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Give Chimera access to certain secure sites Web Browsers
This tip I credit to Dr. Dave Garaffa (Thanks Dave!). To finally drop Internet Explorer permanently in favor of Chimera, I needed to gain access to my Citibank site which requires 128 bit encryption (which Chimera has), but the site refused to recognize the browser. Citibank has claimed for the past 6 months that they are working on it, but hey life is finite.

To change the user agent in Chimera, which effectively allows you to masquerade as an "accepted" browser, you need to add a line to the prefs.js file located in your user's Library -> Application Support -> Chimera -> Profiles -> default -> XXXXX.slt folder, where the X can be anything. First quit Chimera if open and then open the prefs.js file in your favorite text editor and add the line
  user_pref("general.useragent.override", "Mozilla/4.0[space]
(compatible; MSIE 5.2; Mac_PowerPC) - Internet Explorer 5.2, Mac");
This should be all one line, spaces as written here (convert the "[space]" insert to an actual space character when you remove the line break). Save the file, open Chimera and you can now gain access to the Citibank site (and presumably others that demand a known (yet inferior!) browser.

[Editor's note: As other hints have explained, you should probably place this command in a user.js file in the same location. There's a chance that your modifications to prefs.js may be overwritten by the program, but the user.js file should remain untouched.]
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Chimera Browser Settings
Authored by: The MacFanatic on Dec 19, '02 01:07:25PM

I am not positive now which one does it for you with an expanded list, but you can check out either.

SpeedChimera or ChimeraChanga (announced it won't make this anymore in favour of SpeedChimera) had the ability to set the browser type.

You could even have sites believe Chimera was a Windows machine running IE 6!

When I did this VersionTracker autmoatically took me to the Windows software tab. You can select from a wide range. More testing with troublesome websites is always encouraged and feedback would be great.

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Chimera Browser Settings
Authored by: Billie37 on Dec 19, '02 02:47:18PM

Hi, I just used your hint (my first time typing such commands). And ...hooray, I can get into Capital One's site.

Sears is another that causes trouble for Chimera.

So, are you actually dumping IE? I sure want to.

Thanks again,


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Enter a bug as well.
Authored by: edalzell on Dec 19, '02 01:52:27PM
You should, of course, enter a bug in Bugzilla so that the team there can work on getting the correct support.

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There is an easier way
Authored by: zach on Dec 19, '02 02:15:19PM

Instead of manualy entering the user-agent string, you can set this in your user.js prefs file:

user_pref("signed.applets.codebase_principal_support", true);

This adjusts mozilla/chimera's security settings so you can change your user-agent string on the fly (you will still be prompted for permission first, so a website can't randomally change your settings).

Then, load up and choose from the handy menu of browsers.

One warning: some users have reported crashes on startup if they leave their user-agent string set to IE and quit. To avoid this, ensure that you do not quit before resetting your user-agent.

If you use Mozilla, you can install this as a sidebar at

Thanks to Bob Clary for providing this tool.

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Don't change the UA unless you HAVE to
Authored by: raider on Dec 19, '02 04:48:51PM

When you change the UserAgent string of your browser - yu are actually adding to the problem. The reason sites check like that is because they look at their server use statistics and they see that 90% of all users use IE so they don't bother to change for the other 10%. When you change your UA you are just letting them think that no one uses other browsers.

Now. I can understand needing to use a specific site, but please - in general surfing use the *real* UA, for Chimera, OmniWeb, Opera, iCab, or otherwise.

Thats the only way - is if the web admins see that a lot of people are uing alternative browsers - to get more and better working websites that support other browsers.

Heck, I even "cheat" a bit as my Mozilla/Phoenix on my Windows box has the user agent set to Chimera/Macintosh. Just because I am forced to use Windows at work - I prefer OSX - doesn't mean I have to *look* like I am using Windows.

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Considered bad popup
Authored by: vonleigh on Dec 19, '02 06:57:04PM


I tried this (I also use citibank) and it didn't work for me. I then disabled the blocking of "unwanted" popups and it did work. So for some reason this page is considered to have an unwanted popup.

Also, this _does_ work with mozilla and is a recognized browser. I'd much prefer to masquerade as a Mozilla browser, how would I go about that?


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Considered bad popup
Authored by: raider on Dec 20, '02 12:48:35PM
Also, this _does_ work with mozilla and is a recognized browser. I'd much prefer to masquerade as a Mozilla browser, how would I go about that?

Fire up Mozilla, and go to the "Mozilla About:" screen. It will give you the UserAgent string, and then follow the same instructions for this "hint" - instead of using the IE string use the Mozilla one.

I did that - and then replaced the string on my Windows box, so when I surf at work - it looks to websites like I am running Mozilla on a Mac OSX box...

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What's the problem?
Authored by: clmensch on Dec 20, '02 01:06:59AM

Call me crazy, but I've never had a problem accessing Citibank online via Mozilla or Chimera. What exactly they say that they only support Internet Explorer?

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Citibank has alwayas worked for me without this modification
Authored by: mattmend on Dec 20, '02 09:18:51AM

Interestingly enough, has always allowed me to do online banking with Chimera without modification. Uncertain as to why...

Regards -


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Authored by: hackamacj on Dec 20, '02 10:20:25AM

I stubled across what they use as the sniffer for Browsers:

var agt=navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase();
var is_major = parseInt(navigator.appVersion);
var is_minor = parseFloat(navigator.appVersion);
var is_DOM = (document.getElementById) ? true : false;
var is_nav = ((agt.indexOf('mozilla')!=-1) && (agt.indexOf('spoofer')==-1)
&& (agt.indexOf('compatible') == -1) && (agt.indexOf('opera')==-1)
&& (agt.indexOf('webtv')==-1));
//var is_nav4 = document.layers ? true : false;
var is_nav4up = (is_nav && (is_major >= 4));
var is_nav6up = (is_nav && is_DOM);
var is_ie = (agt.indexOf("msie") != -1);
var is_ie3 = (is_ie && (is_major < 4));
var msie_vers_start = agt.indexOf("msie")+5;
var msie_real_vers = parseFloat(agt.substring(msie_vers_start, msie_vers_start+3));
var is_ie4 = (is_ie && (is_major == 4) && (msie_real_vers < 5));
var is_ie4up = (is_ie && (is_major >= 4));
var is_ie5 = (is_ie && (is_major == 4) && (agt.indexOf("msie 5.")!=-1));
var is_ie5up = (is_ie && !is_ie3 && !is_ie4);
var is_aol = (agt.indexOf("aol") != -1);
var is_aol3 = (is_aol && is_ie3);
var is_aol4 = (is_aol && is_ie4);
var is_mac = (agt.indexOf("mac")!=-1);
function styleVer()
var v = 'dom'; // DOM & IE-PC
if (is_nav) {
if (is_mac) v = 'nsmac'; // NS MAC
else if (!is_nav6up)v = 'nspc'; // NS-PC < 6
} else if (is_mac && !is_ie5up) {
if (is_aol) v = 'aolmac'; // IE-MAC < 5 & AOL
else v = 'iemac'; // IE-MAC < 5 & !AOL
return "<link rel='stylesheet' type='text/css' href='/"+v+".css'>";
document.write ('<link rel="shortcut icon" href="/favicon.ico">');

It seems as though its pretty much if it isn't a browser its aol

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