Tips and Tricks I use in Firefox



I like Firefox a lot. Because its really user friendly,and secure. it kept me browsing  for about a year I think. And still I use it to snoop into cyberspace. Love it. But not 3.0.10. it has lots of bugs.3.0.2 comes in handy.  Ok cut that crap. I thought to share the things what I know about firefox, the things I use for my daily browsing.

01.Making icons small to get more screen space

View –> Toolbars –> Customize –> Use Small icons

02.Some common shortcuts

  • F5  –> reload page
  • Alt  + Home    –> go to home page
  • Ctrl + W    –>Close present tab
  • Ctrl + N   –> open a new browser
  • Shift + Spacebar    –>  scroll up
  • Spacebar   –> scroll down
  • Ctrl + L   –> go to address bar
  • Ctrl + K   –>go to search box
  • Ctrl + +   –>zoom in
  • Ctrl + –   –> zoom out
  • Ctrl + T  –> new tab
  • Ctrl + D   –>book mark this page

03.Navigate between tabs

  • Ctrl + Tab   –> navigate forward among tabs
  • Ctrl + Shift + Tab –>go to previous tab
  • Ctrl + 1-9 –>go to corresponding numbered tab

04.Some cool mouse tricks

  • Middle click on a tab –> closes tab
  • Middle click on a link –> opens in a new tab
  • Shift + scroll up –> go to next page
  • Shift + scroll down  –> go to previous page

05.Auto Complete

I really like this shortcut! Go to address bar by pressing Ctrl + L then type ‘Wikipedia’. Yes without the www and com. Now press Ctrl + Enter. Wow it automatically filled ‘www.’ and ‘.com’. Like that you can use,

  • Shift + Enter for ‘.net’
  • Ctrl + Shift + Enter for ‘.org’

Awesome huh!

These are just basic tips. Now lets go little deeper. Hacking ‘about:confin’ is the coolest part. This ‘about:config’ contains all the configuration settings of Firefox. So you should be more careful when handling it.

Accessing ‘about:config’ page  –  type ‘about:config‘ in the address bar. Yes make that promise! and here we go….



These are the configuration entries of about:config. You can filter them by entering the key words in the ‘Filter’ field. All fields can be updated with double clicking on them. Ok lets do some work…

[1]  Control RAM usage

If you’re having low amount of memory in your PC, this option will be useful. Filter ‘browser.cache‘. Double click on ‘browser.cache.disk.capacity‘. The default value will be 50000. If you’re having between 512MB and 1GB of ram, 15000 would be fine.



[2]  Reduce RAM usage further when the browser is minimized.

In ‘about:config‘ right-click anywhere. Then select new boolean. Name it as ‘config.trim_on_minimize‘ and set it to true. Finally restart the browser.

[3]   Disable Antivirus Scanning

This is for windows users. By default Firefox 3 scans all the downloads with the default antivirus software for your protection. But how ever this will reduce your speed (when the file is big). If u want to stop that (but better f you can keep it) edit the following,

‘’ and modify its value into False.

[4]   Handling spell checking in all text fields

Filter ‘layout.spellcheckDefault’. By default the value is 1.



You can change it into following value

  • 1 – spell checker for multi-lines text boxes only.
  • 2 – enable the spell checker for all text boxes.
  • 0 – disable the spell checker.

[5] Open Search Box Results In New Tab

Filter into‘. By default its value is false, tells to display the search results in the same window. Make it into ‘true’. Then the search results will show in a new tab.

[6] Configure Backspace Button

I like my browser takes me to the previous page when  press  ‘backspace’. Make it your own. Fined ‘browser.backspace_action’. You can have 3 options,

  • 0– go back previous page
  • 1-page up
  • 2-does nothing (default case)

[7] Autohide Toolbar in Fullscreen mode

browser.fullscreen.autohide ‘ this config decides whether to show the tool bar or not in fullscrean. True – always auto hide and False – always show.

[8] Configuring the Scrolling Tabs

When you open many tabs a scrolling bar will show up.

Configuring the Scrolling Tabs

Configuring the Scrolling Tabs

And you can use it to find your tabs. Instead of that, you can change the tab width or else make it ‘0’ so that scroll bar will never show up. It’s very easy for me to find what I wanted because every thing is in a single frame. Filter into ‘browser.tabs.tabMinWidth‘ and change the default 100px for your choice.

