, the binaries that they release include additional non-free software. Also, they distribute non-free software as plug-ins." without providing concrete examples. It'd be one thing if GNU Iceweasel were simply a branding for 'customized' distributions -- but does this just mean the logo image files and trademark text are "software," or, as the gripe about binaries and plugins suggests, is any major functionality changing due to license issues? (They're adding a few features, obviously; what I'm asking is *what* actually ships in the binaries to inform the above statement, and this out of sheer curiosity.)-- 20:56, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

The non-free software in official builds is the Talkback crash reporting tool, though its "removal" from IceWeasel doesn't mean much - you can't build it unofficially even if you want to. - rdmsoft 06:55, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the clarification! -- 02:43, 16 October 2006 (UTC) (the O.P., from home)

The only two problems that the FSF has with Firefox is the use of the non-free Talkback crash reporting tool and the use of a "plugin finder service" that recommends non-free plugins. Please also note that Talkback is being replaced by Airbag as soon as the project is ready (very soon, hopefully). The FSF has no issues with Mozilla protecting its trademark. Please do not confuse Debian with the FSF. Debian has the trademark problems, while the FSF thinks Mozilla is using its trademark just fine. ReedLoden 05:45, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

To be more specific, Debian is also just fine with Mozilla using its trademarks this way -- but Debian's technical requirements don't allow for the prior approval process required by Mozilla (you can probably find the references to this in the bug reports and in debian-legal archives). So this means that Debian can't use the trademarks, so it has to use a rebranded version.

Is there any further discussion to resolve this between Debian and Mozilla? - it seems to me like things are hinging on a very small technical issue - is there any reference for Mozilla's side of this, for NPOV? Widefox 01:27, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

the best reference for the whole issue is the debian bug report thread submitted by mozilla where a mozilla representitive is in a tight argument with various people from debian. 18:33, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Web bugs[edit]

I'm running Firefox, so was concerned about the claim here of privacy holes in my browser....

  • " 1. Some sites refer to zero-size images on other hosts to keep track of cookies. When IceWeasel detects this mechanism it blocks cookies from the site hosting the zero-length image file. (It is possible to re-enable such a site by removing it from the blocked hosts list.)"[3]
    • 1. Web bugs - the claim that Firefox has a 3rd party cookie web bug hole appear (in my superficial analysis to be only partially correct) FF has a setting network.cookie.cookieBehavior that controls 3rd party cookies. In my browser it was set to 1 which means [4] that all 3rd party cookies are blocked, no additional 0 size image blocking is needed. That's as long as it functions according to the documentation. I ran the online test, but I am non the wiser. Note that the default setting is 0 = allow all including 3rd party, so somewhere along the line, my setting has changed.
    • CONCLUSION = check and adjust Firefox setting
  • " 2. Other sites rewrite the host name in links redirecting the user to another site, mainly to "spy" on clicks. When this behavior is detected, IceWeasel shows a message alerting the user."[5]
    • OK. Seems like an improvement. I personally would prefer a location prompt to come up, with a suggested rewrite of the destination, that I could correct if I knew it was wrong. Any IceWeasel developers here?
    • CONCLUSION = minor improvement (only provides warning, as far as I know)

CONCLUSION = yes improvement, but not in itself as important as setting your options correctly. Widefox 00:43, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Debian NOT simply rebranding[edit]

I changed the start of the article, to avoid giving readers the mis-impression that the Debian versions of Firefox are merely rebranded versions of it. Someone changed it back. I'm not going to fight this edit war -- if someone insists on the article being wrong, you all will have to deal with it. The point is, Debian has always insisted on their right to make code changes, without getting permission from Mozilla. This is one of the core reasons for conflict, for the very existence of "IceWeasel"! And Debian is more committed to long-term maintenance of their older versions than Moz is. 14:03, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

I've substantially reworded that section. Hopefully it will please both of you --h2g2bob 14:50, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks -- looks good! Now if someone could track down the details of what patches Debian has actually applied in the various versions, and create a section parallel to "Gnuzilla IceWeasel features"... 13:41, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

