Archives For November 30, 1999

This simple tutorial shows how to install the Waterfox web browser from its official tarball & create app shortcut in Ubuntu Linux.

Waterfox is a free open-source fork of Firefox, claims to be ethical and user-centric, emphasizing performance and privacy.

The browser provides official Linux package through the portable tarball package, though a community maintained Flatpak package is also available to run it in sandbox.

Step 1: Download Waterfox Tarball

To download the package, simply go to its website via the link button below and click the “Download” button:

Once you got the package, just extract it, and run the executable file (waterfox or waterfox-bin) in the new generated folder, will launch the web browser.

Extract, and Launch Waterfox web browser

Step 2: Create App Shortcut for Waterfox

If you want to make the app icon visible in the ‘Activities’ overview search result (or application/start menu depends on your desktop environment), then follow the steps below to create app shortcut for it.

1. Move the source folder

Before creating app shortcut, it’s better to move the ‘waterfox’ folder for long time use.

For current user only, you may put the folder to anywhere in your user home. I usually create a custom folder in user home (e.g., bin, apps) or put portable apps into .local (it’s hidden, press Ctrl+H to view/hide).

In the screenshot below, I moved the waterfox folder into the custom “MyApps”  folder:

For global, it’s good choice to move the folder to “/opt“, so all users in the system can launch the web browser.

In the case, right-click on blank area of the folder that contains “waterfox” sub-folder, and click “Open in Terminal”. In pop-up terminal, run command to move or copy it to opt:

sudo cp -R waterfox /opt

2. Create App Shortcut

In most Linux, the app shortcuts are handled by .desktop files located in either /usr/share/applications or .local/share/applications.

First, search for and launch your system text editor from overview or application menu depends on your DE:

When it opens with an empty document, paste following lines:

[Desktop Entry]
Version=1.0
Name=Waterfox Web Browser
Comment=Browse the World Wide Web
GenericName=Web Browser
Keywords=Internet;WWW;Browser;Web;Explorer
Exec=/home/ji/MyApps/waterfox/waterfox %u
Terminal=false
X-MultipleArgs=false
Type=Application
Icon=/home/ji/MyApps/waterfox/browser/chrome/icons/default/default128.png
Categories=GNOME;GTK;Network;WebBrowser;
MimeType=text/html;text/xml;application/xhtml+xml;application/xml;application/rss+xml;application/rdf+xml;image/gif;image/jpeg;image/png;x-scheme-handler/http;x-scheme-handler/https;x-scheme-handler/ftp;x-scheme-handler/chrome;video/webm;application/x-xpinstall;
StartupNotify=true
Actions=new-window;new-private-window;

[Desktop Action new-window]
Name=Open a New Window
Exec=/home/ji/MyApps/waterfox/waterfox -new-window

[Desktop Action new-private-window]
Name=Open a New Private Window
Exec=/home/ji/MyApps/waterfox/waterfox -private-window

Depends on where you moved the ‘waterfox’ folder, change the value of “Exec” and “Icon” accordingly! Meaning replace /home/ji/MyApps to yours.

When done pasting file content and changing Exec/Icon path, press Shift+Ctrl+S to open the “Save as” dialog. Then, do:

  • press Ctrl+H to show hidden folders in the pop-up dialog.
  • navigate to home -> .local -> share -> applications. Create ‘applications’ if it does not exist.
  • type waterfox.desktop as the file name.
  • finally click Save button.

If you did the previous steps correctly, it should now show ‘waterfox’ icon in the start/application menu or ‘Activities’ overview depends on your desktop environment.

Uninstall Waterfox

To uninstall the web browser installed via the previous steps, first remove the ‘waterfox’ folder depends on where you saved it. Then, remove the waterfox.desktop file from .local/share/applications.

Can’t wait to try out the new Thunderbird 115, but hate Snap and Flatpak packages? Here’s how to install it from Ubuntu PPA!

