Ubuntu and Firefox ESR

At work we use Firefox ESR. That is a sane decision for business users.

At work I am responsible for maintaining Firefox. For many weeks I have noticed there are no Ubuntu repository updates for Firefox ESR. The last update was version 60.8. For whatever reason a 60.9 package never was built. As of October 22 the 60 ESR branch is replaced by the 68 ESR branch.

I found a Mozilla security team PPA, but the last version is 68.0 in August. The latest version is 68.2, which raises questions about the Mozilla Security Team definition of security.

Once upon a time there was a lone wolf PPA, but that effort now looks abandoned too.

Firefox ESR has disappeared from Ubuntu repositories. Gone.

A significant part of me regrets having migrated at work from Windows 7 to Ubuntu MATE.

To be fair, there is no magic as none of the distros supporting desktops truly embrace enterprise administration or thinking. Unlike the server side, the desktop remains hobbyist territory and personal playgrounds for developers.

As best I can tell from poking around the web, there is no ESR support any more in Ubuntu. At work my options include:

* Move to the main branch rapid release version. Starting next year that will be an update every four weeks. A four week release cycle is insane and increases administrative maintenance. From an admin perspective this sounds like perpetual breakage.

* Use the Mozilla pre-built tarballs. This is doable at the single user level but awkward in a business environment. Admins would have to contrive some kind of local automated update process for multiple systems.

* Use snaps and ignore security.

* Move to Debian. That involves significant testing up front but might be better for long-term sanity.

The PPAs are maintained by Mozilla personnel, but the lack of ESR in Ubuntu rests firmly with the Ubuntu folks.

That Firefox ESR is unsupported in Ubuntu is unacceptable, especially with long term support (LTS) releases. To add proverbial salt to the wound, there is no such problem in Windows.

Ubuntu is now on my black list, including all derivatives.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: Ubuntu

Next: Proxmox Nag Notices

Previous: Disabling IPV6