[9]  Show/Disable Close button on Tabs

Maybe you would like to have close buttons for your choice. It’s possible with ‘browser.tabs.closeButtons‘ config. The following options are available,

  • 0 – display the close button on the active tab (what I m using)
  • 1 – display on all tabs(default)
  • 2 –  don’t display any close buttons
  • 3 – display a single close button at the end of the tab strip
Show/Disable Close button on Tabs

Show/Disable Close button on Tabs

[10] speed up Firefox

These setting are for people who use broadband connections like me. They really work. Helps to optimize your browsing speed. You can also give a shot and see.

Config name: network.http.max-connections
Default: 30
Modified value: 96

Config name: network.http.pipelining
Default: False
Modified value: True

Config name: network.http.pipelining.maxrequests
Default: 4
Modified value: any value higher than 4, but not more than 8

Config name: network.http.max-connections-per-server
Default: 15
Modified value: 32

Config name: network.http.proxy.pipelining
Default: False
Modified value: True

So these are some of the thing which I use for my daily browsing. It’s really helps me. There are so much other things too. I’m leaving them you to find out. Enjoy the tricks+hacks.



Command Line Package Management [Debian Based]

you can use ‘apt-get’ tool to manage packages via the CLI instead of using the GUI. ‘apt-get’ can be used to install and uninstall packages as we needed. For your convenience Im going to introduce another CLI tool , ‘dpkg’. Most of you may already have useded it.

Installing a program:

apt-get install

apt-get install

system will check the repositories and install it into the pc from a desired place. By default it will connect your PC to a FTP server and download the required package and its dependencies, then install. This method is highly effective for a good installation.

If you want to install a package which is already saved in your pc,

dpkg -i

dpkg -i

At times you have to download the package source code/binaries and compile it then install. To do that go in to that folder and follow the following steps,

#make install

Uninstalling a program:

same tools again!

dpkg --list

dpkg --list

using the above code you can get a list of installed programs.You can use ‘apt-get’ as shown bellow to remove programs,

apt-get remove

apt-get remove

when after performing an ‘apt-get install’, by experience you ll understand that its installing  also other packages as dependencies. We can also remove a program with all its dependencies.

apt-get --purge

apt-get --purge

these are the basics of Linux file management via CLI. Feel free to experiment the commands and rediscover the CLI.

Airtel HSDPA [Sri Lanka]

Hi folks! Couldn’t write for about a month I think. But now I m back again with my Brand new HSDPA kit. Well HSDPA means speedy internet isn’t it? But I would have to say that life would be little more difficult and hard when you have Airtel HSDPA!



I’m using Airtel’s middle package. 600Rs per month, 3 GB free download and 1Mb/s speed. Ya its worth. But the problem is there coverage. It sucks. Not totally. But mostly! I also brought a Huawei e220 modem from Dialog GSM. It’s in good shape after unlocking. Now they both working well. But as I mentioned early I m not satisfied about Airtel HSDPA coverage and their system. Usually when some one tries to connect to a network (as other service providers do) it detects the user and gives the required setting. Like its ‘APN’ and stuff. But Airtel isn’t capable of that. I didn’t get any HSDPA settings when I tried to connect them for the 1st time. So I had to have some calls to a friend (chanux) of mine requesting to google the setting. Luckily I didn’t call their customer care, because after some time I found that its something like fallen from the sky (more..) . There APN was AirTelLive and I gave the access number as *99#. It worked! But first I got only GPRS signals. That’s because when the signal strength is low the modem software detects it and only allows the device to receive the most available signal type. If you are an Airtel data user this would be your ‘Frequently Faced Problem’.  To avoid this you can set the modem only to receive WCDMA/HSDPA signal frequencies. If you are also using an e220, go to Tools -> options -> Network and set the Network Type as WCDMA only. The handy thing is these setting are also being saved in the device. So Linux users like us don’t have to suffer thinking to find solutions to run the modem software in Linux.

So after doing some work now I’m receiving HSDPA signals. Now it only varies between WCDMA and HSDPA (no more GPRS). The signal strength is about 40% but it’s far better than having GPRS. Under 40% of signal strength I got hardly satisfied about my service provider. Also I didn’t find a way to detect my data usage over the month. It doesn’t matter if the Data package is unlimited. But there should be a way to detect it for limited users like us.  And have to say another thing! If you ever thinking to get support from Airtel’s website, then forget about it. Its totally Crap!


Hack the System [Windows XP]

Well, this is a simple method to hack into other logins. But can be useful at times.


è    Windows XP

è    Multiple User Logins

è    Curiosity 😉  

è    50 seconds from your computing life 😉



è    Simply log in to your account.

è    Open up the command prompt.