Thunderbird 115 is a new major release series with refined look and feel. It now uses GNOME CSD style header bar instead of the old title-bar. Which has a more compact header bar, that looks better in Ubuntu, Fedora, and other Linux with GNOME.

As well, it provides menu options to change the header-bar height to meet your need.

Besides the headerbar, menu, tool-bar, etc, are also redesigned to look better in today’s Linux desktop. As well, it takes use the new logo announced few months ago. See more about Thunderbird 115.

How to Install Thunderbird 115 via PPA

Ubuntu is most likely to build the new Thunderbird 115 package into system repository! Check this page for Ubuntu’s official package status.

Before that, user can easily search for and install Thunderbird Snap package from Ubuntu Software. Or, install the Flatpak package in Flathub repository. However, both are running in sandbox and support 64-bit X86 CPU architecture type only.

If you hate sandboxed applications, and/or running Ubuntu on ARM devices (e.g., Apple M1/M2, Raspberry Pi) or IBM POWER platform, then, there are Ubuntu PPAs for choice.

1. Add Ubuntu PPA

The Mozilla Team PPA has already built the packages for Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 22.04, Ubuntu 23.04, and Ubuntu 23.10

First, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/ppa

Type user password (no asterisk feedback) when it asks and hit Enter to continue

2. Install/Update Thunderbird

After adding the PPA, simply launch “Software Updater” and wait for checking for updates. Until done, install the updates to install Thunderbird 115.

Or, just run command in terminal to install/update the package:

sudo apt install thunderbird

Linux Mint user need to run sudo apt update first to refresh package cache.

After installation, search for and launch the email client from ‘Activities’ overview or start menu depends on your desktop environment.

Uninstall Thunderbird.

If you have problem with the new release package, or Ubuntu updated the package in its official repository, then you can purge the Ubuntu PPA to switch back the stock version of Thunderbird package.

To do so, just open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command:

sudo apt install ppa-purge && sudo ppa-purge ppa:mozillateam/ppa

If the command above failed, you may manually remove the PPA by running command:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:mozillateam/ppa

Then, remove the Thunderbird package installed from that PPA:

sudo apt remove --autoremove thunderbird

This simple tutorial shows how to install brave browser via the new apt source policy in Ubuntu 23.04 & 22.04.

Due to security issue, Debian changed its policy for adding apt sources. Ubuntu is changing the rules too. Since Ubuntu 22.04, it uses more secure key files with digital signature for system repositories and PPAs.

In Ubuntu 23.10 (in development at the moment),  it now uses deb822 .sources file instead of the previous .list file for third-party repositories. And, the new source files include ‘Signed-by’ section to specify the key file.

Step 1: Install curl command line download tool

First, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run command to install curl and apt-transport-https package:

sudo apt install apt-transport-https curl

Type user password (no asterisk feedback) when it asks.

Step 2: Download & Install the key

Then, run curl command to download the key file and save it into /usr/share/keyrings folder.

This can be done by running the single command below in terminal:

sudo curl -fsSLo /usr/share/keyrings/brave-browser-archive-keyring.gpg https://brave-browser-apt-release.s3.brave.com/brave-browser-archive-keyring.gpg

Step 3: Add the brave apt source repository

The previous .list file with or without ‘Signed-By’ is still working! But here I’m going to show the new .sources file.

1. First, run command to create a .sources file under ‘/etc/apt/sources.list.d’:

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list.d/brave-browser-release.sources

Replace gedit with gnome-text-editor for Ubuntu 23.04 and higher.

2. Then in the pop-up text editor window, paste following lines:

Types: deb
URIs: https://brave-browser-apt-release.s3.brave.com/
Suites: stable
Components: main
Architectures: amd64
Signed-By: /usr/share/keyrings/brave-browser-archive-keyring.gpg

As you see, the new source file is easy to read, but a bit hard to write for beginners. See this thread for more about it.

