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Why is Firefox 51 no longer in the repos?
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jhardin
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:16 am    Post subject: Why is Firefox 51 no longer in the repos? Reply with quote

It's pretty well known by now that Firefox 51 is the last version that supports NPAPI plugins. As I still do want to run those plugins, I masked >= 52 a couple of weeks back.

I just noticed this in my emerge -uNDp output:
Code:
[ebuild     UD ] www-client/firefox-45.8.0 [51.0.1]

Taking a look at packages.gentoo.org, there is now a big hole between 45.8.0 and 52.0.1 ?!

Reviewing the git log for the firefox ebuild discloses this:
Quote:
As of 52.0, mozilla has dropped support of all NPAPI plugins except for flash.
Okay, nothing new there...
Quote:
52.0ESR (which is what gentoo stabilized) will retain this support, but for this particular package we can also hotwire the switch used in 52.0ESR to allow plugin support to continue on the release version. Note, this may not work after 52 and if so the flag will be removed.
...huh?

So, if I unmask and accept 52 (and mask >= 53 per the last bit of that comment) will old plugins still work? I don't want to try that out to see absent someone saying "yes, it will work" because, well, 51.0.1 is no longer in the repo and I don't want to have to roll all the way back to 45.8.0 if it does not, after all, work.

If that's not the case, if 52.0.1 does not actually support NPAPI plugins, then could somebody explain why 51.0.1 has been removed from the repo? Is there any possibility of getting it restored so that we can rebuild the last version that does support NPAPI plugins if necessary?

Dropping NPAPI support is a fairly major change to Firefox, and it sounds like the FF52 ebuild goes against what is commonly understood about that. It would be really nice if the Gentoo Mozilla team could publish an eselect news item about what is going on here. Having to go all the way to the git commit log to learn about this option is suboptimal - I could easily have given up on it a lot earlier.

Thanks!
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fcl
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

51 is no longer supported by Mozilla and has many security vulnerabilities. I'm not certain of NPAPI's status on Gentoo. AFAIK, it should be supported in FF52 ESR but it is a bit messy as Gentoo doesn't have a separate ESR ebuild. 52 is both the current upstream "stable" as well as ESR.
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mv
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

USE=nsplugin works currently still fine
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charles17
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Why is Firefox 51 no longer in the repos? Reply with quote

jhardin wrote:
If that's not the case, if 52.0.1 does not actually support NPAPI plugins,
Did you try firefox-52.0.1esr from mozilla overlay? It should have the "Non-flash plugins re-enabled".
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jhardin
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Why is Firefox 51 no longer in the repos? Reply with quote

charles17 wrote:
jhardin wrote:
If that's not the case, if 52.0.1 does not actually support NPAPI plugins,
Did you try firefox-52.0.1esr from mozilla overlay? It should have the "Non-flash plugins re-enabled".

No, I have not. As I said, I'm reluctant to try things to see if they work as FF 51.0.1 is no longer in the base repo and if I try something that does not succeed I have no easy way to get back to an environment where plugins do work.

That index is labeled "New mozilla development that is not yet in tree." Does that mean the FF 52.0.1esr ebuild will eventually make it into the base repo?

mv wrote:
USE=nsplugin works currently still fine

By that do you mean that the base gentoo repo FF 52.0.1 built with USE flag nsplugin enabled (which I've had for a long time) does properly support NPAPI plugins?

I'm not trying to be dense, I just want clear confirmation that this combination does actually continue to run plugins properly before I pull the trigger on something I can't easily recover from.

Thanks.
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asturm
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Code:
commit 412d060e4222bc2fb2001f989e3d3b86a4dee23b
Author: Ian Stakenvicius
Date:   Mon Mar 20 16:19:52 2017 -0400

    www-client/firefox: add nsplugin use flag to override the NPAPI-plugin-disable default
   
    As of 52.0, mozilla has dropped support of all NPAPI plugins except for flash.  52.0ESR
    (which is what gentoo stabilized) will retain this support, but for this particular
    package we can also hotwire the switch used in 52.0ESR to allow plugin support to continue
    on the release version.  Note, this may not work after 52 and if so the flag will be
    removed.
   
    Package-Manager: portage-2.3.3

So, nsplugin use flag really does what nsplugin use flag promises.
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k9dog
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got a bit of the same problem.

Some pages have begun looking up the version and tells you that your version isn't capable of the things needed beyond version 51.

So you got Mozilla on one side trying to get you to drop NPAPI. You got webpages that use older NPAPI aaand you got new addons that are too slow on your 32 bit or non-intel platform (might not be native).

Until Mozilla drop NPAPI altogether I think the best option is a recent ESR browser that is not updating itself, but you might need a user agent selector of some kind.

You might also downgrade to version 45 for now if all this is too much. I still think Gentoo could have put a version 51 into portage even if it is not ESR.
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asturm
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, because it is full of security holes that have since been fixed in 52 ESR. Since we have established that NPAPI still works just fine, please just update to 52.2.0 ESR which is the latest version in tree.
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k9dog
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 52 ESR runs very well (I added the mozilla repository in layman too but not sure it makes much difference with 52 if it is from mozilla or gentoo repositories and the later versions in mozilla still have problems, so guess we'll see about v59). I am using the nsplugin USE flag. I can highly recommend this setup. I am not sure about next year though. As I understand it mozilla is moving away from supporting plugins. This definitely sound like a problem. I understand about the security issues, but I think it will take away developers chance to create their own tools. It's a bit like sawing off your feet and buying a wheelchair to avoid tripping. If it's just because NPAPI have been replaced, it's closer to a new pair of shoes though.
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Tony0945
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mozilla, quite a while ago, told everyone to get rid of flash. The world ignored them and apparently they still support flash. Lots of strange things going on at Mozilla, which is why I switched to Palemoon (binary).

To the O.P.: Back up everything you have on your current version of FF. Make sure you have everything Firefox in /usr/portage/distfiles backed up!

mkdir -p /usr/local/portage/www-client/firefox
cp -a /usr/portage/www-client/firefox/* /usr/local/portage/www-client/firefox/

Repeat for firefox-bin if you have it.

Then you can try what you have been told above for FF52. If it doesn't work, you can recreate FF51. See the wiki regarding local overlay.
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k9dog
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Tony0945. I am definitely concerned about changes that where we can't do a rollback as well (I think that is what you are expressing concern for).
Outside Gentoo, we can download older Firefox sources on ftp.mozilla.org. At least at the moment, but I would feel more secure with Gentoo, if they at least could leave some more version history for us to do the rollbacks when the world falls apart, so we don't just loose previous version.

But take Chrome. Google made it really hard to do rollbacks which did give problems with Netflix and also kinda killed the Gentoo 32 bit Chrome version. (something my old laptop don't like).
I managed to download an old 32 bit Debian Chrome version 44. I think I could upgrade, but it was last version that both supported NTAPI and 32 bit Linux I think. so I feel stuck with that.
Even if later versions have new addons, most of them might only work with 64 bit and in some cases only Windows.
I'm not a big fan of Chrome. I prefer open source. In my opinion it's an extra layer of backup security and gives us a way to escape things like wintel and maybe even the way virtualization rapes memory and cpu speed.
Sure the open source usually opens up to insecurity, but they also give the best solutions to avoid threats in most cases.

At least it is my thoughts :)
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