Downgrading to Firefox 25

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Zauber Paracelsus
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Downgrading to Firefox 25

Post by Zauber Paracelsus »

Is there any way I can downgrade from Firefox 26 to Firefox 25? I'm being affected by a serious performance problem in Firefox 26 where it freezes each second, making it take about 10-20 times longer to do things or load pages.
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xenopeek
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Re: Downgrading to Firefox 25

Post by xenopeek »

Might it be caused by one of your extensions that has problems with Firefox 26? Try closing all Firefox windows and opening a terminal (or press Alt+F2 to bring up run dialog) and run this command to start Firefox without extensions to check if it is caused by one of your extensions:

Code: Select all

firefox -safe-mode
Firefox 25 is still in the repositories it looks (http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/main/f/firefox/) so if you must downgrade, find the firefox and firefox-locale-yourlocale packages for version 25 for your Ubuntu package base version and architecture, and download them. For example for Linux Mint 16 64-bit in English that would be the files:
  • firefox_25.0.1+build1-0ubuntu0.13.10.1_amd64.deb
  • firefox-locale-en_25.0.1+build1-0ubuntu0.13.10.1_amd64.deb
(You may also be able to find these files in /var/cache/apt/archives/ and could copy them from there.)

Download the files from the example:

Code: Select all

wget http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/main/f/firefox/firefox_25.0.1+build1-0ubuntu0.13.10.1_amd64.deb
wget http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/main/f/firefox/firefox-locale-en_25.0.1+build1-0ubuntu0.13.10.1_amd64.deb
Then install the files:

Code: Select all

sudo dpkg -i firefox*.deb
Then pin these packages to their current version, so Update Manager won't upgrade them the next time you run it:

Code: Select all

echo firefox hold | sudo dpkg --set-selections
echo firefox-locale-en hold | sudo dpkg --set-selections
If you at a later moment want to install the newer version of Firefox, remove the hold. Run the same two commands but replace the word "hold" with the word "install". Then open Update Manager, click Refresh, and the newest version of Firefox will become available for installation again.
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Re: Downgrading to Firefox 25

Post by karlchen »

Hello, Zauber Paracelsus.

<Added Friday 13-Dec-2013>
Between the time when I checked it and wrote my instruction and now the version 25.0.1 has disappeared from the list.
Here on Mint 16 (= Ubuntu 13.10) Synaptic currently only sees v24.0.1 and v26.0.
Using Synaptic, it is currently no longer possible to downgrade to v25.0.1. My instruction below is therefore no longer valid.

</Added Friday 13-Dec-2013>


First let me assure you that I have not noticed any bug in Firefox 26.0 (on Precise Pangolin 64-bit, Mint Maya 64-bit, Mint Nadia 32-bit, Mint Petra 32-bit) that results in serious performance problems.

Anyway:
Yes, you can downgrade and then lock the Firefox 25.0.1 version.
  1. Launch Synaptic package manager.
  2. Locate all Firefox related software packages that are installed on your system. Typically, this will be a list like follows: firefox, firefox-local-en, firefox-locale-de. Synaptic will list the installed version of each package. This will be 26.0 currently.
  3. For each software package in the list that you determined in step (2) proceed like this:
    + Mark the package
    + Go to the menu "Package" => "Force Version" => Select "25.0.1" from the dropdown list.
    + Click [Force version] button
  4. Once you have downgraded all Firefox software packages successfully, you may want to "lock the current version" which will be 25.0.1.
  5. For each software package in the list that you determined in step (2) proceed like this:
    + Mark the package
    + Go to the menu "Package" => "Lock Version"
Note:
From now on to the end of all times you will be pinned to Firefox 25.0.1. You will never be offered any future Firefox updates, until one fine day you decide to disable the "lock version" option.

