Ubuntu Desktop files and Dock

Published on 03 Apr 2019

After I did a clean install of Ubuntu 18.04 it came with Firefox reinstalled. But I also needed Firefox Developer to run along side it and I don’t remember exactly what happened, but something got screwed.

My regular Firefox was installed as a ‘snap’ so it was running sandbox mode all the time (I guess? Idunno). I had to allow every single download from it, they all went to temp folders by default, it was a hassle. Then last week I got popups saying it couldn’t be updated. This got annoying enough for me to remove the Ubuntu Software installed version and download the app myself to set up.

The instructions here are very unclear, as can be expected.. The popup in Firefox said something along the lines of “we can’t update installed like this, so go here and we’ll help you install it correctly!”. And it just downloaded a archived file with no further documentation whatsoever.

Googling for it, all results say “the best way is to just use the pre-installed or at least the package from Ubuntu itself”. Contradictions all the way. So I finally said “fuck it” once more and decided to dive in, cuz that’s what you do.

So. The actual thing then.

So I downloaded the Firefox package from their website and set it up as per this page. This is all working fine, but now it only runs from the terminal which has to stay open and I can’t pin it to my dock.

To do that I have to make a .desktop file for it. What I eventually ended up doing was moving the firefox/ folder to /opt/ and the desktop file to ~/.local/share/applications/Firefox.desktop. The actual .desktop file (I added my own icon to it)

[Desktop Entry]
Version=1.0
Type=Application
Exec=/opt/firefox/firefox
Name=Firefox
Terminal=false
Icon=/opt/firefox/icon.png

With the desktop file in place I ran these commands;

sudo desktop-file-validate Firefox.desktop
sudo desktop-file-install Firefox.desktop


Ubuntu

Using Linux as a daily driver is a risky business unless you’re _really_ into it. I started with it because I was fed up with both Windows and OS X, and I like to have granular control over my system. I am by no means an expert with it though, so I decided to use Ubuntu as it is the most n00b-friendly and using this as my work machine as well, I need as much compatibility and ease of use as possible.

That said, expect any amount of weird issues or workflows at any moment. Any I feel like documented, you see here!

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