Mullvad Browser

hacktheworld

Active Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2023
Messages
100
Reaction score
32
Credits
765
Some Linux sites have posted Mullvad Browser.
I tried to install it but without success. I wonder why they put a new browser "on the market" without any support for Linux users.
I sent an email to [email protected] to ask for clarification (for now I haven't had any response)
On some sites I've seen many Linux users who don't know how to install Mullvad Browser probably because like me they think it's an interesting project. What do you think about it?
 


As far as I can see, it's just a variant of the highly respected Tor browser.
 
I plan on doing a review of said browser.

As far as I can see, it's just a variant of the highly respected Tor browser.

It's from the same people but doesn't route the traffic over the .onion network.

What do you think about it?

It's conceptually interesting, though I guess it's just a hardened browser with a VPN.
 
Some Linux sites have posted Mullvad Browser.
I tried to install it but without success. I wonder why they put a new browser "on the market" without any support for Linux users.
I sent an email to [email protected] to ask for clarification (for now I haven't had any response)
On some sites I've seen many Linux users who don't know how to install Mullvad Browser probably because like me they think it's an interesting project. What do you think about it?
It may depend on how you tried to install it. If you download the tarball, open a terminal in your home directory, make a directory for it there (for example call it "browser"), move the tarball into that directory and untar it there, it will create a new directory called "mullvad-browser". Then navigate to: ~/browser/mullvad-browser/Browser, and then run:
Code:
./mullvadbrowser
it should run. If you want to keep that terminal from which it's running available for other commands, run:
Code:
 ./mullvadbrowser &
Worked perfectly here.

This method is outside the packaging system of your distro so can be made to work on any linux installation. If one wants to put it into the packaging system, one can with a little work. Alternatively one can write a script to place in the PATH, say in ~/bin (if that's in the PATH), so that mullvad can be started with a command in a terminal without having to navigate to the mullvad directory itself. For system wide use, one could place the script in /usr/local/bin which is usually in the PATH by default.
 
Last edited:
Download the Linux version, extract the folder, and click on the Mullvad Setup. A new folder and icon will appear. Just click on the new icon.
 
And, a very brief review in just a sentence or three... Or more...

It's a security focused browser that's meant to sell subscriptions to the Mullvad VPN. The security settings are standard by default, when a security focused browser would be more restrictive. It doesn't even warn you when you make your fingerprint more unique by making the browser full-screen. I'd pass, as it doesn't do enough to make it special and appears to largely be an excuse to market the VPN service.

It says it is in conjunction with the Tor people, but I don't know how much influence they had. You'd do better securing your own version of Firefox and picking your own VPN service. This browser isn't going to do all that much to make you anonymous and having the word 'Tor' attached to it strikes me as problematic because users, especially those who don't know better but really need to be anonymous, will be expecting a similar level of privacy/anonymity that they'd get from using the Tor browser over the .onion network.

I suppose it'd be okay if you wanted to use that VPN, but that VPN has a regular ol' Firefox extension that you can use. You just need to pay $5 a month...

Meh... Maybe the Tor project is running low on funds? I guess that'd be the best of the situations I can think of right now?
 
You still need a VPN.

Yup. It's not even a hardened browser. It comes with uBlock Origin, so there's that...

I think I'm going to use some of my above text when I do a full review for my site.

I give it a hard pass, as being mostly useless.
 
As far as I can see, it's just a variant of the highly respected

It may depend on how you tried to install it. If you download the tarball, open a terminal in your home directory, make a directory for it there (for example call it "browser"), move the tarball into that directory and untar it there, it will create a new directory called "mullvad-browser". Then navigate to: ~/browser/mullvad-browser/Browser, and then run:
Code:
./mullvadbrowser
it should run. If you want to keep that terminal from which it's running available for other commands, run:
Code:
 ./mullvadbrowser &
Worked perfectly here.

