Friday, April 27, 2012

Exciting Changes in Firefox 13

Firefox 12 was released a couple of days ago and those expecting radical changes in this release might well be disappointed. However, Firefox 13, currently in the beta channel and scheduled to be released on June 5th, promises quite some stuff.

Update 6/5/2012: Right on schedule, Firefox 13 was released today, so as usual, we are now waiting for it to arrive in the official Ubuntu repositories, it should be there shortly. (Similar for Thunderbird 13, btw.: release notes, official repos.)

Update 6/6/2012: Firefox 13 is now in the official repositories of all current Ubuntu versions, so you can just use the Update Manager to upgrade to it, for example. (As for Thunderbird, as usual, it will take a bit longer, i.e. a couple of days.)

Firefox 13 with the much awaited 'New Tab' page:

The changes include but are not limited to:
  • A new 'New Tab' page, which by default features the 9 most visited websites.
  • Redesigned default 'Home' page with easier access to Downloads, Bookmarks, History, Add-ons, Sync and Settings. It also features the 'Restore Previous Session' button.
  • On-demand loading of restored tabs for faster startup. This means that the content of a restored tab is not loaded unless you click on it.
  • The SPDY protocol is now enabled by default for faster browsing on supported sites.
  • Smooth scrolling is now enabled by default.
  • A number of Developer Tool improvements.
  • Improved security and bug fixes.
The complete list of changes and known issues can be found here:

Firefox 13's new default 'Home' page with shortcuts:

Ubuntu Installation

If you are curious and want to install Firefox 13 beta in Ubuntu Lucid, Natty, Oneiric or Precise, you can install it from the 'firefox-next' PPA. However, publishing has been disabled for this PPA for now, but the packages for Firefox 13 have already been built. Please note that installing the beta version of Firefox using this PPA would replace your current stable version of Firefox.

Update 4/28/2012: Packages of Firefox 13 beta are now available in the 'firefox-next' PPA.

For installation of Firefox 13 beta in all the current versions of Ubuntu, get to a Terminal and run:

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


Later, for removing that PPA from your Software Sources, go to 'Software Center > Edit > Software Sources > Other Software' and delete the entry for the 'firefox-next' PPA.

Other Linux

If you are using some other Linux, you can download the Firefox tar.gz packages from here:

Just extract the downloaded package and run the 'firefox' binary from within the extracted directory.

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News , Web Browser