YoLinux Tutorial - Configuring Netscape Navigator 4.7X for Web Surfing with Linux

Note: The Netscape Navigator 4.x series of browsers is no longer maintained. Thus it is unlikely that this page will be updated in the future but it will be kept around for historical purposes.
Please see the YoLinux Mozilla browser configuration tutorial.

This page describes where to get Netscape plug-ins and applications for processing multi-media and special file types. This page also describes how to configure them. Everything on this page refers to Linux, specifically the Redhat 6/7 distributions. Close the browser before installing plug-ins.

The Netscape 4.79 browser was last distributed as an update to Red Hat Linux 7.3. The RPMs can be installed on later releases (RH 8.0). (RPMs: netscape-common, the browser and email client: netscape-communicator or the browser only: netscape-navigator ) Netscape 4.8 is also available in generic tar format. Red Hat 8.0 does not include the Netscape 4.xx series browser but includes the Mozilla 1.0 (same as Netscape 7) browser.

Tutorial Index:

After configuring Netscape, test it out on the YoLinux Mime/File Types and Applications page

Related YoLinux Tutorials:

°Firefox Configuration

°Systems Administration

°Network configuration

°Internet Security

Free Information Technology Magazines and Document Downloads
TradePub link image

Configuring Applications:

The following configuration instructions for allowing Netscape to handle various media formats ultimately results in the modification of the files $HOME/.mailcap and $HOME/.mime.types.

Edit + Preferences + choose: Navigator + Applications:

  • Document Adobe/pdf:
        Description: Adobe pdf
    MIME Type: application/pdf
    Suffixes: pdf
    Application: /opt/Acrobat4/bin/acroread %s
    Download Acroread application

    Note: The Acroread PDF viewer includes a Netscape plug-in nppdf.so but I never got it to work. The Adobe acroread application as configured above works like a champ.

  • Intuit "Quicken Interchange Format" (QIF) file: (Still working on this one!)
    MIME Type: application/octet
    Suffixes: qif
    Application: /usr/bin/gnucash %s - Not sure about this????

    See: GnuCash.org

  • Document Adobe/Postscript:
        Description: Postscript Document
    MIME Type: application/postscript
    Suffixes: ai,eps,ps
    Application: /usr/X11R6/bin/gv %s
    gv is part of the Red Hat Linux installation

  • Image X11/xwd:
        Description: X Window Dump Image
    MIME Type: image/x-xwindowdump
    Suffixes: xwd
    Application: /usr/X11R6/bin/xwud -in %s
    xwud is part of Red Hat Linux installation

  • Images pcx/bmp:
        Description: PCX Image
    MIME Type: application/pcx
    Suffixes: pcx
    Application: /usr/X11R6/bin/xv %s

    Description: Windows Bitmap
    MIME Type: image/x-MS-bmp
    Suffixes: bmp
    Application: /usr/X11R6/bin/xv %s

    xv: xv-3.10a-23.i386.rpm and xv-docs-3.10a-23.i386.rpm

  • Image multipage fax - tiff:
        Description: KFax Viewer
    MIME Type: image/x-tiff
    Suffixes: tif,tiff
    Application: /usr/bin/kfax %s
    kfax is part of Red Hat Linux installation

    Note: Note kfax is part of RPM: kdegraphics. http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/distributions/redhat/current/en/os/i386/RedHat/RPMS/kdegraphics-2.1.1-1.i386.rpm

    This application works well for multi-image tiff fax files sent by JFax and other fax-mail services.

  • Audio mp3: (or use plugger plug-in. See below.)
    MIME Type: audio/mpeg
    Suffixes: mp3
    Application: /usr/bin/freeamp %s

    MIME Type: audio/x-mpeg-url
    Suffixes: mp3
    Application: /usr/bin/freeamp %s

    MIME Type: audio/mpeg-url
    Suffixes: mp3
    Application: /usr/bin/freeamp %s
    freeamp: (rpm: freeamp-2.0.8-3.i386.rpm)
    Also see FreeAmp home page for RPM's: (This RPM requires MusicBrainz library RPM also available from this site.
    ORuse /usr/bin/xmms

    Directories of MP3 streaming stations. (Pick one and listen)
    XMMS Home Page

  • Microsoft Outlook generated url:

        Description: URL
    MIME Type: application/octet-stream
    Suffixes: url
    Application: /opt/bin/netscape-url.sh %s

    Shell script: /opt/bin/netscape-url.sh

    /usr/lib/netscape/netscape-communicator -remote "openURL(`awk -F"=" '/^URL/ { print $2 }' $1 `)"
    Executable path is dependant on distribution. Use the command "ps -auwx" to find the actual process name. This is accurate for Red Hat 7.1.