You can find extensive rants on the differences here: It's a good start, and I mostly trust his lists to be complete, but you can always run through the packages themselves if you don't believe him. JoshuaRodman 14:39, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Who cares? I'm a debian user and this whole iceweasel/icedove thing is a MASSIVE waste of time. I'd think developers would be more interested in filling gaps like how bout a half decent non-linear video editor or I don't know, a good way to standardize X configurations to be used from the gui rather than like we all do it, by hand in the configs. What I'm saying is I can think of at least 1 hundred ways where debian, linux or people in general would benefit better by spending time elsewhere. You don't just fork the code whenever you feel like it because the original developers still want to stay in the loop of their own work. Sure you can and you should be able to, but this is a case of being overly excessive and dramatic about nothing. Positively 100% sure, Iceweasel goes away. This will happen when Firefox continues and the Iceweasel maintainers get bored and see what it is they are really wasting their time on. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs). ptkfgs 00:40, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

This page is for discussion of the article, not for general ranting about Iceweasel. ptkfgs 00:40, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
The whole point of free/opensource software is the freedom to modify it without having to ask first. Mozilla has told debian they can't do that unless they rebrand so debian has rebranded. Other linux distros who aren't so hot on defending freedom have given into mozillas demands. Debian is not prepared to compromise thier basic principles for the sake of the name of a web browser and i don't see mozilla backing down either.
And debian iceweasel at least isn't really a fork, my understanding it that unstable will continue to get upstream updates from mozilla (or possiblly via gnuzilla depending on if they manage to come to an agreement to work together) and have the debian patches applied just as it always has. Stable releases will have security fixes backported just as they always have.
P.S. legal threats (which is what this essentially is) are always a big sink of time that could be used for more productive purposes but they have to be taken seriously or you'll end up in even bigger shit. Plugwash 12:38, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
What you said has an ounce of truth to it. However, Debian's OpenSSL fiasco could have been avoided if they sent their patches to upstream more often. I don't think Debian developers have shown that they're worthy of faith, anymore, so I at least will not side with them for their stupid Firefox issues. (I mean really, what modifications are they making that they can't get accepted upstream?) Scott Paeth (talk) 20:17, 21 August 2008 (UTC)


Yes, yes. We all love the humper icon. But there are two official sources of information about browsers called Icweasel: and The site using the humper icon, is not registered to either: see whois info. Yes, the plain globe is boring. It's good to know that the Ubuntu folks are drawing icons, but until they start actually shipping something besides icons, let's stick with the image that's actually being used by the major distributor of this browser.

Besides, ChrisBaird is right. It doesn't even look like a weasel! ptkfgs 13:59, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

It looks like debian has picked up two of the logos now, one as an icon and another (which is the wrong size/shape for use as an icon) for tha about box. Plugwash 01:47, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Correction it seems the ones debian are using were a pair designed to go together. Plugwash 21:25, 31 December 2006 (UTC)


the following section was added recently by an anon and i have removed it again

Other projects that have followed Debian's lead
Gentoo Linux also heavily patches the source code for its distribution, although due to the nature of Gentoo, this is done by the end-user rather than the distribution. However, part of the Gentoo contract is that a user must, if he/she wants, be able to choose to build a system from scratch using entirely free software. Therefore, Gentoo decided to follow Debian's lead and made its default version of Firefox browser unbranded and without the non-free artwork. The Gentoo maintainer decided to name the application "Bon Echo" reflecting the non-trademarked version name of Firefox 2.0. However, the end user can set a use flag, if she/he wants to go ahead and use the non-free artwork anyway.

can some gentoo user comment on if gentoo has really followed debians lead or if they have always used the unbranded build options and the version name by default?

P.S. sorry this post took so long after i deleted the text from the main page, the database was locked just after i made that edit and i got distracted by other things. Plugwash 21:23, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm a Gentoo user, and I can explain what has happened with recent releases of the www-client/mozilla-firefox package in Gentoo's package system. I am not an expert in this area, but have a reasonable understanding of the forces at play here.
As Gentoo is a source-based distribution, there have been no legal threats (that I know of) as of yet against Gentoo's use of official Firefox branding. However, not that long ago the default installation options for the mozilla-firefox package branded the browser with the name “bon Echo” in an attempt to prevent issues from coming up. Before this change, the default “Firefox” name and logo were used as the compile-time default. End-users can set a flag used by the package management system to tell the compile process to enable official branding. Should a user choose to do this, their copy of Firefox will have the official name and the official logo.
It is not yet clear if Mozilla disapproves of this use or not, but it is my understanding the default rebranding to “bon Echo” is more an attempt to avoid problems rather than in response to current threats against Gentoo.
Regarding Gentoo's following the Debian change, I don't know if this specifically was the case, but this change in Gentoo wouldn't have happened unless there was a possibility of legal problems down the road. Mozilla has been recently known to be quite aggressive in protecting the trademarks they own, including the Firefox name and logo. 01:07, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

