Firefox and Ubuntu 22.04

Firefox and Ubuntu 22.04

Wow, the situation has become complicated with Ubuntu 22.04

Since February, the development of Trisquel 11.0, code name Aramo, began officially, and to tell the truth, since we were developing version 10.0, we were already beginning to see the future challenges that Jammy would bring.

In the case of Firefox, Canonical, the company behind the commercial development of Ubuntu, is betting more and more on the use of its snap packages, in the same way I assume that Mozilla is trying to unify the distribution of its browser: Firefox due to the great loss of market share, and I assume they’d rather save themselves the trouble of maintaining debian binary compatibility in all versions of Ubuntu and derivatives, so when hunger meets the urge to eat, well this happens, we lose support for debian binaries from Firefox on Ubuntu 22.04

And well, the release of Ubuntu 22.04 made the threat valid, now in 22.04 we only have support for the snap version.

Despite several advantages that a unified package system can have, snap is a system that gives little control over the sources and packages that are distributed, this makes autonomous community development difficult, to say the least, I think Flatpak has a better future in this type of categories, however returning to the subject.

I have currently started working on compiling Firefox ESR on Ubuntu as a base for our Abrowser, however boy has this gotten messy. Debian and Trisquel have a second-degree relationship, which even though they are very similar, both the versions and the structure of some packages change evidently.

This has been a bit of a headache, as it would be the first time that I take the development of a helper from scratch from a package of this size, just to put in context Firefox ESR weighs around 450MB and its compilation can take several hours using multiple cores before crashing and finding the bug where it might be crashing.

After a couple of weeks, this project has helped me to learn little by little the different factors that come into play in the compilation of this browser and why not, meet the developers behind Firefox in Debian and some alternative projects such as LibreWolf is, for which I have learned a couple of things in those projects.

And despite all the headaches that Firefox has given me these weeks, as well as the understanding that I need a more powerful machine to compile large packages, it is not time to give up since there are other more interesting challenges to solve with all the changes Ubuntu has made to Jammy, such as the development of the debian installer for Trisquel.

There is a long and challenging stage of development ahead on the way to Trisquel 11.0, Aramo.

By the way, the ISOs of the first maintenance revision of Trisquel 10 will be published soon, version: 10.0.1 Impatient? Before reaching the official repositories, it can be downloaded here: