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Axel van Moorsel 12-31-2016 11:01 PM

Updating iceweasel / firefox
I'm running Debian 8 Jessie. Iceweasel / Firefox was automatically installed on installing Linux, but it is not being updated. My version of Firefox is 45.6.0, but the current version is 50.1.0. How can I update to the latest version? "Apt-get upgrade" won't do the job, neither does "apt-get install firefox-esr", because it say it is already the latest version. I can do "apt-get install firefox" which will instaal a new packet, But what wil happen with the old one?

By the way, I don't know if this is important, but when I tried "apt-get install firefox-esr" I get a message that the package is manually installed.

What should I do?

Timothy Miller 12-31-2016 11:10 PM

Debian 8 tracks Firefox Extended Service Release (ESR), which is currently at 45.6.0, so it is correct. There is no automated way to install the standard, latest released firefox on jessie. If you really want it, to my knowledge you'll need to manually download and install.

However, is there any reason you want the firefox v50? The ESR still gets security updates, and the actual features aren't all that different. About the ONLY thing that 50 will have an advantage in is if you use no plugins whatsoever, it should enable electrolysis, thus enabling it to take advantage of smp. However, if you use pretty much ANY plugins, firefox will disable electrolysis (I have yet to find a plugin that doesn't disable it).

Axel van Moorsel 12-31-2016 11:30 PM

Thanks Timothy for you reply,

The reason I wanted to update because when checkingthe plugins, it said the Shockwave Flash plugin is blocked and should be updated. I thought it would be best to update Firefox itself, but if that is not necessary I will try to update only the plugin.

By the way, you mention "electrolysis" ans "spm". Could you tell me what this is? (I could look it up myself, but I am rather preoccupied now :( ).

Thanks anyway for your quick reply.

Timothy Miller 12-31-2016 11:41 PM

Electrolysis is the name for symmetric multi-processing in Firefox. AKA - able to utelize multiple threads to achieve higher performance. Currently, Firefox uses a single core/single thread regardless of what your processor is. Be it a single core/single thread processor, or a 16 core/32 thread processor, Firefox doesn't care. It uses 1. Electrolysis will allow multiple advantages. It is supposed to "sandbox" tabs, so that if 1 tab locks/crashes it doesn't freeze/crash other tabs, and it allows the tabs to run in their own threads, thus taking advantages of todays highly multi-threaded processors. Once some plugins start updating to be compatible with it, it should DRASTICALLY increase the performance of Firefox in modern machines. I know I've stopped using Firefox, because of the terrible performance even with my 6th generation core-i7.

Axel van Moorsel 12-31-2016 11:53 PM

Very clear explanation. Thanks.

What do you use instead of Firefox, if I may ask?

Timothy Miller 01-01-2017 12:00 AM

Mostly Chromium. If I need to watch something that has DRM, I have actual Chrome installed for that. I still have Firefox installed if I need to do something with Java (since chrome/chromium don't support), but it's painfully slow to use with more than 1 tab nowadays on all my machines in all OS's.

Axel van Moorsel 01-01-2017 12:15 AM

OK. I am experimenting with Java, so I will stick to firefox for the time being.

Thanks again. I voted your replies as helpfull. I will close the thread now.

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