Step 4: Update cache & install Brave Browser

After saving the file in last step, you can now run commands below to refresh the system package cache:

sudo apt update

And, finally install the web browser via command:

sudo apt install brave-browser

You don’t have to run the command every time when a new release is out. Just launch “Software Updater”, newer release of the browser package will be available there along with system package updates.

Uninstall Brave:

To remove brave browser package, open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command:

sudo apt remove --autoremove brave-browser

And remove the apt source repository by running command:

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/brave-browser-release.list

Also remove the key file via command:

sudo rm /usr/share/keyrings/brave-browser-archive-keyring.gpg

Finally, run sudo apt update to refresh system package index.

PHP finally released 8.2.0 release after 7 release candidates. Here are the new features and how to install guide for all current Ubuntu LTS.

PHP 8.2.0 allows to mark a class as readonly, which will add the readonly modifier to every declared property, and prevent the creation of dynamic properties. Moreover, using the AllowDynamicProperties attribute on readonly class will trigger a compile-time error.

Other release highlights in PHP 8.2.0 include:

  • Disjunctive Normal Form (DNF) Types
  • New stand-alone types: null, false, and true
  • New “Random” extension
  • Constants in traits
  • Deprecate dynamic properties

There are as well numerous bug-fixes and other changes in the release. See the changelog for details.

How to Install Php 8.2 in Ubuntu:

Not recommended for beginners. Only install PHP 8.2 for web developing purpose or there’s specific feature or bug-fix you need in this release.

The popular Ondřej Surý’s PPA has built the package for all current Ubuntu LTS: Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 22.04.

1. First, open terminal or connect to your Ubuntu server and run command to add the PPA:

LC_ALL=C.UTF-8 sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

Run sudo apt install software-properties-common in case the command does not exist. And, type user password (no asterisk feedback) when it asks and hit Enter to continue.

2. Then, install Php packages accordingly. For example, install apache2 module and mysql module via command:

sudo apt install php8.2 libapache2-mod-php8.2 php8.2-mysql

Or install the FPM-CGI binary for use with Nginx:

sudo apt install php8.2 php8.2-fpm php8.2-mysql

For Ubuntu 18.04, run sudo apt update first to refresh package cache.

After installed it, remember to configure your http server (apache 2 or nginx) for the new PHP package, and configure php8.2 via files under ‘/etc/php/8.2/’.

Uninstall Php 8.2

To remove the package, simply run command:

sudo apt remove --autoremove php8.2 libapache2-mod-php8.2 php8.2-*

And remove the Ubuntu PPA via command:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:ondrej/php

Remember Midori? The lightweight web browser that was default in Elementary OS and Bodhi Linux revived!

Midori was a popular lightweight web browser used the WebKitGTK rendering engine and GTK UI toolkit. The development of the project was however discontinued more than 3 years ago. And, Ubuntu even removed it from system repository since Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

According to the Wikipedia, the Midori project has been merged with the Astian Foundation in 2019. And, Astian announced a week ago that Midori browser is still alive!

It’s now Chromium based web browser that using Electron and React with both desktop edition for Linux, macOS, and Windows, and mobile edition for Android.

The browser still aims to be lightweight, fast and free. It’s still an open-source app, with the source code host in gitlab project page. (update: the project page does no longer exist! If you know where Astian hosts the source code, please leave comment below.)

Midori web browser next generation

The new Midori browser so far features:

  • New logo.
  • Adblock integration, block ads out-of-the-box.
  • Incognito mode support.
  • Chromium based, without Google services and low resources usage
  • Fast and highly customizable UI.
  • Partial Chrome extensions support.
  • To use its own open-source AstianGO search engine. Though, it so far uses DuckDuckGo as default. While Google, Bing, and Ecosia available for choice.

How to Install New Midori web browser in Ubuntu & other Linux

Astian offers official Midori packages for Linux through AppImage and .deb package.

Option 1: AppImage

AppImage is a portable package format without installation required. Just select download it from its website:

Then, right-click on AppImage in file manager. Open ‘Properties’ dialog and grant ‘execute as program’ permission. Finally, click run the package to launch the web browser.

