One of the guys on the GLUG mailing list pointed us in the direction of this beauty of a web browser. Today, for the third installment of Pimp My Ubuntu I will guide you through the basic steps of installing this browser.

Flock Web Browser is a funky take on the popular Firefox Browser, based on Mozilla, the tech that powers Firefox. Using it I see a lot of Firefox 2 shine through, for instance the way passwords are stored, and the whole preferences menu is very familiar.

According to the site, “Flock is focused on fundamentally evolving the browser, bringing a refreshing new approach to how people use and participate on the web and simplifying social and web-based applications by bringing them one step closer to the user and integrating them directly into the browser.”

Apparently using Flock you can easily discover, access, create and share videos, photos, blogs, feeds and comments across social communities, media providers, and popular websites. It is available for Windows, MacOS and yes, Linux.

After I have spent some time using this browser, and understand it’s features better I will post a full review.

Now onto the installation.

Right, since there are no Debs available, we have to resort to downloading and installing the tarball. Don’t fret, I did this without once resorting to the command line, and I will guide you through the GUI setup.

First, fire up System>Administration>Synaptic Package Manager.

In the Package Manager install libstdc++5 (You can either do a search for it, or type in libstc while a package is highlighted and you will get it easy.)

After it is installed you can go to the Flock Homepage and download the newest Flock. (Bear in mind that it currently only works on x86 architectures)

Now, extract the tarball that you downloaded, I just dumped mine in my home folder. Optionally you can ad a fullstop (.) before the resulting filename by right clicking and selecting “rename”. This will hide the folder.

Once that is done, click on System>Preferences>Main Menu and on the left click on “Internet.” On the right you will see a button called “New Item.”

Click on that and in the resultant dialog box you will see the top line says “Application”, that is okay. The next entry box is where you enter a name for your shortcut, I named mine “Flock Browser”, simple and understandable if someone else needs a browser on my PC.

Below that there is a button labeled “command.” Click on that and browse to the FLOCK folder. If you hid the folder with the (.) you might need to type the foldername in manually, then click on the file named “flock”. In my case that is simply “/home/quintin/flock/flock”. If the folder were hidden I would need to type in “/home/quintin/.flock/flock”. (Without the quotation marks!)

Next up is the icon for your shortcut. Flock provides it’s own, and you will be able to edit that by clicking on the little spring icon in the top left corner of the dialog box. In my case I needed to enter the path to the icon manually, it is “/home/quintin/flock/icons/mozicon128.png”. Remember to replace my username (quintin) with yours, and the (.) in front of the filename if you hid it.

Right at the bottom you can enter a short description, this is what will appear in a little text box when you hover your browser above your newly created flock shortcut. I simply entered “Flock Web Browser” there.

Click on “close” and you are done!

Now you can click on Applications>Internet>Flock and your new browser will load. Flock offers to import your Firefox Bookmarks, Password and Home Page, but although it went through the motions in my case it did not import anything.

There, now the next nut that bungles along saying that you cannot do anything in Linux without diving into the command line will need to read this, and weep, since we just installed a new browser without even venturing near a command line!

Enjoy, and if you run into problems lemme know! Right now I am off browsing teh intarweb with my shiny new browser, stretching it to the limit in order to bring you a review ASAP!


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