how to keep my apps where they belong

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how to keep my apps where they belong

Postposted on Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:10 pm

Alright, it's been a while since I tried any of this "Linux" stuff outside of the PS3, and to be honest, I didn't tinker with the PS3 that much.

So I have Ubuntu 9.04 on my PC now, and all the hardware is installed and working (the only separate install I needed was the ATi driver, which surprisingly went without a hitch. Wasn't THAT long ago that you couldn't say that). I gave Wubi a shot and "poof" there was my 20GB partition image, and starting up set it up right away. It was neat to watch.

But Ubuntu 9.04 only comes with Firefox 3.0.x - and running the system update only got me to 3.0.14. How would I upgrade to 3.5? My only "serious" *nix experience is on a Mac, and I could just drag an app to the /Applications folder and be done with it. I have a feeling that it's not quite that simple on Ubuntu, though I suppose I could be wrong.

I've kind of looked around, but I've been careful not to change anything because I like to keep my computer, you know, booting and at least functional. My /usr/bin folder has something called "firefox-3.0" but the icon just looks like a piece of paper with a gear icon on it, rather than the actual gear icons that are littered throughout the folder. I can't be sure but I think it's a shortcut/alias/link to the actual Firefox app.

I went about it another way, instead, and downloaded the Linux version of Firefox from Mozilla's site and extracted it. Now what do I do with it? I would prefer to not just have apps sitting on my desktop; I'd rather find a way to add them to the applications menu.

edit: just for kicks, I double-clicked the "firefox" item in the extracted archive (for now sitting on my desktop) and it says "this is an executable text file" (?!) and regardless of what I tell it (run, run in terminal, whatever) nothing happens. Same thing with double-clicking the firefox-bin file.
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Re: how to keep my apps where they belong

Postposted on Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:24 pm

Did you try
sudo apt-get install firefox-3.5
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Re: how to keep my apps where they belong

Postposted on Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:24 pm

no, of course not. :lol:

how do I know what I can get via apt?
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Re: how to keep my apps where they belong

Postposted on Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:36 pm

Firefox 3.5 is not part of the 'standard' (for lack of a better term) software base for Ubuntu 9.04. If you want Firefox 3.5 (like I did) you need to manually un-install Firefox 3.0 and then install Firefox 3.5, using the Synaptic Package Manager (if you want a gui). Or wait the ~5 days until Ubuntu 9.10 is released which will have Firefox 3.5 in it by default.
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Re: how to keep my apps where they belong

Postposted on Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:59 pm

http://www.blogsdna.com/3824/how-to-dow ... -linux.htm

On Linux, for newer versions than are in the official repository, you find a repository with the software you want and add it. Or you wait for the next version of Ubuntu that will have it by default.

apt is a great system as long as you can find someone who's compiled the application for your distribution. You can compile it yourself but that might be difficult for a program as complex as Firefox.
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Re: how to keep my apps where they belong

Postposted on Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:32 pm

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Re: how to keep my apps where they belong

Postposted on Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:34 pm

I need to wait for an OS release to upgrade the default browser...what is this, Windows? /rimshot

Thanks all for the answers. I'm still new to all this, but I'll get through it eventually.
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Re: how to keep my apps where they belong

Postposted on Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:35 pm

Actually, Firefox 3.5 is in the official Ubuntu repositories (in the "Universe" section). You should be able to install it via Synaptic or apt. It installs to the Applications menu as "Shiretoko" instead of "Firefox" (probably to make it easier for it to co-exist with 3.0 on the same system).

Just installed it here, I'm posting this using 3.5 on Ubuntu now. The font rendering just looks a little... odd. Like they're using a different anti-aliasing algorithm or something. Might have something to do with the fact that I'm not using the default font; guess I need to play around with that a bit.
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Re: how to keep my apps where they belong

Postposted on Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:15 am

The tweak at the end of this thread seems to make the fonts in Firefox 3.5 look more like they did in 3.0. Seems like they changed the default font hinting level for some reason... go figure. I think I'm gonna run with 3.5 for a while and see what other problems I encounter (if any).

(And thanks derFunkenstein for starting this thread, trying 3.5 on Ubuntu has been on my todo list for a while; this thread got me to finally go and do it!)
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Re: how to keep my apps where they belong

Postposted on Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:50 am

jbi, I am happy to oblige. I did eventually get Firefox 3.5 going, but somethign really awful happened before that.

When I came to work yesterday, my PC was sleeping in Windows 7 RC. I rebooted to play in Linux last night and it came up at what I think was 800x600 (on my 1440x900 display, no less) to complain that Ubuntu was running in low-graphics mode. I could restore from a backup of my config (which was fruitless), I could reboot and try again, and I could set up a new config. So I set up a new config and restarted, and it was OK again. That did not happen before I got the ATI proprietary drivers (which I ran without for a few days prior to getting them Sunday night). We'll see what happens tonight, but if it does the same thing again I'll dump those drivers and go unaccelerated, I guess. Kinda freaky; not sure what I'd do if that happened on a production machine. :p
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Re: how to keep my apps where they belong

Postposted on Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:07 am

derFunkenstein wrote:jbi, I am happy to oblige. I did eventually get Firefox 3.5 going, but somethign really awful happened before that.