Kind regards,
Karl
--
Corrected: changed the expression "pin version" to be "lock version" which is what Synaptic really says, as xenopeek pointed out.
Last edited by karlchen on Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:45 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Downgrading to Firefox 25

Post by xenopeek »

Karl, I forgot about Synaptic being able to install older versions for you :oops: Step 5 menu option is called "Lock Version" BTW, not "Pin Version", at least on Linux Mint 16. One thing you missed ( :D) is that any locked versions in Synaptic actually have no effect on Update Manager or other package managers. Synaptic is the easy way to install older version, and to lock that version there, but you still need to run the last two commands I shared to pin the packages also for Update Manager.
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Re: Downgrading to Firefox 25

Post by Monsta »

xenopeek wrote:One thing you missed ( :D) is that any locked versions in Synaptic actually have no effect on Update Manager or other package managers. Synaptic is the easy way to install older version, and to lock that version there, but you still need to run the last two commands I shared to pin the packages also for Update Manager.
Actually, you can make apt-get and mintUpdate respect Synaptic's locked/pinned packages with [url=http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=199&t=150313#p785785]one symlink[/url]. :)
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Re: Downgrading to Firefox 25

Post by xenopeek »

Aha! :D
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Re: Downgrading to Firefox 25

Post by karlchen »

Hello, xenopeek.
xenopeek wrote:Step 5 menu option is called "Lock Version" BTW, not "Pin Version", at least on Linux Mint 16.
Certainly it will be "Lock version". Don't ask me why I translated the German verb "sperren" into the English verb "pin". :oops:
xenopeek wrote: One thing you missed ( :D) is that any locked versions in Synaptic actually have no effect on Update Manager or other package managers.
Correct again. Stepped into this pitfall on my own Mint 13 where I locked the last kernel 3.2.0-x in Synpatic, before switching to kernel 3.5.0-x, only to find out I had to do the same locking operation in the Mint Update Manager, too. :oops:

Kind regards,
Karl
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Re: Downgrading to Firefox 25

Post by Minterator »

The latest Firefox 26 is badly broken. Very disappointing, without a capable browser the platform is dead. I have Chromium and it doesn't cut it, you can't even get rid of the bright-white background color. Many of us can't look at bright-white for more than a few seconds.

How do I go back to 25.x ??

I'm not an IT administrator, so the instructions above are confusing or meaningless. Synaptic does not list firefox versions before 26.

Can somebody please simplify?
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Re: Downgrading to Firefox 25

Post by karlchen »

Hello, Minterator.
The latest Firefox 26 is badly broken.
Can you elaborate a bit which problems you experience with Firefox 26? - Personally I have not noticed any new problems so far.
How do I go back to 25.x ?? [...] the instructions above are confusing or meaningless. Synaptic does not list firefox versions before 26.
It has been explained how to make Synaptic list all available versions above and how to force Synaptic to take v25.0.1. See [url=http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?p=794863#p794863]=> this post <=[/url]
Can somebody please simplify?
This is the simplified version. If you do not read carefully, you cannot be helped. We can explain to you how to catch the fish, but we cannot catch it and fry it for you.

Kind regards,
Karl
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Re: Downgrading to Firefox 25

Post by Minterator »

"Force Version" does not list 25.0.1, only 26 and 11.

Problems, many. The biggest is it will sometimes not restart, says it's already running, so you have to kill it. Some settings are ignored, download is broken, I also suspect incompatibilities with NoScript. BTW, the Windows version 26 works fine.
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Re: Downgrading to Firefox 25

Post by karlchen »

Hello, Minterator

Option 1: Downgrading with the help of Synaptic:
"Force Version" does not list 25.0.1, only 26 and 11.
Great. :x
Between the time when I checked it and wrote my instruction and now the version 25.0.1 has disappeared from the list. Correct.
Here on Mint 16 (= Ubuntu 13.10) Synaptic currently only sees v24.0.1 and v26.0.
So you are right, using Synaptic it is currently no longer possible to downgrade to v25.0.1.
My instruction therefore is no longer valid. - Will add a note to my post saying so in order to prevent future readers from trying in vain.


Option 2:
Downgrading using "Software Manager": Seems totally impossible, because it does not even offer a way of selecting between versions.


