My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Pale Moon browser removed from my repository

I have removed my contributed build of the Pale Moon browser from my package repository.

The reason? Primarily the attitude of its developers. The main developer is ridiculing Slackware. When working on my initial SlackBuild script and trying to obtain approval to use their ‘official branding’ I had a seriously grim argument with the lead minion of the developer group and the lead maintainer had to step in to appease. That set me off on the wrong foot from the beginning, but I thought an alternative to Firefox would be beneficial to Slackware users, so I added the package and build script despite my misgivings.
However, the above is not how a respectful relationship between developer and distributor works. Also, Moonchild refuses to mention me as a “contributed build” on the “contributed builds” page.

And frankly, I have enough of the arrogant attitude that all issues with their browser (which is a derivative of Mozilla Firefox code, forked before the moment certain big changes were being made to Firefox) are caused by packagers who compile and distribute their own binaries and never caused by the developers. That just falls short of confessing that their code is not mature yet.

If you want to keep running Pale Moon, you can use the SlackBuild script maintained by Khronosschoty and one of the binary packages he provides here:



  1. lamerix

    Their browser is crap anyway so …f ’em.
    They have like 11 users world-wide anyway…

  2. jakedp

    A lot more than 11, lol. I like PM and it is nice to have an alternative too Gecko (do they still call it that?) and WebKit. This gives me some reservations about it now.

  3. Jen

    Wow, screw them. 🙁 With those attiudes, i’d use lynx before pale moon.

  4. KG Hammarlund

    Sorry to read about your decision even if it’s fully understandable given the circumstances.
    Contrary to lamerix I (as one of the 11 users world-wide) have found palemoon troublefree and a good alternative to Firefox, not least after Mozilla’s “quantum leap” made all old legacy add-ons obsolete. Since I’m dependent on some of them (e.g. the djview add-on) I’m glad that there are alternatives out there. OK, there are others beside Palemoon (Seamonkey for instance), but PM also gives me a familiar GUI.
    What makes Slackware great is the freedom of choice, so – as Eric points out – there are still alternatives: Khronosschoty’s build script or the option to simply extract the binaries.

  5. Aleksandar

    Hi Erik,

    as a PhD in Computer Science, who teaches Web development and Operating system courses, I have a question for you – why you, in the first place, decided to include a crappy piece of code as pale moon browser???


  6. Nate Bargmann

    I have been using Waterfox for some time though it is 64 bit only. I also use Eric’s supplied Chromium as my browser and Konqueror once in a while.

  7. Deny Dias

    lead minion… LOL!

    RIP, palemoon.

  8. Adriano Balani

    Unfortunately, this type of developer with the head closed, disrupts the whole project. For nowadays we live in a time where people seek facilities, they do not like to use the brain. Sadly, Debian-Like distros make people badly accustomed. I’m not going to change Distro because of an idiot, it’s easier to use his Browser (which is no big deal).

    Greetings my friend, your fight is my fight!

  9. lnxslck

    Who gives a crap about that browser? There are so many out there. Waterfox has proven to be a good alternative to FF.
    I say good riddance and never think about them again,

  10. Eduardo

    Hi Eric. This was the right decision.
    It’s their loss.

  11. alienbob

    To all of you calling it a crappy browser – I don’t think it is a crappy browser. That was not my reason for removing it from the repository.
    The Pale Moon developer team is small, they have to work with a big codebase, and they need to support Windows, Linux and all the other OS-es out there. That makes their job a lot harder, and I think they mostly succeed in creating a good alternative browser for people who think that Mozilla chose the wrong path with their Firefox browser development. There are many people who are looking for alternatives to Firefox, and do not want to use the Google browsers.
    That is my un-biased opinion. However for a product to be embraced, the developer should not alienate his users and carelessly dismiss the distro packagers who should be their vehicle to get the software adopted into the distro ecosystem.
    That is where they failed, and that is why I stopped spending time on packaging the Pale Moon code.
    As was said above, Linux, and Slackware in particular, is all about freedom of choice. Pale Moon browser is still within reach of every Slackware user who wants it. Just not from me any longer.

  12. BrianA_MN

    Thank you Eric for being fair and clear about your decision.
    Is there any chance that Falkon can be backported to stable? I want an alternative to Chome/Chromium and Mozilla’s embrace of all-things Google. Is Flakon a fork of webengine, now also a Google developer project? Otherwise browser options not using google developed code is becoming lessavailable. Of course Konqueror and KHTML is still available in stable and it does work!

  13. alienbob

    Brian, Falkon’s main dependency is Qt5, so theoretically it should be possible to compile this on Slackware 14.2 without KDE 5 present.
    Mind you: the web engine of Qt5 is based on Chromium. The Qt5 sources contain an embedded copy of chromium code. So even with Falkon you will not be free of Google’s browser cide.

