Fix web controls in Firefox on Ubuntu

Jun 5th, 2007 by Jared Schwager ,

If you’re a regular user of the Ubuntu operating system and Firefox web browser, you may have noticed that the buttons, text fields, radio buttons, and drop down menus in Firefox are quite reminiscent of those in Windows 98. Being a perfectionist, I always like all the buttons and fields (also known as widgets) to be uniform across the operating system and my applications.

Here’s a quick little hack to fix this, but you must be using Ubuntu version 7.04 and the Gnome desktop environment, otherwise you may run into some big problems. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

If you’re using Firefox to read this, you’ll first need to close it to begin this hack. Next, open up the terminal and run the following commands:

  • wget
  • tar -xvzf firefox-form-widgets.tar.gz
  • sudo cp /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/res/forms.css /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/res/forms.css.bak
  • cat firefox-form-widgets/res/forms-extra.css | sudo tee –append /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/res/forms.css > /dev/null
  • sudo cp -r firefox-form-widgets/res/form-widgets /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/res
  • rm -rf firefox-form-widgets

Now launch Firefox. The buttons and fields should look something like this:
Firefox web controls

4 reader comments

  1. August 18th, 2007 at 9:16 pm Jesse says:
    Jesse's Gravatar

    I installed this on FF in Ubuntu 7.04, and it broke certain functionalities. I couldn’t select or highlight text in the search bars, listed items would sit all on one line, and the type cursor wouldn’t appear when I hovered the mouse over a text box. Just a heads up!

  2. February 8th, 2008 at 1:07 pm Dotan Cohen says:
    Dotan Cohen's Gravatar

    The widgets make the form fields on this site look like smilies:
    Note the “Google Search” buttons.

  3. February 8th, 2008 at 7:07 pm Jared Schwager says:
    Jared Schwager's Gravatar

    Dotan, this fix is quite old. I’m not sure how well it works with newer versions of Ubuntu and Firefox. Note that I said you must be using Ubuntu 7.04 in my post. I’m not exactly what version of Firefox I wrote this for either.

  4. February 25th, 2008 at 8:01 pm Dotan Cohen says:
    Dotan Cohen's Gravatar

    Actually, I am using Ubuntu 7.04. I’m on Firefox at the moment, but I should imagine similar behaviour on any 2.0.x version.

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