Option 3:
This will throw us back to [url=http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?p=794859#p794859]the commandline only instruction posted by xenopeek[/url].
Theoretically ...
Theoretically, because for my curent Mint version, Mint 16 (=Ubuntu 13.10), I can spot Firefox 25.0 in the repos, but not Firefox 25.0.1.
This means, what makes my instruction for Synaptic useless, is not totally unlikely to pose a serious problem for xenopeek's instruction as well.
It seems that the Ubuntu guys clean up their repositories really quickly. Which for those wishing to downgrade blocks the way of getting the previous version from the Ubuntu repositories.
Just tried xenopeek's wget commandlines and all I received where 404 error messages, i.e. the package files could no longer be found.


Option 4:
Re-Installing Firefox 25.0.1 from your own local archive folder (For the lucky ones only):
  • Navigate to the local folder /var/cache/apt/archives. - Linux Mint caches downloaded software packages here.
  • If you are lucky you will be able to locate the following files:
    • If you are on a Linux Mint 32-bit edition:
      + firefox_25.0.1+build1-0ubuntu0.13.10.1_i386.deb ... the main programme
      + firefox-locale-de_25.0.1+build1-0ubuntu0.13.10.1_i386.deb .. English language file
      + firefox-locale-en_25.0.1+build1-0ubuntu0.13.10.1_i386.deb .... German language file, you may of course have a different language file, or none
      (Note: the 13.10 version string will vary depending on your Mint version.)
    • If you are on a Linux Mint 64-bit edition:
      + firefox_25.0.1+build1-0ubuntu0.13.10.1_amd64.deb ... the main programme
      + firefox-locale-de_25.0.1+build1-0ubuntu0.13.10.1_amd64.deb .. English language file
      + firefox-locale-en_25.0.1+build1-0ubuntu0.13.10.1_amd64.deb .... German language file, you may of course have a different language file, or none
      (Note: the 13.10 version string will vary depending on your Mint version.)
  • Open a terminal window. Navigate to the folder /var/cache/apt/archives.

    Code: Select all

    cd /var/cache/apt/archives
  • Try to re-install Firefox 25.0.1 with the help of this commandline:

    Code: Select all

    sudo dpkg -i --force-downgrade firefox_25.0.1* firefox-locale-??_25.0.1
  • Provided the commandline given above succeeds, you will be back on Firefox 25.0.1
    In case it fails, please, report the error message here.
  • Provided the commandline given above succeeds, lock the Firefox version.

    Code: Select all

    echo firefox hold | sudo dpkg --set-selections
    echo firefox-locale-en hold | sudo dpkg --set-selections
[/color]


Option 5:
This leaves us with one more option which is getting the needed Firefox software packages from the Mozilla Firefox download pages directly.

Note:
In case you do so, the basic approach will be this:
  • We will leave the existing Firefox 26.0 installation, got from the Ubuntu repositories, untouched.
  • We will download genuine Mozilla Firefox 25.0.1, address here: [url=http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/25.0.1/]http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/25.0.1/[/url]
  • Firefox 25.0.1 will be installed to a different location from Firefox 26.0, i.e. to /opt/firefox.
  • So it will be installed in addition to Firefox 26.0. - We will simply not launch Firefox 26.0 any longer, but Firefox 25.0.1 instead.
  • The downsides of using the genuine Mozilla Firefox are that
    • Software Manager, Synaptic and apt-get will not know it has been installed. So you cannot use them to uninstall it.
    • minupdate will not know it has been installed. So it will never offer any updates for it.
The exact steps will be posted in another post.

Kind regards,
Karl
Last edited by karlchen on Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:33 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Downgrading to Firefox 25

Post by Minterator »

Thank you. I had done this before, Firefox has a page where you can download older versions:

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/in ... of-firefox

...but Debi doesn't know what to do with "firefox-25.0.1.tar.bz2"

Also I have 25.0.1 in /var/cache/apt/archives but installation failed.
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Re: Downgrading to Firefox 25

Post by karlchen »

Hello, Minterator.

