Recently, I installed Ubuntu 7.10 on two laptops. One of my first tasks after updating all my software was to install my favorite Firefox extensions. Unfortunately I was unable to do so. I didn’t receive an error message the download and installation process just stalled.
I wondered if the problem was Ubuntu specific so I scoured the Ubuntu forums and tried numerous fixes to try to get my extensions to install. I changed permissions in my plug-in directory, reinstalled, and deleted directories and preferences. I discounted network problems because I could easily download and install on Mac OS X. I then went and looked at the Ubuntu Forums for help.
I was getting suspicious so I rebooted from the Ubuntu live install CD and had the same problem running from the liveCD. This was puzzling I figured I did something funky during my installation.
I believe what was happening was that the download was timing out but I had no idea why.It seems that some Linux distributions and contributions have difficulties with the IPv6 protocoI then stumbled upon this tip. Firefox on some Linux about:config in the URL bar and change the network.dns.disableIPv6 setting to true.
Here’s an explanation of the Network.dns.disableIPV6 setting from the mozillaZine Knowledge Base.
IPv6 was designed in part to solve the problem IPv4 will soon be facing: the exhaustion of all possible IP addresses. Mozilla implemented IPv6support in early 2000, but that support did not receive wide spread testing until recently as IPv6-capable OSs and network software/equipment became more common.
One particular bug that has appeared exists not in Mozilla, but in IPv6-capable DNS servers: an IPv4 address may be returned when anIPv6 address is requested. It is possible for Mozilla to recover from this misinformation, but a significant delay is introduced.
I also looked for some hints in the Ubuntu bug database and found that the IPv6 problem does affect other programs too. I wish I had a better insight on why exactly the problem happens but hopefully I saved someone a few hours.