Daily Archives: November 29, 2007

A Dash of Ubuntuzilla or Chasing a Weasel

The Linux distributions do not really update the packages quickly enough, folks.  There are minor and major updates to things like Pidgin IM and Firefox or Thunderbird. Perhaps the view is to wait until security forces align to dribble out the update; but I am always impatient.  I want a package to install when I see a new thing.  I ended up just compiling Pidgin because I tried waiting for it before and its pretty easy to just compile it with Ubuntu or Debian.  Just do a “apt-get build-dep packagename” and you can get that package’s build environment.

But I don’t really want to compile Thunderbird or Firefox. Wassup then?  Well, an enterprising person over on the forums decided to help us out.  Enter Ubuntuzilla.  Download the little deb package and do a dpkg -i and then apt-get -f install and you too can be running the latest versions of firefox and thunderbird.  Read the howto part of things before you decide to upgrade a AMD64 box.  If you upgrade it, you will replace the  64bit versions with the 32.  It may not be what you want to do.  For me it definitely was not, but I did not read.  But its easier to remove as well except for some reason it took out the core ubuntu thunderbird package too,  Go figure.

Enter Switftweasel.  This wonderful alternate world offers compiled packages of firefox optimized for AMD64 and a 32bit version for AMD64. The beauty of this solution is nothing is replaced or removed and you actually get more because the project includes more goodness like extensions/addons than what you get by downloading the tarballs.  I installed the firefox and thunderbird equivalents which run very nicely.

This one particular thing speaks volumes about the superiority of the Linux family.  Choice across parallel packages which do the same thing but offer it packaged differently with different goodies.  One way I think to say thanks is by saying it here; another way is to head on over and see if each project takes donations and say thanks another way.  I’ve done this with WordPress a few times because I appreciate them too.

Thanks for the choices guys.  Keep the quality coming.

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