Installing Firefox from mozilla.org
For some reason, the mozilla.org build of Firefox is significantly faster than the default Ubuntu one. Firefox 1.5 is even faster, and has many new features. These instructions lead you through installing Firefox 1.5 final, but should also work for 1.0.7 or any other version.
You will no longer get automatic updates through the repositories (but firefox itself has a built into auto-updater).
The Totem video plugin doesn't seem to work with firefox 1.5. You may want to install package 'mozilla-mplayer' instead before you start.
You need package 'libstdc++5' installed.
If you are using scim-1.0.2 as your input method platform, firefox will crash on startup.
You may get an error dialog (twice) each time Firefox starts up saying Firefox could not install this item because of a failure in Chrome Registration. Please contact the author about this problem.. This is due to [WWW] this bug. To work round do the following:-
sudo touch /firstname.lastname@example.org/chrome.manifest
First, back up your bookmarks and settings:
cp bookmarks.html cert8.db cookies.txt formhistory.dat key3.db signons.txt history.dat mimeTypes.rdf ~/Desktop/ffsettings
Download firefox-1.5.tar.gz from mozilla.org, and change to the directory you downloaded it to.
Install it to /opt/firefox:
sudo cp firefox-1.5.tar.gz /opt/
sudo tar xzvf firefox-1.5.tar.gz
sudo rm firefox-1.5.tar.gz
Link to your plugins (and remove totem-mozilla as it doesn't seem to work with Firefox 1.5):
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/plugins/* .
sudo rm libtotem_mozilla.*
Rename your old profile:
mv .mozilla .mozilla.ubuntu
To ensure it is used as the default version, modify the symbolic link in /usr/bin:
sudo dpkg-divert --divert /usr/bin/firefox.ubuntu --rename /usr/bin/firefox
sudo ln -s /opt/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox
Try it out:
Restore your old data:
mv * ~/.mozilla/firefox/*.default
If you want to keep the original Ubuntu icon for firefox, enter this command:
sudo cp /usr/share/pixmaps/firefox.xpm /opt/firefox/chrome/icons/default/default.xpm
This step must only be done after running firefox at least once and fully closing it.
To ensure that other programs use version 1.5 of firefox and not the old 1.07 version, go to Preferences -> Preferred Applications in the System menu. For the "Web Browser" tab, choose "Custom" and then enter the command:
Firefox 1.5 should now be installed and working properly. If for whatever reason you become unhappy with firefox 1.5 and would like to remove it, see the "Removing" section below for directions.
Restoring Extensions and Themes
In addition to restoring your settings, you can also restore your themes and extensions. As indicated above, this should only be done after running firox at least once an fully closing it.
Backup the new profile (just in case):
mv profiles.ini *.default ff1.5/
Restore your previous profile:
cp ~/.mozilla.ubuntu//firefox/profiles.ini .
cp -r ~/.mozilla.ubuntu//firefox/*.default .
Start firefox and try it out.
A dialog may appear indicating that one or more extensions and/or themes are not compatible. This is normal and firefox may be able to find updates for you.
To get firefox's own update/autoupdate to work at all, you have three choices (read them all and choose one):
Change the /opt/firefox directory to have 'write' permissions & ownership set for the user instead of the root. To change ownership, after installation type:
sudo chown -R username:username /opt/firefox
This is the only way to get update notification working, but doing this has security implications in a multi-user environment, and is not recommended: a virus or malicious program running as a user may now replace or corrupt the files in /opt/firefox, which would affect other users of the computer.
An alternative to the above method is to run firefox with sudo to get the updates. That is, when there is an update available, you would run sudo firefox -safe-mode (the safe-mode is an extra layer of protection since it will not load any extensions while running as sudo), install the update (Help -> Check for Updates...), close firefox, and then restart firefox as a normal user. You should NOT browse other websites while you are running firefox with sudo. (The author does not know whether this method is any safer/more secure than the first method).
A third option, is to use method 1, but only for updates: Keep the firefox folder owned by root and use it normally until you need an update, then give your user ownership: sudo chown -R username:username /opt/firefox. Start firefox normally and update (Help -> Check for updates...). Once the update is completed, you should restore ownership to root: sudo chown -R root:root /opt/firefox. Again, do NOT browse other sites while firefox has these elevated permissions. This is probably the best option although it is also the most cumbersome.
Restore the symbolic link:
sudo rm /usr/bin/firefox
sudo dpkg-divert --rename --remove /usr/bin/firefox
Restore your old profile:
mv .mozilla .mozilla-1.5
mv .mozilla.ubuntu .mozilla
(optional) Delete the firefox directory
sudo rm -r /opt/firefox
Installing Firefox as a debian package
It is nice to have a package (easier to upgrade, etc). There is an experimental package building tool at [WWW] http://kidsquid.com/programs/ubuntu/fir ... 386.tar.gz
. It can automatically download the i386 version of Firefox 1.5 (or you can copy in your existing Firefox download), then it will create a .deb package for it. Follow the steps in the README to install the new package. Please do not distribute any files created by this tool, as copying may violate the Firefox copyright.