downlevel browser for F5/firepass VPN

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downlevel browser for F5/firepass VPN

Postby TomRoche on Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:01 pm

How best to install and run a separate, downlevel version of firefox in order to run the F5/firepass VPN? What I mean:

My employer is giving me remote access via a SecurID token and the F5 Network Access Plugin (F5NAP). The latter is in fact a browser plugin, which seems to me an odd way to implement a VPN, but it's the only offered option. Unfortunately,

  • the only browsers supported for linux are Firefox 3 and Firefox 8 (per this--scroll to "Linux Operating Systems")
  • my primary laptop runs LMDE with Firefox 12 (from the LMDE repos) and Iceweasel 13 (from, which I want to keep: the uplevel browsers seem much more performant.

So I first tried to install the F5NAP on my iceweasel, hoping it was sufficiently like the versions above. I browsed to my employer's site, logged in using the token, and followed the link to install the plugin. Unfortunately, that failed: the xpi began running, but then quit with the message

Code: Select all
F5 Network Access Plugin could not be installed because it is not compatible with Iceweasel 13.0.1

Hoping for a simple workaround, I told the often-useful User Agent Switcher to emulate Firefox 8, but no fix. Hence it seems like I will hafta

  • install Firefox 3 or Firefox 8
  • run that downlevel browser whenever I want remote access

As stated above, that will entail running 2 browsers:

  1. downlevel, running one tab for F5NAP
  2. uplevel, running everything else (I tend to have tens of tabs open at any given time)

So I'm wondering

  1. Which of the supported downlevel browsers (Firefox 3 or Firefox 8) has the smaller memory footprint?
  2. How to install the downlevel browser so that it does not interfere with my uplevel browser's configuration, operation, and updating?
  3. How to run the downlevel browser so that it does not interfere with my uplevel browser?
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