It might be worth noting that Gentoo has changed back to shipping a Firefox branded package as the default for those building from source. You can choose to build with a settings that result in a binary that can be redistributed, and Gentoo also offers the option of a precompiled package with the Bon Echo branding. The legal stance is that Gentoo is not in the business of shipping modified binaries, and the license makes no reference to shipping instructions on how to modify the source code. -- 14:25, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Proposed rename: Iceweasel (lowercase 'w')[edit]

Rename. Debian's Iceweasel has a lowercase 'w', like Firefox has a lowercase 'f' for fox. I propose that this article be renamed to use the name Iceweasel, for Debian's usage. Though I acknowledge GNU's IceWeasel does have the capital W, the phrase was coined in 2004 as Iceweasel by Dorland on debian-devel and debian-legal, and it is a more apropos analog to the Firefox name. pbryan 01:51, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I guess it's already done, but I think you are right, and this is the capitalization we should prefer. ptkfgs 03:14, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

icedove and iceape names[edit]

the earliest reference i know of for the iceape name is the "facts about" blog post, i thought icedove was mentioned there too but either it wasnt or someone removed it (it is mentioned in the comments there though which suggests the removal hypothosis). Plugwash 12:07, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

User Agent[edit]

What user agent string does Iceweasel use? Is it the same as Firefox? I think the article should mention that.Danny 23:01, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

In Sid: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20070310 Iceweasel/ (Debian- (2007-05-06 17:00 CEST) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:02, 6 May 2007 (UTC).
Yeah, and it breaks my online banking. STAB. Vashti 02:17, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Iceweasel home page and latest/preview releases[edit]

  • Which of them [6] is considered stable and which preview release?

[...] Debian backports any required security fixes to whatever versions of software are shipped in their stable releases until support for those stable releases are dropped; the Iceweasel rename represents no change in this regard. [...]

So stable should be the latest Debian Etch security advisory? (currently: [7]) and no preview release?

What do you think about it? 17:37, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Iceweasel in Debian, version upgrade[edit]

I don't want to add this to the article, as I don't know much more than I am about to say, and am not sure if it is notable, hopefully someone with more knowledge of the subject can decide this. From what I understand, Debian stable (Etch), has changed versions of Iceweasel, from, to, and maybe it was changed before that. The reason I feel this is of interest, is because that is not normal Debian policy for stable, normally in stable packages never receive a version number upgrade, only security updates. In this case i think the exception was made because it was security issues that meant it would be a good idea to actually change version. Although this page seems more about the naming conflict, i couldn't find another page solely for iceweasel (debian), so thought if this should go anywhere, here it must be. Champion sound remix 03:43, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

That's because what's a version upgrade for the package name, is just a security update for Mozilla. In case they (Debian) decide for some reason, that such a change is harmful, they can use “3.0.0” as the base version, but more likely add the minor number to it somehow (like they already did, and I think that was a Mozilla-derived thing), instead of only “lenny1” or whatever. I guess what matters is the priority and availability from --AVRS 07:04, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
In that last sentence, I was thinking “testing”. Please ignore it. --AVRS 07:14, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Debians policy regarding security updates is to make the changes required to fix the vulnerability without changing anything else. If upstream have done just that then there is no point in causing confusion by not using thier number for it. Plugwash 12:09, 31 August 2007 (UTC)


s far as I recall, the Mozilla Corporation requires that the Firefox trademark only be used on unmodified software (ie distributed as it comes from the Mozilla Corporation). Debian is 'violates' this in that the stable version of Firefox is not to be updated to a newer release to fix security issues. Instead, security patches are backported to the old version, thus modifying what the Mozilla Corporation initially distributed and making the use of the Firefox Trademark impossible. Somebody would have to look up the whole picture, but I believe the Debian stable policy did play a role in the rename of Firefox. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:19, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Title tenses[edit]

