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Ubuntuzilla FAQ

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What's this?

This is the Frequently Asked Questions page for the Ubuntuzilla project. Many common questions and problems are addressed here - so if you run into any issues, this is the first place to look.

Now, on to the questions.

[Thunderbird, Firefox] Older version showing up in Synaptic and Update Manager. What do I do?

This is expected behavior: Ubuntuzilla installs the latest release in parallel to the repositories version, so they coexist side by side without interference. Go ahead and carry out the upgrade when one is offered, your default software is still going to be the latest official Mozilla build, as installed by Ubuntuzilla.

[Thunderbird, Firefox] Why doesn't Ubuntu just release the latest versions in the official repositories?

That's because it would be a fairly big job. These packages depend on a bunch of other libraries, so upgrading say, Firefox, from 1.5 to 2.x would necessitate also upgrading those libraries, and the software that also depends on them, and testing all of this for bugs, regressions, and other nasties. It may involve as many as several hundred packages that would need to be upgraded and tested. Given that newer versions get released with new Ubuntu releases, going through all this effort is not deemed justifiable.

[Thunderbird, Firefox] What to do if the localizations list is empty

This may be due to an intermittent network problem, or to automatic mirror selection at ftp.mozilla.org. Please try the following steps, in order:

  • Run the script again, and see if the localizations list shows up this time
  • If the previous step doesn't do it: run the script again, this time with an extra '-d' option, to get some extra debug output, e.g.:
ubuntuzilla.py -a install -p firefox -d
then copy all output (starting from your initial command, to the point where it fails to show a localization list), and post a help request message on our forums with the complete output pasted in.

[Thunderbird] Help on multiple profiles

If when installing Thunderbird you are running into the "select which of the two profiles you want to use" situation, the following information may help you decide.

The Ubuntu repositories version of Thunderbird stores its profile in ~/.mozilla-thunderbird, while the Mozilla version expects the profile in ~/.thunderbird. If, prior to running the Ubuntuzilla Thunderbird script, you have already been using the official Mozilla build, then your most recent profile would be in ~/.thunderbird, so you should select that one. If, on the other hand, you have been running the Ubuntu version, then your most recent profile would be in ~/.mozilla-thunderbird, so you should select this one.

If you are still not sure, you can open your current Thunderbird version, select Edit > Account Settings... > Local Folders, and you will see a "Local directory" text box there, that would show where you store your local folders. Unless you have made some significant changes to where you store your email (in which case you probably know what you are doing and where your profile is), the directory path in that box should show you where your profile is.

[Thunderbird, Firefox] Thunderbird doesn't start at all. Segmentation Fault (Core Dumped) when running from terminal

It could be due to a known incompatibility between Thunderbird/Firefox and SCIM. If you have SCIM installed and enabled, and you don't need it, you can try uninstalling the scim package with

sudo apt-get remove scim

and then try running Thunderbird again.

If you do need SCIM, a possible fix is to use one of the following commands to start Thunderbird:

export GTK_IM_MODULE=scim-bridge; thunderbird


export GTK_IM_MODULE=xim; thunderbird

If the above does work for you, you may want to change your Thunderbird shortcut to do it for you, so you don't have to start Thunderbird from a terminal all the time. To do that, follow these steps.

  • Create a text file with the following content, and save it in your home directory as "thunderbirdstarter.sh"
export GTK_IM_MODULE=scim-bridge; /usr/bin/thunderbird
  • Change the script to executable with command
chmod u+x thunderbirdstarter.sh
  • Open the menu editor (in the main Gnome menu, something like System -> Preferences -> Main Menu)
  • Find your Thunderbird shortcut, right click, select Properties
  • Change the shortcut to point to /home/your_username/thunderbirdstarter.sh

Thunderbird should now start properly.

[Thunderbird] Links in emails don't open in browser

Add the following lines to your user.js file inside your .thunderbird profile (if user.js file doesn't exist yet, just create a new file with this content). user_pref("network.protocol-handler.app.ftp","/usr/bin/firefox"); user_pref("network.protocol-handler.app.http","/usr/bin/firefox"); user_pref("network.protocol-handler.app.https","/usr/bin/firefox");

Restart Thunderbird for this change to take effect.

If you want to use some browser other than firefox, then put in the full path for that browser, instead of /usr/bin/firefox, in the above lines.

