I am trying to install Firefox 12 on Debian Squeeze x86_64. I have extracted the contents of the compressed Firefox downloadable into the /opt directory and have marked the files /opt/firefox/firefox and /opt/firefox/firefox-bin as executable. This is similar to the procedure outlined in the question How to install the real Firefox on Debian? asked here before. However, when I try to run Firefox by issuing the command /opt/firefox/firefox I get the following error:

XPCOMGlueLoad error for file /opt/firefox/libxpcom.so:
libxul.so: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
Couldn't load XPCOM.

Attempted Solution

I tried to print the shared libraries required by libxpcom.so using ldd libxpcom.so and got the following response:

linux-gate.so.1 =>  (0xf778a000)
libpthread.so.0 => /lib32/libpthread.so.0 (0xf775a000)
libxul.so => not found
libplds4.so => /usr/lib32/libplds4.so (0xf7756000)
libplc4.so => /usr/lib32/libplc4.so (0xf7752000)
libnspr4.so => /usr/lib32/libnspr4.so (0xf771e000)
libdl.so.2 => /lib32/libdl.so.2 (0xf771a000)
libmozalloc.so => not found
libstdc++.so.6 => /usr/lib32/libstdc++.so.6 (0xf7624000)
libm.so.6 => /lib32/libm.so.6 (0xf75fe000)
libgcc_s.so.1 => /usr/lib32/libgcc_s.so.1 (0xf75e0000)
libc.so.6 => /lib32/libc.so.6 (0xf7499000)
/lib/ld-linux.so.2 (0xf778b000)

It is clear that libxul.so and libmozalloc.so are not found. However, I noticed these are present in /opt/firefox folder which resulted from the extraction. Digging a little further I noticed that libxul.so is also present in /usr/lib/xulrunner-1.9.1/libxul.so.

I tried setting the environment variable LD_LIBRARY_PATH to /opt/firefox but still got the same error.


  1. How can I ask the firefox executable to look in a specific directory for the libraries it was not able to find?
  2. Do you think setting the LD_LIBRARY_PATH shell variable is the recommended approach to solving such problems in Debian. I am asking this because I feel Debian has more structured solutions to similar problems, rather than just setting some environment variables (for example, the Alternatives System, although it may not be relevant to this particular problem).

Thank you.

3 Answers 3


The Debian team has everything packaged up for you so that you don't have to download and install the thing by hand. Please check out http://mozilla.debian.net/ : there's everything you need there :).

  • I had a look at that page earlier. I have Iceweasel set up that way, but I would really like to be able to install the branded Firefox version to be able to see the differences (if any) first hand. Thank you for the tip anyways. :)
    – Varun Vats
    May 28, 2012 at 6:45

if you have downloaded firefox from its site probabely you got 32bit version!, try mozilla ftp for latest 64bit version or check list of all releases for any specific version.


I don't know about you, but whenever I try to use IceWeasel, its throwing me back to the firefox 3.5-equiv. version, I don't want that personally.

one way you can get the 'real' firewfox is by using this repo:

deb http://packages.linuxmint.com debian import

the only thing I hate about this repo is, its not in English, which is odd seeing that its from Mint Linux. but you can go to the link below and you can get the English pack.


hope this helped.

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