Site Root : XSwallow


A Generic Unix Netscape Plugin

XSwallow is a plugin cobbled together to allow any X program to be used as an inline viewer for any appropiate mime type. So a mime type like vrml for which there does not exist, as of the moment, a plugin for linux netscape can be viewed inline to netscape using an ordinary vrml viewers such as vrweb/liquid reality. It also has all the abilities of mimeplugin ( by Carl Shimer (harshaw@WPI.EDU) & Michael J Long ( on which XSwallow is based and can be therefore be used to handle mimetypes that are handled by programs with no graphical interface, audio formats for example.

An old demo picture of netscape with vrweb inline as a vrml plugin (

The mimetypes i use it for myself are vrml/mpeg and audio formats, you might find other plugins more appropiate for specific types, e.g.

At this stage Im feeling pretty confident that this thing works reliably, so if it crashes, does something particularly silly or doesnt compile on your platform, met me know, of course sending me fixes is good.


  • An set of X/console/interfaceless programs that can handle a various mimetype
  • The xswallow plugin for your platform, or source.
  • Netscape3.01 (watch out for a netscape 3 bug though) and the entire 4 series to date (<=4.7) all work without problems, except 4.6. 4.6 under linux (at least the libc5 version) had a problem with plugins in general, upgrade to at least 4.61 and everything will be fine.


put xswallow.conf in ~/.netscape put in ~/.netscape/plugins get vrweb and liquid reality and install put dispatch-vrml-c in your path and edit it for your site

it is based on (and is a graphical version of)

 >Universal Mime Plugin 1.1 for Netscape
 >Copyright (C) 1996 Carl Shimer (
 >Update 1.1 from 1.0 by Michael J. Long (
 >All documentation and code has been updated by Michael J. Long.

if you're compiling from scratch, then if you use gcc on hpux Bjorn Wennberg mailed me with

 >If you want to compile XSwallow with gcc 2.7.2(.1) you'll need to apply
 >the gcc- in order to make gcc produce shared
 >libraries. The patch must be applied to the gcc distribution and gcc
 >must be rebuilt.

That gcc patch is included in the distribution.

The latest version of this document is at

Caolan McNamara (1998) <>

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Last generated at Sun Feb 7 00:44:56 2016 Caolán McNamara <> Created with WebMake/0.5