Downgrade to Firefox 3.6 on Ubuntu 11.04 Natty

We have a requirement in the office to downgrade to Firefox 3.6 on some test machines running Ubuntu Natty (11.04). To do this you can pin the firefox and firefox-branding packages to older packages from the Ubuntu Maverick (10.10) release.

Step 1: Edit your software sources to add Maverick

  1. Open your sources.list file:
    sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
  2. Add the folowing three lines:
    # Maverick, used for firefox and firefox-branding
    deb http://ftp.iinet.net.au/pub/ubuntu/ maverick main
    deb http://ftp.iinet.net.au/pub/ubuntu/ maverick-updates main
  3. Save and close the file

Step 2: Pin the packages firefox and firefox-branding

  1. Create the pin file for firefox:
    sudo gedit /etc/apt/preferences.d/firefox
  2. Add the following:
    Package: firefox
    Pin: release n=natty
    Pin-Priority: -10
    
    Package: firefox
    Pin: release n=maverick
    Pin-Priority: 900
  3. Save and close the file.
  4. Create the pin file for firefox-branding:
    sudo gedit /etc/apt/preferences.d/firefox-branding
  5. Add the following:
    Package: firefox-branding
    Pin: release n=natty
    Pin-Priority: -10
    
    Package: firefox-branding
    Pin: release n=maverick
    Pin-Priority: 900
  6. Save and close the file.

Step 3: Check your apt policy to make sure it worked

  1. Update your apt cache:
    sudo apt-get update
  2. Show the apt policy for firefox:
    sudo apt-cache policy firefox

    Sample output:

    sudo apt-cache policy firefox
    firefox:
      Installed: 5.0+build1+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.11.04.2
      Candidate: 3.6.18+build2+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.10.10.1
      Package pin: 3.6.18+build2+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.10.10.1
      Version table:
     *** 5.0+build1+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.11.04.2 900
            500 http://ftp.iinet.net.au/pub/ubuntu/ natty-updates/main i386 Packages
            500 http://ftp.iinet.net.au/pub/ubuntu/ natty-security/main i386 Packages
            100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
         4.0+nobinonly-0ubuntu3 900
            500 http://ftp.iinet.net.au/pub/ubuntu/ natty/main i386 Packages
         3.6.18+build2+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.10.10.1 900
            500 http://ftp.iinet.net.au/pub/ubuntu/ maverick-updates/main i386 Packages
         3.6.10+build1+nobinonly-0ubuntu3 900
            500 http://ftp.iinet.net.au/pub/ubuntu/ maverick/main i386 Packages

    The line you are most interested in is “Candidate”.
    This indicates the package that apt ranks as the installation candidate.

  3. Repeat this check for firefox-branding
    sudo apt-cache policy firefox-branding

Step 4: Install firefox 3.6

  1. Remove firefox 5.x:
    sudo apt-get remove firefox
  2. Install firefox 3.6:
    sudo apt-get install firefox

And you’re done. Enjoy your outdated version of Firefox!

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