Small note about verb tenses: "Mozilla Corporation software rebranded in Debian" sounds like the content will be a list. Using a present tense would be more appropriate. The interesting topic isn't the software, is the reasons, background, and reactions to the rebranding. --Gronky 23:25, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Do you have a suggestion of a title using present tense?--Chealer 11:54, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Confusing bit[edit]

In the last paragraph of the "Origins of the issue and of the Iceweasel name" section:

Debian was given permission to use the trademarks, and adopted the Firefox name

This sentence needs a date, and an explanation of how they "adopted the Firefox name". The next sentence says they stayed with the Iceweasel name (for logo issues) - so did they really adopt it? If so, did they adopt it for just a very short time?

A very confusing line needing explanation. Thanks. --Gronky 14:24, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Not sure how to write this for the article, but what happened was that Debian asked the Mozilla Foundation for permission to use the Firefox name even though they were making alterations (for security patches and for the logos). They *got* that permission, but some months later the permission was *revoked*. (talk) 02:56, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Failure of the Mozilla Foundation[edit]

Maybe some discussion of how the mozilla foundation has really turned into a joke. As the code has gotten better and more usable, more the foundation has been a disapointment. Instead as serving as an important bullwark of the open source community, its now a useless IPO startup trying to make millions from somekind of wacky webmail scam. what the fuck is going on? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:11, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Proposed merger of Iceape, Iceowl and Icedove[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposel to merge Iceape, Iceowl and Icedove with this article, Mozilla software rebranding. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposel to merge Iceape, Iceowl and Icedove with this article, Mozilla software rebranding was approved.
-- Yellowdesk (talk) 19:55, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

I originally proposed this at Talk:Gnuzilla#Merge, but for IceApe and IceDove this is the more appropriate place. Both arre very short articles, and the only interesting characteristic of both of them is the split from the official builds. These should all be merged into here for now and split again if and when they're fleshed out a bit. Chris Cunningham (talk) 18:22, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

  • OPPOSE I dont see the point to merge articles about software into an article about misuse of a trademark. Mion (talk) 18:30, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Because the only notable thing about each application is its rebranding. Or should all Debian packages which have been patched downstream have their own Wikipedia articles? Chris Cunningham (talk) 18:40, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
      • The notable thing actually is that these versions are Free software, because the non free elements from the Mozilla foundation are removed, which also makes them different from most of the other Debian downstream packages, which you mentioned before yourself on Talk:Gnuzilla#Merge, so rebranding is not the only notable thing. Mion (talk) 21:36, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
        • That interpretation is not widely held outside of the FSF and debian-legal. Regardless, it warrants an extra sentence at best. This is hardly a reason to maintain two additional articles. Chris Cunningham (talk) 22:31, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
          • Can you source that statement for me, "that is not widely held", or is that your personl opinion?Mion (talk) 00:57, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
            • I can anecdotally source it to the entire Mozilla community, along with the drivers of all the most popular Linux distros at the moment with the exception of Debian (and hell, just under a majority of debian-legal as well). On a personal level, if I thought Firefox were not free software I wouldn't use it, and I wouldn't imagine that my employers would be distributing it (although it appears that in practice they not only are distributing it, they're uploading their own builds to the Mozilla FTP servers). The trademark situation is not pleasant, but it's less bad in my mind than, say, the FSF's shipping of a non-free manual with their flagship text editor, and the nice thing about the GPL being a formal document is that its interpretation is not solely the domain of the FSF. Chris Cunningham (talk) 01:13, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
              • And what would be "the most popular Linux distros at the moment"?Mion (talk) 02:08, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
                • Removing non free stuff (and I don't see how anyone can claim those icons weren't non-free stuff) from upstream packages is nothing particularlly unusual in debian, it's just in this case it happens to be more visible than most (because it is the name and the main icons). Plugwash (talk) 09:15, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Support I assumed that this discussion was old and settled, but since the only person who opposes it has reverted the merge, I guess I will make a formal vote. All of the information in the individual articles is contained in the main article. In fact, the only information is that it is a renamed Mozilla product. ColdFusion650 (talk) 22:20, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Merge So far there is no substantial difference between the Debian ice suite of programs and Mozilla besides the branding. One article should be sufficient for describing them all.Nynexman4464 (talk) 01:51, 20 January 2008 (UTC)voting account see [8],[9]Mion (talk) 05:18, 20 January 2008 Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#User:Nynexman4464. Mion (talk) 21:58, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Merge, of course. These programs are only notable because of the rebranding, which is rightly covered in this article. (This article's title could be shorter, though...) — Omegatron 22:06, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Merge but rename the article. IcaApe and IceCat are both GNU projects and not Debian projects, if they are folded into the article it would need to be renamed. Something like Mozilla Corporation software rebranded under the GPL. Iarann (talk) 19:27, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Merge into Gnuzilla because these articles are about the GNU versions of the software, not the Debian versions. Note the capitalization. (talk) 01:24, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Mozilla software rebranding? — Omegatron 23:39, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Proposed Merge with Firefox[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal to merge with Firefox. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal to merge with Firefox was there should not be a merger.
-- Yellowdesk (talk) 19:15, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

