Having finished my articles this morning, I figured it was time for an apt-get dist-upgrade on the laptop to ensure I was running the latest versions of everything.  A quick download and install later, and it was time to reboot.

At which point Firefox broke completely. No starty, no error – even when launched from the shell.

It’s taken me a little while, but I’ve tracked down the culprit: the Prism plugin.  If you’ve got Prism – a stand-alone Mozilla-based browser for creating desktop-style access to web apps – then the chances are you’ll be bitten by this bug, as installing Prism automatically installs the plugin into Firefox.

Thankfully, the fix is simple: go to Tools -> Add-Ons and disable Prism.

What’s that?  You can’t load Firefox in order to disable the Prism plugin?  There’s a fix for that, too.  Load a shell (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal) and type:

cd ~/.mozilla/firefox
ls

That’ll give you a listing of the directory – with a single entry, which is your profile folder.  Use cd to change to this directory, then type:

rm compatibility.ini

Once you’ve done that, Firefox should start fine and you’ll be able to disable the add-on.

If you’re curious, there’s a bug filed on Launchpad over here.

One Thought on “Firefox issues on Ubuntu 10.04

  1. Since this post, the issue has been fixed via a downloadable patch. Just go to System -> Administration -> Update Manager to install the fix.

    Alternatively, type “sudo apt-get update” followed by “sudo apt-get upgrade” in a terminal.

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