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Replace IE with XULRunner in Notes Client 8.5.3 on Windows

This is just in from the don't-try-this-at-home-since-it-is-unsupported you-have-to-dig-really-deep-to-find-it department. The embedded browser in the Notes client uses an operating system dependent default engine: Internet Explorer on Windows and Firefox (or to be more precise: XULRunner) on Linux and Mac. That cuts one out on Windows from the progress made in Firefox. Luckily our favorite place to alter configuration settings for the Notes client [notesprogramdir]/framework/rcp/plugin_customization.ini got a set of new settings:

The first one switches the embedded browser to Mozilla, the second one does that for the Mime rendering engine for eMails. I haven't seen a setting that would work on the display of a widget (the creation is done using XULRunner already).
Update: I stand corrected. The first setting is documented on a public URL in the Expeditor documentation and for the second one it could be deducted from the Interface spec. So it is just hidden in plain sight. The documentation suggest it would work in all R8.5 versions, someone could give it a try.
Update 2: My colleague Thomas Hampel remarked, that you can use Domino policies to push out these settings. Makes it very easy to handle, no fiddling with editors by end users required.

Posted by on 27 September 2011 | Comments (b) | categories: Show-N-Tell Thursday


  1. posted by Heiko Voigg on Wednesday 28 September 2011 AD:
    Awesome ! Any idea if and when this will become a supported configuration ?
  2. posted by Serdar Basegmez on Thursday 22 December 2011 AD:
    This little tip saved my life. Thank you.

    After installing (damned) IE8, my client started acting weird. For instance if I open a message with MIME content and scroll inside the body it just freeze for a minute with 50% CPU spike.

    Switching to XULRunner for Mime rendering seems to solve the issue.

    Thanks... Emoticon smile.gif
  3. posted by Harald on Friday 23 March 2012 AD:
    Does this work only with 8.5.3? Or should it also work with 8.5.2?

    Will this setting also change the external web browser which is called when clicking on a link? Unfortunatly the default browser in our operating system is set to IE and can not be changed by the user.

    Thanks a lot
  4. posted by Stephan H. Wissel on Saturday 24 March 2012 AD:
    @Harald: I think it works for 8.5.2 too - so long ago for me (I almost constantly run the beta one step ahead of the release). For the external browser: No of course not. External links are handed over to the OS and Notes wouldn't know.
    But where there is a USB port, there's a Linux rescue boot and voila your settings are your ouster (replace iexplorer.exe with a little shell calling ff?) Emoticon biggrin.gif stw
  5. posted by Hedi Kasmanto on Wednesday 20 March 2013 AD:
    I have problem that notes embedded browser can't render jqGrid (jQuery plugin) in XPAGES, but when I tried to run on chrome / firefox, it works properly.

    I have tried to configure plugin_customization.ini with below setting :

    But I have no luck to get it works. Emoticon sad.gif May I miss some configuration ? Emoticon huh.gif
  6. posted by Stephan Wissel on Thursday 21 March 2013 AD:
    such a question is better off on Stackoverflow than in a comment here. And yes you are missing an important point. This post describes how to alter a setting for the embedded browser. XPiNC doesn't use the embedded browser, but XULRunner and there is no option to alter this. XULRunner is roughly Firefox 3.6 so you have to cater for that.
    Also important: you can't use any 'classic' URLs like ?ReadViewEntries in XPiNC.

    Caution: all the grids lend themselves to client style UIs, not very Web like. For starters you end up with 2 scrollbars. Users hate it and get confused. You have been warned.

    P. S. : stick with Dojo
  7. posted by Karsten Lehmann on Wednesday 30 October 2013 AD:
    Some updates...

    IBM Notes Client R9.0.1 contains Xulrunner 10.0.6, which means Firefox 10 render engine for XPiNC and the email browser.

    And regarding setting these options via policy:
    That's not possible, because the Notes Client code does not read the preferences like normal plugins do.

    Instead they read the default preference values, which can only be set via plugin_customization.ini or via a custom Eclipse plugin - not via policy.
    I just reported this to IBM in the design partner program. Hopefully it will get fixed in a later release.
  8. posted by Stuart Hickson on Thursday 17 April 2014 AD:
    In Notes 9.0.1 on Windows 7 the second of these settings (com.ibm.rcp.rte/RTEBasedBrowser=XULRunner) stops images from loading in HTML emails. The first of these settings is documented in technote #1652261 { Link }
  9. posted by Stephan H. Wissel on Thursday 17 April 2014 AD:
    @Stuart: Thx for the update, the technote was 2 years after the article, but good to see it is now more "public".
    For the broken images: could you file a PMR? Emoticon biggrin.gif
  10. posted by Stuart Hickson on Wednesday 30 July 2014 AD:
    July 2014 Update: The technote I referenced above has disappeared and is not to found anywhere it seems.
  11. posted by Uwe Jandt on Thursday 20 August 2015 AD:
    Regarding setting these options via policy:
    Is there any update, meaning can it be done meanwhile? We would like to propagate this feature to certain groups of users.