[Thunderbird] 'menu id="offlineMenuItem" ...' error after upgrading to 2.0

Thunderbird offlineMenuItem error screenshot

When upgrading from Mozilla build of Thunderbird 1.5 to the Mozilla build of Thunderbird 2.0, some people get the following error message at the bottom of the Thunderbird interface in red text (also see screenshot). It seems to be a rather rare phenomenon, and does not affect any other functionality of Thunderbird besides eating up some screen real estate, but nevertheless, it is an annoying little problem:

    <menu id="offlineMenuItem" insertafter="trashMenuSeparator" label="&offlineMenu.label;" accesskey="&offlineMenu.accesskey;">

This problem can be fixed by deleting an outdated file, /opt/thunderbird/chrome/offline.manifest. Simply issue the following command in the terminal:

sudo rm /opt/thunderbird/chrome/offline.manifest

[Thunderbird, Firefox] For 64-bit Ubuntu users

Mozilla does not make 64bit builds of its products. Thus there are certain problems that are encountered by 64bit users of Ubuntuzilla which don't affect 32bit users. If you use 64-bit Ubuntu, it may be easier for you to use the Ubuntu mozilla PPA, or simply get the package firefox-3.5 from the repositories, which would install a "Shiretoko-branded" version of firefox. For more on these other methods of installation, see this Ubuntu wiki page.

That said, it is still possible to run the official mozilla build, using Ubuntuzilla, on a 64-bit Ubuntu install. If you are still interested, read on.

Ubuntuzilla for amd64 will still install 32 bit builds of Mozilla software (because those are the only ones available from Mozilla). The difference from the i386 package is that it will install the 32 bit compatibility libraries (ia32-libs) through the .deb dependency system.

So if you subsequently decide to install any binary extensions/add-ons to your Firefox/Thunderbird (such as Lightning, e.g.), use the 32 bit versions of these extensions.

If, for some reason, you need to install these compatibility library packages manually, run the following commands:

sudo apt-get install ia32-libs
sudo apt-get install lib32asound2 lib32ncurses5 lib32stdc++6

Note also that currently audio notify for new emails does not work on 64 bit systems using the 32 bit Mozilla build of Thunderbird (see this thread for details and updates.)

[Firefox] I installed the latest Firefox, but cannot connect to any websites. Any suggestions?

First, the obvious: make sure that your network is operational, for example that you can connect to the web with another browser.

Once you are sure that it is only Firefox that is having issues, try the following fix (from this ubuntuforums post):

  • Open firefox, and navigate to about:config
  • Set the network.dns.disableIPv6 setting to true
  • Restart Firefox (for just in case), and try to raise some website.

This particular problem and fix appears to affect only 64-bit users.

[Firefox] What happened with Flash and all my other plugins?

The plugins that come from the 64-bit Ubuntu repositories are all 64-bit, so will not work with the 32-bit build of Firefox from Mozilla.


To get your Flash back:

  • download the 32-bit tar.gz from adobe
  • extract the libflashplayer.so from the archive and place it into ~/.mozilla/plugins directory ('~' means this is in your home directory).
    • If the plugins directory does not exist in ~/.mozilla, which it doesn't by default, create it first.
  • restart firefox, you should have flash up and running.


To get your java back:

  • install the ia32-sun-java6-bin package:
sudo apt-get install ia32-sun-java6-bin

If that doesn't do it after a Firefox restart, you might also have to explicitly link to the java plugin, as follows:

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/ia32-java-6-sun/jre/plugin/i386/ns7/libjavaplugin_oji.so ~/.mozilla/plugins/

You may also have to adjust path above for wherever the 32bit java package sticks its plugin file. The path above is for Ubuntu Jaunty. To find where the plugin lives, you can run:

dpkg -L ia32-sun-java6-bin | grep libjavaplugin_oji.so

[Thunderbird, Firefox, Seamonkey] Some stuff only works when I run as root!

If that's the case, then chances are that some files in your profile ended up being owned by root. This can happen if you ever run firefox with the plain "sudo" (as opposed to "gksudo" or "kdesu"). To fix this, you need to change the ownership of all files in your profile to yourself. To do that, run this command:

sudo chown -R yourusername:yourusername ~/.mozilla
replace yourusername with your actual username.

[Seamonkey] mailto: links don't open properly with Seamonkey

Make sure that under System -> Preferences -> Preferred Applications, your preferred application for Email is set to

seamonkey -compose %s

That will tell Seamonkey to open a 'new email' window.

Any other problems

If you are experiencing any other problems with Ubuntuzilla, or have general questions/comments, please go to our support forum and post your question. We try to answer all questions very quickly, so go ahead, ask. :)

If you want to help us

Come on over to our support forum, talk to us :). You can also pull the latest revision from git, fix bugs or add some features you'd like to see, and submit your patches.

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