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Upgrades: Ubuntu, Gnome, Firefox

# Filed on Oct 30, 2006 by Anthony DiSante 1 reply

Last week I upgraded 3 systems from Ubuntu Breezy Badger (6.06) to Ubuntu Edgy Eft (6.10), and the process couldn’t have been easier:

sudo su
update-manager -c

From there on, it’s entirely GUI-based.  There were a few OKs to click and that was basically it.  And it included -- or rather it was mainly comprised of -- the new Gnome (2.16).  After having used Red Hat / Fedora, Slackware, and Gentoo for decent amounts of time before, and having gone through the agony of trying to upgrade Gnome on those systems, let alone the whole distro, this entirely painless Ubuntu upgrade was nothing short of amazing.

The upgrade also took me from Firefox 1.5 to 2.0.  At first I was horrified because there was now a "close" button on every single tab, and there appeared to be no way to fix this.  I went to about:config and found browser.tabs.closeButtons, which was set to 1; but changing it to 0 only removed the Xes from the background tabs -- the current tab still had its X.  I was beginning to resign myself to this sick new reality when I came across a post which explained that you can actually set browser.tabs.closeButtons to values besides 0 and 1, and in fact setting it to 3 restored Firefox to its previous behavior of having a single X at the rightmost side of the browser window.

Now there are just two issues still bothering me: first is that you can’t squish as many tabs into a window as you could in 1.5 and earlier versions.  There is an awful new system where a drop-down appears on the right side when you get "too many" tabs.  There is a setting called browser.tabs.tabMinWidth that should fix this; however it silently ignores values smaller than 34 pixels (i.e. two favicon widths).  It’s irritating to have the browser dictate the lower boundary to me, but it’s doubly irritating to have the browser pretend to let me control it but silently ignore my input.

The second issue is actually not a 1.5 -> 2.0 problem; it’s a Mozilla -> Firefox problem.  The Mozilla browser always had a "New Tab" button on the left side of the tab bar, but Firefox never had this button.  So the only way to create a new tab with the mouse in Firefox requires at least 2 clicks.

Comments:

01. Nov 10, 2006 at 11:32am by Kev:

I changed the close button behavior to 1.5 style, and the tab widths to 50, now 34 because of your tip.
For a new tab, I always use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+T, which is very fast... I like keyboard shortcuts whenever possible, rather than relying on the mouse. It comes in very handy when fixing somebody’s computer whose mouse is broken or not working at that moment.
Once all the developers updated their extensions to work with Firefox 2, I was very happy with the browser overall.

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