Fixing HTML Rendering in Wine on Debian Jessie

Some application rely on Internet Explorer to provide HTML rendering capabilities. Wine implements the same functionality based on a custom version of Mozilla’s Gecko rendering engine (the same engine used in Firefox). In Debian Jessie you have a package called libwine-gecko-2.24 (the version is part of the name) which provides this rendering engine for Wine. However, different versions of Wine require different versions of wine-gecko. The package provided in Debian Jessie, matches the Wine version provided by wine-development from the main Jessie repository (1.7.29). Unfortunately wine-development from the jessie-backports if of version 1.9.8 and requires wine-gecko of version 2.44 which is not provided by any Debian repository. This will lead to errors like

Could not load wine-gecko. HTML rendering will be disabled.

and blank spaces where HTML content would be rendered in many applications.

The solution would be to manually install the required version of wine-gecko. We start by downloading the MSI binaries provided by Wine

$ wget https://dl.winehq.org/wine/wine-gecko/2.44/wine_gecko-2.44-x86.msi
$ wget https://dl.winehq.org/wine/wine-gecko/2.44/wine_gecko-2.44-x86_64.msi

Now install the required one, based on whether you are using 32bit or 64bit wine environment:

wine-development msiexec /i wine_gecko-2.44-x86.msi

(be sure the setup the correct $WINEPREFIX if needed).

en_IL: English locale for Israel

Update: The new locale was committed to glibc and should be part of glibc-2.24.

Most Israelis are literate in English, and for a large percentage of them, English is also the preferred language when it comes to computers. They prefer English, as it solves right-to-left issues and general inconsistencies (it might be annoying when some programs are translated ands some not). The downside is, that currently, the existing English locales are not suitable for Israel, as there are cultural differences:

  • American English spelling is more common in Israel.
  • The metric system is used, along with the relevant paper sizes (“A4” instead of Letter).
  • Dates are written in dd/mm/YYYY format, unlike in the USA.
  • The first day of week, and also the first workday is Sunday.
  • The currency used is ILS (₪).

So, up until now users had to choose locales such as en_US or en_GB and compromise on some stuff. To solve this issue, and create a truly suitable English locale for Israel, I wrote a localedef file for the en_IL locale.

To install the new locale, copy the en_IL file from the gist below and place under /usr/share/i18n/locales/en_IL (no extension). Next

# echo "en_IL.UTF-8 UTF-8" >> /usr/local/share/i18n/SUPPORTED

Now, complete the installation by running dpkg-reconfigure locales and enable en_IL.UTF-8 from the list, and set it as the default locale.

