Eva Assignment 1

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Submitted by Eva Or (eor)


Building this Firefox took me 4 full evening. The built of Firefox is on Windows XP platform using Visual Studio .NET 2005. The reason it took so long for me to finish this build is mainly because I need to reformat my 80GB harddrive to start with.

For me doing the build is not the hardest part, because most of the instruction given in the FAQ. However, getting all the others components to set up for the build procedure is really NOT fun. I have scan thru a few have my classmate's documentation and seems to me not many of them start from sketch like I did. Therefore, I hope my documentation could help those who start the build from formatting their harddrive and installing a new Windows.

Build Prerequisites

Hardware Requirements

My built is done on a system with the following hardware (it took about 2hours to perform a dynamic build):

  • Intel Pentium III 1.01GHz processor
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 80 GB Hard Drive
  • Windows XP Professional operating system

Installing Windows

You might think a lot of people know how to install Windows. Yes, it is true; however, some people will think they don't need to update the service pack to use Windows. If you do that, you will hit a lot of trouble when you are installing Visual Studio 2005. Because installing Visual Studio 2005 requires Windows XP Service Pack 2. And it take a long time to finish ALL the Windows Update. The reason I have to install Windows again is becaus I partitioned my harddrive to 10GB for the Windows, which later on I found out that is surely not enough to run Windows with lots of application. Since I need to build the Firefox, I know that my existing 10GB C Drive will not be enough to run the build. Hence, reformatting the drive and installing a new Piece of Windows XP is neccessary for me. One thing I want to mention about my Harddrive is I partitioned it to 40GB for the Windows and the rest for Linux, if I feel like doing that in the future.

One thing I am not too sure about requirements of Windows Component. At first I was installing VS .NET 2005, however, because of the windows updates. I thought that I could installed the VS .NET 2003 instead. However, installing VS .NET 2003 requires the IIS component which was not installed to my Windows originally, so I have to install that specific component first. If you don't know where to install Windows component. You can go to Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs -> Add or Remove Windows Components, then you will see the IIS option. Since I have IIS option on before I install the VS .NET 2005. I am not sure if it is required for VS .NET 2005. In case you hit any problem similar to that, you know what to do.

Tools Requirements

Before I proceed with the Firefox build, the following tools are installed:

Visual Studio.NET 2005

  • Obtain a copy of VS.NET 2005 from ACS downloads {Note: You need your Seneca Learn ID or Mercury ID to access the site).
  • Download Daemon Tools (or google for Daemon Tools) to extract the iso files.

NOTE: If you are going to burn the DVD, don't worry about extracting the ISO file. I hit a problem in here, and it wasted my whole night to figure out why I could not install the VS .NET 2005. My problem is I installed WINRAR, which it has a function to extract ISO file. However, WINRAR does not extract ISO properly, there are files missing during the extraction, so I during the mid way of my installation it always complains about missing files. Watch out on this. If you are only using Daemon, you will be ok. Make sure that you are mounting the iso not extracting the iso. Because extract is a WINRAR thing and mount is a Daemon thing.

  • Run the installer, it will cleanly install VS.NET 2005.


  • Download Cygwin here.
  • Run the installer.
  • Make sure that the following packages are checked during your installation or else you will run into:
    • ash -- (Base category)
    • coreutils -- (Base category)
    • cvs -- (Devel category)
    • diffutils -- (Base category)
    • findutils -- (Base category)
    • gawk -- (Base and Interpretors categories)
    • grep -- (Base category)
    • libiconv -- (Devel category)
    • make 3.80 (not 3.81!) -- (Devel category)
    • patchutils -- (Devel category)
    • perl -- (Interpreters category)
    • sed -- (Base category)
    • unzip -- (Archive category)
    • zip -- (Archive category)

Note: Make 3.80 is no longer available in the Cygwin setup installer.

Make 3.80

  • Download Make 3.80
  • Extract it and install it
  • As it is a binary package, you could just grab the Make executable file (make.exe) from /usr/bin/ and drop it in cywgin/bin (this will overwrite the existing Make executable)
  • Go to Start -> RUN -> cmd.exe this command (change to the directory cywgin/bin):
$ make -v
GNU Make 3.80

Note: If you cannot run the make command, that's mean you didn't set up the Path for cygwin/bin. If so, go to My Computer-> (right click) Properties -> Advanced Tab -> Environment Variables (button) --> select Path and add C:/cygwin/bin to it.


My configuration process is following what Liz Chak []has on her documentation [1] for the build.

Check out mozilla source

Same as Liz Chak documentation. [2]

Problems Encountered

I did not encounter any problem during the build, because Liz Chak instruction is very clear, I follow every step and I got thru it without a single problem. I know it is not too good for my experience, but then at least I can follow instruction.

The major problems I have encountered are prior to the set up. Mostly related to hardware and Windows installation issues. At first, my 80GB was partitioned this way. 10GB for running Windows XP, 20GB for entertainment files, 30GB for school files, the rest is still waiting for use. I thought I can just free up the 20GB and the rest of the spaces to install a new piece of Windows, but it doesn't work that way. I need to free them all up to have a bigger partition again. Hence, I guess I learned a lesson not to partition too less spaces for my drive. Also, need to back up the school files in the 30GB first, because I do not want to lose the School files. I did not have a empty CD-R or DVD-R on hand, the only thing I have is a new 160GB harddrive, so it took me a while to figure out why I could ont run my harddrive at the same time. Mainly because I didn't make the drive a master and a slave. I finally figured that out and start Windows installation.

Another problem that I encountered was installing VS .NET 2005. As I mentioned earlier, the problem was not having Windows Updated to Service Pack too, plus using WINRAR to extract the ISO instead of Daemon. To fix this problem is not hard, just very time consuming, you probably need to give a whole night to do the Windows Updated until it get the Service Pack 2 update done. My solution to the WINRAR problem is to uninstalled the WINRAR and using Daemon only to mount the ISO file.

Minefield Screen Shot

The following is a screen shot of "About Minefield" (Help -> About Minefield):

Eva minefield.jpg


Dave Humphrey (dave)

Well-documented and concise: David Humphrey's Guide to Building Firefox on Win32 using Visual Studio .NET 2005

Liz Chak (elichak)

Excellent documentation help me aids the build in very short timefirst


My Firefox build experience is a little disappointed. Because I did not experience much in the build stage. I was wishing to hit on more bugs than now, however, a lot of classmate already done the build, so by listening to their mistake, I avoided to do the same mistake they make and get thru the build too easily. I learned a lesson that if there are people giving instruction and did the same thing before and tell you about their experience, it helps you a lot. Hence, in order to contribute to other people is always document your experience, so that when others have the similar situation, they can take your experience as a guide.

Also, if you ever need to install your Windows to do build, leave yourself more time. Because the Windows set up takes forever.