These instructions will allow you to run the ancient 3.6 version of Firefox on a recent Ubuntu installation, namely 15.04, but it could apply to versions of Debian, Ubuntu and Linux Mint released close to 15.04.
Now, I suppose I could migrate my tests out of the browser, read the browsing history from some SQLite file in the user's Firefox profile, and simulate the browser with something like Selenium, but I just cannot be bothered.
firefox-3.6.tar.bz2from ftp.mozilla.org. Decompressing this archive will give you a directory named
/opt/. The target of these instructions is to get
/opt/firefox/firefoxto execute without errors.
Trying to run
/opt/firefox/firefoxnow, results in 'library missing' errors for
libdbus-glib-1-2. Both these libraries exist in an Ubuntu 15.04 installation, but they are 64bit libraries whereas Firefox 3.6 was only ever released as a 32bit application.
Both problems are solved by installing the 32bit versions of those libraries:
sudo apt-get install libgtk-2.0-0:i386 sudo apt-get install libdbus-glib-1-2:i386
/opt/firefox/firefoxnow and you should be able to enjoy the retro experience of times gone by, with no Flash or any other plugin for that matter. A note of caution: running such an old version of a browser is very unsafe. Don't do anything other than testing with it, use a clean profile (run with
-Poption and create a test profile), and if possible, sandbox the application so that it can't touch anything on your main system.
A note about library paths: Firefox 3.6 looks for libraries into its
installation directory (in this case
/opt/firefox/firefox), in addition to
directories in the library path. Therefore, if you hit an issue where the
browser can't locate libraries that exist on the system, it is easier and
probably safer to create symbolic links to those libraries in
/opt/firefox/firefox rather than altering your library path just to
accommodate the needs of this old application.