  14. Simo

    Too bad about that attitude: their loss. As for Firefox alternatives, I went looking for that too. It’s been mentioned before, but I also endorse WaterFox as a FireFox replacement.

    Tried Pale Moon, but didn’t think much of it. Vivaldi is also good, and I use that as well.

  15. Spaces

    The project is kinda good, the devs are still blaming everything from Mozilla even when they took over the wheel and are in control in whatever they develop now.

    I deleted the rest of your post because it is unfit for this blog and does not add value – don’t try this again. Eric

  16. Spaces

    Hi Eric, it was for your own additional information, it’s fine to have it removed.

    Otherwise, you start a flameware and now are telling everyone what to do ? You don’t seem to be a easy person as well.

  17. alienbob


    For your information, i did not start a flamewar, I informed people why the palemoon package has been removed from my repository. You made it personal by copying a hundred lines of IRC chat log. This is not USENET where you can post whatever you like.

  18. kdato

    Been on PaleMoon fir a while because it was better abd faster than firefox pre-quantum. I’m back on FF Quanntum which I find better and faster than PaleMoon. They should really use Quantum, maybe then I’ll be interested again.

  19. Spaces

    Sure whatever you want. I knew about my first post being moderated so I added it and I can assure you, they are not that positive about you in that channel 😉

  20. svily0

    Good riddance! I doubt anybody will shed a tear for Pale Moon.
    Can Waterfox be an alternative?

  21. alienbob

    Well, I went to their #palemoon forum on Freenode to ask why the hostility as shown in (NewTobinParadigm
    Well AlienSnob can fuck off) and got banned there before I had the chance to write more than three sentences.
    That does it for me. You will not read another positive sentence about Pale Moon from me.

  22. superkuh

    That’s a shame. And yeah, the IRC channel and Tobin in particular are pretty abrasive. I understand you not wanting to deal with it. Regardless, thanks for packaging it for slackware while you did. It was appreciated. If you can get past the annoyance with the devs it’d be great if you would do it again since PM is a needed alternative browser. But I’m not holding my breath. I’ll just get PM set up on my slackware machines alternative ways from now on.

    • Jody Thornton

      Have you ever listened to Tobin? He made a voice recording about Alex Kontos’s reworking of Waterfox v68, and boy does he sound dweeby. But he is certifiably a jerk to people. As is Moonchild. I like to combine them together as Moon-Matt.

      I recall getting my feet wet in the mid-90s on Linux using Slackware. I came from an SCO Open Server background, and I really enjoyed dabbling with the OS.

  23. Sage

    “This issue is now officially resolved. There will be no Pale Moon browser, official or not. The port has been removed. Farewell, petulant children.”

    That community is pure petulant children, always ignore them.

  24. alienbob

    Well, Pale Moon devs and their products are best ignored completely from now on.

    Let me quote a bit from (this is today’s log – the last few days saw a lot more ‘interesting’ comments about me, Slackware and its userbase). It’s clear that they care for nothing but Windows OS:

    i don’t use linux.. I use Windows 7 like a normal person who isn’t brain dead or a communist

    well if khronosschoty wasn’t doing a top notch job being awesome and producing a package and contributing.. I’d say slackware and its user base can rot in hell..

    he fuckin woke me up at 7am screaming at me

    (FYI this is what he talks about; I typed these lines into their IRC channel right before I got banned… people that get woken up by updates in an IRC channel have some serious life issues):

    Good day
    NewTobinParadigm: do you want to repeat to my facec what you have been telling here in the channel about me? Same for my distro?
    Then I can explain why I did what I did, so that you can improve your attitude towards distros and people
    NewTobinParadigm: reading here I would like you to explain your reasons to me

    My conclusion is that these people are not worth supporting in any way. And the end bit of is just as ridiculous, where they state that my action was premeditated because of some perceived timing issue? Let me repeat my rationale:
    I was deliberating whether to update the palemoon.SlackBuild to support the new major release, because I stopped using Pale Moon myself a long time ago and don’t really want stuff in my repository that I do not use. I roamed the Pale Moon forum to see what the extent was of Slackware related issues that I might have to address in a new package, considering their fast release of a bugfix version. I found the forum post where Moonchild ridiculed Slackware; then I decided that this was the final push to get me to remove the package from my repository and wrote the above blog post.
    Someone posted a snippet of their IRC channel conversation in the comments section (I removed that IRC conversation from the comment because it was pretty inflammatory) but got interested in what else they had to say in that channel so I consulted What I saw only confirmed that I did the right thing.
    I then joined their Freenode channel to ask Tobin why he was so abrasive. He and his boss did not take that too well, I got banned, and they are still fuming in their channel.

