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-   -   Request: Mozilla Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release) for Slackware (

kikinovak 07-18-2012 04:55 AM

Request: Mozilla Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release) for Slackware

Last summer I installed a complete 100 % Slackware network (two servers, currently twenty clients) in a private school nearby. It's been used for a year now by fifty users, I've taken many notes and sanded down the edges, and it's running quite OK. Right now I'm working on replacing the initial KDE 4.6.5 desktop (thanks AlienBOB) by the equivalent in XFCE (thanks Robby Workman), since the client-side hardware is a bit light (first generation P-IV with 512 MB RAM and crappy video cards).

One problem that remains to be resolved is browser and mail client support. Since Firefox and Thunderbird are going into an update frenzy, things are a bit difficult to maintain in a production environment with many users. I think the best solution here would be to have the Extended Support version for both. The main reason being that addons (language packs and such) would remain constantly available, whereas they're moving targets on the "normal" version, e. g. they become "obsolete" after weeks.

Now I understand building Firefox from source is not exactly a trivial task. Before I launch into this potentially time-consuming chore, a few questions to the gurus in this forum.

1) Do I have to have some special packages (stuff from extra/, etc.) installed for Firefox to build OK? (Rather ask first, since the most powerful machine I have here is a first-generation AMD64 with 3 GB RAM... I reckon even on this machine it's a matter of a couple hours...).

2) Maybe some of you already built Firefox ESR successfully? In that case, I would be very thankful if you have a SlackBuild script for that.

3) AlienBOB, you're a specially gifted packager before the Almighy Bob, for all this HUGE unbuildable stuff (KDE, LibreOffice, VLC and similar monstrosities). I'd have a suggestion for you to add to your custom packages (that is, once you're back from the holidays): Firefox ESR, corresponding language packs, and eventually some more common plugins (AdBlock Plus!) packaged so they are installed system-wide. What do you think?

Cheers from the sunny South of France.

ruario 07-18-2012 05:38 AM

I don't use Firefox for day to day browsing but it is handy for the occasional comparative test with Opera and so I wrote a script that I use for doing a binary repack of Firefox into Slackware format. This allows me to keep FF up to date, from the moment a new release comes out. I can also take advantage of the fact that the binary versions provided by mozilla are PGO. The binaries provided by most (all?) distros are not PGO, nor is this something a reagular user is likely to do, or at least do well. As such the Mozilla provided binary versions are almost certainly faster.

Whilst my script is designed to fetch and install the latest stable (regular) release it can repack ESR releases as well by simply setting $VERSION to the version you want (that includes ESR versions), e.g.


$ wget
$ chmod +x latest-firefox
$ VERSION=10.0.6esr ./latest-firefox

Edit: If you want a different language, set $FFLANG to your preferred locale (it is set to en-US by default).

Edit 2: Here is a video demo of the process of repacking Firefox ESR to show you how easy it is. ;)

Woodsman 07-18-2012 11:18 AM

Grab the build scripts from Slackware 13.1, which repack the upstream binaries rather than build from source.

I too would like to see ESR supported in Slackware. Possibly in the extra branch. :-)

BrZ 07-18-2012 11:51 AM

+1 to that. Even some Mozilla devs are getting concerned about this update frenzy: Mozilla dev admits Firefox killed its rep with never ending updates

H_TeXMeX_H 07-18-2012 12:24 PM


Originally Posted by BrZ (Post 4731776)
+1 to that. Even some Mozilla devs are getting concerned about this update frenzy: Mozilla dev admits Firefox killed its rep with never ending updates

Yeah, he's right, but I also predicted its demise when they first started doing it. I am looking for alternatives and have found something promising:
It is easy to build and uses qtwebkit. Some pages don't render right tho.

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