Call for Testing: Hardy Firefox Users (or willing to install Hardy in a VM)


Firefox 3.0 and xulrunner 1.9 are now unsupported by Mozilla. Rather than backporting security fixes to these now, we are moving to a support model where we will be introducing major new upstream versions in stable releases. The reason for this is the support periods from Mozilla are gradually becoming shorter, and it will be more and more difficult for us to maintain our current support model in the future.

What we are going to do

We are going to release Firefox 3.6.4 as a minor update to the 3.6 series in Lucid. This will also be rolled out to Hardy, Jaunty and Karmic (along with xulrunner The update for Lucid is quite trivial, but the update in Hardy, Jaunty and Karmic is not quite as simple.

Before releasing these updates to the public, we need testing in Firefox, the extensions in the archive and distributions upgrades after those updates. We have published all these packages in a PPA and we will track test results before moving anything to the archive.

How you can help

We need people running *Hardy* (Jaunty and Karmic will see a similar call for testing in the following days) in bare metal or a virtual machine. If you are willing to help, you can follow the instructions below:

  1. Add the Mozilla Security PPA to your software sources

    You need to manually edit your /etc/apt/sources.list and add the following lines:

    deb hardy main
    deb-src hardy main

    After saving the file, you have to run:

    sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys 7EBC211F
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

  2. You have to have an account in our tracking system. Go to and click on “Log In” and “Create New Account”
  3. Explore your Firefox installation

    Basically we want people to perform the same activities that the do daily, without issues. In order to make testing easier, this is a checklist of things worth looking:

    • The upgrade to Firefox 3.6.4 goes smoothly.
    • The extensions get upgraded as well.
    • All the Firefox plugins (i.e. Flash, Java) still work.
    • The extensions work correctly.
    • Full distributions upgrades are not broken.
    • Upgrades work with only the security pocket enabled (ie, hardy-updates disabled)

To report your findings you need to use the test tracker.

Once you have selected the Hardy image, you will see a set of “testcases”, with a summary of how many reports have been sent. Obviously, the most important one is “Firefox”.

List of testcases

Once you open one of the testcases, you will be able to report back your findings if something went wrong. Even if everything went fine, it is always good to report back the success (“Passed”) with a comment on the activities you performed.

Report back

Use the “Firefox” testcase for general testing (upgrade, rendering, plugins, etc.) and the rest of the testcases if you want to report something more specific (Upgrades to Lucid, specific extensions errors, etc.)

IMPORTANT!! How to file bugs

As we are testing a PPA, not an official Ubuntu package, if you find an issue is NOT OK to file a bug in Launchpad. Rather than doing so, please, just explain your issue in the Comments field of the tracker and mark the test as Failed.

The tracker requires a bug number in order to mark a test as Failed. To bypass this requirement, just use the bug number “1” 😉

Thanks for helping to maintain secured Ubuntu stable releases!


  1. Pingback: Canonical ändert Supportstrategie für Firefox | Linux und Ich

  2. Hi Ara,

    Are you sure that ‘apt-key’ command is correct? That doesn’t seem to work for me…


    • What do you mean by “not working”. It worked for me. What error are you getting?

      • OK, wordpress assumed that — was a long dash.

        Changing it now.

      • That was the problem. I had noticed the long-dash issue when copying the command, but I think I typo’ed trying to fix it on the command line.


  3. A very good idea!!!

    To avoid problems with installed add-ons, it would be better if the oldest stable officially supported version of Mozilla would take?

    Add-ons will need time to adapt to new versions of Firefox!

  4. Are there instructions for us 8.04 users of how to back out this upgrade in case we have problems during testing? And will stuff under $HOME that’s been handled by Firefox 3.6 still be OK for 3.0?

    • Ralph,

      In general, we don’t provide users with downgrade paths (and this is true of any update). Also, profiles that have been migrated to 3.6 may not work properly with 3.0 (but I haven’t tried this)

      Providing downgrade paths wastes effort that would be better spent on making sure the upgrades works for everyone, and is somewhat counter-productive.

      Could you please describe the issues you’re facing that make you want to downgrade, or provide examples of issues that users are having?


      • Hi Chris, Thanis, I understand the waste of effort. I just wondered if it was expected that removing the PPA and then installing the normal Firefox package would be sufficient. As that’s unknown, don’t worry. I have no issues, I was curious about downgrading in advance of upgrading rather than as an afterthought. :-) Cheers, Ralph.