è    Then type “net user”. You will get a list of all users.

net user

net user

è    Now type,

net user  user name to be hacked*

è    Then it’ll ask you to enter a password. Remember, the things you type will not be viewed. Press enter, and then retype the password to confirm.

Now the existing password of other user is replaced by the password you entered.


*** If your account is a ‘limited’ one this method won’t work.

Get what you wanted and run for your life……… 😉         Happy Hacking.

Configuring+Understanding ‘/etc/fstab’

             If there are any Linux users who still have difficulties in accessing and mounting their hard drives and other storage media, hope this post will help them. fstab contains some of configuration info about your hard drives and partitions such as file system types and mount points. Sometimes because of its mis-configuration it gives headaches to user. So in a moment like that you should have to know to configure by our own. Before editing any of your configuration files remember to backup them as a habit. You can edit this file using any of your text editors but you need to have root privileges. Here I’m opening ‘fstab’ config file using nano.

nano /etc/fstab

nano /etc/fstab

This is what I got….. yep it seems like a shuffled puzzle for the first time!


My fstab looks shit!

My fstab looks shit!


 Let’s take a hand written example to make it clear. Then follow its explanation.

#etc/fstab: static file system information


#<file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>

proc                  /proc                proc      defaults    0                0           #line1

/dev/hdb4         /                       ext3      defaults     1                1           #line2

/dev/hdb2         swap                swap     defaults    0                0            #line3

/dev/hdb3         /home              ext3      defaults     1                1            #line4

/dev/hdb1        /media/hdb1     ext3       auto          0                0           #line5

/dev/hda1        /media/hda1     ntfs        defaults     0               0           #line6

/dev/scd0        /media/cdrom0 auto       ro,noauto,user,exec 0 0          #line7

/dev/fd0          /media/flopp0   auto      ro,noauto,user,sync 0 0          #line8


::::::::::::: Explanation ::::::::::::

1st and 2nd columns :: Its easy 1st explains the device and 2nd explains the mount point.


3rd column :: exlapins the ‘file system.’

                   As mentioned about it can be ext3, swap, ext2, reiserfx, vfat, ntfs or any other file system. Did you notice line two? Its something different. “proc” file system is a special file system used by the kernel to store hardware information. Some programs retrieve hardware info from this system. Most of the time proc file system will be a small space in your root partition.

                        auto” option is also used. Its not a file system. It simply means that the file system type is detected automatically. Media devices which vary its file system like cdroms and floppies can have this “auto” option.

4th column :: list all the mount options for the device or partition.

            Options should explain in detail. User can define more than one option using “,” to separate them. Here I m considering about only the most common options,


user and nouser “user” option allows normal users to mount the device. If you use “nouser” you should have to be root to mount it.

***Most of new Linux users tell that they can’t mount their windows partitions and other media types. The reason for that is “nouser” come in default. So new users, if you  have mounting problems feel free to open fstab and change the “nouser” option to “user”.


auto and noauto “auto” option allows the device to mount automatically at the bootup. “noauto” option stops mounting the devices at the startup. But allows, mounting it manually after logged in.

***If you are new to Linux mint5 Elyssa, you would be facing to this problem. Some of your media devices are not mounted at the startup and if you want them to be, check your fstab file. Most of the times you want find any record/entries for this troublesome drives. So you should have to write them manually. And remember to set its mount option as “auto”.


ro mount the file system read-only

rw mount the file system read-write

***”ro” and “rw” can also give probs to new users because some times they cant writ into windows partitions and some times even into Linux partitions. So now you can understand how to solve that problem.


sync and async defines how the input and output to the file system should be done. If it is “sync” it is done synchronously. If its “async” inputs and outputs are done asynchronously.

            Think about a file operation like coping some data into a floppy. If its set to “sync” the physical changes are made to the floppy at the same time. But if its “async” the physical changes are done after some time when copping commands are executed. Maybe changes will occur when you’re trying to unmount the floppy.



 defaults uses all the default options.

exec and noexec exec” allows the user to execute binaries which contains in that partition. “noexec” stops it.


5th column :: It is for back utility (dump). If its set to ‘0’ dump will ignore the file system. If ‘1’  backup the file system.

6th column :: This is for fsck (file system check utility). if it is ‘1’ fsck checks the file system. If not dont check( fsck is explained very shortly. I ll put a new post about ‘fsck’ in future).

Finally remember to place your root partition’s record/entry at top of the fstab. Do what ever modifications after the root partition’s entry. So it want change its level. Because the order which they are arranged is important. Before every thing, system should find the root partition and mount it. Then others will be mounted inside the root.

            If your still have questions, doughs or problems with fstab+ mounting feel free to leave them as comments.