We shouldn't merge Iceweasel with Firefox, that would violate trademark issues.

IMHO It cannot violate, article can explain what Firefox and what Iceweasel is without any permission, and explanation cannot be forbidden by trademarks as far as I have understood what trademarks are. So, maybe you can elaborate why do you think it would violate tradermarks?
Therefore decision about merge can be done on different basis. --Thv 07:56, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
You are not distributing any software and calling it "Mozilla Firefox," so you don't have to worry. --Dan
  • Oppose. I think merging would be premature. It is possible this will be the name in Debian[10] and as such should have a separate article --to avoid confusion. Nephron  T|C 21:09, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

I think just wait and see what happens between Debian and Mozilla first. Once they come to a settlement, Wikipedia can decide what makes the most sense. SavantEdge 21:16, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Oppose. Lets see what shakes out with debian before we make this decision. Pharmboy 00:21, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Agree with the Pharmboy. This doesn't mean hold off page updates, just a merge.

User:exobyte:exobyte 1 October 2006

Until a software product actually appears that is named "Iceweasel", this topic is not worthy of a page on its own and should be merged. If one ever does (and I doubt that it will from such a dorky suggestion, but that's beside the point) then this section can be reinstated as a page. — Hex (❝?!❞) 16:13, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

What? There already is some software called IceWeasel; it's pointed to in the article, but, for your convenience, it's here: Since the justification for the merge suggestion is factually incorrect, I'll go ahead and remove the merge suggestion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:39, 5 October 2006
  • Oppose. IceWeasel certainly does "exist", and is so complicated that it would seriously clutter the Firefox article. And it will certainly grow more complicated. But we can probably try to keep to just one unified article for all unofficial builds of Firefox? 23:10, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. They stay divided in real life and have notable differences. Time to remove the banner for merge. wwwolf3 23:49, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Change title to match the content[edit]

This article is about the dispute with Debian over naming. It has nothing to do with the general case of rebranding Mozilla software which is the program at . I know this article was renamed once before to this, so I'm going to wait a week or so and rename it to "Debian rebranding controversy with Mozilla". SInce that is a really crappy name, I'd also like suggestions for better ones. While it's possible to make this about Mozilla rebranding and be almost all a section on the dispute, that seems dumb. Cpu111 (talk) 14:33, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

the original title Mozilla Corporation software rebranded in Debian or Debian rebranding controversy with Mozilla? I think the former is better, if someone wants to write an article about rebranding Mozilla software thats fine, i suggest Mozoogle as a title. Mion (talk) 22:12, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Renamed to Mozilla Corporation software rebranded by the Debian project. --Chealer (talk) 20:48, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

I don't understand. Why don't you just flipping call it "Iceweasel (Software)" because that's exactly what it is????????? The "Debian rebranding controversy with Mozilla" is horrible and ridiculous and defeating the purpose of what a title is. WTF is wrong with you people. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:30, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Debian's IceWeasel[edit]

The should be a page for IceWeasel and one for IceCat, they are independent and Debian's IceWeasel deserves it's own wiki page. I don't know why is IceCat considered more important than IceWeasel, please explain well the differences between them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:38, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

EULA debate?[edit]