    Petulant children. I think that description was spot on. I pity khronosschoty for sticking with these people, seeing how they spit on the users of his Slackware package.

  25. Isaac Gomez


    I was enjoying to have an alternative for firefox, for me the only reason to use palemoon was the NPAPI support, however since version 28 they offer a single bundle of code so I see no future in the project because of the memory consumption and the “optimizations” that needs to be fix 2 days later 😀 those ignorant children lack professionalism.

    I was working on a port of oxygenkde plugin for palemoon and it was working fine, now that I had to find another browser decided to try SeaMonkey (I’m not fan of google or webkit), I share a screenshot how it looks like

    In a few weeks I will have time to work on the port since now is missing a lot, I will post the code in github or similar so people can try it!

    By the way SeaMonkey is a great browser and it comes with Slackware 😉

  26. Ghost

    Wake up and move on folks! You already spend way to much time on this. The only loss is that alienbob already spent way too much of his precious time. Hopefully lessons learned — First impression is important and counts for 80% of what you can expect in the future. The way BSD folks had handled similar situation has been better and I give them credit for that. We should all learn some lessons here. What makes community/organisations successful is their members. This is classic situation in corporate life, where usually it is the manager/alpha to blame. When managers ends up surrounded by unfit members they fail to reach their goals no matter how hard they try. That is the difference between successful and unsuccessful organisations. Please move on…

  27. KG Hammarlund

    It always makes me a bit sad when I encounter it, but here and there in the big Linux community – mostly populated by friendly and helpful people – you find those weird filter bubbles where a tight bunch cultivates its self-righteousness.
    Best to avoid them, so I had better try to find a good alternative to palemoon. Considering my preferences when it comes to add-ons, the browser ought to allow NPAPI plugins (e.g. djview) and mozilla legacy add-ons (e.g. FireFTP). IceCat seems to be a good alternative, but I wonder about possible security flaws since the last source version is seven months old.

  28. Morgan

    Eric, first let me say that, independent of your recent interaction with the PM devs, I’ve also seen some shitty behavior from them towards their users as well as non-Windows package maintainers. I’m honestly not surprised with their attacks on your character and work, work that ultimately only benefitted them as it provided another path to grow their user base.

    I’d like to add to the voices asking for you to check out Waterfox and see if it’s something you’d be interested in using as an alternative to Firefox. I’ve been happy with its performance in the past, and there is already a SlackBuild for it maintained by Donald Cooley, so not necessarily a need for you to repackage it yourself.

    I’ve recently switched from Waterfox back to Firefox-ESR on my own systems so it would be one less SlackBuild to keep up with, but I find myself working even more having to remove Pocket and telemetry myself before it’s a usable browser again, so I’m once again going back to Waterfox for the forseeable future.

    Anyway, as always I appreciate all the work you put into the Slackware project. Cheers!

  29. alazar

    I gotta admit, I liked Pale Moon when it first came up, but I’m fairly sceptical that it’s a good idea to browse the web using a browser whose developers have this sort of attitude. Slackware isn’t the only project that’s having trouble with it, and this isn’t the first time it’s happened. It’s a shame, but things are what they are.

  30. alienbob

    Well, I still think that a product like Pale Moon offers something that was lost in Firefox and does not exist in Chrome. But that’s in the past. Considering the language and threats in the latest personal emails from Moonchild I can tell you that there will certainly never be a palemoon package in my repository again.
    I will have a look at Waterfox.

  31. Nille

    I just ran the command
    “sudo removepkg palemoon-27.9.4-x86_64-1alien”
    I like firefox but is always looking at alternatives for the things i don’t agree with and there for i try firefox forks.
    After reading the blog post and comments and links i decided to remove pale moon and i think it’s for good.
    Now there are things to this story that i couldn’t read and i know alienbob can be a bit harsh from time to time but still i know that he comes to his senses or shut up if someone provides a good argument.
    Still i did dislike the attitude from the palemoon team and how they proposed a solution to a problem.
    We all like open source and wish the best for every project and code but still we all end up being an odd collection of people that’s special and many times hard to talk to or express ourselves, everyone reading mailing lists knows this but still we keep producing great stuff.
    I don’t let things get under my things cause at the end of the day i am just as bad as the next guy, i only look at it from my prospective.
    I wish the best for pale moon and at another time i might try it again.

  32. KG Hammarlund

    I, too, have uninstalled PM and am trying out alternatives. Waterfox looks good and accepts both npapi plugins and legacy extensions. Only oddity is that it doesn’t recognize the java plugin – neither IcedTea’s nor Oracle’s.

    Java plugin works in IceCat. However, IceCat seems to be more or less a rebuild of firefox ESR 52, with the last stable build 52.6.0 and an unofficial(?) 52.9.0.rpm package for Fedora. Since Mozilla now drops 52 ESR one wonders what will happen to IceCat in the future.

