Sep 17 2009
I’ve had a few opportunities to install Firefox lately, first on a new netbook, then again on the netbook when I installed Windows 7, and a third time while setting up a new work laptop. It’s given me a good chance to figure out what’s really important to me in Firefox and how to get the most real estate on my desktop in the Firefox window. The first thing I always install in Firefox is the NoScript plugin, which is probably the same first step most security professionals take. I follow that up with AdBlock Plus, Tab Mix Plus and finally Scribefire. But the real gain in screen space came yesterday when I discovered a Lifehacker article, Maximize Firefox 3.5’s viewing area for you netbook. I strongly suggest you think about trying some of these modifications to your Firefox configuration even if you’re on a desktop, the additional space is definitely worth it.
One caveat to the Lifehacker article is that I couldn’t find the userChrome.css file in Windows 7. Thanks to Twitter I found out later in the day that the file doesn’t necessarily exist by default, it’s something you may have to create by copying an example file. Of course, by the time I found this out, I’d already figured out ways to perform several of the same tricks in the Lifehacker post using Tab Mix Plus and tweaking the about:config settings in Firefox. You can remove the new tab button in Tab Mix Plus by unselecting “New tab button” in the Tab Bar tab of the Display options. If you type ‘about:config‘ in an empty tab, you can control a number of Firefox configuration elements you wouldn’t have access to otherwise. My favorites are disabling the delay in installing new plugins and making search bar results open in a new tab. I now return you to your regular security conversations.