Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Firefox 6 Stable Released, Ubuntu / Linux Installation

As you already know, Firefox has almost adopted a rolling release cycle. A couple of months ago, Firefox 4 was new for us and they have just released Firefox 6, and guess what, they are already in the alpha developments stages for both Firefox 7 and 8.

What's new
  • The address bar now highlights the domain of the website you're visiting
  • Streamlined the look of the site identity block
  • Added support for the latest draft version of WebSockets with a prefixed API
  • Added support for EventSource / server-sent events
  • Added Scratchpad, an interactive JavaScript prototyping environment
  • Added a new Web Developer menu item and moved development-related items into it
  • Improved usability of the Web Console
  • Improved the discoverability of Firefox Sync
  • Reduced browser startup time when using Panorama
Natty Installation

As soon as a new version of Firefox comes out, support for the older release is dropped and you are automatically upgraded to the most recent version in all the upcoming versions of Ubuntu since Natty. All you need to do is to keep installing updates. If you want to do it right now, go to a Terminal and run these commands:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Lucid and Maverick Installation

For Lucid and Maverick, the officially supported version is 3.6.x which is still getting the updates. For installing a more recent version of Firefox, you need to add the 'firefox-stable' PPA and upgrade through it. If you've already done that and are running Firefox 4 or 5 currently, all you need to do is to run the above mentioned command. If not already done, get to a Terminal and run:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

PPA: https://launchpad.net/~mozillateam/+archive/firefox-stable


If you already installed Firefox 5 through this PPA, you will face issues when you upgrade. This is because, similar to the upgrade to Firefox 5 (see here), the package "xul-ext-ubufox" cannot not be installed, since, just as in the previous case, there is a conflict between this package and the package "ubufox".

But this time, the solution is the other way around. You need to remove "ubufox" in order to install "xul-ext-ubufox". So, just run these commands to first remove "ubufox" and then do the actual upgrade:

sudo apt-get purge ubufox
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

If you were already upgraded through Update Manager, or because of just running the usual upgrade process, run these commands to complete the upgrade:

sudo apt-get purge ubufox
sudo apt-get install xul-ext-ubufox

Other Linux

If you are running some other Linux other than Ubuntu and its derivatives, you can download the tar.gz package from Mozilla FTP servers. To do so, get to a Terminal and run:


Download for 32-bit Users:

wget ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/6.0/linux-i686/en-US/firefox-6.0.tar.bz2

Download for 64-bit Users:

wget ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/6.0/linux-x86_64/en-US/firefox-6.0.tar.bz2

Temporary Solution:

As a temporary solution, you can follow these commands for extracting and running Firefox from the downloaded archive:

tar -xvjf firefox-6.0.tar.bz2
cd firefox

Permanent Solution:

As a permanent solution, you can extract the Firefox files into the '/opt' directory and create a symbolic link which would let you run Firefox from the existing launchers as well.

To extract it, run this command from a Terminal:

sudo tar -xvjf firefox-6.0.tar.bz2 -C /opt

Backup your existing Firefox executable:

sudo mv /usr/bin/firefox /usr/bin/firefox-old

Create the symbolic link to the new Firefox executable:

sudo ln -s /opt/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox

Now you can run Firefox from the existing launchers as well.

If you want to revert to your previous, distribution supported version, run:

sudo mv /usr/bin/firefox-old /usr/bin/firefox

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