Friday, June 28, 2013

Compiling the Firefox codebase

Out of curiosity, I decided to take a look at the Firefox codebase, and compile it on my Mac. Mozilla's developer pages are great, with elaborate instructions on how to get the source code from the mercurial repository, to compiling and running the codebase on various platforms. You can find the details at: the Mozilla developer guide, and on Mac OS X they are as simple as:

  1. Get the source code from mercurial repository
  2. hg clone https://hg.mozilla.org/mozilla-central
    
  3. Install a specific version of autoconf (2.13)
  4. brew tap homebrew/versions
    brew install autoconf213
    
  5. Build Firefox
  6. cd mozilla-central
    ./mach
    ./mach build
    
    The build took roughly 2 hours to finish on my MacBook Air.
  7. Run
  8. ./mach run
    
The resulting build is similar to Firefox nightly, and includes all the bleeding edge features and instabilities, but is great for tinkering.

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