Updating Ubuntu for OpenOffice and FireFox

by Tom Adelstein

Related link: http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/53395/index.html

Ubuntu hasn't backported Openoffice.org 2.0 or FireFox 1.5 and it's an annoyance. This article tells you how to do it yourself.

My days of trying and writing reviews for every Linux distribution have slowed. I'm currently using Ubuntu 5.10 and I'm fairly happy with it. Spending most of my days as editor-in-chief of a popular news site, writing a system administrative book under contract and keeping up with a free lance writing career doesn't give me much time to play these days.

I had already installed FireFox 1.5 but it wouldn't upgrade. We have several computers here and I noticed how quickly SUSE 10 got their upgrade out. So, I knew someone had to know something I didn't.

I went to the Ubuntu Wiki and found an article by Ben Scholl. Ben had updated it yesterday. So, I landed on the site at the best time. His howto called FirefoxNewVersion really helped. It entails downloading the FireFox tar.gz from Mozilla.

The main thing I got out of the article was how to enable FireFox's own updating to work. Ben wrote: "This is the only way to get update notification working, but doing this has security implications in a multi-user environment." I didn't have that concern and I wanted to get 1.501 which supposedly has the memory leak fixed. I wound up reinstalling the new Firefox from Mozilla and by just following Ben's instructions, got it working fine.

Next, OOo 2.

The Ubuntu folks say: "The latest versions of K/Ubuntu came with very, very late betas of OpenOffice.org 2, but since then OOo came out of beta, but K/Ubuntu hasn't been updated".

That's fine. Scott Granneman wrote a nice Howto in his blog. I want to thank him personally for doing that.

Scott wrote:

Fortunately, in open source fashion, one Ubuntu user has compiled OOo2 & made it available for users to download. I'm using it, & things work just fine.

Click the link above or following his simple instructions:

To upgrade your OOo2, you need to edit your /etc/apt/sources.list file, AKA your repository list if you use Synaptic. I use the command line, so I first ran this:

sudo vim /etc/apt/sources.list

Then I added this line:

deb http://people.ubuntu.com/~doko/OOo2 ./

I saved, closed the file, & then ran the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

APT wanted to update OOo2, so I told it to go ahead. A bit later, I had the latest & greatest OOo2 running on my Kubuntu machine. Beautiful.

There you have it. I've noticed a significant increase in performance with the browser. I'm glad I upgraded to the new version. Also, I can tell a difference in the performance of my word processor. I just seems to run smoother.

I generally say if it ain't broke don't fix it. But in this case, I'd prefer Ubuntu to put these two applications in their update manager and be done with it.

I really shouldn't complain. The price was right eh.