About dpkg:
Having re-read the dpkg manpages once again and including the --force options, I changed the dpkg commandline to read

Code: Select all

sudo dpkg -i --force-downgrade firefox_25.0.1* firefox-locale-??_25.0.1
means: -i (install) --force-downgrade (downgrade unconditionally)
This might do the trick or break it completely. - Hopefully not! - Please refer to the blue section in my previous post.

About the Mozilla .bz2 file:
No, GDebi is not part of that game. :wink:
You use the archive manager (file-roller) to extract the archive. Inside is a folder named "firefox" - who would have guessed so? :wink:
If you want to use the genuine Mozilla .bz2 archive, launch archive-manager as root. This will allow you to extract the "firefox" folder to /opt/firefox e.g.
Then you will have to create a new Firefox menu item or change the existing menu item to launch /opt/firefox/firefox onstead of /usr/bin/firefox.

Kind regards,
Karl
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Re: Downgrading to Firefox 25

Post by robert-e »

Just to report the resolution of this problem (see my post in "java7" yesterday. I successfully force-downgraded from firefox 26 to firefox 25.01 with pkkg from the local apt cache. However, using Java 7 direct from Oracle, and using Java 7 from the repo, both failed to access the camera via mydlink.com. I then uninstalled the Oracle java 7, and installed the icedtea version. That works fine. It would appear that there is something wrong with firefox 26 and/or Oracle Java 7. I will pin these, and carry on. I just might clonezilla this install as of today, and then do some experimenting. When it all goes south in a cocked hat, I will be able to recover. I will let you know what I find.
Thanks, karlchen

Best regards,
Bob
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Downgrading to genuine Mozilla Firefox 25.0.1

Post by karlchen »

Option 5: Downgrading to genuine Mozilla Firefox 25.0.1

In case all other options fail for one reason or other we are still able to install the genuine Mozilla Firefox 25.0.1.

Note:
The basic approach will be this:
  • We will leave the existing Firefox 26.0 installation, got from the Ubuntu repositories, untouched.
  • We will download the genuine Mozilla Firefox 25.0.1, address here: [url=http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/25.0.1/]http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/25.0.1/[/url]
  • Firefox 25.0.1 will be installed to a different location from Firefox 26.0, i.e. to /opt/firefox for example.
  • So it will be installed in addition to Firefox 26.0. - We will simply not launch Firefox 26.0 any longer, but Firefox 25.0.1 instead.
  • The downsides of using the genuine Mozilla Firefox are that
    • Software Manager, Synaptic and apt-get will not know it has been installed. So you cannot use them to uninstall it.
    • minupdate will not know it has been installed. So it will never offer any updates for it.
Download Steps:
  1. Launch your browser and navigate to [url=http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/25.0.1/]http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/25.0.1/[/url]
  2. In case you are on Mint 32-bit, next navigate to [url=http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/25.0.1/linux-i686/]linux-i686[/url].
    In case you are on Mint 64-bit, next navigate to [url=http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/25.0.1/linux-x86_64/]linux-x86_64[/url].
    In case you do not know whether you are on Mint 32-bit or on Mint 64-bit, open a terminal window and execute

