Last events
Screen Shots
Arabic Specific
Reference and Related Specification
Open Issues
Free Resources
Back to The Mozilla BiDi Language Enabling Prj
Back to The Mozilla

Free Linux Arabic Web Browser

Last Update: October 10th, 2000
Original page location :
(Arabic Version)

The AraZilla product idea was born after receiving several complaints and requests from Arabic Linux users about the lack of an Arabic Web browser on this platform. Therefore, leveraging the strengths of the XLANGBOX-ARA product available on the Linux platform (which provides an Arabic Operating System Support Level), and in the same way that it had done for the old AraMosaic support, the LangBox team has decided to merge both the Mozilla product and the XLANGBOX-ARA Arabic Tool Kit for Linux product, to provide a Free Arabic Web browser to the Linux community. After this implementation based on in-house Arabic libraries and system support, the next step is to participate in the Linux part of the general BiDi Mozilla project, which today mainly focus on the Windows platform support for both Hebrew and Arabic

XLANGBOX-ARA is a commercial product set of library, but in order to use AraZilla, LangBox International agreed to provide a free license of XLANGBOX-ARA for personal, educational, and non commercial usage on the Linux environment.


Last Events
  • 10 Oct 2000 - Announcement and Download availability - Build 20001010
  • 30 Jun 2000 - AraZilla Alpha release for Linux - Build 20000627
  • 30 May 2000 - First internal release at LangBox office.


Download and Install the lbi-8859-6.8x fontset:

Download the AraZilla Linux Tarball binary:

Installation notes:

Subscribe for getting news on development, status...: (check AraZilla item)

Mozilla patches (for developers):

You finds problems / bugs or you have questions or comments:

  1. subscribe to by putting "subscribe" in the subject.
  2. describe your point or your suggestion to
Screen Shots

Some famous Arabic web sites:

Click to enlarge

AraZilla additional menus:

By default, without DIR tag, the global direction is LTR You can force dynamically the Global screen direction under the view menu. The RTL forced direction result is as follow:
Some additional menus to force the charset (is not set in the META tags of the HTML source)  

Search on the Internet:

Enter: Linux <AlrGr> Enter: gdk;s hgl,ru lpd,dhj Press Search


Keyboard layout mapping:

There is 2 built-in keyboard layout under AraZilla : they are usable by setting the AR_KBDLAYOUT environment variable:

1- Default Arabic MS Windows keyboard : AR_KBDLAYOUT="mswin" [Default]

2- XLANGBOX-ARA Arabic keyboard Layout: AR_KBDLAYOUT="asmo"

Chat and Chatzilla

By just selecting the Task./ IRC Chat menu, you can activate chatzilla which allows you to enter Arabic text...

The commands are of course remaining in latin:

  • /server xxx
  • /nick yyy
  • /join #channelname
  • ...

But you may switch to Arabic keyboard to enter your data - By default, the codeset used for exchange data is ISO-8859-6, but you may select the Windows-1256 from the View/Encoding menu.

Arabic User 1

Arabic User 2...

The AraZilla is an extension of the Mozilla code with the LangBox's XLANGBOX-ARA Arabic toolkit for UNIX. This developement has been achieved on the Linux platform. - The following feature are supported:

  • X11 Arabic fonts additional package,
  • Left-to-right / Right-to-Left screen dynamicaly switching,
  • Arabic Encoding codeset selection,
  • Cursor management and Text selection,
  • mail/news support included,
  • composer support included,
  • ChatZilla support included,
  • Virtual Keyboard resources,

Check the Mozilla site and documentation first,

Check the AraZilla FAQ for basic questions...



Host Operating Systems Consideration:

The target development Operating System platform is a SuSE 6.3. However, we will list here the Os on which AraZilla has been tested by users. If you ran it on a non listed OS, please inform us.

  • SuSE Linux 6.3
  • SuSE Linux 6.2
  • RedHat 6.1

Mozilla Consideration:

The actual Mozilla target milestone is a M17. The build is done with the IRC extensions.


Arabic specific:

Document Charset:

There are several charset commonly used on the web for Arabic languages. We decide to support the following:

Unicode : See
This is the de-facto standard for the Gecko layout engine.
The Meta Tag in the HTML header is as follow:
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
ISO-8859-6 : See
The Meta Tag in the HTML header is as follow:
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-6">
It is international standard adopted by the Arab Community as well under the UNIX X11 and Mac environment. It is common used in many web site, such as :
Windows-1256 : See
The Meta Tag in the HTML header is as follow:
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1256">
It is the code page Window used for font, and supported by many web site, such as most of site developed or hosted under Arabic Windows environment...

Mail Charset:

By default AraZilla uses UTF-8 as Mail Charset since it is de-facto standard common to all platforms.

Front-End Font Encoding

For Arabic, there not really a Font Encoding definition, just because even if the codeset have been defined and fixed, the font itself must include much more glyphs than can appear in the codeset. This is due to the "glyph shaping" characteristic of the Arabic language. So according the different Software implementation, we can find different font set definition. 
Since the Front End and GUI interface is handled by the XLANGBOX-ARA libraries and routines, the easiest fontset support for this product is :

A set of font following this fontset is available by loading arafontfull-1.2-4.i386.rpm


Reference and Related Specification

Mozilla related project

W3C Documents:


Character Sets:

Related Engineering Information:

Related Information and Resources:

Open Issues
    • Compose Mail window crash in RTL mode : bug 41685
    • Printing support under development, not yet done.


Free Resources

XFE fonts: (See README file)
Editor: Franck Portaneri <fportaneri[at]>