A better Firefox/Thunderbird download experience for Solaris users

Solaris users now are having BETTER Firefox/Thunderbird download experience on mozilla.com!

What does that mean? For the past days, Solaris users had to know about the exact places/links to download the Firefox/Thunderbird Solaris builds from Mozilla.com. When the builds were available on the site, the notification email with the links would be sent to some internal and external mail aliases.

As for now, the Solaris users can go to www.mozilla.com or getfirefox.com or Thunderbird download to have a try. Just click "Free Download" and it will bring you to the corresponding Solaris binary builds directly. Enjoy it, guys:-)

Another feature request is the automatic update for the builds. Let's take a look at the Linux situation first.

There are two different types of Linux binaries for Firefox and Thunderbird. One is supported by the Mozilla community, in the tar format, another is the bundled one with the Linux distros(Red Hat/Ubuntu...), and supported by different distros. The former has the automatic update functionality. That means if you get the tarball from the community, it will notify you about the latest update when it's available. If you're using the system bundled one on Linux, the distros will provide their own way to update, something like the system update manager.

We also have two different binaries(the bundled one and the contributed one) for FF/TB on Solaris(The blastwave isn't included here). They are both provided by the desktop browser team, no Mozilla community involved. Currently, the automatic update doesn't work with the Mozilla community update server. The update of the bundled one can be achieved by the Solaris update mechanism itself(Solaris patch or Solaris system upgrade). As for the contributed one, the users can only update it manually.

Then the question is can we get some help from the Mozilla community. And the Solaris contributed builds can enable the "Check for updates" mechanism to update automatically. Do we have other ways to update it?



Posted by dipplum on March 11, 2007 at 12:33 AM CST #

no comments

Posted by abhishek on May 30, 2008 at 09:30 AM CST #

Unfortunately, there are no builds anymore! The only ones I can find are on the sunfreeware site and they're built to reside in /opt/sfw :(

Posted by Jeff on September 15, 2008 at 06:05 PM CST #

Jeff, what do you mean by "no builds"? I just went through "http://www.mozilla.com"->click "Free Download" link, Firefox 3.0.1 builds are available there: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/3.0.1/releasenotes/#contributedbuilds.

Well, the Solaris contributed builds do reside in /opt/sfw/ after the installation. That's the best practice to avoid the conflict with the system one. Another choice is to go with OpenSolaris(http://www.opensolaris.com/) and upgrade to the latest. Firefox 3.0.x has become the default browser and reside in /usr/ directory.

Posted by alfred on September 15, 2008 at 06:45 PM CST #

Sorry, I should have been more specific. Thunderbird latest stable is nowhere to be found there.

OpenSolaris is not an option. This is for 1000 users on Solaris 9 and 10 boxes in a company.

As soon as I get Cygwin/X loaded on my PC, I'm going to move the /opt/sfw stuff on a host to another directory and see if it barfs due to the move. If not, we're all set!

Posted by Jeff on September 15, 2008 at 06:52 PM CST #

Jeff, go throught "www.mozilla.com" -> Thunderbird product link -> "Free Download" could also guide you to the place for Thunderbird contributed build: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/thunderbird/

Posted by alfred on September 15, 2008 at 07:04 PM CST #

Thanks - that's what I was trying to find.

If you go here http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/products/thunderbird/ from a Windows box and select "Other systems and languages", there is nothing for Solaris.

That's what led me to the "no more builds" comment.

Traversing the release notes in order to find something for Solaris seems obtuse to me, but now I know what to do at least.

Posted by Jeff on September 15, 2008 at 07:17 PM CST #

Jeff, the key factor is that OpenSolaris isn't a supported platform in Mozilla community, yet. All the binary links in "Other systems and languages" section are provided and supported by Mozilla. And the contributed builds are provided by Sun.

So the question is actually for Mozilla: is it possible to provide even better download experience for Solaris/OpenSolaris users?

Posted by alfred on September 16, 2008 at 04:05 AM CST #


Can anyone point me in the right direction for some build guidance for Firefox 2? I figure it is the easiest to compile without making too many system changes. I am trying to compile from source to add back in the xprint support.


Posted by wayne on December 17, 2008 at 07:38 PM CST #

wayne, there are several options for you:
1. Go with the build spec and CBE (http://opensolaris.org/os/project/jds/contributing/building/). You'll have to check out the whole spec repository from http://cvs.opensolaris.org/source/xref/jds/spec-files/branches/gnome-2-20 and make some changes to http://cvs.opensolaris.org/source/xref/jds/spec-files/branches/gnome-2-20/SUNWfirefox.spec and http://cvs.opensolaris.org/source/xref/jds/spec-files/branches/gnome-2-20/base-specs/firefox.spec.
2. Follow the build document from Mozilla's wiki: https://developer.mozilla.org/en/Build_Documentation.

Further problem with the build, please feel free to let me know.

Posted by alfred on December 18, 2008 at 03:47 AM CST #

seems to me that Mozilla doesn't show Solaris in the contributed builds area at all
and the place to go is here ...

Posted by guest on May 15, 2009 at 03:38 PM CST #

ooops, sorry, seems to me that you can get Thunderbird from here too :


as well as sun freeware. If a newer version comes out, then you have to pare back that URL to higher directory :
and then drill down again.
Messy, but I suppose sometimes it would seem that if you know how to use UNIX then you know already how to find things the hard way.

however, today with Firefox.com, I did get a button pointing me to the Solaris bundle without having to go drilling.


Posted by FMC@Sun on May 15, 2009 at 03:48 PM CST #

FMC, the Solaris contributed builds can be downloaded from the "Get Involved" page on OpenSolaris: http://opensolaris.org/os/community/desktop/communities/mozilla/development/ from now on. If you go to http://www.mozilla.com, the download green button will point to this page as well. That means the page is the official place to get Solaris builds and recognized by Mozilla community. BTW, any questions related to the builds could be posted to desktop dash discuss at opensolaris dot org.

I'm not sure how sunfreeware website provides all the binaries. But from the README and md5sum files on their website, the builds there is probably a copy of the contributed builds.

Posted by alfred on May 26, 2009 at 10:32 AM CST #

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