Fire-foxed on Ubuntu 9.04

This is the first post of few post I plan to write about my early pleasant and not too pleasant experiences with Ubuntu.

This post will deal with my experience of installing and later uninstalling Firefox 3.6(Namoroka) on Ubuntu 9.04. This entire process took long time, so for convenience of the readers I will break it into two major stages Installing and Uninstalling, which would in-turn have sub-stages.

Before I start I would like to thank one of my colleague Mr. Bharat Pawar for working with me on uninstalling Firefox 3.6.

I wanted to try out Firefox 3.6 on Linux but it wasn’t part of the synaptic package manager, so I had to wrestle around a bit to install it.

Stage 1
Downloaded Firefox 3.6, tried installing it couple of times and failed both the times and finally sighed “Linux”

Stage 2
I read some where that I had to edit the Software Sources to look for Firefox 3.6 source it(i.e to feed it the url of the Firefox 3.6 source) and it would take care of rest, and it actually did, Synaptic Package Manager downloaded the source, build it and installed Firefox 3.6 on my machine.

Doing this is simple
1. Open up software source (System-> Administrative->Software Sources->Third-Party Software)

2. Add these url’s
deb karmic main
deb-src karmic main

3. Save and close dialog.

4. Run this command
sudo apt-get install firefox-3.6

Now that I had installed Firefox 3.6. I thought the worst was over. But it was not to be. I was struck by a generic problem that many early adopters to any software have to suffer, bugs and compatibility issues. I don’t blame Firefox or Ubuntu for this. Firefox 3.6 had no plug-ins and add to it the fact that I had some problems with it accessing some web-pages I needed for official work. So I had to revert back to older version of Firefox.

And the slide started straight away. All the changes I had made to the system settings came back to bite me.

Stage 1
I did the basic think, went to Synaptic Package Manager and marked Firefox for uninstall. Firefox was uninstalled but when I tried to install any of Firefox version from 3.5 – 3.0 it would install Firefox 3.6. I tried this couple of dozen times but I failed to install older version of Firefox and was stuck with Firefox 3.6.

Stage 2
I got a little desperate and used apt to uninstall Firefox 3.6 and install any of Firefox 3.5 – Firefox 3.0. I failed like stage 1.

Stage 3
The most desperate stage of the Mission Firefox 3.6, I manually deleted all Firefox 3.6 related files. I failed like stage 1. And at this stage I was toying with the idea of re-installing Ubuntu on my machine. The only thing that dissuaded me from doing this was the fact that I had about 8 GB of songs on my machine and I didn’t want to go through the trouble of bring it back.

Stage 4
I had given up by now and then it occurred to me that may be I should try removing the changes made to software Source and it may all work out and fortunately it all did. I did install Firefox 3.0 the default browser that comes with Ubuntu 9.04.

Steps involved in uninstalling Firefox 3.6

1. Open up software source (System-> Administrative->Software Sources->Third-Party Software)
2. Uncheck the following URL’s…ily/ppa/ubuntu
If any of these URL’s repeat uncheck them too
3. Open up synaptic (System -> Administration-> Synaptic Manager)
4. Search for “Firefox” and mark it for complete removal and select apply.
5. After 4, Either from terminal or synaptic install the required lower version of Firefox.

In the end of it all I finally realized why Linux trails behind the other two major OS aka Windows OS and Macintosh OS. It’s the ease with which one can do basic things like installing and uninstalling softwares on Macintosh and Windows makes people use these brands of OS more.

I don’t know how many people would have the patience to go through all this. It’s high time Linux community decides to have standard mechanism for basic things like installing and uninstalling application.

Although Ubuntu has improved the user comfort level, but there is still some way to go before Ubuntu can be compared to a Windows 7 or Snow Leopard.


6 thoughts on “Fire-foxed on Ubuntu 9.04

  1. He he… Reinstates my belief that I’m better off NOT using Linux at all!!! 😀

    Great post though! Sure gonna help ppl who face similar issues on Linux.

    • Thanks for the comments Pearl. Linux is not completely bad, the power it gives to the user, to install software from terminal is unmatched on any other OS. But it has it’s own defects just have to get along with it. Log bugs in Ubuntu forum and wait for somebody to fix it.

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