Does the Firefox EULA debate really belong here? It's only remotely related to rebranding. Rebranding would have been a way for Ubuntu to avoid the EULA, but Ubuntu decided against a browser-that-dare-not-speak-its-name, and Mozilla eventually retracted the EULA. So the issue is settled, and this section is just confusing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:16, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

OTOH, part of the Ubuntu response was to make ABrowser, which is a rebranded Firefox -- so it fits right into this article. Unfortunately, ABrowser is not even mentioned here, and really should be. Can someone familiar with this Ubuntu debate write up an expanded version including ABrowser (and sourced, naturally)? -- (talk) 03:55, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Removed. --Chealer (talk) 20:48, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Origins of the issue[edit]

There is a reference in the lead to Re: mozilla thunderbird trademark restrictions / still dfsg free ?, which suggests that the need to rebrand didn't appear in 2006, but in 2004. Currently the article doesn't present that information well. I wonder how Thunderbird could have stayed improperly branded despite that request for 20 months. I asked on pkg-mozilla-maintainers whether Mozilla changed its mind between 2004 and 2006 but got no answer yet. --Chealer (talk) 20:48, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, Mozilla changed its mind between 2004 and 2006. Initially, in 2004, a deal was struck to use the trademarked name while continuing to follow Debian's patching policies -- that permission was revoked by the Mozilla Foundation in 2006, apparently due to a change in management. You can follow the whole gory story over at the debian-legal archive. (talk) 02:58, 21 April 2009 (UTC)


Matt Groening was the one who came up with the phrase ice weasel for "Love is Hell" back in the 1980's: "Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come". AnonMoos (talk) 23:20, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

I was a big fan of Life in Hell and the word may have slipped into my brain subconsciously when I coined Iceweasel. I certainly wasn't thinking of it consciously. -- Nathanael Nerode (talk) 06:08, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

I note that Miles Bader seems to have responded to my suggestion in 2004 with an "Ooh, I like that name" message -- and his .signature line contains the Matt Groening quote about ice weasels. Attributed to Nietsche.... Anyway, there you see some evidence that that line influenced the popularity of the name! -- still Nathanael Nerode (talk) 06:12, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

simple explanation of the issue[edit]

I just read the article. Still don't understand why Debian can't (won't/isn't allowed) to use Firefox.

Could someone explain (either here, or directly in the article) the logic chain that lead to Iceweasel in concise, non-tech, non-lawyer english?

Thanks, (talk) 12:01, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

The software code is Open Source licensed, but the "Firefox" name and logo are trademarked, and additional conditions (beyond those of the open source license governing the programming language code) were placed on use of the trademarks. Trademark is separate from copyright... AnonMoos (talk) 08:00, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

"to do-list"[edit]

somebody should really explain what differences these products from the original Mozilla products are. I know that the Debian projects doesn't include the APNG patches. As well the license. what else is missing or more integrated? mabdul 17:18, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Iceweasel as trademark policy example of rebanding not in citation given[edit]

[...]“Iceweasel” was subsequently used as the example name for a rebranded Firefox in the Mozilla Trademark Policy, [...]

The article cites the current version of the policy. However the reference to Iceweasel only occurs in prior versions of the policy up to six years ago [11]. --Kakurady (talk) 02:17, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Be bold! and change it/correct it. mabdul 13:19, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Done. --Kakurady (talk) 00:13, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Reasons for Mozilla tightening trademark policy?[edit]

I recall that at the time, Mozilla originally allowed "community versions" of Firefox to be called "Firefox". They then tightened the policy, and I recall that this was because people were distributing Windows binaries called "Firefox" that complied with the rules but contained adware and/or spyware, and they tightened up to deal with this, and Debian's use got caught up in it. Memory is bunk, of course, so I wouldn't trust mine without a source or two. Does anyone else recall events anything like this, or even have any quality of source to this effect? - David Gerard (talk) 16:02, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

I am sure I had read about this somewhere else before, but cannot remember source nor its reliability. --Isacdaavid (talk) 17:33, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Article introduction[edit]

The first sentence in this encyclopedic article about Mozilla Corporation software rebranded by the Debian project is not too well written as it is right now. -- (talk) 23:58, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Well we are a bit constrained by WP:LEDE, but what would you suggest would be better? - Ahunt (talk) 00:05, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Article misses the point[edit]

