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:: Running Firefox on Ubuntu

Since i’ve been reading a number of folks voicing complaint about how slow Firefox is under Linux, i figured folks are having a hard time figuring out the right version to run on Linux, or at least under Ubuntu.

i run Firefox 3.5, which is not the stock that Canonical provides at this time. It’s not the “firefox” you find under synaptic or your stock package manager of choice. It’s labeled as “firefox-3.5” in mine and involves a bit more setup than the stock install.

First things first. Well, first thing is to make sure you’ve got “universe” active in your Software. Once that’s done,

sudo apt-get install firefox-3.5 firefox-3.5-branding

Once it’s installed, you may need to perform a bit of system surgery.

sudo ln -s /usr/bin/firefox-3.5 /usr/bin/firefox

This should allow programs that may be hotwired to look for “firefox” to point to the right location.

You’ll note a few minor differences between this version and firefox. One of the bigger is that it’s called Shiretoko. The other is that it’s a helluva lot faster. There are a number of reasons for that, particularly on my install.

Currently, i only have the following extensions installed:
Adblock Plus
Firebug
Flashblock
Flixo (my Netflix API crawler)
Greasemonkey (very limited number of scripts here too)
Sage
and Weave 0.5

i regularly remove extensions i don’t actively use (about once a month). i also try not to run anything that acts on every page. Even Adblocker only runs on a very small set of sites. Like anything else, the more complicated you make something, the more it has to do and the more it slows down.

i also run an NVidia GeForce 9800 card on a dual core AMD 64 5200 with 3GB of memory if you’re into those sorts of details. i’m also on a DSL link that’s currently coming up as 2332 Kbs / 418 Kbs according to DSLReports.com. Page loads for normal layout pages are well within the 1-2 second range with my blog’s top page completely loading in around 5 seconds. (Main section display happens in under one second, with cache turned off.) Chrome (on the laptop running Vista and in a VirtualBox on my main machine running XP) display in about the same time as my install of 3.5.

i’m not sure where folks are seeing Firefox as being so damn slow. My install sure as hell isn’t.

Ok, i found a link to the Debian packages for Google Chrome, which means i can install the binary under Ubuntu. i’m able to compare them side by side.

Still not seeing a huge speed difference between them. Heck, even with the extensions i list above still active. Now i’m REALLY confused about why folks are seeing slowness.

(and i’ve got to go chase down where-ever chrome decides to stuff info like bookmarks and form data so i can toss that on the TrueCrypt drive…)

Blogs of note
personal Christopher Conlin USMC memoirs of hydrogen guy rhapsodic.org Henriette's Herbal Blog
geek ultramookie

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