I’ve been a user of Firefox and the Google Toolbar for some time. Everything went fine until, last summer, I upgraded my Firefox. I discovered then that the recent releases of the toolbar refuse to be installed on FreeBSD, which happens to be the operating system I use. And, logically enough, FreeBSD is not listed in Google Toolbar’s FAQ on compatible systems. Yet previous revisions of the Toolbar worked just fine under FreeBSD!
Never mind that web platforms such as Firefox are interesting precisely because they are mostly OS-independent, allowing the distribution of almost totally portable software. To make a long story short, I contacted Google support in August (ticket #71966743) asking that they re-enable FreeBSD support and they replied that Although Firefox can run on BSD, the Toolbar currently doesn’t support BSD, which wasn’t very helpful.
So is this just a mere corporate support policy problem? Apparently it is, because I happen to have found a solution which works just fine under FreeBSD (and certainly others “unsupported” operating systems).
- Read and accept the Google Toolbar license
Get the Linux
.xpiarchive from http://dl.google.com/firefox/google-toolbar-linux.xpi
- It’s basically a ZIP file, so just
unzipit in an empty directory
- Edit the file
Find the line that reads
Change it to
zipthe archive back as (for example)
Load it into Firefox using a
- and voilà.
Ain’t that easy? It is, you only need to think of fetching the
.xpi directly, which a friend suggested yesterday to me. Sorry, I can’t distribute the resulting
.xpi file (yet?), because the license says I need to contact Google first to get permission. I will.