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Make Your Web Browser and Email Client look like Netscape Navigator


Alright, now your GUI looks like the classic Windows 95 GUI. But what about the programs you use for browsing the web and checking your email? Thanks to the fine work of both the maintainers of the Pale Moon web Browser, the Interlink Mail & News program for email, and the Moonscape theme you can bring back everything you remember about 90s computing on Netscape Navigator to modern Linux and Windows hardware.

First, we want to get started by downloading the Pale Moon Browser and Interlink Mail & News, both built off of the UXP, or Unified XUL Platform, the platform that both Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird, (and thereby Netscape Navigator and Netscape Communicator) were built off of. Both Pale Moon and Interlink are forks of Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird respectively, but configured to allow for the continued support of things like NPAPI plugins and older add-ons and themes. In my opinion, they are the true successors to the Netscape Navigator.

Web Browser

First, simply go to the Pale Moon website and download the Pale Moon web browser. I'll note that Pale Moon does not include modern DRM, so there may be a few things that do not work in Pale Moon, specifically websites like Netflix and other streaming sites, as well as some video conference websites such as Zoom or Jitsi. But for everything else, it works fine. I use it as my daily driver browser.

Pale Moon is able to use all of the older Firefox add-ons prior to the adoption of web extensions. Moonscape was previously known as FOXSCAPE before being forked and developed specifically for Pale Moon compatibility. Now all you need to do after installing the browser is go to add-ons either in the browser, or the Pale Moon add-ons page and download the .XPI file and install it into the Pale Moon browser, and voila! You've got a modern browser that looks just like web browsing did in Windows 95.

Looks just like Netscape Navigator!

Email

Now you want to go get Interlink Mail & News with the Moonscape theme as well to revive the original look and feel of Netscape Communicator. I wholeheartedly recommend this program to anyone still using RSS feeds (Which are a GREAT way to catch up on news without reading bloated websites) and have multiple email accounts. It's fairly simple to set up, and way faster and easier to use than having to log in multiple times in a web browser, to use a slow, bloated web browser client to send your email. This is email as the architects of the web intended for it to be!

The Moonscape theme is now being worked on so that the XPI file works cross-platform, but the Interlink Mail & News website offers a specific XPI download for Moonscape as well. Interlink Mail & News is great, you're able to keep all of your email accounts in one place, it loads much faster than web based email clients, and it even has an RSS feed function that allows you to keep track on all of the news, blogs, and even subscriptions to your favorite Youtube channels (through an Invidious instance), or Nitter feeds, or blogs, or newspapers or however you get your content, all in one place.

Overall, both Pale Moon and Interlink together are able to give you a true, flexible, and classic experience that runs much lighter than the other web browser and email program alternatives and I highly recommend them! For an extra touch, go ahead and follow the instructions FranklinDM has created to reconfigure the icon layout in Pale Moon with Moonscape to better reflect the fully original look of the Netscape Navigator web browser. You can also install the Splashed! add-on for a splash screen similar to what the original programs had. You can also install the Moonscape Icon Pack to theme your taskbar.

Here's a fun video too about using Netscape from the 90s.

Part III: Configuring Pale Moon with Plugins to view older websites!

Part II Part II