As discussed already in the talk end 2006 (Debian NOT simply rebranding) the conflict started NOT with Mozilla enforcing brand rights. The "brand right card" was the response of Mozilla on the claim of Debian on having the last word on the user experience of a application. Mozilla was asking for a development model where Debian would push updates/patches upstream to Mozilla instead of maintaining own "mini"-forks (distro patches). This was a conflict how the development process of (Mozilla) applications should be organized, and where both participants were insisting, that their way was the right way. Therefore, without a compromise, this was ending in a clash and fork. Shaddim (talk) 16:25, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

As per WP:V we need references to be cited to add this! - Ahunt (talk) 16:35, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
True, than everyone collect references. As starting point for the mozilla debian conflict: "Why didn’t the OpenSSL team catch this problem? They didn’t spot it because they didn’t see it. You see Debian developers have this cute habit of keeping their changes to themselves rather than passing them upstream to any program’s actual maintainers. Essentially, what Debian ends up doing is forking programs. There’s the Debian version and then there’s the real version." Shaddim (talk) 08:34, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Not of citable quality, but during the leadup to Mozilla 1.0 the variation that Debian put into Mozilla got to be a real nuisance, particularly when trying to decode Mozilla versions via user agent string - David Gerard (talk) 13:43, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately I don't see any refs noted above that meet WP:RS. They all seem to be WP:SPS. - Ahunt (talk) 15:02, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Which is not surprising as I called them starting points. You are also invited to find fitting ones. Shaddim (talk) 19:35, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
More material: "Much of the reason that Debian created the non-branded versions of Firefox and Thunderbird stemmed from its insistence on backporting security fixes. " "Multiple security issues have been found in Iceweasel, Debian's version of the Mozilla Firefox web browser: [...] We're changing the approach for security updates for Iceweasel, Icedove and Iceape in stable-security: Instead of backporting security fixes, we now provide releases based on the Extended Support Release branch." Debians continued desire to backport themself fixes to outdated firefox versions was the origin of the argue. As thought by Mozilla this burden was to big for debian and the users were left in a insecure state with iceweasel. 2013 Debian dropped their strict and non-practical policy for the stable release. more: Chris Beard is VP of Marketing and Product Management for Mozilla Corporation. - Mozilla, Trademarks and Debian Shaddim (talk) 13:09, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

Iceweasel has no DRM[edit]

Isn't one of the most significant differences that the Iceweasel fork removes DRM (EME)? Mozilla has caved in to the DRM lobby - on (IMHO) dubious grounds - and now ships Mozilla (38) with DRM support built in. Iceweasel removes this features (EME, sandbox) as I understand it. Unfortunately I've been unable to ixquick a definitive statement to this affect. I believe this is correct modulo some semantic details (the DRM isn't precisely pre-installed, but the software to automatically install it is). (talk) 10:32, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

My understanding is that Firefox has no DRM, but that EME can install it if desired. To add a statement that this is not the case in Iceweasel we need a ref to cite. - Ahunt (talk) 11:04, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Iceweasel has been discontinued[edit] <--Repos are now (2016-06-10) pushing out a dummy package that has firefox-esr as a dependency. (talk) 16:11, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

  • "Discontinued" does not seem to be quite accurate; rather what I understand is that the default recommended to debian users has switched to the "firefox" name and logo. Part of the discussion at LWN explains why some debian developers have converted the old iceweasel frontend into a package xul-ext-iceweasel-branding, which can be used as an "iceweasel" re-branding for users who are unconvinced by the shift back to "firefox. Boud (talk) 12:41, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
    • Interesting, I wasn't aware they preserved the changes in a different package. Since the iceweasel branding's being shifted into the background, would 'deprecated' be more accurate? (talk) 20:15, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
      • Odd, I'm seeing conflicting information but perhaps because that lwn link is a bit dated. Indeed, both iceweasel and firefox-esr are installed on my jessie system now. The iceweasel binary seems to just be a soft link to firefox however. I don't know that I'll bother trying this, but I suppose I could remove the iceweasel package and leave or reinstall firefox-esr. Anyway the sources that said jessie wouldn't get firefox seem to be wrong, or I misinterpreted them. (talk) 17:06, 26 July 2016 (UTC)