    Code: Select all

    uname -a
    If you see "i686" at the end, then it is Mint 32-bit. If you see "x86_64" at the end, then it is Mint 64-bit.
  3. Next locate the subfolder that corresponds to the localized version that you want. I will go to the subfolder [url=http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/25.0.1/linux-i686/de/]de[/url] like "German". Your choice may be different.
  4. download the Firefox .tar.bz2 archive file: firefox-25.0.1.tar.bz2-
    Note: you cannot tell 32-bit and 64-bit edition apart from the archive filename.
  5. Save the download file to your local Downloads folder: ~/Downloads.
  6. In case your Firefox 26.0 is currently open, please, close it now.
Installation Steps (Single User Installation):
Provided you are the only user on the system, the following steps will be sufficient to install Firefox 25.0.1 for you personally. You can perform all steps without changing to the root account:
  1. Launch your file-manager and navigate to the Downloads folder.
  2. Right-click on the download file firefox-25.0.1.tar.bz2 and select to "Open with Archive Manager".
  3. After a few seconds the archive manager window will display the foldername "firefox".
  4. Click on the button [Extract].
  5. As the target folder simply select your home folder.
  6. Click [Extract] again.
  7. Once the extracting process has finished click [Close] and terminate the archive manager.
  8. Do not launch Firefox 25.0.1, yet, unless you are particularly keen on watching your Firefox 25.0.1 automatically update itself to 26.0 right after being launched!
    Instead in your file manager make sure it will display "hidden objects" by clicking on "View" => "Hidden Files".
    Navigate to the folder ~/.mozilla. Navigate to the subfolder firefox. In side this folder there will be a subfolder with a strange looking name and the extension .default. Open this folder. (Here its name is mwad0hks.default.)
  9. Locate the file prefs.js. Right-click it and select "Open with text editor".
  10. Search for an entry named "user_pref("app.update.auto", abcd);". Make sure it reads "user_pref("app.update.auto", false);" If such an entry does not exist, add it Save prefs.js and quite the editor.
  11. Navigate to the Firefox programme folder, i.e. ~/firefox.
    Launch Firefox by double-clicking on the executable file named firefox.
    Firefox 25.0.1 should come up without any hassle.
  12. If it does you may wish to create a menu entry for it in the Mint Menu.
    Use your file-manager and copy the file /usr/share/applications/firefox.desktop to the folder ~/.local/share/applications.
    Rename the target file to something like mozillafirefox.desktop, so that the name tells that it is for genuine Mozilla Firefox.
  13. Right click the file mozillafirefox.desktop and select "Open with ..." => "Other Application ..." => "Text Editor".
  14. Inside the text editor, locate all lines that starts with "Exec=firefox" and change them to read

    Code: Select all

    Exec=/home/your_name/firefox/firefox
    . Leave everything after the word firefox as it is.
    You may also like to change the name that the Menu will display for your menu item, by changing any occurences of "Firefox" (capital F!) by "Mozilla Firefox". Pay attention to search case-sensitive!
    Save the file. Close the editor.
  15. If it is still running close Firefox 25.0.1. Else the next step will not work.
  16. If you navigate in the Mint Menu to the menu "Internet" it should hold an additional item labelled "Mozilla Firefox". Clicking this item should launch Firefox 25.0.1 without hassle.
    Note:
    The original Firefox icons in the favourites list or in the bottom panel still point to Firefox 26.0. So you may like to change them, too, later on.

Installation Steps (Systemwide Installation):
Provided you want to or you have to perform a systemwide installation of Firefox 25.0.1 because it will be used by several users, in this case proceed like this:
  1. Follow the steps 1. to 11. in the previous section titled "Installation Steps (Single User Installation)".
  2. Then coninue here: If it is still open, close Firefox 25.0.1.
  3. Open a terminal window and navigate to the folder /opt.

    Code: Select all

    cd /opt
  4. Move the complete Firefox foldertree here.

    Code: Select all

    sudo move /home/your_user_name/firefox .
  5. Now the folder firefox should be inside the folder /opt.
  6. Give away the complete folder content to root.

    Code: Select all

    sudo chown -R root:root /opt/firefox
  7. Make sure thatFirefox 25.0.1 still launches fine.

    Code: Select all

    /opt/firefox/firefox
  8. Close Firefox 25.0.1 again.
  9. You may wish to create a menu entry for Firefox in the Mint Menu.

    Code: Select all

    cd /usr/share/applications
    cp firefox.desktop mozillafirefox.desktop
  10. Edit the new .desktop file with root privileges.

