Friday, June 20, 2008

Firefox 3 on debian etch

First, some updates:
These days, I've been busy doing my summer research (finally learning to document properly) and working part/full time for the computing center here as the system administrator (well, assisting the system administrator to be correct).
OK, the release of firefox 3 was big and I participated heavily and encouraged everyone to participate by downloading the browser within the 24 hours. So, now everyone I know of is running firefox 3 except the computers in my lab that I am managing. So, today after my research was over, I decided to look into the matter. There were a few problems that I was facing
1. I didn't want to kill of the old firefox
2. I didn't want to use what's considered to be unstable by debian etch in the core system
First of all, I got the error that firefox 3 needed gtk+2.10. I just downloaded the file from and installed it at /opt/gtk

Here are the commands:
$ wget
$ tar -xvjf gtk+-2.10.14.tar.bz2
$ cd gtk+-2.10.14
$ ./configure --prefix=/opt/gtk
$ sudo su
# make && make install
# exit

Then I downloaded firefox from
and modified the to make it run.
Here are the commands:
$ wget
$ sudo tar -xvf firefox-3.0.tar.gz -C /opt
This will give us a /opt/firefox folder
First of all, we need to make sure that firefox actually run by file.
So, I added this for firefox path in the beginning (right after ****END LICENSE BLOCK****)
and changed MOZ_PROGRAM="" to MOZ_PROGRAM="$FF_PATH/firefox". Now firefox should run with the
Since all this is about gtk+ 2.10, I added
GLIB210_PATH="/opt/gtk/lib" ( I know it's a misnomer, I don't care about it at this point, you can change it to appropriate name)
and added it to the
in line 357.
Now firefox runs with ./ command.

But that's not enough, we want to have firefox run with a command, we want it on the menu along with iceweasel. So, I added firefox.desktop in /usr/share/applications
with this data:
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Firefox 3 Web Browser
Exec=/opt/firefox/ %u
Comment= Firefox 3 - The latest and greatest from Mozilla

Then I copied the file into /var/lib/menu-xdg/applications/X-Debian-Apps-Net-firefox.desktop
I copied the bundled icon with firefox from /opt/firefox/icons/mozicon128.png to /usr/share/pixmaps/firefox3.png
and voila, firefox-3 in the menu without upgrading the system's gtk. You could use it in your home directory if your system administrator doesn't upgrade it soon enough

and do the following if you don't want to go through all that
$ wget
This is for downloading, if you have downloaded already cd to that folder
$sudo tar -xjvf firefox-3-lab.tar.bz2 -C /
It saves the firefox 3 files in the /opt/firefox directory and adds icon to the Applications menu.
If you are on gnome do
$killall gnome-panel
wait a while for it to reload with your updated icons


Anonymous said...

To build gtk+ you will need the following packages:
* libatk1.0-dev
* libcairo2-dev
* libpango1.0-dev
* libtiff4-dev
* pkg-config

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