  • Microsoft doc: (Best viewer is Applixware. See review of Office Suites for a full review of MS/Word import compatability)
        Description: Microsoft Word Document
    MIME Type: application/msword
    Suffixes: doc,dot
    Application: /opt/bin/applix-sh %s
        Description: Machintosh Word File
    MIME Type: application/appfile
    Suffixes: doc,dot
    Application: /opt/bin/applix-sh %s
        Description: Rich Text Format
    MIME Type: application/rtf
    Suffixes: rtf
    Application: /opt/bin/applix-sh %s
        Description: Applixware File
    MIME Type: application/applixware
    Suffixes: aw, as, ag, am
    Application: /opt/bin/applix-sh %s

    Shell script: /opt/bin/applix-sh

    set exec_loc=/opt/applix/applix
    set pid=`ps x | fgrep -v fgrep | fgrep $exec_loc | cut -d " " -f 1`
    $exec_loc -nobackground $*
    if ( "$pid" != "") then
    sleep 60


    Use MS/Word compatible application /usr/bin/oowriter for Red Hat 8.0 systems with Open Office.

  • Document MS/Excel:
        Description: Microsoft Excel Worksheet
    MIME Type: application/vnd.ms-excel
    Suffixes: xls,xlt,xlm,xld,xla,xlc,xlw,xll
    Application: /usr/bin/gnumeric %s
    Part of the base Red Hat Linux CD installation


    Use Applixware:

        Application: /opt/bin/applix-sh %s
    Shell script /opt/bin/applix-sh:
    set exec_loc=/opt/applix/applix
    set pid=`ps x | fgrep -v fgrep | fgrep $exec_loc | cut -d " " -f 1`
    $exec_loc -nobackground $*
    if ( "$pid" != "") then
    sleep 60


    Use spread sheet application /usr/bin/oocalc for Red Hat 8.0 systems with Open Office.

  • Microsoft PowerPoint Document:
        Description: Microsoft PowerPointShow
    MIME Type: application/vnd.ms-powerpoint
    Suffixes: ppt,pot,ppa,pps,pwz
    Application: /usr/bin/soffice %s

    This works for Star Office 5.2 and works well. Also see OpenOffice.org.


    Use spread presentation application /usr/bin/ooimpress for Red Hat 8.0 systems with Open Office.

Netscape Plug-ins:

List available plug-ins. Type the URL: about:plugins
Terminate the browser before installing plug-ins.
Plug-ins are located in $HOME/.netscape/plugins/ if only for yourself or in /usr/lib/netscape/plugins/ for system wide availablility.

  • Plugger:

    Plugger is a Netscape plug-in that ties many of the Linux applications to Netscape.
    Netscape plug-in, plugger (rpm) - part of Red Hat Linux base OS (RH 7.1) or on Powertools CD for older releases.

    Plugger will handle the following mime types: wav, midi, mpeg, mov, png, au etc. (partial list)
    Plugger is configured to use the following applications: play, playmidi, xanim, mtvp, timidity, xmp, mikmod, mpg123, xloadimage and display.

    Download application RPMs:

    • Xmms MP3 player RPM's, Deb's
    • Xanim RPM: xanim-2.80.1-12.i386.rpm
    • timidity++ - (Red Hat base OS or on Powertools CD for older releases)
    • MTv Homepage - Requires XForms (xforms-0.88-15.i386.rpm) - RH 7.0 powertools (Not found in 7.1??)
    • XMP Homepage - Plays 48 different sound formats.

    These may also be configured manually as shown below. Use plugger instead.

        Description: Midi Player
        MIME Type: audio/midi        ALSO: audio/x-midi
        Suffixes: mid,midi
        Application: /usr/bin/timidity -s 44100 -a -idqqqqqqq %s
    timidity++ application - (Red Hat base OS or on Powertools CD for older releases)

    Plugger worked great except for the wav file. I had to enter it explicitly as below.

    MIME Type: audio/wav
    Suffixes: wav
    Application: /usr/bin/play %s

    play is part of Red Hat Linux installation. If the audio file plays back at too high a speed, then use esdplay instead of play. To view all the applications used by plugger, look at /etc/pluggerrc.

  • Real Player:

    Download: Real Player - Select "Unix/Linux" link. [Download] [Forum]

    Download and rename the file substituting the "_" for "." in the file name.
    Then: mv rp8_linux20_libc6_i386_cs2_rpm rp8.linux20.libc6.i386.cs2.rpm
    The name of the package will be "RealPlayer". Install the file as a regular rpm: rpm -ivh --ignorearch rp8.linux20.libc6.i386.cs2.rpm
    Note: RPM option --ignorearch required for installing rp8.linux20.libc6.i386.cs1.rpm
    (Get rid of the old one if necessary: rpm -e RealPlayer-7.0-3)

    The rpm package will install the Netscape plug-ins into /usr/lib/netscape/plugins/
    The package will also install the stand-alone executable /usr/bin/X11/realplay
    Icon location (If you want to create a desktop launcher): /usr/lib/RealPlayer8/rp7.xpm
    (This and many more files installed.)