    If Eric finds it doable to pack waterfox, I think it would be a valuable contribution.

  33. alienbob

    I have been considering a from-source compilation of Waterfox. The variant is a binary re-pack.
    Just to make certain that I do not rub anyone the wrong way, I will contact the Waterfox developer first to see if he is OK with a Slackware Waterfox.

  34. David Melik

    Pale Moon is still my favourite browser, but I’m sad to see that now their developers have to be my about least favourite in the FLOSS world (about on the level systemd.) If they had just maintained neutrality I’d have donated to their project. I cancelled that.

  35. KG Hammarlund

    I agree with David Melik that Pale Moon remains a favourite from my perspective as a user (if one prefers mozilla-styled browsers over chrome-styled).
    Waterfox is too(?) dependent on what happens with the mozilla source code. Even if “running of all 64 bit NPAPI plugins” is listed among its features, this is not completely true. The DjView4 plugin does not work (even if it’s listed among installed plugins). Contrariwise, java plugin is not recognised/listed but works all the same if one visits a website that address it.
    In Pale Moon both plugins behave normally.

  36. r_st3w4rt

    Sad to see Palemoon go, but I also understand the reasons, after reading the comments & blog entry. Their night mode plugin was the best one I have ever seen or used. Those Palemoon guys have had a bad reputation for a long time. I am surprised Eric’s patience lasted as long as it did. All for the good of Slackware, I suppose- both in adding PM and in removing it. I pity khronosschotty as well for the aggravation he’ll have to endure. With the attitude of the PM developers, and their bad reputation, I always wondered how long this arrangement would last. Good browser- while it lasted. Now on to the next good one…

  37. Fruttenboel

    For some silly reason Palemoon 28.2.1 will not run in Slackware64 Current. Time to look for sumsing else.
    I love seamonkey but the new versions will not install an ad blocker.

  38. KG Hammarlund

    that’s odd, 28.2.1 runs OK on my 64 current – “quick and dirty” install by simply extracting the tar.bz2 file into /opt (which is what I do after Eric stopped building .txz packages).
    Have you built a package using khronosschoty’s script?

  39. KomputrLuvr

    Good riddance to Pale Moon too. Their Basilisk browser is also terrible. Poor attitude from the developer and the worst thing about both browsers is they are developed on outdated Firefox code. FACT IMHO the best options are Firefox, SeaMonkey and I also like Vivaldi as well.

  40. scuzzy

    The issue brings up something I’ve wondered about a lot recently as I’ve just recently went back to Slackware after using CentOS for years due to work requirements. Boss said OK to move our webservers to Slack.
    It seems lots of the people will make their own builds of things like PaleMoon & Chromium.
    Myself I’ve just get the PaleMoon tarball and extracted it to /opt and it runs OK. Same thing with Chromium although I’m using ungoogled-chrome since I dislike google. I just get the ungoogled-chrome .deb and extract it and put it in /opt too.
    So my question is – What is the advantage of using slackware builds or builds by say PaleMoon or Chromium?
    BTW: Thanks AlienBob for all you do. Just did a small donation – enough for a few beers at least.

    • alienbob

      Hi scuzzy, good question.
      Packages/binaries which are provided by developers are generally built on an older release of Ubuntu or another distro that comes with older libraries. These official builds are trying to be compatible with as many distros as possible. The benefits of instead compiling the software on the target OS (say, Slackware 14.2) are possible speed improvements by using newer system libraries. But also, these developer binaries are built on an OS that may have additional libraries Slackware does not have (think PAM on Slackware 14.2, or systemd) and the resulting developer binaries may show inexplicable behaviour or crashes on a distro where there’s a different set of libraries or missing libraries.
      In addition, compiling these programs yourself allows you to tweak the build, sometimes it is beneficial to disable or remove some functionality that is not relevant to the target OS (Slackware).

      In the absense of a distro-specific Chromium or Palemoon package, you are of course free to install and use the developer binaries, nothing wrong with that.

  41. dudett

    I was wondering why it wasn’t in your repo anymore. Now I know why. But anways palemoon sucks, it’s slow, it doesn’t work well on some https sites and they don’t address certain bugs. I agree I’ve had enough with the developer and his minions. It’s sad and I don’t trust them.

  42. shevy

    Recently they went on a perma-ban spree on their forum. I also got banned
    for daring to critisize Moonchild. Something is seriously wrong with that
    man. He may be a troll.

    Prior to that Moonchild spread FUD on the github issue tracker of one of
    the guys doing an inofficial build.

    Either way palemoon is now dying – not so much because of Moonchild
    only but simply because fewer and fewer websites work with it. This
    issue will keep on increasing.

    It’s unfortunate because it would have been nice to have an alternative
    to firefox AND chrome.

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