back to article Mozilla treats Debian devotees to the raw taste of Firefox Nightly

Mozilla has published a native Debian package of Firefox – the pre-beta-test Nightly build, rather than the current released version. Considering that it remains the dominant web browser for Linux, the packaging of Firefox (and its derivatives) remains a contentious issue. Then again, application packaging formats are one of …

  1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

    But the nightly fixes the "enter does not work" bug!

    Which bug? This 15 Year old bug!

    I even made a youtube video out of frustration and "cannot reproduce" comments in that bug.

    1. Philo T Farnsworth

      Re: But the nightly fixes the "enter does not work" bug!

      Perhaps I'm just dense (always a good default assumption) but I can't figure out what the bug you're reporting is. Perhaps you could be more explicit in exactly the steps necessary to replicate.

      Returning to the topic of the article, I can say I've been running Firefox Nightly as my "daily driver" for close to 10 years now and have rarely experienced a problem of any signficance. The couple of times I did, reporting the bug got it fixed within 24 hours, but maybe I'm just lucky.

      1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

        Re: But the nightly fixes the "enter does not work" bug!

        Well, you read the bug report? If not: Do so and return here. The video is just a visualization with a "show every pressed key on screen" tool.

        1. Philo T Farnsworth

          Re: But the nightly fixes the "enter does not work" bug!

          Yup.

          I just did again. . .

          . . . and I couldn't replicate.

          However, to be fair, I'm on Ubuntu 23.10 and not Windows, FF Nightly 121.0a1 (2023-11-01) (64-bit), so my mileage may vary.

          I do have to admit that sometimes I've had the behavior (or lack thereof) you report in Thunderbird while saving attachments, though I would assume that the codebase is sufficiently different that they're unlikely to be related.

          BTW, I'm not a Firefox developer, so take whatever I say with a heapin' helpin' of sodium chloride.

          1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

            Re: But the nightly fixes the "enter does not work" bug!

            > FF Nightly 121.0a1

            Mentioning "Firefox 121" is great, because the unverlying actual source of this issue has a tag "fixed Milestone 121" from six days ago.

            Which is linked in the last few update postings of the bug I mentioned. Which means your did not read it good enough.

            Even worse: You explicitly mention "Nightly", which I mentioned in the opening post to have the bug fix included, which means you didn't read my opening post good enough as well and your comparison with "cannot reproduce" was for...

            Thank you for testing with FF 121 though, proving it is fixed so the fix will propagate to my preferred Waterfox soon!

            1. PRR Bronze badge

              Re: But the nightly fixes the "enter does not work" bug!

              > Mentioning "Firefox 121"

              As of today, 'peers to be fixed in 115.4.0esr on Win7.

              While I will frequently click for a download, sometimes (sore trigger finger, dog in the way) I must Enter, and had not noted this bug in way over a decade of FireFox.

    2. envida

      Re: But the nightly fixes the "enter does not work" bug!

      Out of interest, and in a moment of boredom, I tried to replicate this by saving 100 files and images the way you suggest is a problem in Firefox and was successful 100% of the time, so I couldn't replicate the issue there. Then I noticed you were using Waterfox in the video, so I tried again in that browser. 8 out of 100 times gave me the issue you described but I'm more certain than not that at 3 of those were because I pressed enter too quickly and the save window hadn't fully loaded. The other times the save window appeared to have fully loaded. The save window on firefox was, subjectively, a bit more snappy at loading than it was in waterfox.

      I'm not saying the bug doesn't exist in firefox, but i can't replicate it. Waterfox on the other hand was a different issue.

      Using Windows 11 for this and the latest stable release of both browsers. If I can be arsed I may try again on my Fedora and/or Ubuntu machines when I am home next, but it isn't an annoyance to me, so in all honesty I probably won't and will completely forget about it in a few hours.

      1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

        Re: But the nightly fixes the "enter does not work" bug!

        Which version of Firefox? The bug, actually another bug related and possible cause of this bug, was marked as fixed six days ago. So the fix might be already in your Firefox version, but has not propagated to Waterfox yet. But I will stick with Waterfox since it has more sane defaults.

        1. envida

          Re: But the nightly fixes the "enter does not work" bug!

          Initially I tested in in 119, but then went back and tested it in 117 after your post. Same result - 100 out of 100 save attempts were sucessful.

  2. Nate Amsden

    wonder if they will have a repo at some point

    MS edge for linux installs a config so apt can download updates direct from https://packages.microsoft.com/repos/edge/ . Firefox is my main browser though I did switch to edge for MS teams on linux as well as OWA(prefer to have things in different browsers, in the past I used another instance of firefox, as well as Seamonkey).

