Firefox on console startup

Here is a quick,dirty and insecure recipe, on how to modify your X startup session to start a maximized firefox on the system’s console.

The basic idea is to convince startx to start our very own copy of xinitrc which spawns nothing but firefox which in turn reads a single file that convinces it to zoom to the full extent of your console’s size and redirects to your local web server’s login page. Pheew.

First of all create a directory where your work will reside like /opt/firefox_on_console. Copy there the files you will find under the link below, or if you feel hardy enough  edit them yourself.  Then modify inittab as follows

  • comment out the default X startup line like so
    • #x:5:respawn:/etc/X11/prefdm -nodaemon
  • and add right below it the following line
    • x:5:respawn:/opt/firefox_on_console/startx
  • last enter the command “kill -HUP 1” as root.


The major difference in the default startx script is the line that reads


That makes all the difference in the world. Also note how minimalistic our xinitrc is . This is done on purpose so that if the user closes firefox the X session will restart instead of hanging you out to dry without a root window manager.

Cooked files are located at

Beware , your mileage may vary. Especially as far as security is concerned, this is a method by which you are effectively allowing access to all the machine’s filesystem structure. So who has a nice chroot recipe for firefox on console ?


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