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Firefox - Download Windows Software But Detects Linux OS

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:28 pm
by miketurn
In the past I was able to search for this, but kind of hard thing to word in order to get the proper results.
When using Linux Mint and Firefox, on occasion I need to download software for Windows 7.
Certain websites automatically will detect my Linux Mint OS and automatically offer the Debian version of software to download, which is somewhat convenient but kind of creepy.
Anyways, if you don't want the Linux version of that software, sometimes there is not link shown to download the Windows version.
At the moment I don't have an example in mind, but this has happened to me quite a few times, and would be nice to know a solution for the future.

From past research a while back I remember a couple of recommendations of hotkeys to hold down before loading the webpages, but never got anything to work.
Does anyone know of a way to block a website from automatically detecting your OS, and just offer all available versions of software to download?
(I know that in many cases this might be based on how the website handles it)

If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

Re: Firefox - Download Windows Software But Detects Linux OS

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:36 pm
by kreemoweet
Every web request your browser sends includes what is know as a User Agent String, which identifies the browser version
and Operating System you are using. There are Firefox extensions available which enable you to change that string
either temporarily or permanently. A little searching on the Firefox Addons site should bring up several.

Re: Firefox - Download Windows Software But Detects Linux OS

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:20 pm
by miketurn
@kreemoweet
Thank you for your response.
Yeah, "User Agent String" was not looked for in any of my keyword searches, I feel so stupid because this was so obvious :D
Honestly, I was not even thinking of an addon as being a solution for this, this was very helpful.
I looked this up and as you mention there are quite a few to choose from.
Thank you again for this.

Re: Firefox - Download Windows Software But Detects Linux OS

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:51 am
by Hoser Rob
Using a user agent string doesn't solve the issue since there are a bunch of ways to identify your OS.

Searching the subject yields very little because it's just not a big issue. Only the truly paranoid would worry about it.

Re: Firefox - Download Windows Software But Detects Linux OS

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:13 am
by michael louwe
@ miketurn, .......

I have found the "User Agent Switcher" add-on quite good and easy to use.

Re: Firefox - Download Windows Software But Detects Linux OS

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:19 am
by Neil Edmond
I too have had the experience of web sites offering a package designed for the OS currently in use, but I've never had any trouble manually choosing the desired package and just downloading it. That being said, I prefer to use terminal apps, such as wget or axel, for downloads when on a Linux machine, rather than downloading in a browser.