Getting started with gluon

    What is gluon

    Gluon is a build tool and documentation for creating firefox-based browsers. Its goal is to simplify the process of creating web browsers to encourage competition and development within the space.

    Getting help

    If you are having problems with following these instructions, or with gluon in general, please contact us. You can create a discussion on github, ping @trickypr on the Fushra Discord.

    System requirements

    • OS: Linux and MacOS (If you are using windows, take a look at the Windows Guide)
    • Gluon dependencies: NodeJS and npm
    • Browser dependencies: Will be handled by bootstrapping

    Getting started

    The first thing you are going to need to do is to install Gluon. As it is a nodejs program it can be installed through npm or yarn.

    npm install -g gluon-build@next
    # or
    yarn global add gluon-build@next
    # Note: Linux and mac users may have to run the above command with sudo

    Now create a git repo and clone it to your local machine. Then run the following:

    gluon setup-project

    This will ask you a variety of questions in relation to your project setup. Firstly, the release of the browser you want to bind to.

    ? Select a product to fork › - Use arrow-keys. Return to submit.
    ❯   Firefox stable
        Firefox extended support (older)
        Firefox extended support (newer)
        Firefox developer edition (Not recommended)
        Firefox beta (Not recommended)

    You can change what version you are bound to at any time. Pulse Browser currently uses the stable releases, but if you want a lower workload, the newer Extended Support releases might be good for you.

    Then next is the version of the browser you want to use. By default melon will populate this with the latest version available, which we recommend using. Simply click enter to accept.

    ? Enter the version of this product › 102.0.1

    Next it will ask for the name of your browser. Avoid references to Firefox or other Mozilla brands, as this is likely to lead to trademark and copyright issues down the road.

    ? Enter a product name › Gluon Example Browser

    The binary name is the name that your program will be run from. We recommend that you add -browser to the end to avoid conflicts with common utilities.

    ? Enter the name of the binary › gluon-example-browser

    Vendor is the company (or solo developer) who is creating the browser.

    ? Enter a vendor › Fushra

    The appid follows reverse dns naming conventions. For example, Fushra owns the domain, so our browser is com.fushra.browser.desktop. If you do not have a domain, you can use your username / psudomim as the appid, e.g. trickypr.watermelon.

    ? Enter an appid › dev.gluon.example

    Next you need to chose a starting template for your browser. If you know what you are doing, you can go with None and configure it how you like. Otherwise, we recommend you stick with UserChrome.

    ? Select a ui mode template › - Use arrow-keys. Return to submit.
    ❯   User Chrome (custom browser css, simplest)

    Now you have created the directory structure for your project, you can build it for the first time. First, ask melon to download the firefox source.

    gluon download

    If you are running this for the first time, you will need to install the firefox dependencies. You can do this via boostrapping:

    gluon bootstrap

    After the source code has been downloaded, the changes to firefox described in the source code must be applied.

    gluon import

    Finally, you can start building the firefox source code. This takes around an hour and a half on my computer, but the binary output will be cached, making later builds faster

    gluon build

    Now you can finally start the browser!

    gluon run

    Common errors

    Here are some common errors that you might run into whilst running gluon build and some potential fixes.

    Anything to do with wasm-ld

    On Arch linux, there were two errors that were thrown:

    Executable "wasm-ld" doesn't exist!
    wasm-ld: error: cannot open /usr/lib/clang/{CLANG_VERSION}/lib/wasi/libclang_rt.builtins-wasm32.a: No such file or directory

    On Linux, I fixed the first error by installing ldd:

    apt-get install lld-7 # Debian
    apt-get install lld-8 # Ubuntu
    apk add lld # Alpine
    pacman -S lld # Arch
    dnf install lld # Fedora

    The second error was fixed by installing the associated wasm libraries:

    sudo pacman -Syu wasi-libc wasi-libc++ wasi-compiler-rt

    You will need to port the above command to your distrobution. If you do not care about the improved security of sandboxed libraries, you can simply disable them by adding the following to ``