Upgrading from Firefox 1.5.x to Firefox 2.0.x on Ubuntu

Posted in Consumer advice, University life at 1:10 pm by ducky

I got a warning from the IT group that there was a vulnerability in Firefox 1.5.x, and that I should upgrade to 2.0.x. Fine.

I went to download via Synaptic (apt-get with a GUI). It didn’t have Firefox 2.0.x.

I downloaded the tarball from http://getfirefox.com and unzipped it. No obvious installation script. There was a readme.txt, which said:

For information about installing, running and configuring Firefox including a list of known issues and troubleshooting information, refer to: http://getfirefox.com/releases/

That URL redirected to the same page that http://getfirefox.com redirected me to. There was a link for Releases on that page. Unfortunately, all it said about installation was this:

Please note that installing Firefox 2 will overwrite your existing installation of Firefox. You won’t lose any of your bookmarks or browsing history, but some of your extensions and other add-ons might not work until updates for them are made available.

Swell. So I asked the Web, and found pages like this, which were slightly more helpful, but which seemed geared to installing and not upgrading.

It turns out that Firefox is in a self-contained directory. All I needed to do was to figure out where the old directory was and replace it.

% which firefox
% ls -l /usr/bin/firefox
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root 22 2006-09-25 20:19 /usr/bin/firefox -> ../lib/firefox/firefox

Aha. Sure enough, all I had to do was move /usr/lib/firefox to /usr/lib/firefox1.5, and move my new firefox dir to /usr/lib:

% sudo mv /usr/lib/firefox /usr/lib/firefox1.5
% sudo mv ~/downloads/ff2/firefox /usr/lib/

While I understand that it is a free product, and while I am very pleased with many aspects of Firefox, and while I understand that Linux is a niche market, their end-user documentation leaves a little to be desired.

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