    Code: Select all

    gksu gedit mozillafirefox.desktop
  11. Inside the editor, locate all lines that starts with "Exec=firefox" and change them to read

    Code: Select all

    Exec=/opt/firefox/firefox
    . Leave everything after the word firefox as it is.
    You may also like to change the name that the Menu will display for your menu item, by changing any occurences of "Firefox" (capital F!) by "Mozilla Firefox". Pay attention to search case-sensitive!
    Save the file. Close the editor.
  12. If you navigate in the Mint Menu to the menu "Internet" it should hold an additional item labelled "Mozilla Firefox". Clicking this item should launch Firefox 25.0.1 without hassle.
    Note:
    The original Firefox icons in the favourites list or in the bottom panel still point to Firefox 26.0. So you may like to change them, too, later on.
Hope I have not missed anything.
If you find any mistake, feel free to let me know so I can correct it.

Kind regards,
Karl
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Re: Downgrading to Firefox 25

Post by Minterator »

Thank you! Two questions:

Why would Firefox 25.0.1 auto-update itself as soon as it's launched? Is that a Linux thing or a Firefox peculiarity?

~/.mozilla/firefox/mwad0hks.default is the profile directory for the existing Mint Firefox 26. Why would changing prefs.js in that directory affect Firefox 25.0.1 which is installed in some other arbitrary directory?
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Re: Downgrading to Firefox 25

Post by unprinted »

Thank you for this - I had noticed that 25.0.1 had disappeared from the repositories* and, while I knew of the .bz2 option, I didn't want to try and make it work by myself.

For me, Firefox 25.0 was a buggy pile of poo. It crashed more times than any other version of Firefox I have used since Mozilla started calling it that. 25.0.1 fixed it, and I can't remember any problems.

Firefox 26.0 has turned out to be even worse than 25.0 - it has crashed on me at least three times today, once with only one tab active - and I am not happy. It would be lovely to have the time to see if it is a plugin problem, but they have all worked fine for ages, including with 25.0.1, and none of them are obscure.

I really wish I had not 'upgraded' (there weren't any big security fixes this time from memory) and given the problems I have been having, I expected a 26.0.1 release to happen really quickly.

* Why dear Ubuntu, WHY??? given how many other old versions there are there.
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Re: Downgrading to Firefox 25

Post by robert-e »

As promisted, a quick update. I did clone the install, and experimented with java. No luck. Ended up with Firefox 25.01 and Icedtea. Pinned Firefox in Synaptic and Apt; done fritzing about for a while... lol
BTW, I reinstalled firefox 25.01 from the cached .deb using Gdebi.

Regards,
Bob
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Re: Downgrading to Firefox 25

Post by unprinted »

unprinted wrote:It would be lovely to have the time to see if it is a plugin problem, but they have all worked fine for ages, including with 25.0.1, and none of them are obscure.
Looking, another user on the same PC has similar problems with 26.0 (and had them with 25.0) and the only plugins we have in common are...

AdBlock Plus - if this were the problem, I'd expect huge numbers of people to be up in arms, regardless of OS.

FlashBlock - smaller numbers, but same thing.

Stylish - ah, is it this, which is installed for some unknown reason by LinuxMint? I don't actually use Stylish and it is noticeable that I don't have these problems when I use Xbuntu on a netbook.
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Flemur
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Re: Downgrading to Firefox 25

Post by Flemur »

I'm using FF26 from
https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org ... /releases/
and didn't have to fool around with anything to keep the menus working.

I've also deleted the files for "stylish", the non-US English languages, the mint search plugin, and /etc/firefox*, which might be why I haven't had any problems with FF26 (except I don't like some of their new GUI, e.g. download window, search-on-page behavior...).

My FF install was in /usr/lib, NOT /opt. Never touched anything in /opt. (Mint 16 Xfce)

Either just extract the archive file into /usr/lib/firefox, or delete everything there first except firefox.sh, and then extract into it. (make sure you have /usr/lib/firefox/files, and not /usr/lib/firefox/firefox/files):
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p ... 90#p809090

Another note: I froze the FF version in synaptic so it doesn't try to upgrade.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
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