How to get Firefox to run on a system for IEx8
October 10, 2010 2:49 AM   Subscribe

How can you get Firefox to work on a networked Win XP system configured for IEx 8 - specifically regarding certificates?

I'm asking about the step after installation (which works despite lack of local admin rights). The system won't let me load pages or install add-ons due to lack of certificates - which are installed on IEx. How can I copy the settings from IEx so Firefox works as an alternative browser?
posted by lord_yo to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The certificates Firefox needs to browse the web are part of the installation - what is it that's asking for the certificates? Do you have some sort of proxy server?
posted by robertc at 3:26 AM on October 10, 2010

I have been able to install and successfully run FF without admin rights. The level to which local users are constrained can vary though. One thing to try is to install FF onto a USB thumbdrive with a different windows computer. See if that works on one but not the other.
posted by caddis at 3:39 AM on October 10, 2010

Response by poster: It seems that the network uses installs a certificate authority which is not part of FF's standard installation (I've seen at least two of those certificates). This leads to error messages asking for certificate exceptions, which, if added, allow access to pages, and in the case of the add-on menu don''t allow any connection. Not sure if there is an additional proxy issue, I think not.
posted by lord_yo at 10:59 AM on October 10, 2010

Best answer: You need to add your network's internal Root CA to the Authorities tab in Firefox's certificate manager so it will trust certificates issued from there.

In Firefox: Tools->Options->Advanced->Encryption->View Certificates->Authorities->Import

To get the Root CA from your Windows certificate store (which is what IE uses) the easiest way I know is to launch the Certificates MMC snapin (you will only be able to view your user certificates without admin, but that should be enough), find it in the "Trusted Root Certification Authorities" folder, right click, All Tasks, then Export. Firefox will take a base64 encoded .cer file. Don't forget to specify file path when exporting.

If you are not sure what the cert you need to import is called, open up one of the HTTPS sites in questions with IE, then click the lock icon in the location bar and click View Certificates, the click the Certification Path tab. You want the entry at the top of the chain and if there are intermediate authorities you will need to export and add those as well. After you import the Root CA you should clear your exceptions so you know it works.

If you are in an enterprise environment, your system or network administrators can provide further details.
posted by tracert at 11:25 AM on October 10, 2010

That'll solve your cert problem anyway, not sure how it is related to your add on problem unless you are trying to install from a secured internal site or you need proxy access as suggested.
posted by tracert at 11:30 AM on October 10, 2010

Response by poster: That really helped me, thanks a lot!
posted by lord_yo at 11:10 AM on October 11, 2010

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