[K12OSN] Can't launch Firefox

"Terrell Prudé, Jr." microman at cmosnetworks.com
Sat Oct 30 12:44:17 UTC 2004

Bill Bardon wrote:

>On Friday, Oct 29 Robert Arkiletian wrote:
>>Installed Firefox to
>>when clients try to launch the firefox binary from a terminal they get
>>this message keeps being displayed in an infinite loop.
>>Does someone know how to solve this?
>Did you perform the very first run of Firefox as root on the server?
>Firefox on Linux requires this to properly initialize some files.  
>I think you could still login as root, run Firefox, and all would be
>well after that.  If not, uninstall and reinstall, then run as root the
>first time.

I agree.  "Traditional" Mozilla also requires this.

The newer Firefox versions, it seems, on certain distros (SuSE Linux 
9.1, for example) don't appear to absolutely require this anymore.  Just 
yesterday I upgraded to Firefox 1.0rc1 from 1.0PR, and I forgot to run 
it as root (I installed the "old-fashioned" way--just unzipping the 
tarball to an empty directory).  Worked like a charm anyway, which I 
found rather interesting.  However, it's never wrong to run it as root 
the first time, just in case.

One other thing:  you might consider installing Firefox into a directory 
whose name doesn't say, "Oh, I'm the install directory".  Better always 
to install to an empty directory.  I've always used /usr/local/firefox, 
for example.  To make sure I have a rollback option, I go one step 
further and save the most recent "old" version.  Something like this, 
using an upgrade from Firefox 0.9.3 to Firefox 1.0rc1 as an example.

    First, rename the "current" installation:

        root at multimedia:/usr/local# mv firefox firefox-0.9.3

    Now, install Firefox the usual way that you do it, into, say, 
/usr/local/firefox.  When done, do this:

        root at multimedia:/usr/local# mv firefox firefox-1.0rc1

    Now, symlink the new installation to the name "firefox":

       root at multimedia:/usr/local# ln -s firefox-1.0rc1 firefox

Of course, you could simply install the new one into "firefox-1.0rc1" if 
you're using the firefox-installer, but the "traditional" package 
untar's into "firefox/".  Thus, this method will work with that, too.

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