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Open up a xterm and type in the path to where Firefox was extracted such as /path/to/firefox/firefox and see if an error comes up. If so you may need to download a different firefox found here http://mozilla.gnusoft.net/firefox/releases/0.8/ and download the firefox with xft.
Remove the old firefox you extracted and extract the new downloaded tar package. I had to use this one in order to get firefox to work, it wouldn't work with the regular firefox package.
I tried the new download and same thing. Logged on as root...deleted the old Firefox Folder. Downloaded the new one, installed fine. I then go back to the folder and all the icons are listed. I tried (file:/root/Coop/FireFox/firefox/firefox) the firefox icon with the black screen and white page behind it. "Couldn't find program" is the error.
the problem is not with the way you're starting firefox. As the message says,. you're missing a file. I'm not sure which package that would be in but it must be on the CDs. Go to mandrake control center and then to the software installation tool and look for a package that contains libXft.so.2 (use the search function).