Installing 12.16 alongside modern Opera

Opera recently released Opera 26 and with it our Linux version returned. The official .deb packages for 12 and 26 cannot be installed side-by-side due to the fact that several of their files are stored in the same location (e.g. /usr/bin/opera). This is perfectly normal for an upgrade, however some users may be concerned due to the fact that modern Opera is significantly different from its predecessor and would therefore like to "test the water" before taking the plunge and upgrading. The following blog post deals with this issue.

No risk upgrade

I suggest most people simply go ahead, upgrade and give it a try. If you don't like it, you can downgrade. The first time you run it, Opera 26 will copy elements from Opera 12's profile into a new profile location. This means the original profile remains intact. If you need to downgrade, everything will be exactly as you left it.

Use the beta

If you want to run both browsers side-by-side for a trial period, another option would be to install the latest Opera beta. We provide it specifically for testing things out, so this usage qualifies. It also tends to be relativey stable and even if you do have an issue, it will not mess up the stable profile. Additionally, as it stores files in different locations from the stable browser, it can be installed alongside Opera 12 without issue.

Re-install Opera 12 via the tar package

If you will need to retain Opera 12 going forward (e.g. because you use it as your mail client), this is also possible.

In Opera 12, we provided 3 different package types, .deb, .rpm and .tar.xz. The core files contained within these packages are bit for bit identical. The primary advantages the .deb had over the .tar.xz package, was that it received automatic updates and provided dependency information to your distro's package manager. Given that we produce very few updates to the 12 series, you can probably forgo automatic updates. Regarding dependencies, Opera 12 has very few dependencies and nothing typically found outside or a normal desktop environment. Furthermore, if you already had Opera 12 installed anyway, you must already have all its dependencies fullfilled.

Firstly remove the Opera 12 .deb based install via:

sudo apt-get remove opera

Extract the Opera 12 tar package as follows:

tar xf opera-12.16-1860.x86_64.linux.tar.xz

To install, issue the following:

sudo opera-12.16-1860.x86_64.linux/install \
  --unattended --system --name opera-12

I have purposely specified the install suffix "12", so that you will be able to distinguish old and new Opera in your desktop environment. However, due to this suffix Opera will look in a new location for its profile. You will need to symlink your profile to this new location, so that Opera 12 can find it. Issue the following before you start Opera 12 for the first time after re-install:

ln -s ~/.opera ~/.opera-12

Opera 12 is now installed and configured. If you have any questions, please ask below.

Notes

As the desktop file and icons are installed in a slightly different location (under /usr/local), you may need to logout of your desktop environment and back in again before Opera 12 is recognised.

Should you ever need to uninstall Opera 12, issue: sudo /usr/local/bin/uninstall-opera-12 --unattended

On non-Ubuntu systems use root for the (un)install steps, rather than prefacing the commands with sudo.

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