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I just need a browser that can run sites using ActiveX on Linux. Are there any?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

From Firefox Help:

ActiveX is a Microsoft technology that is used to add functionality to Windows programs.

ActiveX "controls" are often used to enable Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser to view and use multimedia content embedded in web pages (for example, Flash applications). They are also used to add new functions to the browser (for example, toolbars).

Firefox does not support ActiveX technology for multiple reasons.

  • ActiveX is only available on Windows operating systems, and as a result webpages that require it will not work on Linux or Mac.
  • ActiveX integration with the Windows operating system has made it a target for malicious software (Malware).

So your best bet would be to use IE via Wine.

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Mepher, that advisory is applicable to Windows, not Linux. – Blomkvist May 13 '11 at 18:26
I don't know if it was ever updated, but there was a plug in available way back in FF2 or 3 that allowed it to use Active X controls. But again, it would have only worked for Windows. – BBlake May 13 '11 at 18:44
@Blomkvist: Did you read my whole post? That's why I say "use IE via Wine". – Mehper C. Palavuzlar May 18 '11 at 17:13

ActiveX is for Microsoft and Microsoft only.

Firefox has its own engine to incorporate additional functionality i.e. plugins

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My experience with the FF IE engine plugins (on Win machines) to provide IE functionality have been that it relies on the presence of an installed instance of IE ... so if IE is not installed or broken, those "IE engine" plugins wont work.

There are some activeX apps I've had to use, and have had my problems using them in certain machines and their installations of IE, so tried the FF IE engine plugins, same exact problems. Once the problems are finally fixed on IE itself, the FF IE engine plugins finally worked.

So it's all brought me to understand that a working IE is needed on the machine for the FF IE engine plugin to work correctly.

So Wine and IE seemed to be the answer.

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Have you tried IE in Wine? I have to do this for my IP cams that only work with ActiveX. ies4linux is an application that may help. ies4linux can be installed in both Debian-based and rpm-based operating systems. To install ies4linux in Ubuntu run the following commands1 from the terminal:

sudo apt-get install wine cabextract
tar xzvf ies4linux-latest.tar.gz
cd ies4linux*

Now you can try it by typing ie6 in your terminal.


1Source: Ubuntu Installing Internet Explorer Documentation

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