This method is outside the packaging system of your distro so can be made to work on any linux installation. If one wants to put it into the packaging system, one can with a little work. Alternatively one can write a script to place in the PATH, say in ~/bin (if that's in the PATH), so that mullvad can be started with a command in a terminal without having to navigate to the mullvad directory itself. For system wide use, one could place the script in /usr/local/bin which is usually in the PATH by default.
Thank you very much
It may depend on how you tried to install it. If you download the tarball, open a terminal in your home directory, make a directory for it there (for example call it "browser"), move the tarball into that directory and untar it there, it will create a new directory called "mullvad-browser". Then navigate to: ~/browser/mullvad-browser/Browser, and then run:
Code:
./mullvadbrowser
it should run. If you want to keep that terminal from which it's running available for other commands, run:
Code:
 ./mullvadbrowser &
Worked perfectly here.

This method is outside the packaging system of your distro so can be made to work on any linux installation. If one wants to put it into the packaging system, one can with a little work. Alternatively one can write a script to place in the PATH, say in ~/bin (if that's in the PATH), so that mullvad can be started with a command in a terminal without having to navigate to the mullvad directory itself. For system wide use, one could place the script in /usr/local/bin which is usually in the PATH by default.
Thank you very much! I try!
 
After an installation of the mullvad browser, I used it to access a simple archiving site which I was unable to access with firefox, palemoon, brave, librewolf, min and ungoogled chrome. The only browsers I could access the site with were tor and mullvad. Tor was typically like treacle to work with, but mullvad was as brisk as any of the other browsers mentioned.

I had contact with the website's creator and he assured me that all of the certificates and authorisations were up to date. With the other browsers I mentioned I kept receiving messages like: ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR, or PR_END_OF_FILE_ERROR within a "Malicious Content" page. It made no sense to me after being assured by the website creator that the relevant matters were all in order. The site itself is simply a collection of non-controversial photos of meetings, camping activities and texts for an organisation creating an archive for itself. He uses MS and had no trouble with his browsers. He downloaded firefox to check, and also received the "Malicious Content" pages that I had. It has been a baffling matter, but mullvad has been the solution. It's too early for me to determine what the configuration differences are which have enabled mullvad to work in this case, but I'm very interested.

Edit: The conundrum appears to be resolved by this text from my ISP (Telstra) :
Telstra Broadband Protect won’t work if you’re internet connection is through a:
non-Telstra DNS network
VPN
proxy server
mullvad evidently uses one or more of those. The "Broadband Protect" appears to be overzealous in my case.

Second Edit: It's possible to have the ISP's "Broadband Protect" turned off by contacting them personally and requesting it. That has been done now, and ironically, it may make mullvad redundant in this matter, but it may still be quite useful in others that arise in the future.

Third Edit: During the first call to the ISP, the consultant said that she had disabled the "Broadband Protect" shield on my line, and it would be gone within an hour. Four hours later, it hadn't been lifted, so I contacted the ISP once more and spoke to a second consultant. He hadn't heard of this feature of the ISP, so he contacted a manager who informed him of what he needed to do. Evidently the first consultant hadn't followed through the disabling to its conclusion, and the process was cancelled. The second consultant explained how it was a complicated process involving fifteen steps to disable the shield, and asked me to wait on the phone for about ten minutes. His work was successful.

If I hadn't bothered with this, then at least mullvad would have been the answer.
 
Last edited:
I believe that some people above do not fully understand the Mullvad browser. You are not required to use it with a VPN, whether Mullvad's or someone else's VPN. VPNs offer certain specific privacy-enhancing technologies, disguising your IP address. A VPN will do the same thing whether you are using the Mullvad browser or another browser. The Mullvad browser adds anti-tracking technologies that many browsers lack.

The Mullvad browser is essentially the same as the Tor browser. The major differences between the Mullvad browser and the Tor browser are:
  • The Mullvad browser does NOTuse the Tor onion network. The Tor browser does.
    • The Mullvad browser uses an ordinary internet connection, which may be directly over the public internet or through a VPN connection.
    • Avoiding the Tor onion network gives the Mullvad browser a significant performance improvement over the Tor browser, but with reduced security and privacy.
  • The Mullvad browser includes a plug-in that offers a one-click connection to the Mullvad VPN.
The primary features that the Mullvad browser offers are related to the anti-fingerprinting and anti-tracking technologies that are also included in the Tor browser. The Mullvad browser deletes all your cookies and other tracking data between browser sessions, and it uses DNS over HTTPS to hide your DNS lookups from your ISP and others. When you close the Mullvad browser and connect again later, the new connections appear like a fresh new user to the website. The Tor browser does all that, but the Tor browser also uses the Tor onion network.

