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First of all, I am aware of this question concerning installing Firefox beta/nightly .

I am wondering if there is a simple way to install both minefield (currently pre9) and beta (currently b7. I assume b8 is forthcomming). Both packages provide firefox-4.0. Is this a case where I will have to manually install (and update) one of these myself?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Install the Firefox beta as you normally would (with apt-get or dpkg), then do the following steps to install Minefield and create a custom shortcut for it (minefield):

Download the .tar.bz2 file from the Firefox Nightly Builds site. Extract the files into a directory of your choice (I'll just use /opt):

sudo tar xvfj firefox-4.0b9pre.en-US.linux-i686.tar.bz2 -C /opt

Minefield should now be installed in /opt/firefox. Now, let's create a custom command for it:

sudo tee /usr/bin/minefield <<EOF
#!/bin/bash
/opt/firefox/firefox "\$@"
EOF

...and make the script executable:

sudo chmod a+x /usr/bin/minefield

You should now be able to run the command minefield to start Minefield.

Uninstallation:

If you want to uninstall Minefield (when it was installed using the above method), simply do the following:

sudo rm -rf /opt/firefox /usr/bin/minefield

Regarding updates:
I am not quite sure, but I think Minefield has an auto-update feature (it at least have an updater program, which should be located at /opt/firefox/updater), so you shouldn't have to worry too much about it.

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1  
The updater runs automatically and as long as you have write permissions on the user directly it will take care of the core-updates. You may have some compatibility issues with your profile from time to time, but those are usually solved within a single update. I've been running both -stable 3.5 and the -dev 4.0 minefield branch for a little over 2 months now without a hitch. So you shouldn't run into any problems. ymmv –  lazyPower Dec 18 '10 at 13:41

Use my FoxTester extension. It allows to easily install multiple versions of Firefox and launch them without even leaving your default Firefox window and without entering any commands. Additionally, each version use it's own profile, thus not messing with your personal settings.

Also check my tutorial on how to install Firefox 4 for other options.

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