firefox 17.0.1 on linux won't start - Couldn't calculate the application directory.
downloaded FF 17.0.1 for linux (English - US), extracted, and set LD_LIBRARY_PATH to pick up the included libraries, ran ./firefox from the extracted directory and got: "Couldn't calculate the application directory." Running on SLES 10 SP2 and SLES 11 SP1 with same results. Window manager is FVWM.
Make sure that you meet the system-requirements and have all required libraries installed (not sure about glib in 17.0.1).
Did you try to start Firefox via the terminal console to see if that brings up more messages?