Option 2: Deb package

It also provides official .deb packages for modern 64-bit computers, available to download via the link button below:

NOTE: The Debian (.deb) package seems broken at the moment of writing. It won’t install in my case in Ubuntu 22.04, Debian 11 either via double-clicking or using apt install command. So please try AppImage until Astian fixed the issue.

A new monthly release of Firefox web browser to be released soon! Users of Mozilla team PPA should already received the updates.

Though it’s not officially announced at the moment of writing, user can however check what’s new in the release via the Github Releases page.

And, here are the changes in Firefox 107 according to it:

  • Improved the performance of the instance when Microsoft’s IME and Defender retrieve the URL of a focused document in Windows 11 version 22H2.
  • Power profiling visualizing performance data recorded from web browsers is now also supported on Linux and Mac with Intel CPUs, in addition to Windows 11 and Apple Silicon.
  • A couple of helpful improvements in Firefox DevTools making it easier to debug WebExtensions:
    • New webext argument to automatically open DevTools.
    • Simple to inspect popup windows (implemented by WebExtension) using DevTools.
    • Reload button in the DevTools toolbox to see the changes you made in source code.
  • Various bug fixes and new policies implemented.

How to Install Firefox 107 in Ubuntu:

The best way to install the new Firefox release package is just wait! Wait until Ubuntu developer team build the package and publish into official system repository. So, just keep your system up-to-date, you’ll get Firefox 107 in next few days!

For Ubuntu 22.04 and Ubuntu 22.10 users who prefer the classic .deb package, the 107 release is already available in the Mozillateam PPA. Simply open terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard, and run commands below one by one:

NOTE: This PPA now supports all current Ubuntu releases, meaning Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 20.04 are also supported.

  • 1. Add the Mozillateam PPA by running command:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/ppa
  • 2. Check updates for old Ubuntu releases:
    sudo apt update
  • 3. Finally, install Firefox from the PPA via command:
    sudo apt install -t "o=LP-PPA-mozillateam" firefox

IMPORTANT: to avoid Ubuntu 22.04+ to override the PPA package with system built-in Snap package, you have to create a config file under ‘/etc/apt/preferences.d’, and write following rules (See this guide for details):

# Prefer Firefox package from Mozillateam PPA

Package: firefox*
Pin: release o=LP-PPA-mozillateam
Pin-Priority: 501

Mozilla Firefox got a new monthly update recently, with minor new features, performance improvements and some bug-fixes.

According to the release note, Firefox 104 adds one more video site, Disney+, for displaying subtitles in the pop-out videos (Picture-in-Picture).

Disneyplus.com in Firefox dark

When the browser is minimized or occluded, and for background tabs, the UI will now be throttled for better performance and battery usage. And, paste unformatted shortcut now works again in plain text contexts, such as input and text area.

Other changes in Firefox 104 include:

  • Support scroll-snap-stop and re-snapping properties for developers.
  • The Firefox profiler web app can analyze power usage of a website (Windows 11 and macOS only).
  • Highlight color preserved correctly in the mail composer of Yahoo Mail and Outlook.
  • Various security fixes and new policies

How to get Firefox 104:

For Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 20.04, Firefox 104 has already made into official repositories, simply launch Software Updater and install the updates to get it.

For Ubuntu 22.04 with pre-installed Firefox as Snap, you should now have v104. To verify, go to hamburger menu -> Help -> About Firefox.

For Ubuntu 22.04 users hate snap package, as well as old Ubuntu 16.04, the Mozilla Team PPA maintains the latest packages. See this step by step how to install guide.

The Chromium browser package (Snap version) in Ubuntu Software is missing VAAPI hardware decoding support. Ubuntu developer team is finally working on get the feature back!

As you may know, Ubuntu now includes the chromium web browser in the system repository as Snap package that runs in sandbox. However, the package is missing the graphics hardware acceleration since version 72 which was released a few years ago in 2019.

