For those who are sticking to Firefox ESR, the latest 115 release is now easy to install in all current Ubuntu releases via PPA.
Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release) is a slow moving release series target for organizations, including schools, universities, businesses. It has different release circle compare to the general Firefox series.
Mozilla keeps updating the ESR with stability, security fixes and policy updates every few weeks, and rolls out major updates on average every 42 weeks. See update differences between Firefox ESR and Rapid releases.
The latest version now is Firefox ESR 115.x, which was firstly released almost 2 months ago. It includes all the new features since Firefox 102. But of course lacks features in v116, 117, and next releases until they are included in next major ESR release. See the release note for details.
Like the rapid releases, you can download the latest Firefox ESR as portable tarball from the ftp page. However, PPA is a good choice with better Ubuntu integration and easily to keep it up-to-date. It’s also a good alternative for Ubuntu 22.04+ users who hate Snap packages.
And, the Mozilla Team PPA has built the Firefox ESR 115 packages for all current Ubuntu releases, including Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 22.04, Ubuntu 23.04, Ubuntu 23.10, and even the old Ubuntu 16.04 and Ubuntu 18.04.
It’s a well-known PPA maintained by Ubuntu members, but un-official, since the official one should be either made into Ubuntu repository or maintained by Mozilla, isn’t it?
Install Firefox ESR 115 in Ubuntu
To install the package, first press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open a terminal window. Then, do the steps below one by one.
1. Add Mozilla Team PPA
Copy and paste the command below into PPA, then hit Enter to add the PPA:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/ppa
Type user password (no visual feedback) when it asks and hit Enter to continue.
2. Install / Update Firefox ESR
After adding the PPA repository, just run the single command below to install the latest ESR 115:
sudo apt install firefox-esr
Linux Mint users need to run
sudo apt update first to refresh system package cache.
By keeping the PPA repository in your system, you will receive updates and security fixes along with other system updates via “Software Updater” tool (or Update Manager).
And, there’ll be 2 Firefox icons in app launcher. As a workaround, just search and launch ‘ESR’.
Uninstall Firefox ESR
To uninstall the package, simply run the command below in a terminal window:
sudo apt remove --autoremove firefox-esr
And, remove the PPA either by running command:
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:mozillateam/ppa
Or by launching “Software & Updates” and removing the source line under ‘Other Software’ tab.