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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Tue, 16 Oct 2012

Iceweasel 10.0.09 ESR update for Debian Wheezy

The "fast" pace of Iceweasel/Firefox and Icedove/Thunderbird releases over the past couple of years has really thrown longer-term Linux distributions for a loop.

The Mozilla-coded apps quickly get very old, and it's harder and harder for Debian developers to patch those older versions with the latest security fixes when the upstream code leaves the distro's original version further and further behind.

And enterprises, educational institutions and people who like things to stay the same aren't terribly excited by applications that change versions from month to month, regardless of what actual changes are happening in the code. Never mind that those changes are often significant enough to break things built for a platform that is moving too quickly for many tastes.

Enter the Extended Support Release version of Firefox and Thunderbird. After seeing its Mozilla applications get really old really fast in Squeeze, Debian picked up on the ESR releases of Iceweasel and Icedove for Wheezy. That's what I see in CentOS, Scientific Linux and Stella as well, so it appears that even Red Hat Enterprise Linux has opted for ESR.

Sure there are features in the "consumer" version of Firefox (which Ubuntu follows even for its LTS release) that users of ESR will miss, but between stability in terms of functionality and knowing that these web-connected applications are fully patched, the peace of mind is well worth it.

Iceweasel 10.0.09esr just rolled onto my Debian Wheezy box. I'm glad to see it.