Unless you are using a VPN, your ISP will still see the IP addresses of the connections that your Mullvad browser makes, so your ISP still has an idea of which servers (and sometimes websites) you may be visiting. A VPN hides that information from your ISP, but you are effectively shifting your trust from your ISP to your VPN provider. Your VPN provider can see your activity. You can rent a server and run your own VPN, but your server provider can still see the network activity of that server, maybe a lot more.

The Tor browser offers greater anonymity than the Mullvad browser, even if you use the Mullvad browser with a VPN. The Tor browser's onion network gives greater security and privacy, but at a high cost in performance. The Tor network goes through three separate encrypt/decrypt cycles on three separate volunteer servers for every packet. Each of those servers is somewhere in the world, and the communications between them introduces latency too. That makes the Tor browser more secure than the Mullvad browser, but very slow.
 
Some Linux sites have posted Mullvad Browser.
I tried to install it but without success. I wonder why they put a new browser "on the market" without any support for Linux users.
I sent an email to [email protected] to ask for clarification (for now I haven't had any response)
On some sites I've seen many Linux users who don't know how to install Mullvad Browser probably because like me they think it's an interesting project. What do you think about it?
There is nothing to install just extract the - mullvad-browser-linux64-12.0.4_ALL.tar.xz - you will see a folder called mullvad-browser now open that and run the start.mullvad-browser.desktop file by double clicking it - but be advised this does not connect to the Tor network - if you just use the browser by itself it is like using normal Firefox - it is designed to work in conjunction with the Mullvad VPN
 
Last edited by a moderator:
There is not much documentation on how to install Mullvad browser. Basically, you copy the "tarball" compressed file (.xz) ~/.local/share directory and then uncompress the files. The uncompressed files go into a ~/.local/share/mullvad-browser directory.

Next, cd to the ~/.local/share/mullvad-browser directory and run "./start-mullvad-browser.desktop --register-app" to make the Mullvad browser appear in your desktop menu. You can launch it that way, or from the command line.

They expect you to do the same for each account. I do not understand why the Mullvad browser cannot or should not be installed in a way where a single executable is shared between accounts.
 
Last edited:
I solved by clicking on the Mullvad browser folder and then on the icon and the browser started up
Thank you very much for you comments and your suggestions
Happy Easter everyone!
 
If you open a Terminal window and type this command, then Mullvad will appear in your GUI menu and also in the search bar:

Code:
~/.local/share/mullvad-browser/start-mullvad-browser.desktop --register-app

Note: This assumes that you un-tar'd the Mullvad browser in the "~/.local/share/mullvad-browser" directory as recommended.

I tested it on Linux Mint Cinnamon. It should work on many other distros.
 
Note: This assumes that you un-tar'd the Mullvad browser in the "~/.local/share/mullvad-browser" directory as recommended.

I tested it on Linux Mint Cinnamon. It should work on many other distros.
It works in MX, the speed is very reasonable , thanks. I use my own paid VPN.
 
It works in MX, the speed is very reasonable , thanks. I use my own paid VPN.
As long as you understand the security tradeoffs between Mullvad-browser-with-VPN versus Tor browser, you are good to go. Thanks for sharing your experience.
 
On the matter of where one might place the mullvad tarball in one's filesystem, it is useful to consider how the dotfiles can be used. In the case where a user wishes to refresh the configurations various applications make when one deletes the dotfiles in one's home directory and then re-runs the applications to recreate them, a deletion of the mullvad contents extracted from its tarball within the dotfiles filesystem will not be recreated by mullvad. It would be lost. That suggests one is wiser to place the mullvad tarball and decompress it elsewhere in it's own directory, especially in the case of a mass dotlfile deletion as sometimes is desired. It's a similar reason for users to place their own "homemade" executables in /home/user/bin rather than /home/user/.local.bin with a placing of the latter in the PATH.
 

Members online


Latest posts

Top