CentOS In The Browser String ?

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I know CentOS is a 100% rebuilt of whatever Red Hat has produced, even though the version numbers are no longer visually identical and, as Johnny always writes, “If it ain’t in the Red Hat version, it ain’t in CentOS” or words having the same meaning.

Having got circa 20,000 hits, from all round the world, to a single dull web page in 2 days, I thought I would analyse the visitors’ operating system preferences.

I can isolate from the browsers string:-

Android Darwin iPad iPhone Macintosh Windows X11

My C5 Firefox string is “Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:38.0)
Gecko/20100101 Firefox/38.0”.

Ubunto has “Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:45.0)
Gecko/20100101 Firefox/45.0”

My questions are:-

(1) Why can’t we have ‘CentOS‘ in the Firefox browser string ?

(2) Is ‘X11’ genuinely indicative of all ‘real’ Linux – both free and commercial ? Android also calls itself Linux.

Thank you.

15 thoughts on - CentOS In The Browser String ?

  • What purpose does it serve? I don’t object to it being there but I also don’t see a benefit to it being there.

    Ubuntu btw is not exactly a distribution I want RHEL/EPEL/CentOS
    developers to emulate…

  • The user-agent string is one of the items used in uniquely identifying/fingerprinting a user/machine, so the more generic it is the better. Including the details of the OS add to the “bits of identifying information” available to trackers.

    See the EFF testing site for more details:

    < https://panopticlick.eff.org/>

  • It states (calculator needed)

    11.6% of browsers have time zone 0 (GMT)
    10.0% of browsers have “Linux x86_64” (note this excludes Android)
    4.0% of browsers have “en-GB”

    This can also be set, in Firefox, using about:config Right-click new string, …….. etc.

    Not exactly correct. See his site’s
    “Show full results for fingerprinting”

  • You have to create the parameter in about:config

    1. position over main panel full of different parameters.
    2. right click
    3. select ‘new’ and ‘string’
    4. enter ‘general.useragent.override’ then click ‘ok’
    5. enter your chosen arguments then click ‘ok’
    6. no browser restart is necessary.

    To delete it, right click on it, select ‘reset’, restart browser and its gone.

  • On the other hand, setting it to ‘Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1;
    rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/38.0’ would make one look like the latest TOR browser. Which, if CentOS set Firefox to that by default, would make identifying TOR users a great deal harder.

    Just a thought.

  • Which tor users prefer not to anyway ;-)

    Valeri Galtsev Sr System Administrator Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics University of Chicago Phone: 773-702-4247

  • I don’t know.

    I successfully, in about:config, created an variable
    ‘general.useragent.override’ with a value ‘Mozilla/5.0’

    Then Youtube refused to play videos in full-screen. Google, the owner of Youtube, stated either my browser did not support full screen or the video creator had blocked the video being played in full-screen.

    Deleted the variable and Youtube videos again seen in full-screen.