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Bug 728524 - www-client/firefox : introduce "ESR" USE flag
Summary: www-client/firefox : introduce "ESR" USE flag
Alias: None
Product: Gentoo Linux
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Current packages (show other bugs)
Hardware: All Linux
: Normal normal (vote)
Assignee: Mozilla Gentoo Team
Depends on:
Reported: 2020-06-17 04:00 UTC by Alex
Modified: 2021-02-03 20:50 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

See Also:
Package list:
Runtime testing required: ---


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Description Alex 2020-06-17 04:00:46 UTC
I've got really tired of building firefox each time new version comes out.
Masking out each and every version isn't much of an option either, and ~ masks aren't really for that.
So I propose introduction of "esr" use flag for Firefox (and maybe some other packages).
The idea is that user can specify this flag and then get only ESR releases of package and their updates. Any regular versions will be skipped.
Just an idea for enhancement thou, nothing very serious.
Comment 1 Joonas Niilola gentoo-dev 2020-06-17 08:06:33 UTC
Or package it as firefox-esr? I do wonder if it is possible to use a USE flag to control version like this.

However I'd like to point out you can use > in package.mask, so >www-client/firefox-69 mask would've worked for a long time already. Obviously needs to be updated once new ESR hits the tree, but still less work than having to mask every version separately.
Comment 2 Thomas Deutschmann gentoo-dev Security 2020-06-17 11:24:00 UTC
There will never be a USE flag for this because a USE flag is the wrong way to do it.

I already thought about adding a slot.

For some time now I have the idea to allow having all firefoxes installed on the same system, slotted. But this isn't an easy task and we need to take care that new users don't accidentally break their profile.
Comment 3 Thomas Deutschmann gentoo-dev Security 2020-06-17 11:25:42 UTC
In the mean time you still can apply masks. I.e. if you want ESR, just mask >=www-client/firefox-70. This will at least work until next ~September... it's the same like enforcing a specific LTS kernel.
Comment 4 Sam James archtester gentoo-dev Security 2020-06-17 13:34:50 UTC
(In reply to Thomas Deutschmann from comment #3)
> In the mean time you still can apply masks. I.e. if you want ESR, just mask
> >=www-client/firefox-70. This will at least work until next ~September...
> it's the same like enforcing a specific LTS kernel.

Even better. Only ESR versions get stabilised. So, if they are running an unstable system, some line like:
"www-client/firefox -~amd64"
would work well, to only get stable versions of Firefox.

However, as we both know, Firefox ESR ends up bumped at the same time as Firefox (almost?) always for security reasons, so unless using ccache and such, the builds will take just as long as the new major version (ESR making not much difference).
Comment 5 tt_1 2020-06-17 16:07:19 UTC
on build time: firefox usually adds a few percent with each release, and firefox-esr bumps are a bit less frequent. 

also the stable policy for firefox is somewhat to never ever mark stable a non esr version, that should fix the problem of only pulling in esr. 

going full ~amd64 but keeping a few handselected packages on stable, without fuzzy package.mask entries, is done via -~amd64, as the comment right before mine mentioned it. a good canidate for that would be glibc, as it cannot be downgraded. 

if there's anything to speed up things for firefox-78, please bump someone nss to new nss-2.53, so that I can do extensive testing with firefox-78.0 beta before the merge window closes in a week. thanks :-)
Comment 6 Aidan Harris 2021-02-03 20:50:34 UTC
I'd like to propose that we have separate packages firefox-esr and firefox-esr-bin. www-client/firefox-esr should install into /usr/lib64/firefox-esr and www-client/firefox-esr-bin should install into /opt/firefox-esr. This would allow for both the stable and esr version to be installed simultaneously (this isn't currently possible as far as I know without using firefox-bin, if you want to compile both firefox and firefox-esr you can't).