Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Opera on the XO Laptop

No I'm not talking about singing.

I was looking forward to the release of Firefox 3 with great anticipation. I had tried out the beta versions and noticed the improvements in JavaScript execution speed and memory footprint. Since the XO laptop is relatively slow and memory constrained compared to many of the other computers that I work with, I was really hoping that Firefox 3 would be a big improvement over Firefox 2. It turns out, for the XO, it wasn't. The place where the limitations were most apparent, was scrolling on a large web page. The page would hang for a second or so and then slowly creep down. It probably had to do with the short supply of available RAM on my happy little green machine.

As momentum was building for Firefox 3, I started to hear good things about Opera 9.51. When I ran into performance issues on Firefox and the XO, I decided to give Opera a try. Some thought I was crazy since, as Arne mentioned, the XO can be a bit slow. Yes, the XO laptop is a different environment than most other computers out there, and Opera has turned out to be an improvement.

To set up Opera on the XO, I began by downloading from the Opera web site. I selected Opera 9.51 for Linux i386, selected RedHat as the distribution in the drop down menu, then I selected RedHat 6.2, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 8.0, 9 and checked the box to Download this package in TAR.GZ format. Whew.



Next, unpack the archive using
tar zxvf opera-9.51.gcc4-static-qt3.i386.tar.gz
and then run
install.sh -s
From there, you can just type opera on the command line in the terminal to start it up.
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