Firefox won’t upgrade!

Firstly, apologies about the lateness of writing a new post. I’ve been struggling with my server, trying to work out why apache2 is eating RAM. I’ve made a really nasty hack to sort it out for the moment though, which will give me more time to find out what is going wrong.

One of my old friends from Church sent me an email, asking me what was wrong with his firefox. Every time he launched it, what appeared was firefox 2. Very strange, since the version of firefox he has installed is:

3.0.1+build1+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.8.04.3 - meta package for the popular mozilla web browser

Well,  that looks like the normal browser to me. At one point, he has had the “ubuntuzilla” browser installed for a little while. (But not anymore).

A couple of questions on the Ubuntu-uk mailing list didn’t turn up anything. So, I asked “how do you find what binary a command runs”? The answer came back from Matthew Wild (thanks!):

ls -l $(which firefox)

I cheated a little. I’ve not come across $(command), but I have come across `command`. So, I asked my friend to run “ls -l `which firefox`”. He replied with:

lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 20 2008-02-09 17:16 /usr/bin/firefox -> /opt/firefox/firefox

Er.. that looks wrong to me. The packaged firefox binary for version 3 is in /usr/bin/firefox-3.0. Looks like the uninstall of ubuntuzilla didn’t go so well. I asked him to run:

"rm /usr/bin/firefox && ln -s /usr/bin/firefox-3.0 /usr/bin/firefox"

Which removed the old link, and added the correct one. (I should have asked him to run those commands through sudo thinking about it..)

That solved his issue and he’s now happily running firefox 3. Anyone have a better way to implement this fix, if we ever need it again?

Matthew kindly explained the difference between “$(command)” and “`command`” in earlier today. No difference 🙂

$(command) is easier to send to people so they don’t have to find the backtick key. (UK keyboards, above the tab key)

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