My Linux is in My Pen Drive [PuppyLinux4.1].

Yes, by all it means now it is also inside my pen drive. But what’s so special?

Answer: mm… its only 94MB of capacity, it allows persistent data and it has all the features of a normal distro . So what else I need? 😉


Haha ..  Let me explain. I heard about a very small Linux distro by a friend of mine. So I looked forward to find out more. It was ‘Puppy Linux4.1.2’. You can also download it from First I thought ‘oh its only 94 mega bytes… What the hell it should be some kind of useless crap’. But at the end it really pissed me about my under estimation! As I mentioned now its in my pen drive. its clean, stable and very user-friendly.  I spend only about 8 minutes to install, maybe less. It only gets seconds to boot into the RAM. Then you are good to go. This distro is specially designed for hot plugs.  You can plug it to any machine which has minimum of 48MB of RAM and 8MB of Shared Video. But you want be loosing your default settings and other saved data. That’s what I meant by ‘persistent data’. Puppy asks you to save all your settings into the drive you are currently using. Mostly it’ll be a small file with some allocated mega bytes in your pen. Not like other Linux distros, you need not have to make special partitions or file systems in your pen drive or other device. If its default file system is FAT, You can install Linux on FAT. That’s because the installed location only contains compressed files and at the bootstrap it uncompress them to the RAM.

Puppy 4.1.2 has two graphical servers. ‘’ and ‘Xvesa’ (I use Xvesa). Its default desktop mostly looks like KDE. It gives ‘abiword 2.6.3’ as a word processor. I felt it like Open Office while I’m using it. It has ‘SeaMonky1.1.11’ for browsing (something like Firefox). It has a handy Personal Organizer call ‘OSMO’. Like the other organizers it allows you to maintain your contacts, tasks and calendar. Like that ‘Calc’ for spread sheets, ‘InkscapeLIte’ and ‘mtpait3.21’ a simple GTK paining program for art work, ‘Geany 0.12’ the fast & light weight IDE, The puppy PDF converter (this is the first time I got a PDF converter as a default of the OS) and it also provide CD ripping tools like ‘Ripoff CD song ripper’  and also a number of CD/DVD burning software.

A special thing I saw about Puppy Linux is it covers all the main requirements of a normal user.  Finally have to say something about its ‘Gxin 0.5.9 media player’. It runs almost all types of media formats (I personally experienced good results by running following media formats: – .avi,.mp4,.mp3,.3gp,.DAT,.mpg,.divx,.wmv,) .

You really have to try out ‘Puppy Linux’ in your machine. And feel free to comment your thoughts.

Editing the GRUB ~ HowTo

This is about customizing the grub menu which appears at the bootup. The things in this menu contains in a file called ‘menu.lst’ and its located in ‘/boot/grub’ dir. Its not difficult to edit this but bit risky if you don’t do it correctly. So for your safe its better to backup this ‘menu.lst’ file first. Then fire up your terminal/konsole, get root privileges and type,




Now you see ‘menu.lst’ through the terminal/konsole in edit mode. It looks very complex at the very first moment. But if you take a further look, you ll notice that most of the things are just comments. This HowTo explains only 4 useful edits.


  1. Changing The Default Timeout

Fined out the following phrase, then all you have to do is to assign the time for your choice in seconds. At the moment its default value is 10 seconds


Changing The Default Timeout

Changing The Default Timeout

 2.Changing The Titles

This means you can change the titles which appear at the startup. To do this scroll down the menu until you fined “##End Default Options##”,

Changing The Titles

Changing The Titles

Here you can find all the titles/names of Linux and non-Linux operating systems. You can just edit them! Mm.. Well.. I have edit “windows XP as windows sucksp”. Sorry windows folks..  My bad!




    3. Removing Items

There are things that are not useful for some users. Things like ‘recovery mode, memtest and windows divider (if you have windows)’. Erase the titles and their belongings with no fear. But its better if you can leave them by only commenting.

Removing Items

Removing Items


4. Setting up the default OS

This option is at the very top of the file,

 Setting up the default OS

Setting up the default OS

In menu.lst, each ‘title/entry’ has a number starting from 0. So count down the titles from 0 utile you fined the OS which you want to set as the default. Then give the relevant value. Please note that if you have changed any titles into comments, leave them without counting.

            If you are done with editing, finally press Ctrl+x to exit. Then it ll ask to save any changes you made. Reboot the system to check. Then if something goes wrong remember to replace the menu.lst with the file you backup early. You can use a live CD for that. Feel free to experiment further. Happy computing!

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