|Mozilla and related applications
No lead election date set
(and inherited member(s))
The Gentoo Mozilla team is responsible for all Mozilla related packages in Gentoo.
Choosing the Firefox channel to follow
With the addition of so called "fakeslots" it's now easier to control which Firefox release channel to choose from in Gentoo. To pick ESR, the Extended Support Release, issue:
emerge --ask www-client/firefox:esr
This will always offer the latest available ESR version. Availability depends on the defined KEYWORDS. The "rapid" slot, named after upstream, is defined for completionists' sake. If you decide to ignore slots altogether, just following stable/unstable ebuild keywords will get you the natural choices, as intended by the Mozilla project. Choosing a Firefox update channel.
Rapid line will follow the monthly feature releases from Mozilla and hold purely unstable keywords.
Benefits and disadvantages of the slotting system
For benefits it improves user experience. Slots can be recorded in the /var/lib/portage/world file, and users don't have to fiddle with package.accept_keywords or package.mask files for their browser. Even ESR will have ~unstable releases only in Gentoo that never get stabilized, which gets shipped to unstable users.
Disadvantage is obviously the migration period, from 91.5.0 to 91.6.0, or 96.0.3 to 97.0. Since the slotted versions will block
:0, as intended, the initial emerge might look a bit scary. But after the migration period it should move on naturally without any issues, or scary emerge messages. Also, conceptually, slotting in Gentoo usually means multiple versions of the same package are installable in parallel. This is currently not the case with Firefox, and switching between
:rapid will unmerge the previous version. This might change in future though.
Stable Firefox/Thunderbird packages
Since our resources are quite limited, and stabilization realistically should take at least 4 weeks between Mozilla releases, we decided to only stabilize ESR (Extended Support Release) versions of Firefox. Thunderbird's upstream stable releases are based on Firefox ESR. For planned release cycles of different Firefox browsers, please see https://wiki.mozilla.org/Release_Management/Calendar
And for a matching NSS-ESR, see https://wiki.mozilla.org/NSS:Release_Versions
Thunderbirds past release notes are available at https://www.thunderbird.net/en-US/thunderbird/releases/
List of Mozilla packages