In working through some activities inside Kali 2.0 I came up with a bit of a problem. I really needed to have a second browser in addition to the default Iceweasel installation. I searched around the net for a while attempting to find ways to do this. In general, they were either quite complicated (getting Chrome to run for instance) or started off with the removal of Iceweasel, definitely not what I was looking for.
Some might think, “why on earth would you need a second browser, you have tabs, new windows, and so on…“. Great question, but, I wanted to keep my configuration settings in Iceweasel independent of testing specific configurations related to use of Burp and other web testing utilities, as such, I needed a second browser.
Since I couldn’t find anything on installing a second one, I looked into how to run a “portable” version of the software. This was also a bust.
So, it would seem, I’m not reinventing the wheel too badly with a write-up on this one so I decided that I would figure out how to do this on my own and below are the results.
The key to this whole process was locating the Firefox installation files on Mozilla’s site. While you can navigate the releases area to find this, I’ve included a quick directory link below for latest releases.
As you can see in the screenshot, you have an option to choose your architecture, then language, and then you should be presented with a file looking similar to firefox-40.0.3.tar.bz2 or whatever the latest release is.
Download this file.
Now, unzip it. Tar and bzip are your friends. Not to be difficult, but if you don’t know how to do this, I would suggest a Linux primer course first. Your mileage with Kali will increase significantly if you understand some basic Linux command line.
Now you should have a firefox folder which will contain all the goodies you need to run Firefox.
Move this folder to where you’re going to be running your Firefox installation with.
Read this whole part before you launch…
You should now be able to run your shiny new second browser. WHAT?!?! An error about the browser already running? Yes. If you use the default launch options and have Iceweasel already running you’re going to get an error about Firefox already being started.
In order to start it independently you will need to let Firefox know that you’re going to use a different profile with this new instance. This is accomplished by the command line option seen below.
firefox --new-instance -P "firefox"
You can replace what’s in the quotes with whatever you like. This will instruct it to launch Firefox using the non-default Iceweasel profile and thus successfully launch Firefox as a new browser instance.
Additionally, you’ll receive the typical pop-up about Firefox not being your default browser, I would suggest telling it no and setting it to not check for that, unless of course you intend to use it as your default browser.
You should only have to create the new profile ONE TIME. Once it’s created, the next time you launch Firefox you will see the screen below, just make sure to have your new profile selected.
Now you can safely run your second instance. Happy dual-browser surfing!