Saturday, July 16, 2011

DOM Inspector XPI for older Firefox/IceWeasel browsers

Knoppix is the kind of distro that by default does not include the DOM Inspector, it's only on a CD, and I think I had even spent a month searching for a way to install it from a .deb file to a version of firefox in Knoppix. All in vain, even if I had the supposedly right package, because it would still prove incompatible and thus unusable (would crasshh).

Then, by chance, I found the right way to install the DOM Inspector XPI separately for Linux in those distros, where a package might be missing (such as a relevant .deb package in Knoppix 4.0.2, because it's a snapshot from Debian's testing branch of the time) or not included at all... — By downloading a specific DOM Inspector XPI from the old FTP site, which is archived at's own ftp site:

Caveat in Knoppix and other Live CD-s: You can only install it as superuser, it won't install into the user directory and thus it won't save, but rest assured, you can install it again every time you need it, although it may be tedious for daily use, if that might be the case for some users.

Here's what you have to follow, if you're stuck using a LiveCD, a version of Firefox without DOM Inspector built-in, no package repository to rely on and no package to be found for your particular distro (Knoppix):
  1. Find out what your version of Firefox is in your Live CD (launch Firefox; Help>About). For some Knoppix Live CD's I sometimes use, mine is 1.0.6 for Knoppix 4.0.2 and something else in newer versions of Knoppix. Keep in mind that newer versions of Knoppix include Debian IceWeasel (Knoppix is based on Debian), which is a source-compatible rebranded copy of Firefox.
  2. Exit Firefox, relaunch it as superuser, best with sudo firefox
  3. Go to
  4. From there, choose the version of Firefox/IceWeasel/GNU IceCat you are stuck using (if using a browser click the relevant version folder link);
  5. Once there, browse to a folder called linux or linux-i686 and there browse to the xpi folder. Note down the address in a separate editor.
  6. (Make sure that is the allowed domain to install XPI's)
  7. Click on adt.xpi (the XPI for DOM Inspector), which should be at the very top of the directory listing, go through the extension installation procedure. If after installation you don't see the extension listed, don't worry. Restart Firefox again as superuser, via sudo (you should now know how to use it). Verify that DOM Inspector is installed by checking the Tools menu. Exit the sudo'd Firefox.
  8. Start user-mode Firefox and you should see the DOM Inspector appear there.
  9. To maintain that you still have the XPI for future use, save it to local storage (a memory stick, for example) by downloading it in a normal-user firefox session from the same FTP address.
Now, I haven't been able to find out an XPI of the DOM inspector for older versions of Firefox that would actually work as an extension installed into the user profile, so until then, it's more of a case for frequent users of DOM Inspector in older Firefox browsers on a Live-CD of reinstalling the XPI after every restart.

Settings for DOM Inspector can be changed through about:config, then search using the inspector string.

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