Keeping Solaris updated gives desktops more web access

It’s often good advice not to take the update. What is not broken does not need a fix, according to wisdom in legacy environments. Many things get static in a legacy datacenter. They should; changes can cause problems that include thorny solutions.

The Web, though, changes constantly. One site after another improves its profile — and the next thing you know, your Firefox install isn’t processing websites like it should.

That was the issue that Frank Winkler described in a plea on comp.unix.solaris. It amounts to, “Help, my Solaris desktop cannot reach a growing number of websites.” Old software, in Winkler’s case, must learn new tricks.

His site might be like your own. It runs Solaris 11, so he needs to upgrade to Solaris 11.4. The trouble with Firefox on any Solaris instance is that the Firefox group at Mozilla.org does not compile Firefox to Solaris anymore. Taking the 11.4 update means adopting Gnome 3.

One way to look at the situation is to accept that Solaris is not a desktop OS. Firefox, some say, is part of the legacy OS because so many apps need it locally. Oracle no longer runs a Solaris desktop team. What gets delivered now is as close to the original upstream code as possible, says one admin on the newsgroup. “There’s nobody around to make
Solaris-specific improvements any more,” the admin notes on the group.

Using a desktop to browse websites is so yesterday, to some in the Solaris community. “I use my phone, or my tablet, to browse,” says Casper H.S. Dik. Don’t be confused: Solaris does not run on either phone or tablet.

The magic release number — as of 11.4 Solaris — is 60.7.2 for Firefox. The browser release is part of the 11.4 package .

 

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