When I came to work yesterday, my PC was sleeping in Windows 7 RC. I rebooted to play in Linux last night and it came up at what I think was 800x600 (on my 1440x900 display, no less) to complain that Ubuntu was running in low-graphics mode. I could restore from a backup of my config (which was fruitless), I could reboot and try again, and I could set up a new config. So I set up a new config and restarted, and it was OK again. That did not happen before I got the ATI proprietary drivers (which I ran without for a few days prior to getting them Sunday night). We'll see what happens tonight, but if it does the same thing again I'll dump those drivers and go unaccelerated, I guess.

That's really weird; off the top of my head I do not have an explanation, other than that it sounds like your X configuration got corrupted somehow. A few random thoughts:

- Are you using a KVM? Perhaps X mis-detected your monitor?

- I've never really completely trusted wubi; there seem to be a fair number of reports of mysterious glitches from people who use it. Yes, it is a cool way to try things out if your system already has Windows on it; but if you plan to have Windows and Ubuntu co-existing for any length of time, IMO you should either do a true dual-boot, or run one of the OSes in a virtual machine.

- Video and WiFi are the two areas where hardware support tends to lag the bleeding edge distros a bit. Perhaps not coincidentally, these are the two areas where Linux still relies heavily on proprietary closed-source drivers and firmware. With all the different distros out there (and the rapid, unsynchronized release cycles), hardware vendors simply can't keep up with certifying their drivers for every version of Linux.

Kinda freaky; not sure what I'd do if that happened on a production machine. :p

If you want to run Linux on a production machine, your viable options are:

- Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support), which is currently 8.04.

- Debian Stable (currently 5.0).

- Redhat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), or its free derivative (CentOS).

- SuSE Linux Enterprise.

I would not recommend running any of the "bleeding edge" distros (latest Ubuntu, Debian Testing/Unstable, Fedora, OpenSuSE) in a production or mission critical role. At work our production Linux server runs Debian Stable; my work desktop runs Ubuntu LTS; and we're also using a stripped down Debian Stable as the OS for an embedded product.

I do run 9.04 at home, but I'm willing to tolerate the occasional "WTF?!??" moment there in exchange for getting to try out some of the more bleeding edge features! :wink:

Edit: Or to put it another way: Think of the non-LTS Ubuntu releases as betas for the next LTS release. Similarly, Fedora releases are kind of like betas for the next RHEL.
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Re: how to keep my apps where they belong

Postposted on Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:32 am

One other observation about Shiretoko in 9.04: the graphics rendering is screwed up somehow. Colors will sometimes be way off versus what they are in the official Firefox 3.0 and in other *buntu web browsers.

That and to a lesser extent the font thing are what pushed me into upgrading to 9.10 beta a couple weeks ago, which has been working really well so far. When 9.10 goes final, I'm thinking about converting to ext4, so I can have a good rescue CD just in case.
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Re: how to keep my apps where they belong

Postposted on Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:25 am

A follow-up to the 3.5 font issue...

It seems that there was an additional variable in my case, namely that I am currently running on a system which was upgraded in place from 8.10 to 9.04, instead of a fresh 9.04 install. The way 3.5 was rendering before I did the tweak is actually consistent with the way 3.0 renders on a clean 9.04 install.

Edit: So apparently it is a "feature", not a bug. I guess I wouldn't say that the fonts look any worse the new way, they are just different from what I am accustomed to seeing. (I run 8.04 at work, so Firefox on that system renders fonts the "old" way as well...)
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Re: how to keep my apps where they belong

Postposted on Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:23 pm

just brew it! wrote:- Are you using a KVM? Perhaps X mis-detected your monitor?

- I've never really completely trusted wubi; there seem to be a fair number of reports of mysterious glitches from people who use it. Yes, it is a cool way to try things out if your system already has Windows on it; but if you plan to have Windows and Ubuntu co-existing for any length of time, IMO you should either do a true dual-boot, or run one of the OSes in a virtual machine.

- Video and WiFi are the two areas where hardware support tends to lag the bleeding edge distros a bit. Perhaps not coincidentally, these are the two areas where Linux still relies heavily on proprietary closed-source drivers and firmware. With all the different distros out there (and the rapid, unsynchronized release cycles), hardware vendors simply can't keep up with certifying their drivers for every version of Linux.


No KVM. The thing about Wubi is that it's just a separate boot loader file that's added to the hard drive (not unlike the Hackintosh "chain0" booting method for dual-booting XP/Vista with Mac OS X) - I had completely discounted the possibility that it's caused the video issues, but it's not like it's difficult to resize a partition in Win7 and install natively. I can give that a shot and see what happens.

I do get that closed-source modules that access hardware directly (or through OS-provided low-level means) can be a problem when they weren't designed specifically for the particular build of the OS - so you make a good point there. I was content with the bundled VGA driver (which ran 1440x900) but thought I'd get real drivers at some point. And it's weird because it worked for a while and then randomly went bonkers.

And like Matt said, it's why alot of folks perceive *nix to not be a viable alternative on the desktop.
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