comment_char %
escape_char /
% This file is part of the GNU C Library and contains locale data.
% The Free Software Foundation does not claim any copyright interest
% in the locale data contained in this file. The foregoing does not
% affect the license of the GNU C Library as a whole. It does not
% exempt you from the conditions of the license if your use would
% otherwise be governed by that license.
% Locale for English locale in Israel
% Contributed by Guy Rutenberg <guyrutenberg@gmail.com>, 2016
LC_IDENTIFICATION
title "English locale for Israel"
source "Free Software Foundation, Inc."
address "http:////www.gnu.org//software//libc//"
contact ""
email "bug-glibc-locales@gnu.org"
tel ""
fax ""
language "English"
territory "Israel"
revision "1.1"
date "2016-04-19"
%
category "i18n:2012";LC_IDENTIFICATION
category "i18n:2012";LC_CTYPE
category "i18n:2012";LC_COLLATE
category "i18n:2012";LC_TIME
category "i18n:2012";LC_NUMERIC
category "i18n:2012";LC_MONETARY
category "i18n:2012";LC_MESSAGES
category "i18n:2012";LC_PAPER
category "i18n:2012";LC_NAME
category "i18n:2012";LC_ADDRESS
category "i18n:2012";LC_TELEPHONE
category "i18n:2012";LC_MEASUREMENT
END LC_IDENTIFICATION
LC_CTYPE
copy "en_GB"
END LC_CTYPE
LC_COLLATE
copy "en_GB"
END LC_COLLATE
LC_MONETARY
copy "he_IL"
END LC_MONETARY
LC_NUMERIC
copy "he_IL"
END LC_NUMERIC
LC_TIME
abday "<U0053><U0075><U006E>";"<U004D><U006F><U006E>";/
"<U0054><U0075><U0065>";"<U0057><U0065><U0064>";/
"<U0054><U0068><U0075>";"<U0046><U0072><U0069>";/
"<U0053><U0061><U0074>"
day "<U0053><U0075><U006E><U0064><U0061><U0079>";/
"<U004D><U006F><U006E><U0064><U0061><U0079>";/
"<U0054><U0075><U0065><U0073><U0064><U0061><U0079>";/
"<U0057><U0065><U0064><U006E><U0065><U0073><U0064><U0061><U0079>";/
"<U0054><U0068><U0075><U0072><U0073><U0064><U0061><U0079>";/
"<U0046><U0072><U0069><U0064><U0061><U0079>";/
"<U0053><U0061><U0074><U0075><U0072><U0064><U0061><U0079>"
abmon "<U004A><U0061><U006E>";"<U0046><U0065><U0062>";/
"<U004D><U0061><U0072>";"<U0041><U0070><U0072>";/
"<U004D><U0061><U0079>";"<U004A><U0075><U006E>";/
"<U004A><U0075><U006C>";"<U0041><U0075><U0067>";/
"<U0053><U0065><U0070>";"<U004F><U0063><U0074>";/
"<U004E><U006F><U0076>";"<U0044><U0065><U0063>"
mon "<U004A><U0061><U006E><U0075><U0061><U0072><U0079>";/
"<U0046><U0065><U0062><U0072><U0075><U0061><U0072><U0079>";/
"<U004D><U0061><U0072><U0063><U0068>";/
"<U0041><U0070><U0072><U0069><U006C>";/
"<U004D><U0061><U0079>";/
"<U004A><U0075><U006E><U0065>";/
"<U004A><U0075><U006C><U0079>";/
"<U0041><U0075><U0067><U0075><U0073><U0074>";/
"<U0053><U0065><U0070><U0074><U0065><U006D><U0062><U0065><U0072>";/
"<U004F><U0063><U0074><U006F><U0062><U0065><U0072>";/
"<U004E><U006F><U0076><U0065><U006D><U0062><U0065><U0072>";/
"<U0044><U0065><U0063><U0065><U006D><U0062><U0065><U0072>"
d_t_fmt "<U0025><U0061><U0020><U0025><U0064><U0020><U0025><U0062><U0020><U0025><U0059><U0020><U0025><U0054><U0020><U0025><U005A>"
d_fmt "<U0025><U0064><U002F><U0025><U006D><U002F><U0025><U0079>"
t_fmt "<U0025><U0054>"
am_pm "";"" % 24-hour clock is used
t_fmt_ampm ""
date_fmt "<U0025><U0061><U0020><U0025><U0065><U0020><U0025><U0062>/
<U0020><U0025><U0048><U003A><U0025><U004D><U003A><U0025><U0053><U0020>/
<U0025><U005A><U0020><U0025><U0059>"
week 7;19971130;1
% In Israel Sunday is a workday.
first_workday 1
END LC_TIME
LC_MESSAGES
copy "en_US"
END LC_MESSAGES
LC_PAPER
copy "he_IL"
END LC_PAPER
LC_NAME
copy "en_US"
END LC_NAME
LC_ADDRESS
postal_fmt "<U0025><U0066><U0025><U004E><U0025><U0061><U0025><U004E>/
<U0025><U0064><U0025><U004E><U0025><U0062><U0025><U004E><U0025><U0073>/
<U0020><U0025><U0068><U0020><U0025><U0065><U0020><U0025><U0072><U0025>/
<U004E><U0025><U007A><U0020><U0025><U0054><U0025>/
<U004E><U0025><U0063><U0025><U004E>"
country_name "<U0049><U0073><U0072><U0061><U0065><U006C>"
country_post "<U0049><U0053><U0052>"
country_ab2 "<U0049><U004C>"
country_ab3 "<U0049><U0053><U0052>"
country_num 376
country_car "<U0049><U004C>"
lang_name "<U0045><U006E><U0067><U006C><U0069><U0073><U0068>"
lang_ab "<U0065><U006E>"
lang_term "<U0065><U006E><U0067>"
lang_lib "<U0065><U006E><U0067>"
END LC_ADDRESS
LC_TELEPHONE
copy "he_IL"
END LC_TELEPHONE
LC_MEASUREMENT
copy "he_IL"
END LC_MEASUREMENT

view raw
en_IL
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Installing Debian Unstable’s source Packages in Debian Jessie

Sometimes a package that you need is not available for Debian Jessie, but you can find it for Sid (unstable). You may be tempted to try to install it manually, by downloading the binary deb package, but it will most likely fail due to binary incompatibilities with different libraries’ versions you have. The better method will be to get the source package used to build the binary package, and build it yourself. Most of the time the process is not as hard as it sounds.

First, a short preliminary setup is needed Add the following lines to /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb http://http.debian.net/debian jessie-backports main
deb-src http://httpredir.debian.org/debian unstable main contrib

You can replace unstable with testing if you prefer to use packages from testing. Update the lists of packages

sudo apt-get update

Next you need, to get the build dependencies for your package. The example below uses the package lyx:

sudo apt-get build-dep lyx/unstable

Now you are ready to fetch and build the source package:

sudo apt-get source -b lyx/unstable

Finally, you will see in the current directory the resulting DEBs. Simply install them:

sudo gdebi lyx-common_2.1.4-2_all.deb
sudo gdebi lyx_2.1.4-2_amd64.deb

You can later mark the dependecies that you manually installed as automatic:

sudo apt-mark auto lyx-common

Installing the latest version of Iceweasel (Firefox) on Debian Jessie

The jessie-backports repository does not have the latest Iceweasel builds. However, the Debian Mozilla team releases its own backports. To use their backports follow the steps below:

# apt-get install pkg-mozilla-archive-keyring
# echo "deb http://mozilla.debian.net/ jessie-backports iceweasel-release" >> /etc/apt/sources.list
# apt-get install -t jessie-backports iceweasel

At the time of writing this post, the Mozilla team’s repository provides Iceweasel 42, compared with 38.4 with the regular Jessie repository.