Tuesday Night Deliverable: Build Mozilla (that’s right build your web browser)

I knew ahead of time the path of least resistance based on reading the Mozilla Build page would be to go with Fedora and follow the directions explicitly. I already had a Fedora LXDE install that I managed to screw up NetworkManager on just today. And Chris Tyler had supplied us with shiny new Full Fedora 15 Live disks, so I figured, Why not just do the install and get a working Fedora back on that old partition. So I ran the install before dinner, tested it out everything was working and around 6:30 or so started on the Mozilla build instructions.

Luckily everything about my install was 100% vanilla un-customized save for the fact Gnome3 desktop would not run on the Integrated Intel graphics chip (oh well). I actually cut and pasted each command line direct from the web page into my terminal and got the Developer tools downloaded and updated. I got mercurial all squared away then did the clone of the Firefox repository. That didn’t take long, but then came the make build, and that took a while. Three hours of chugging along on a circa 2003 Low Voltage Intel 830 cpu with about 1.2Ghz and 640MB of RAM. I did however upgrade that internal HD to 250GB so plenty of swap space to be had there.

Noticed the build was taking so long, I had plenty of time to sign into the IRC channel and put in a status report. Chris was there and immediately recognized the RAM starvation issue. So I just patiently checked back to make sure that laptop wasn’t sleeping as it worked away. Three hours later, just as I was worrying it might not finish before I went to bed, I started seeing some concluding messages from make, and voila it was done. The Mozilla build directions tell you to go into dist/bin/ and run firefox from there. On my laptop I had to go into a platform specific folder (something-gnu-something-i686) first then I found the dist/bin/firefox. Launched firefox and it ran. So I think I picked the right OS as I didn’t have any path idiosyncrasies to sort out or any missing libraries or binaries either. Pretty straightforward on Fedora 15 32-bit Intel. Two thumbs up.





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