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January 2014

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For some unknown reason, Debian thinks that my favorite browser (Links 2.x) can't be compiled with SSL support legally.

A side effect of this is that the downstream - Ubuntu - ends up with the same crippled version of links2. Not good.

Luckily, it's fairly easy to fix. You just need to run a few commands:

# sudo aptitude install devscripts build-essential fakeroot
# apt-get source links2
# sudo apt-get build-dep links2

You should end up with a links2-2.x/ directory in your current working directory. You need to edit the links2-2.x/debian/rules file and change "--without-ssl" to "--with-ssl"

Once you do that, you just need to rebuild and install the package. From the source directory, do:

# debuild -i -us -uc -b

After which you should have created an SSL-enabled links2, which you can install with dpkg -i

Now since this is a locally created file, aptitude/synaptic/whatever would rather pull in the one from whatever repository you're using. You don't want that - your best option is to use aptitude in interactive mode and flag links2 as "hold" by selecting it and pressing the '=' key.

Alternately, you might find it useful to increment the version number prior to building your package by running "debchange --increment." This will prevent your package from being "upgraded" until the package is updated upstream - when that happens, an update will override your local package. This is actually somewhat useful behavior, since that lets you know that it's going to be time to update your local package to the new version.

Why links2? Well, it has a nifty graphical mode that even renders things such as gmail pretty well. It's also about the fastest browser I've seen.

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