Some of our old-school Linux users are aware of the fact that the Debian GNU/Linux operating system and several of its derivatives are shipping by default with a web browser called Iceweasel.

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Iceweasel is a fork of the well-known Mozilla Firefox web browser, and the story of Debian using Iceweasel started a long time ago, around February 2006, when the Debian developers were forced to rebrand Mozilla Firefox to Iceweasel because of some trademark issues with the Firefox logos.

"This took longer than it should have, but a page is now officially turned. I uploaded Firefox and Firefox ESR to Debian unstable. They will have to go through the Debian NEW queue because they are new source packages, so won’t be immediately available, but they should arrive soon enough," Mike Hommey, Iceweasel maintainer, has explained.

What about Mozilla Thunderbird?

The replacement of Iceweasel in Debian GNU/Linux with the real Firefox web browser is a major change, so those using the fork as their main web browser in Debian Unstable should be aware of the fact the Iceweasel packages will be upgraded to the current Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release) version.

In the same manner, those using Iceweasel in Debian Stable will also receive the current Firefox ESR build, but only after Iceweasel/Firefox ESR 38 reaches end of life, which should happen in about three months from today. One questions remains though: what about Mozilla Thunderbird and Icedove?