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Since the great -install-global-extension option was removed in Gecko 1.9.2 (for no obvious reason, as usual), copying the extension (as root) to /usr/lib/iceweasel/extensions/<appid> is now the only way out to avoid the cumbersome Windows-ish "File-Open..." procedure (which requires that Firefox/ Iceweasel is running, too)
But I want to install my extension(s) without launching the browser first. So this is the steps I did (or better, I was forced to do)

  • have myapp.xpi ready on my storage media
  • extract install.rdf with unzip and cat it to retrieve app ID

Lastly, I do a

sudo unzip /media/wherever/myapp.xpi -d /usr/lib/iceweasel/extensions/<appid>

The -d option will specify the directory where to extract to (if it does not exist yet, the directory will be created). OK, that method actually works. But I thought this is a bit stone-age, perhaps?

I actually expected to only copy the *.xpi to the extensions directory and let Firefox/Iceweasel unpack it by itself. However, this does not work.

I tried all of the following four variants to no avail:

  • copy myapp.xpi to /usr/lib/iceweasel/extensions as-is
  • copy myapp.xpi to /usr/lib/iceweasel/extensions/<appid>/ as-is
  • copy myapp.xpi to /usr/lib/iceweasel/extensions and rename it to {appid}.xpi
  • copy myapp.xpi to /usr/lib/iceweasel/extensions/<appid>/ and rename it to {appid}.xpi

However, neither of said methods made the extension show up in Add-On Manager.

Maybe the unpacking is mandatory under Linux? I also consulted the official "documentation", which, TBH, is abysmal. It only gives an example for Mac OS X, but not for Linux. Plus,the wording is fairly incomprehensible. Check yourself:
https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Installing_extensions

So how am I supposed to perform this installation under Linux (Debian here) without unpacking the extension by hand?

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