    Configure manually as follows: ("Edit" + "Preferences" + "Navigator" + "Applications")

    Mime Type Suffix Application
    application/vnd.rn-realmedia rm /usr/bin/X11/realplay %s
    application/smil smi /usr/bin/X11/realplay %s
    audio/vnd.rn-realaudio ra,ram /usr/bin/X11/realplay %s
    audio/x-pn-realaudio ra,ram /usr/bin/X11/realplay %s
    video/vnd.rn-realvideo rv /usr/bin/X11/realplay %s
    audio/x-pn-realaudio-plugin rpm Plug In: RealPlayer
    (RPM install does this one for you)

    Test at:

    Additional info note: After install, Netscape will add the following to $HOME/.netscape/plugin-list:

         /usr/lib/netscape/plugins/rpnp.so 958780180 audio/x-pn-realaudio-plugin: rpm:RealPlayer Plugin Metafile;
    pluginName=RealPlayer(tm) 7.0 Plug-In
    pluginDescription=RealPlayer(tm) 7.0 LiveConnect-Enabled Plug-In

    See the help files installed to file:///usr/lib/RealPlayer8/Help/realplay/introduction.htm -[index]
    (These links only available if you have installed Real Player)

  • Macromedia Flash Player:

    Download Page: Flash Player Download


           tar xzf flash_linux.tar.gz
    mv flash_linux/libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/netscape/plugins
    mv flash_linux/ShockwaveFlash.class /usr/lib/netscape/plugins
    Mime types: (No configuration required by user)
           Description: Futuresplash
    Mime Type: application/futuresplash
    Suffixes: spl

    Description: Shockwave Flash
    Mime Type: application/x-shockwave-flash
    Suffixes: swf

    For more Flash info and links including development of an open source Flash player and tools.

  • Codeweavers CrossOver Quicktime Plug-in:

    This plugin allows one to view Quicktime video including those encoded with the Sorenson codec. It also handles other media types. It is a commercial package which must be purchased ($19.95) before downloading (or shipped CD). The CrossOver package consists of Wine and the Apple Quicktime viewer. It comes with an installer and configurator which makes this a simple install.
    Codeweavers Home Page - Select "Cross Over Plugin downloadable"

    Installation: (CrossOver Version 1.0 with Apple Quicktime player 5.0.2 on Red Hat 7.1)

    You have three choices
    • The download consistes of a script which will allow your to install over the internet. I chose this option.
    • Purchase and install from CD
    • RPM
    Run the downloaded install script (also in base directory on CD) as a regular user. (Not root) It installs everything in $HOME/crossover/ and the configuration files in $HOME/.crossover/.

    It was a simple installation and configuration as I took all the defaults except:

    • I did not choose the default "minimum" but instead chose "recommended".
    • Close the browser before installing the CodeWeavers CrossOver plug-in.
    • The "Pro" version allows you to edit Quicktime video. In fact it is just a key which unlocks the full potential of the existing application.
    • The installation script will download and install wine locally in your directory. It then launches the Windows Install Shield install wizard application [Screenshot] to install the Apple Quicktime application.
    • The term RTSP streaming refers to the format used by Real Networks. Quicktime movies use HTTP and it works well.
    • The default paths chosen by the install wizard are OK. Don't be frightened by the MS/Windows path name: C:\Program Files\... will translate to $HOME/crossover/support/dotwine/fake_windows/Program Files/...
    • The MS/Windows path C:\Netscape\Communicator\Program\plugins will translate to $HOME/crossover/support/dotwine/fake_windows/Netscape/Communicator/Program/plugins
    • Plug-in works for Netscape, Mozilla and Konqueror browsers.
    • Documentation (and lots of it) can be found in $HOME/crossover/doc/index.html
    • Configuration file: $HOME/.crossover/config
    • The installation program will configure Netscape for you but I found that the plugger plug-in generates some conflicts. To fix the conflicts with plugger (if you have already installed the plugger RPM), delete the following mime types and plugger associations ("Edit" + "Preferences" then select "Navigator" + "Applications").
      Delete these plugger associations: video/x-quicktime, video/quicktime and video/msvideo
      It seems that the Codeweavers CrossOver installation does not step on or clobber existing application associations, it just makes a new one, thus some of the old associations must be deleted.
    • To re-launch the configuration tool: $HOME/crossover/bin/pluginsetup

    The installation had included video/x-quicktime but not video/quicktime (???) so I then had to add the following:

