Downgrade to Firefox

Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) uses Firefox 3, which brings in a handful of new and pioneering features. To be frank, some of these irritated me a little bit (the URL history completion and slow start-up times in particular) so I downgraded to the older and more established Firefox 2. To do this, I searched for firefox-2 in Synaptic. Once installed, I could run it by typing firefox-2 at the command-line or by creating a desktop launcher.

To switch the entire system over to Firefox 2, so that all new links are opened in it (links clicked in Evolution emails and so on), click System ^ Preferences ^ Preferred Applications. Click the Internet tab and then, under the Web Browser heading, select Custom from the dropdown list. In the Command field, type firefox-2 %s. Close the dialog box and then log out and back in again.

Note that Firefox 2 uses the older Plugin Finder service which might not work well or offer the same degree of choice as the newer Plugin Finder 2 service included with Ubuntu 8.04 and used by Firefox 3. If you need to install a plugin, it might be better to use Firefox 3 to install it—Firefox 2 will subsequently pick up on the plugin and use it. To run Firefox 3, just type firefox at the prompt, first ensuring any currently-open Firefox window is closed.

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