    After switching back to Firefox from Palemoon(after palemoon decided to break all of the addons though I think they reverted that decision later) have been with ESR ever since(took some time getting over losing my addons that I had used for a decade or more many of which would never be updated again), manually install to /usr/local/firefox-<version> and symlink /usr/local/firefox to that. I guess no proper OS integration, though I run my firefox as a different user account "sudo -u firefox -P -H VDPAU_NVIDIA_NO_OVERLAY=1 /usr/local/firefox/firefox %u" (unsure if that NVIDIA option is still needed these days or not(though still get video tearing, eventually realized it wasn't a linux issue as there is tearing in video on windows as well on the same hardware).

    Edge runs under another account as well. Was really annoying to configure Pulse Audio to work right, but eventually figured it out.

  3. t245t
    Linux

    Unzip and just run programms from folder like some barbarian Windows user?

    > compiled binaries as "tarballs," the Linux version of a ZIP file. They work: You can download them, unzip them into a folder, and just run them, almost like some barbarian Windows user

    That hasn't been the case for a long time. Installing an MSI requires the invocation of some obscure Registry entries.

    1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Unzip and just run programms from folder like some barbarian Windows user?

      [Author here]

      Just for clarity...

      1. It was a *joke.*

      2. Who said anything about MSI?

      3. Check out "portable apps".

      1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

        Re: Unzip and just run programms from folder like some barbarian Windows user?

        > 1. It was a *joke.*

        Especially since 2016 that orange guy won an election, and the upturned-leek-hairstyle guy on the other side of the pond soon after every joke must be marked as joke since: No matter how stupid or funny a joke may be, one it is real is isn't funny any more.

        Same applies to sarcasm...

  4. RedGreen925

    "The problem is that Debian is a very slow-moving distro, which puts out a new major release roughly every other year – and once released, package versions are fixed."

    That is what I thought until they upgraded the thunderbird package to the latest version. Apparently those rules only apply when the want to deny the newest package entry into their system. Security fixes are supposed to be backported to the version in the archives, not entire new versions installed.

    zeus@9600k:~$ apt-cache policy thunderbird

    thunderbird:

    Installed: 1:115.4.1-1~deb12u1

    Candidate: 1:115.4.1-1~deb12u1

    Version table:

    *** 1:115.4.1-1~deb12u1 500

    500 http://security.debian.org/debian-security bookworm-security/main amd64 Packages

    100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

    1:102.15.1-1~deb12u1 500

    500 http://ftp.ca.debian.org/debian bookworm/main amd64 Packages

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not quite what they do now

      Debian wisely agreed in situations where updates do not affect other libraries/packages to allow version bumps for many common desktop packages which receive large amounts of security maintenance by upstream. This means Chromium and Firefox now receive regular version bumps. Even on oldstable, which they previously said wouldn’t get security support for Chromium specifically in late 2022 is now in lockstep with stable.

      I personally think frozen packages need to go the way of the dodo entirely in Debian Stable. Sure, backport security fixes for hotpatching systems by all means, but regular point releases every quarter with well-tested minor upstream version bumps would not only reduce overall workload but also help keep the distribution packages clean of unnecessary patches, because thinner quilts really are better all year round!

      1. RedGreen925

        Re: Not quite what they do now

        "but regular point releases every quarter with well-tested minor upstream version bumps would not only reduce overall workload but also help keep the distribution packages clean of unnecessary patches, because thinner quilts really are better all year round!"

        And your reason for the discrimination against the KDE packages being held at the released versions is? Those are simply little .? upgrades to well tested packages that are good enough to be in the testing distribution but not the stable. As well the thunderbird is major version upgrade not some little point release bump. They change the UI and many other things in that release from the one that was in the stable distribution.

    2. Steve McIntyre

      Security updates and browsers

      There's a difficult line here.

      We absolutely do *not* want to break things and/or take major changes in stable releases, but in some cases it's just way too hard to backport fixes. If you've ever hacked on a browser, you'll understand just how complex they are. At some point, we have to make a judgement call on the best way to roll out fixes. That's what you're seeing here.

  5. Gordon 11

    Ubuntu has a "normal" package too.

    The leading distro based on Ubuntu, Linux Mint, makes a point of maintaining its own native Firefox package for Mint users.

    Which is odd, as it seems that Ubuntu does the same.

    Since my HOMEs are not under /home I can't (or couldn't last time I bothered to look) use snaps. But I do install Firefox from a ppa at https://ppa.launchpadcontent.net/mozillateam/ppa/ubuntu/ and when I look at About/Help in Firefox it says:

    Mozilla Firefox for Ubuntu

    canonical-1.0

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I mean, even Distrowatch confirms* that DEB distros are much more popular than RPM distros:

    https://eylenburg.github.io/linux_distros_over_time.htm#popularity

    *and we all know that Distrowatch hits are a perfect proxy for market share

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