Some third-party PPAs are being maintained with Chromium packages, either due to lack of hardware acceleration or just because they don’t like Snap.

For Chromium fans who are OK with the Snap package, you can now help testing the new hwacc build that uses the graphics card for video playback.

Install Chromium from test repository:

1.) Firstly, backup your bookmark, password etc if you’re running Chromium as Snap.

2.) Press Ctrl + Alt + T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run command to remove chromium snap (if any) via command:

sudo snap remove chromium

3.) Next, install the testing build with hardware acceleration support by running command:

sudo snap install --channel candidate/hwacc chromium

Verify if hardware acceleration works:

The report page recommends to run the command below to launch chromium browser:

snap run chromium --disable-features=UseChromeOSDirectVideoDecoder --enable-features=VaapiVideoDecoder

Finally, start playing a video either by drag and dropping local file into browser window, or via video website.

And, go to about:media-internals in address bar. Click what it’s playing and find out the value of “kVideoDecoderName“.

It will be {Vaapi,VDA,Mojo}VideoDecoder if succeed, or {FFMpeg,Vpx}VideoDecoder when failed.

For Intel graphics, there’s also a command line tool to verify if GPU rendering is working.

  • First, run command to install the intel-gpu-tools package:
    sudo apt install intel-gpu-tools
  • The, use command to verify:
    sudo intel_gpu_top

In my case, the previous command did’t work in both i3-6006U and i5-10400 with integrated graphics card, but using the following command to launch Chromium works!

LIBVA_DRIVERS_PATH=/snap/chromium/current/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/dri/ chromium --use-gl=egl --enable-features=VaapiVideoDecoder,VaapiVideoEncoder --disable-features=UseChromeOSDirectVideoDecoder --ignore-gpu-blocklist --disable-gpu-driver-bug-workaround

How to Restore:

To remove the Chromium package, open terminal and run command:

sudo snap remove --purge chromium

And, install back the package (if you want) from stable channel either from Ubuntu Software or by running the command below in terminal:

sudo snap install chromium

Report in launchpad

Mozilla Firefox 102 is available to download now. See what’s new and how to install the browser package.

For Linux users, Firefox 102 now support Geoclue if available for geolocation. The release also added subtitles and captions display in Picture-in-Picture (pop-out video) for more websites, including HBO Max, Funimation, Dailymotion, Tubi, Disney+ Hotstar, and SonyLIV.

For those boring with the drop-down download panel, that automatically opens every time you start a download. User may now right-click on the download icon (before Hamburger menu button), and un-check “Show Panel When Download Begins” to disable it.

Firefox 102 is the new Extended Support Release (ESR) for enterprise and/or school use. The previous Firefox 91 ESR will end support on September 20, 2022.

Other changes in Firefox 102 include:

  • Improve PDF reading in high contrast mode
  • Filter style sheets in the Style Editor tab of our developer tools
  • Support Content-Security-Policy (CSP) integration with WebAssembly.
  • Mitigate query parameter tracking when navigating sites in ETP strict mode.
  • Improved security by moving audio decoding into a separate process with stricter sandboxing.
  • Various bug fixes and new policies

Download / Install Firefox 102:

Ubuntu will publish the new browser packages in its universe repositories. So, just keep your system up-to-date by installing updates (via Software Updater) regularly, you’ll get Firefox 102 automatically in next few days ago.

For Ubuntu 22.04 user prefer native .deb over the pre-installed Snap package, the Mozilla Team PPA has already build the package. So this how to tutorial to switch from Firefox Snap to Deb.

For the release note (not ready yet) as well as official Linux tarball, go to the link below:

Like Firefox, the Chromium web browser package in recent Ubuntu repository is just empty package that links to Snap version.

