Mozilla Firefox 6.0.1 on Slackware 13.37

I was getting tired of WordPress telling me that my version of Mozilla Firefox was out of date, so I decide to see if I could build the latest version for my Slackware64 13.37 workstation. This is the journal of that journey. If you’re looking for directions without all the commentary and interesting stuff, try my TL;DR version: Installing Mozilla Firefox 6.0.1 on Slackware 13.37

As a starting point, I downloaded the entire build directory from slackware64-current. I chose the mirror slackware.oregonstate.edu. (I suggest using http://slackware.com/getslack/ to find a suitable mirror.) Using FileZilla, I grabbed the entire directory slackware64-current/source/xap/mozilla-firefox/ and put it in /usr/src on my workstation.

Try 1:

  1. Set the SlackBuild script as executable: chmod a+x mozilla-firefox.SlackBuild
  2. Run the script: ./mozilla-firefox.SlackBuild

As so often happens, I encountered a problem:

configure: error: Can't find header iwlib.h for Necko WiFi scanning (might be in package libiw-dev (Ubuntu) or wireless-tools-devel (Fedora) or libiw-devel (openSUSE)); use --disable-necko-wifi to disable
make: *** No targets specified and no makefile found.  Stop.

Since I don’t even know what necko-wifi is or does, I took the advice of the error message and added –disable-necko-wifi to the script mozilla-firefox.SlackBuild.

Try 2:

  1. I used vim to edit the file and found the –disable-whatevers and added the line
    --disable-necko-wifi
    just after the line:
    --disable-profilesharing
  2. Run the script: ./mozilla-firefox.SlackBuild

Sucess! Woohoo!

Being a careful and methodical–pronounced: scared and anal-retentive–person, I backed up my Firefox profile:

  1. Open Firefox
  2. From the Tools menu, select Clear Recent History
  3. In the Clear … History dialog box, select Everything for Time range to clear
  4. Under Details, make sure only Cache is checked.
  5. Click Clear Now
  6. Quit Firefox
  7. In home directory (type: cd and press to get there), type:
    tar zcvvf /path/to/backup/dotmozilla20110904.tgz .mozilla

Now, if disaster strikes, I can get back to where I was before this exploration!

Finally, I upgraded Firefox using the new package:

su
cd /tmp
upgradepkg mozilla-firefox-6.0-x86_64-1.txz

When I ran Firefox, I was greeted with a message telling me that my version was out of date.  It seems that version 6.0.1 has been released. Back to the drawing board.

Try 3:

I snagged the Firefox source file firefox-6.0.1.source.tar.bz2 from ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases/6.0.1/source/ and put it with the other files. Then deleted the old source file firefox-6.0.source.tar.bz2, to ensure the new one will build.

Once again, I ran the script: ./mozilla-firefox.SlackBuild

And again, success!

Now I upgrade the 6.0 version to 6.0.1 using:

su
cd /tmp
upgradepkg mozilla-firefox-6.0.1-x86_64-1.txz

Ah, life is good! WordPress no longer complains about my Firefox version and my few extensions and plug-ins work just fine. I suppose at this point, I could have quit. But what about that necko-wifi error? What is necko-wifi, anyway.

A bit of research leads me to believe that necko-wifi uses libiw-dev to do geolocation. A little more digging reveals that the Slackware package wireless-tools from the n set installs that header file. Well, I don’t use geolocation, but I decided I would try the build and install one more time, just to see . . .

Try 4:

  1. Pop in the Slackware DVD and install the package wireless-tools-29-x86_64-6.txz
  2. Open a shell, and edit the SlackBuild file, commenting out the line I added in step 1 of Try 1.
  3. Run ./mozilla-firefox.SlackBuild for, what I hope, is the last time.

And yes! Yes! Yes! It builds!

So, I removed the package I installed in Try 3 and installed the newly-built package. Sure enough. When I browse to http://www.google.com/maps/m, I guess a message that www.google.com wants to share my location. Clicking x, I choose to congratulate myself on another puzzle completed (and not to reveal that I’m sitting in my home office/studio in front of the computer.

Happy Daze!
Stu…

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