Installing Firefox beta nightlies in Ubuntu

There’s a handy PPA for installing Mozilla Firefox nightly builds on Ubuntu but as well as the Firefox 4 builds, it also contains Firefox 3 nightly builds. Thanks to Dom I learned how to reduce the priority of the Mozilla daily PPA using pinning so packages from the standard repositories take priority over any from the Mozilla one, even with a higher version number. Instructions are as follows (tested on Ubuntu 10.04):

First add the PPA. Then edit /etc/apt/preferences.d/ubuntu-mozilla-daily-pin-400 and /var/lib/synaptic/preferences (the latter to ensure ‘Mark all upgrades’ in Synaptic does the same as Update Manager / apt-get) to contain the following:

Package: *
Pin: release o=LP-PPA-ubuntu-mozilla-daily
Pin-Priority: 400

Now the firefox-4.0 and firefox-4.0-gnome-support packages are theoretically ready to be installed. However, I had some installation issues which were solved by created a couple of files:

  • /usr/bin/firefox-4.0sudo (link to the executable using ‘ln -s /usr/lib/firefox-4.0b2pre/firefox-4.0 /usr/bin/firefox-4.0‘)
  • /usr/lib/firefox-4.0b2pre/firefox-4.0-restart-required.update-notifier (just create an empty file)

Now your Firefox 4 nightly build should be regularly updated and can be run by executing the firefox-4.0 command. Your existing stable Firefox 3 build should be unaffected.

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2 thoughts on “Installing Firefox beta nightlies in Ubuntu

  1. Have tried to get this working on my Ubuntu Lucid setup this morning, and when I try and start Firefox 4 I get:###!!! ABORT: file /build/buildd/xulrunner-2.0-2.0~b2~hg20100716r47782+nobinonly/build-tree/mozilla/ipc/chromium/src/base/thread_local_posix.cc, line 33###!!! ABORT: file /build/buildd/xulrunner-2.0-2.0~b2~hg20100716r47782+nobinonly/build-tree/mozilla/ipc/chromium/src/base/thread_local_posix.cc, line 33AbortedIf I find a solution to the problem I will report back!

  2. Interesting, it seems to work fine on mine. Not sure what might be different – feel free to pop in to see me if looking at my setup might help.

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