*** Netscape 3.01 (with java bug fix) and/or 4.0b5 Wrapper for Linux
Author: Dr. Stephen Adler
Copyright: Gnu Copyright License
Developed at: Brookhaven National Laboratory
Release 0 Update: March, 1st, 1997
If you have installed netscape-wrapper-bnl-3.01-[0, 1, or 2]
the end of this file for an update notice.
****NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE****READTHIS READTHIS READTHIS****
****June 2nd, 1997****
Netscape 4.0b5 is still a beta release from netscape
and has some bugs in it. But if you find something
wrong which you think is caused by my setup of netscape
in this wrapper, please try and verify it and send
me e-mail if your think you have a fix.
***** Another NOTICE *****
RedHat 4.2 has just been released but I have not had
a chance to test this latest release of the wrapper on
it. My gut feeling is that it should work fine. If not
send me e-mail.
I have put together an rpm package which will install Netscape on a
linux system running RedHat 4.0. (or 4.1, maybe 4.2) In order to avoid
copyright infringements with Netscape, the rpm package does not
contain Netscape. Rather, you need to fetch your own copy of Netscape
from the Netscape ftp sites and put it in /tmp. Once done, you can
execute rpm and netscape-wrapper-bnl will, as a post installation
step, untar the contents of the Netscape tar file in the /tmp
directory and put the stuff in /usr/lib/X11/netscape/[3.01|4.0b5]
(Netscape "Communicator" is found at
This wrapper procedures installs a script I wrote which runs netscape
from a shell script called run_netscape. A soft link is made between
/usr/lib/X11/netscape/bin/run_netscape and /usr/X11/bin/netscape so in
the end, you just type netscape in to execute it.
Maintaining multiple versions of netscape on your system: This release
of netscape-wrapper exploits the full functionality of the multi-version
installation of netscape. To invoke different versions of netscape use
the -v qualifier. By default, it will take the latest installed version
of netscape. The list of valid versions now is [3.01, 4.0b5].
netscape -v 3.01
will startup version 3.01 of netscape "if you have it installed",
it will give you an error message.
Here is how I would install netscape using
1) If I'm installing netscape-wrapper-bnl from scratch, and have
never installed netscape using this wrapper.
*) get either netscape 3.01 or 4.0b5, or both from netscape and put
the files in /tmp directory.
*) type 'rpm -ivh netscape-wrapper-bnl-4.0b5-0.i386.rpm' which
will install either 3.01 or 4.0b5, or both versions, depending
on what netscape tar files you have pulled over from netscape
and placed in /tmp.
2) If I've already installed netscape-wrapper-bnl and I'm running
version netscape 3.01 successfully and don't care about netscape
version 4.0b5, then I don't do anything!!!!
3) If I've already installed netscape-wrapper-bnl and I'm running
version netscape 3.01 successfully but I want to try out netscape
version 4.0b5 then I'd fetch this version of netscape and put
the tar file in /tmp and install this wrapper using rpm. After
the installation is done, I'll be able to run either 3.01 or
4.0b5. (Since 4.0b5 is a beta version, 3.01 is still the default,
you need to specifically ask for 4.0b5 using the -v qualifier. If
you only have 4.0b5 installed, then the wrapper will start it
without you having to use the -v qualifier.)
-- LINUX JAVA BUG FIX FOR NETSCAPE 3.01--
This wrapper procedure installs gnumalloc.so in
/usr/lib/X11/netscape/lib and invokes it by using LD_PRELOAD
environment variable, thus fixing the annoying java script bug
plaguing netscape 3.01. More details on this bug fix can be found at
I hope this procedure is of help to those running RedHat 4.0 (or 4.1)
Linux on their PCs.
For netscape 4.0b5 (Communicator), I LD_PRELOAD libc.so.5.4.23,
libm.so.5.0.8 and gnumalloc.so. I found this combination of files
to work best. I really don't know what the official LD_PRELOAD
list should be and if you know, please send me e-mail.