If you would like to install the classic .Deb version instead, here are 2 choices that work on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

Option 1: Use Rob Savoury’s PPA

Rob Savoury is maintaining a collections of software packages in PPAs including Chromium browser. With this unofficial PPA, you may get the the latest Chromium packages in Ubuntu 22.04 and Ubuntu 20.04.

This could be the easiest way, however, only 64-bit modern PC/laptop is supported!

1.) Add the PPA

Firstly, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open a terminal window. When it opens, run the command below to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:savoury1/chromium

Type user password (no asterisk feedback) when it asks and hit Enter to continue.

2.) Install the browser package

After adding the PPA, you can install the browser package via commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install chromium-browser

How to Uninstall:

To remove the browser package, open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command:

sudo apt remove --autoremove chromium-browser

And remove the Ubuntu PPA by launching “Software & Updates” and remove the source line from “Other Software” tab.

Remove Rob Savoury’s Chromium PPA

Option 2: Install Chromium from Ubuntu 18.04 Repository

Ubuntu 18.04 still provides the most recent Chromium .Deb package and keeps updating in its repository.

Until April 2023 (end of life date of Ubuntu 18.04), you may install the package from that repository in 64-bit and ARM64/ARMhf machines running Ubuntu 22.04.

However, the process is a little bit complicated due to change of the apt key policy. For choice, there’s a third-party PPA keeps a copy the packages for Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 22.04.

1.) Install Ubuntu 18.04 repository key:

Firstly, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run the command below get the bionic-updates repository key:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 3B4FE6ACC0B21F32

Due to change of the apt-key policy, run the command below to move the key to “/usr/share/keyrings“.

sudo mv /etc/apt/trusted.gpg /usr/share/keyrings/bionic-updates.gpg

2.) Add Ubuntu 18.04 updates repository:

Next, run the command below in terminal to create and edit repository file:

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list.d/bionic-updates.list

When file opens, paste the single line below and save it.

deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/bionic-updates.gpg] http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu bionic-updates universe

3.) Setup package priority

It’s IMPORTANT to set package priority so ONLY chromium browser package is allowed to be installed from this repository!!

Open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command below to create and edit a preference file:

sudo gedit /etc/apt/preferences.d/99bionic-updates

When the file opens, paste following lines to tell only allows chromium related packages and prevent all others!

# Prefer 'chromium-browser' package from Ubuntu 18.04 updates repository

Package: chromium-browser*
Pin: release a=bionic-updates
Pin-Priority: 501

# Prefer 'chromium-chromedriver' package from Ubuntu 18.04 updates repository

Package: chromium-chromedriver
Pin: release a=bionic-updates
Pin-Priority: 501

# Prefer 'chromium-codecs-ffmpeg' package from Ubuntu 18.04 updates repository

Package: chromium-codecs-ffmpeg*
Pin: release a=bionic-updates
Pin-Priority: 501

# Prevent all other packages from Ubuntu 18.04 repository

Package: *
Pin: release a=bionic-updates
Pin-Priority: -10

4.) Update & Install Chromium

Finally, run the apt update command to refresh package cache:

sudo apt update

And, install the browser package from Ubuntu 18.04 repository using command:

sudo apt install chromium-browser

How to Remove 18.04 Repository and Uninstall Chromium

Like the Rob Savoury’s PPA package, simply run the command below in terminal will remove the browser package:

sudo apt remove --autoremove chromium-browser

If you want to get rid of Ubuntu 18.04 repository, run the command below one by one in terminal:

  • Remove the source file:
    sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/bionic-updates.list
  • Remove the keyring:
    sudo rm /usr/share/keyrings/bionic-updates.gpg
  • And clear the priority file:
    sudo rm /etc/apt/preferences.d/99bionic-updates
  • Finally, refresh system package cache to apply changes:
    sudo apt update

Summary:

There are quite a few software sources to get the Chromium package in .Deb version. Here, the third-party Rob Savoury’s PPA could be the easiest way which however contains only 64-bit package. The old Ubuntu 18.04 repository is good choice for those need arm64/armhf package, though the support will end in April 2023.