How to install Firefox on Endless OS 3

Update: This script is no longer available/supported. We now support Firefox installation directly from the app center.


Announcing the Firefox for Endless OS 3 script

In addition to the Google Chrome script that we announced yesterday, we now have a script that you may use to download and configure Firefox to run on Endless OS 3. This will allow you to access Adobe Flash and Oracle Java content using the Firefox browser.

You might also want to install Firefox for an open source browser experience that includes audio and video codecs that we are unable to license with our free version of Chromium (the default “Internet” browser on the Endless desktop). You can use Firefox for websites that require Java support, which is no longer available in newer versions of Chromium or Google Chrome.

Note that some Digital Rights Management (DRM) sites like Netflix are not currently supported in Firefox. Also, note that the version of Flash provided by Adobe for Firefox is much older than that which is supported in Chromium and Google Chrome, so some Flash sites may not be supported. For a newer version of Flash, you should consider using Chromium, the default “Internet” browser that comes with Endless OS, or Google Chrome.

We are working on making a Firefox app available from our App Center, which would allow you to download and install Firefox with one click, as well as get regular updates. We hope to make that available in a near-future release of Endless OS, and in the meantime, any Endless OS 3.x user may use commands in the terminal to download and install Firefox.

How to use the Firefox for Endless 3 Script

First open a terminal window by typing “terminal” on the desktop global search. Then, enter the following command line:

rm -f eos-install-firefox && wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/endlessm/eos-customer-support/master/eos-install-firefox && chmod +x eos-install-firefox && ./eos-install-firefox

Or you can enter the commands one line at a time if you prefer:

rm -f eos-install-firefox

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/endlessm/eos-customer-support/master/eos-install-firefox

chmod +x eos-install-firefox

./eos-install-firefox

At any time, if you want to update to a newer version of Firefox (or its Flash or Java plugins), simply repeat the steps above.

Caution, Java has security issues

Please note that using Java in the browser can have security risks. Due to these risks, Java is blocked by default unless you explicitly activate the plugin for a particular site via a pop-up dialog. Some websites may require more explicit exceptions in the security policy.

If you have trouble running Java on a particular site, try running the following command line in the terminal:

~/.local/share/eos-third-party-apps/firefox/jre*/bin/ControlPanel

Then, edit the Exception Site List by adding the website URL to the list.

### That's it! Have fun using Firefox on your Endless OS 3 device - let us know how it goes.

For the technically curious, feel free to examine the eos-install-firefox script to see exactly what we are doing. In summary, we download the latest version of Firefox from Mozilla, the latest Java run-time from Oracle, and the latest Flash plugin from Adobe, and unpack them into a directory on the user’s home (~/.local/share/eos-third-party-apps/firefox). We link the plugins into the ~/.mozilla/plugins directory so they are loaded when Firefox is launched, and add the launcher icon to the desktop.

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Starting with Endless OS 3.1.2, we now have a downloader/updater for Firefox integrated into the App Center. If you are on an older 3.x version of the OS, you would need to update the OS first, and then after rebooting you should see Firefox in the app center under the “Utilities” category. You might need to refresh (circular arrow) on the “Updates” tab first.

If you previously installed via the eos-install-firefox script, you can remove that version with the following command:

rm -rf ~/.local/share/eos-third-party-apps/firefox && rm -f ~/.local/share/applications/firefox.desktop

Your personal Firefox settings (cookies, shortcuts, etc.) are saved in a separate directory, so they will not be lost when upgrading.

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Adobe recently brought their Flash plugin for Firefox up to a modern version, and today we published an update to the version of Firefox that upgrades Flash from v11,2,202,644 to v24,0,0,221. If you use Flash in Firefox, I highly recommend that you update to the latest version of Firefox available in the app center.

Roddy

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Definitely agree with the choice to set Java as off in the browser by default.

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Nuritz Thanks so much for this script and the one for Chrome. GREAT WORK !!! We now have the ability to have all of our college courses to play. The Endless OS Corrections Pilot now has 11 college courses. We greatly appreciate the team effort that is helping education in prisons.

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@Frank1 Please note that we now support Chrome and Firefox via the app center, which is currently the recommended way to install (and update) these browsers (and their plugins).

Roddy

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@roddy
Como desinstalo o flash no Mozilla Firefox?

Thanks for the information - I will share it with my peers using Endless in
corrections.