            Description: QuickTime
    MIME Type: video/quicktime
    Suffixes: mov,qt
    Plug-in: Plugin Quicktime Plug-in 5.0.2 (CrossOver - npqtplugin.dll)
    Test the Quicktime plug-in on the following sites:

    The following mime type support will also be added by default during installation:

    Mime Types: audio/aiff, audio/basic, audio/midi, audio/mpeg, audio/wav, audio/x-aiff, audio/x-midi, audio/x-mpeg, audio/x-wav, image/png, image/tif, image/x-bmp, image/x-macpaint, video/avi, video/flc, video/mpeg, video/quicktime, video/x-mpeg, video/x-msvideo
    Extensions: .aiff, .au, .mpeg, .wav, .aif, .mid, .png, .tif, .tiff, .bmp, .ptng, .png, .targa, .avi, .flc, .mpe, .mov

    Description MIME Type Suffixes Application
    Microsoft Video video/x-msvideo avi,vfw $HOME/crossover/bin/wine.sh "C:/PROG~FBU/QUIC~EA4/QuickTimePlayer.exe" "%s"
    DV video/x-dv dif,dv $HOME/crossover/bin/wine.sh "C:/PROG~FBU/QUIC~EA4/QuickTimePlayer.exe" "%s"
    Photoshop image/x-photoshop psd $HOME/crossover/bin/wine.sh "C:/PROG~FBU/QUIC~EA4/PictureViewer.exe" "%s"
    Microsoft image/x-bmp bmp,dib $HOME/crossover/bin/wine.sh "C:/PROG~FBU/QUIC~EA4/PictureViewer.exe" "%s"
    [Pitfall] I had to disable this as it did not display BMP files. I deleted this entry and changed it back to the application "xv".

    [Potential Pitfall]: The installation of this plug-in may duplicate an existing application and mime type. This seems to confuse Navigator. I suggest you delete the duplicate entry created by the installation of this plug-in.

  • Tcl/Tk plugin:

    Allows execution of Tcl/Tk script in browser window.

    Download: Tcl Developer Xchange: plugin


           zip -dc tclplug20-x86-linux.tar.gz
    tar xf tclplug20-x86-linux.tar
    cd tclplug20-x86-linux

    Additional info note: This plugin should only be used with trusted sites or intranets. It allows the script to be downloaded from a website and executed in the browser locally. It allows the full power of Tcl/Tk. a "Safe-Tcl" Tcl interpreter is available which only executes a subset of Tcl is available from this web site.

  • nDVI - a LateX DVI viewer plugin for Netscape

    (No longer available)

  • VRML Netscape Plugins:

    3D Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) geometry model viewers. Helper programs: VRML Links:

  • DjVu Web Browser Plug-in:

    Scan-toWeb solution for digital documents: Developed at AT&T Labs for viewing compressed high resolution images. Talk about esoteric. Just added this to make the list complete.
    Home Page

  • Music SID: (use plug-in.)
        Description: SID Music
    MIME Type: audio/prs.sid
    Suffixes: sid
    Application: Use plug-in

  • Live Math:

    This commercial cross platform plug-in supports their LiveMath product for the creation of equation symbols and graphics.
    Warning: Even they say it is really buggy. Probably not ready for real use yet.

  • IBM Techexplorer: DON'T DO IT!!!

    Download: Techexplorer - Select "techexplorer Hypermedia browser" under products.


           tar zxf 


Keyboard shortcuts:

(Note the "Alt" refers to the left "Alt" key and NOT the right.)
Go / Navigation -
Back Alt-LeftArrow
Forward Alt-RightArrow
Stop ESC
File Menu -
New Navigator Window Alt-n
New Msg E-mail Window Alt-m
New Composer Window Alt-Shift-n
New Radio Window
(Real Audio)
Open Page Dialog Box Alt-o
Save As... Alt-s
Print... Alt-p
Close Window Alt-w
Exit Netscape Alt-q
Edit Menu -
Find in Page... Alt-f
Find in Page... Alt-f
View Menu -
Refresh Page Alt-r
View Page Source Alt-u
Tools Menu -
Show History Alt-h
Display bookmarks panel Alt-b
JAVA Console Alt-j

Netscape Roaming:

FTP Uploads:

Use the following syntax: ftp://login:password@ftp-site.com

  • Select "File" + "Upload File..."
  • Open two Netscape windows, one showing the destination FTP directory and the other showing the local directory. Now drag and drop.



  • If you find that Netscape 4.x hangs when launched during a time of network outage (or you just aren't connected to the network but network services have been started) it is most probably due to Messenger attempting to locate news servers listed in your configuration. This was a discovery made by using the network sniffer "ethereal" while launching Netscape.


Mozilla 5:


"Netscape DevEdge Web Developer's Library" (and CD)
By Paul Dreyfus, Hungry Minds Inc.
ISBN# 076454585X


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Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 by Greg Ippolito