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Updates available but Firefox fails to update on Ubuntu 12.04

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  • 3 have this problem
  • 9221 views
  • Last reply by Usjes

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The Firefox Help -> About menu indicates that there are updates available (I am currently on 31.0) but when I click on this link I am brought to https://www.mozilla.org/ga-IE/firefox/new/ I am using the Irish language version but the translation is: 'Congratulations, you have the latest version of Firefox' I know this is incorrect though as version 32 is available. So does anyone know why the Irish language page tells me that 31.0 is the latest version and how do I get Firefox to update to newer versions ? I have the Irish language version of Firefox also installed on a Windows 7 box and it has automatically updated to 32.0.1, so this problem seems to be specific to Linux.

Thanks,

Usjes.

Chosen solution

No, I guess there is no particular reason that I need to have it in /usr/lib I am new to Linux and I placed it there as this is where the existing, English language version, was installed so I figured that this is the 'correct' location for software. So I guess moving it to /home is a workable solution, it does still feel like a bit of a hack though. I just assumed that the OS would make a 'raise password request' system call available to software for this exact purpose, and I am sure that other software on my system does this when it needs permissions but maybe these are all programs that were installed via the package manager and have been specifically tailored to behave in this way for Ubuntu. This will hopefully become clear as I get more familiar with Linux. But for now I will just move the install location. Thanks,

Usjes.

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All Replies (11)

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Hello,

I believe Ubuntu packages its own version of Firefox for increased compatibility with its OS. You can normally update Firefox through your Software Updater application. It should already be there according to the Ubuntu website, so try running an update again.

If it still doesn't show up, you can download the package directly at the bottom of this page:

Modified by CoryMH

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Hi CoryMH,

Yes, Ubuntu does have its own Firefox package but I am not using this because it is the English language version, so I have manually installed the Irish language version instead, is there some reason why the update feature should not work in for a manually installed version on Linux ? I dont want to have to keep checking for updates and installing them manually.

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How did you install your version of Firefox?

You can try adding this PPA to your sources: https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-mozilla-security/+archive/ubuntu/ppa

According to its package listing under Precise, it has firefox-locale-ga.

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You can find the full version of the current Firefox 32.0.1 release in all languages and for all Operating Systems here:

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Hi CoryMH,

I installed the Irish version by downloading the relevant .tar.gz from mozilla.org and then I simply unzipped it in the /usr/lib dir and then made the existing firefox link in the /usr/bin dir point to the newly unzipped firefox executable. So I didn't use any package manager at all.

What I'm really trying to figure out here is does the updater on Linux not work like on Windows ? I mean, does it really matter how I got it installed in the first place, should the update function not just work anyway ? Or does it somehow have some intrinsic dependence on using a package manager ?

Thanks,

Usjes

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If "Help > About" shows a message that updates are available and doesn't download the update then this means that you do not have write permissions to the directory where Firefox in installed. I install all Firefox versions in folders in /usr/local and need to start Firefox as root to update Firefox as I see that message in Help > About when I check for updates as a normal user.

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It is strange that the site is seeing your version as current. From my understanding the site should detect that you do not have the latest version regardless of how you installed it. As an aside, since you unzipped it in the /usr/lib directory you will need root privileges to make any new updates save on your computer.

What happens when you try to go to the update site as root? (Note: it is not recommended to browse other websites as root).

EDIT: see cor-el's post above

Modified by CoryMH

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Yes, it is clearly a permissions problem, launching firefox via: sudo firefox as opposed to via the launchbar icon creates a firefox instance which has updated itself to 32.0.1 successfully. I dont really see this as a long-term solution though as I dont think it is safe to be launching firefox as admin all the time. I also dont understand why the Linux version of the update function doesn't take the premissions into account by default, I mean its not like permissions are a new feature in Linux :) . I was expecting firefox to launch a request for the admin password when it tried to update as other programs do, is there some reason why it doesn't work like this ?

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Is there a reason why you need it in /usr/ as you would then need user read/write permissions for the folder for to install updates.

If you are the only user then putting it in a folder in /home/ can make things easier.

Modified by James

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Glad it worked for you. In Windows Vista and later, the update should need administrative privileges if it is installed to the Program Files directory (unless you disabled UAC, which is not recommended). The tarball you download off of the Firefox website should work on a wide variety of Linux setups; I am not sure if commands like kdesudo and gksu are available for everybody. Though I guess it would be nice if there were a separate update script that you could run in a terminal so you do not need to start Firefox as root just to update.

As James wrote, if you are the only user then you would not need to worry about user permissions if you saved it in your home (~) directory. You can still link the executable to /usr/bin and Firefox would work normally.

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Chosen Solution

No, I guess there is no particular reason that I need to have it in /usr/lib I am new to Linux and I placed it there as this is where the existing, English language version, was installed so I figured that this is the 'correct' location for software. So I guess moving it to /home is a workable solution, it does still feel like a bit of a hack though. I just assumed that the OS would make a 'raise password request' system call available to software for this exact purpose, and I am sure that other software on my system does this when it needs permissions but maybe these are all programs that were installed via the package manager and have been specifically tailored to behave in this way for Ubuntu. This will hopefully become clear as I get more familiar with Linux. But for now I will just move the install location. Thanks,

Usjes.