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@LeandroStanger We don’t officially support uninstalling Flash. While you could track down the file (~/.var/app/org.mozilla.Firefox/data/firefox-plugins/flash/libflashplayer.so) and remove it, the app launcher would automatically try to re-download it when there is an update available. Instead, I’d recommend disabling flash from within Firefox by browsing to about:addons and changing “Shockwave Flash” from “Always Activate” to “Never Activate”:

@roddy
Não funcionou
eos-diagnostic-170413_075758_UTC-0300.txt (341,7 KB)

@LeandroStanger I’m not sure what the problem is that you are seeing.

In your diagnostic log, I see that the latest Flash version was downloaded:

Abr 13 07:46:51 endless eos-shell.desktop[1384]: Flash plugin is not installed or might be too old. Checking for a new version
Abr 13 07:46:51 endless eos-shell.desktop[1384]: --2017-04-13 07:46:51--  https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/abacadaba/flashplugin-x86_64.lkgv
Abr 13 07:46:52 endless eos-shell.desktop[1384]: Resolvendo s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com (s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com)... 52.218.160.8
Abr 13 07:46:52 endless eos-shell.desktop[1384]: Conectando-se a s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com (s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com)|52.218.160.8|:443... conectado.
Abr 13 07:46:53 endless eos-shell.desktop[1384]: A requisição HTTP foi enviada, aguardando resposta... 200 OK
Abr 13 07:46:53 endless eos-shell.desktop[1384]: Tamanho: 498 [binary/octet-stream]
Abr 13 07:46:53 endless eos-shell.desktop[1384]: Salvando em: “/sysroot/home/leandrostanger/.var/app/org.mozilla.Firefox/cache/flash/flashplugin-x86_64.lkgv”
Abr 13 07:46:53 endless eos-shell.desktop[1384]:      0K                                                       100% 6,50M=0s
Abr 13 07:46:53 endless eos-shell.desktop[1384]: 2017-04-13 07:46:53 (6,50 MB/s) - “/sysroot/home/leandrostanger/.var/app/org.mozilla.Firefox/cache/flash/flashplugin-x86_64.lkgv” salvo [498/498]
Abr 13 07:46:53 endless eos-shell.desktop[1384]: A new version of Flash is available: 25.0.0.148 (Current: 25.0.0.127)
Abr 13 07:46:53 endless eos-shell.desktop[1384]: Downloading flash_player_npapi_linux.x86_64.tar.gz

And I see that you later re-launched Firefox after the new version was installed:

Abr 13 07:55:03 endless systemd[1107]: Started flatpak-org.mozilla.Firefox-3779.scope.
Abr 13 07:55:05 endless eos-shell.desktop[1384]: No need to check the Flash plugin yet (version: 25.0.0.148)

Maybe if Firefox was still running in the meantime it did not start to use the updated version of Flash. Perhaps you may want to restart the computer and try again. If you browse to http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/, you should see the animation and a note that “You have version 25,0,0,148 installed”, which as indicated on this site is the very latest version available anywhere.

I’m confused whether you are trying to deactivate Flash or trying to use it (e.g., for Facebook content). You might want to provide more details on what exactly you are trying to do (perhaps as a new topic on the Portuguese category).

Roddy

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@LeandroStanger Ah, I think I might see what you are reporting. I can reproduce the same problem if I disable Flash, restart Firefox, and then try to watch videos in Facebook. Apparently, whatever fallback path Facebook has for videos on Firefox is not working at the moment, so perhaps we are missing codecs or they are somehow not working properly. We will need to investigate further.

Roddy

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@LeandroStanger We have fixed a problem that prevented Firefox from using the video codecs that are installed on the system (in /var/lib/codecs). That said, you do need the paid codecs in order to play H.264 videos in Firefox, which are included with the purchase of an Endless branded computer, or can be purchased for download for $3 from https://store.endlessm.com/products/codecs. Unfortunately, these codecs have patents that require purchase of a license, so Endless is not able to distribute them for free.

So, to be clear, what happens with Facebook videos is that Facebook tries to use H.264. If that is not supported, it falls back to trying to use Flash. But, if Flash is disabled, then you get the error message you saw. It would be nice if Facebook used an open technology like WebM that does not have any patent license restrictions, but in the meantime you need either H.264 licensed codecs or Flash to play videos in Facebook.

Roddy

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It no longer works.
There is something wrong with the oracle’s URL

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Thanks for the report, @Guilherme_Willian.

To be clear, the script is no longer supported, and I’ll remove it.

That said, I just tested installing Firefox from the app center, and I see that the Java plugin is not installed due to the Oracle URL issue. We’ll investigate that and hopefully have a fix soon. In the meantime, though, the Firefox installation proceeds fine without the Java plugin.

Roddy

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Oh, I forgot to mention, but we did update the Java plugin URL this past week, so if you need that functionality in Firefox and are missing it, I’d recommend updating Firefox via the app center.

Roddy

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