You will find the latest rpm files at
NOTE: netscape-wrapper-bnl expects to find the netscape gziped
tar file in the directory with this very long filename:
--- and -- or ---
The installation will fail if this file is not there and a
previous install of netscape-wrapper-bnl as not been made.
Also, I assume that anyone using redhat 4.[0-2] will not need
linux1.2 version of netscape 4.0b5 so the installation script
will not look for it. (i.e. the installation script will
not work with netscape 4.0b5 for linux 1.2.)
Netscape-Wrapper-3.01-1 update: (Jan 13th, 1997)
There was a bug in release 0 of this netscape wrapper routine which
did not properly pass the netscape command line invoked by the user to
netscape proper. I want to thank Fozzy C. Dressel <fo...@richie.co.at>
for finding the bug and reporting it to me.
Also, if you have already installed netscape-wrapper-bnl-3.01-0 and
are going to upgrade to netscape-wrapper-bnl-3.01-1, you do not need
to re-fetch the netscape tar file
netscape-v301-export.x86-unknown-linux-elf.tar.gz. Release 1 of
netscape-wrapper-bnl-3.01 will proceed to install the wrapper script
and Java bug fix libraries without touching the netscape files already
installed in /usr/lib/X11/netscape/3.01 if the file
/tmp/netscape-v301-export.x86-unknown-linux-elf.tar.gz is not found. A
warning message will be given that this file was not found. Also you
will see the message 'cannot remove /usr/lib/X11/netscape/3.01 -
directory not empty' after doing the upgrade which you should ignore.
Netscape-Wrapper-3.01-2 update: (Feb 1st, 1997)
I've reworked the netscape wrapper script. I changed it from being a
csh script to a bash script. I figured that csh may not be on
everyones redhat install but bash should be. Also, I changed the
method by which the Java bug fix was handled. Now, it only uses the
gnumalloc.so shared library, as described in by the web link
Release 1 of the netscape wrapper would generate a core file in the
~/local-Netscape-Linux-3.01 directory. Using just the gnumalloc.so
shared library seems to cure this core dump feature. Again, if you
have installed this wrapper before, you don't need to fetch the
netscape tar file from netscape, a
rpm -Uvh netscape-wrapper-bnl-3.01-2.i386.rpm
should update the wrapper and java fix files without disturbing your
the netscape files themselves.
Netscape-Wrapper-4.0b5-0 update: (June 2nd, 1997)
I've updated this netscape wrapper software to take advantage
of its intended design of being able to maintain multiple versions of
netscape by switching easily between them using the
-v switch. Details of this are given above. Please send e-mail to
stephen.ad...@bnl.gov if you have problems.
Some of the additional fixes to the wrapper are the following:
1) Removed the use of the ~/local-Netscape-.... directory. The
environment should be setup properly so a local copy of
the netscape executable in the ~/local-Netscape-... directory
is not needed.
2) Added some code which saves your bookmark file in the .netscape
directory, in case netscape crashes and kills your bookmark file.
3) The default version is now 3.01 if both versions are installed.
The idea being that 3.01 is still the official version and
4.0b5 is just beta. If only one or the other is installed,
then you don't need the -v qualifier.
4) I'll add plugins in my next update of this wrapper.
5) If you update from netscape-wrapper-bnl-3.01-2 to 4.0b5,
you may get the message:
removal of /usr/lib/X11/netscape/3.01/lib/gnumalloc.so failed: No such
file or directory
rmdir of /usr/lib/X11/netscape/3.01/lib failed: No such file or
which you should ignore.
6) The error output is redirected to the file ~/netscape.3.01.log
or ~/netscape.4.0b5.log. So if something goes wrong with netscape
look in either one of these files for clues as to what may be
7) Questions/comments/bug fixes please e-mail to stephen.ad...@bnl.gov