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HOWTO: Upgrade to Firefox 1.5 on Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger) May 11, 2006

Posted by devhen in HOWTO, Linux, Mozilla.
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The latest stable release of Ubuntu Linux comes with Firefox version 1.0.8 installed. Unfortunately this version is slower than 1.5+ and some of the extensions I use only support 1.5+ so, naturally, I needed to upgrade. I found a page on the Ubuntu Wiki called FirefoxNewVersion that shows you how to install a second copy of Firefox, downloaded from the Mozilla web site, alongside Ubuntu’s default Firefox package. Instructions are included on how to change the /usr/bin/firefox script to use the newly installed version instead of the default. This looked like more work than I wanted for a Firefox upgrade–I wanted to stick with .deb packages and didn’t like the idea of having two versions of Firefox installed. So, I discovered a way upgrade my Firefox package using Debain backports. Read on for more.

(Some text taken from the Debian backports instructions)

Add this line

deb http://www.backports.org/debian/ sarge-backports main

to your

/etc/apt/sources.list

and these lines

Package: *
Pin: release a=sarge-backports
Pin-Priority: 200

to your

/etc/apt/preferences

(You may need to create this file if it doesn’t exist)

This will _deactivate_ all packages from backports.org. Now you need to activate the particular packages you want to upgrade from backports.org (e.g. firefox). Upgrading ALL of your packages from backports.org is certain to cause problems. So, we need to add the following text

Package: firefox
Pin: release a=sarge-backports
Pin-Priority: 999

to

/etc/apt/preferences

for each package that we want to allow upgrading via backports.org. We need to do this for firefox and its dependant packages. These include firefox, firefox-gnome-support, language-support-en and mozilla-firefox-locale-en-gb.

Your /etc/apt/preferences file should look something like mine:

Package: *
Pin: release a=sarge-backports
Pin-Priority: 200
Package: firefox
Pin: release a=sarge-backports
Pin-Priority: 999
Package: firefox-gnome-support
Pin: release a=sarge-backports
Pin-Priority: 999
Package: language-support-en
Pin: release a=sarge-backports
Pin-Priority: 999
Package: mozilla-firefox-locale-en-gb
Pin: release a=sarge-backports
Pin-Priority: 999

Now simply run

apt-get update

and

apt-get upgrade firefox

as usual, or launch ‘synaptic’, click ‘refresh’ to reload information from your repositories, find your firefox package, mark it to be upgraded and hit apply.

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Comments»

1. Greg Martin - June 10, 2006

This change breaks the upgrade process. If you want to upgrade to ubuntu 6.06, you will need to undo all of the steps listed above.

2. naser - October 1, 2006

hello, I installed FF 1.5 for my ubuntu 5.10 OS, but now FF won’t launch :( In synaptic it shows that FF 1.5 is installed, but when I try to lauch it from the application menu, it says “Starting firefox” and then nothing happens. I really want to upgrade FF to v 1.5 as the default breezy repository doesn’t have a version above 1.0.8. Any idea on what to do?

3. Jeremy - October 20, 2006

Naser, Ubuntu 5.10 is getting old now. Why don’t you just install Ubuntu 6.06 “Dapper”?

By the way, to see what’s happening, bring up a Terminal and type “firefox” to see what Firefox is telling you what’s wrong.

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