Archives For November 30, 1999

Mozilla announced a new monthly release of its Firefox web browser on March 19.

In the new release, the caret browsing mode, keyboard navigating just like in text editor, also works in the built-in PDF viewer.

The Qwant search engine has been expanded to all languages in the France region along with Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland.

In MacOS, Firefox now uses the macOS fullscreen API for better user experience for fullscreen spaces, menubar and the Dock. In Windows, it populates the taskbar jump list more efficiently, for a smoother overall browsing experience.

Firefox Caret Browsing setting option

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Mozilla Firefox web browser version 123.0 now is available to download!

In the new monthly release, Firefox View page now have “Search” function, allows to search a page from each tab of recent browsing, recent closed tabs, open tabs, tab from other devices, and history.

Firefox 123.0 also added a new menu option to easily report web compatibility issue for currently tab.

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For Ubuntu machine with NVIDIA graphics card, here’s how to implement hardware acceleration for video playback in Firefox web browser.

Firefox so far only supports VA-API for GPU decoding to offload CPU and save power. Both Intel and AMD GPUs support VA-API. However, NVIDIA so far supports the api only through the open-source Nouveau driver.

If you have only NVIDIA GPU running with proprietary driver, then hardware video acceleration does not work out-of-the-box for Firefox.

For choice, there are libvdpau-va-gl1 driver (h.264 only) or libva-vdpau-driver, but both seems no longer updated. The best choice so far is the free open-source nvidia vaapi driver.
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Mozilla announced new 122.0 release for its free open-source Firefox web browser this Tuesday!

This is a new monthly release that include minor new features. For Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and their based systems, Firefox now provides official .deb packages through an apt repository.

Meaning now, there are 5 official ways to install Firefox in Ubuntu Linux:

  • Snap package (pre-installed in Ubuntu 22.04+)
  • New apt repository (maintained by Mozilla)
  • MozillaTeam PPA (maintained by Ubuntu Team members)
  • Portable Linux tarball (maintained by Mozilla)
  • Flatpak package (verified by Mozilla)

Besides providing .deb package for the Stable release, the apt repository also includes the packages for Beta, Nightly, and Dev versions of the popular web browser.
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Firefox web browser announced the new monthly 121.0 release this Tuesday!

For Linux, the release finally default to Wayland session when available, meaning for Ubuntu 22.04 and higher (exclude Snap), Fedora Workstation, and other Linux with recent GNOME Desktop.

With Wayland, it has better support for touchscreen & touchpad.

User can use 2-finger swipe left/right to navigate forward and backward, and 2-finger pinch gesture to zoom in/out. It as well has per-monitor DPI settings, better graphics performance, and more.

Sadly, this feature does NOT enabled for Firefox Snap in my case for Ubuntu. User can choose to either install Firefox as .deb package, or manually enable Wayland support for the Snap pacakge.

Besides Wayland for Linux, Firefox 121.0 also adds Voice Control commands support on macOS systems, and prompts Windows users to install the Microsoft AV1 Video Extension to enable hardware decoding support.

Other features in Firefox 121.0 include:

  • Option to force links to always be underlined
  • New PDF viewer floating button to simplify deleting drawings, text, and images.
  • Option to disable the debugger; keyword on the current page.
  • Support :has() selector, the hanging and each-line keywords, balance keyword, lazy loading iframes.
  • tail call elimination support in WebAssembly language
  • Various security fixes.

How to Get Firefox 121.0

Most Linux that pre-installs Firefox, will build the latest package soon and publish into system repositories.

For Ubuntu, the snap package has been updated to v121.0. It should update to the new release automatically.

If NOT, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal, and run command to do the update manually.

snap refresh firefox

For the portable Linux tarball, as well as the official release note, go to the link below:

This simple tutorial shows how to install Firefox Beta, Firefox Developer Edition, or Firefox Nightly in Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, using the new official repository.

Mozilla announced new official apt repository for Debian and Ubuntu users few months ago, which contains the .deb package for Firefox Nightly build.

Now, the repository also contains packages for Firefox Beta and Firefox Developer Edition! And, here’s step by step guide shows how to use it to install the latest packages in your system.

NOTE 1: Ubuntu also has an official PPA contains Firefox Beta package. Though, it’s maintained by members from Ubuntu Team.
NOTE 2: This tutorial is tested and works in Debian 12, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 22.04, and Ubuntu 23.10.

Step 1: Install the Repository Key

To add the new repository, you need to first download & install the key, so your system will trust the packages from it.

First, open terminal either from start menu or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard.

When terminal opens, run command to make sure ‘/etc/apt/keyrings’ exist for storing the keys.

sudo mkdir -p /etc/apt/keyrings

Then, download & install the key by running the single command below in terminal:

wget -q -O- | sudo tee /etc/apt/keyrings/ > /dev/null

If ‘wget’ command not found, run sudo apt install wget to install it.

After that, you can verify the new key file by listing the content of that directory: ls /etc/apt/keyrings.

Step 2: Add Mozilla’s Official Repository

Also in a terminal window, run the single command below will create a config file and write the source repository.

echo "deb [signed-by=/etc/apt/keyrings/] mozilla main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mozilla.list > /dev/null

When done, you may verify by running cat /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mozilla.list to print the source file content.

Step 3: Install Firefox Stable, Beta, Dev, or Nightly

After adding the apt repository and key, run the command below to refresh system package cache:

sudo apt update

Finally, install Firefox Beta by running command:

sudo apt install firefox-beta

The repository also contains Firefox Stable, Development, and Nightly versions! Replace firebox-beta in last command with firefox, firefox-devedition, or firefox-nightly according which version you want to install. For STABLE version,  you however NEED to set higher PPA priority.

Non-English user may also install the language package by running command:

sudo apt install firefox-beta-l10n-xx

Replace xx with the shortcode for your language. Also, replace beta for dev or nightly version accordingly.

Step 4: (Optional) Change the App Name to Differ from Firefox Stable

The new Firefox Beta uses same logo to Firefox Stable, and it also displayed as “Firefox” in start menu.

If you have more than one edition of Firefox packages in system, then you may have to differ them from each other by changing the name.

To do so, first launch terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command to copy the .desktop config file from system to local directory:

sudo cp /usr/share/applications/firefox-beta.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/

Then, change the app name to “Firefox Beta” by running command:

desktop-file-edit --set-name="Firefox Beta" ~/.local/share/applications/firefox-beta.desktop

The change should apply automatically in few seconds. If not, run sudo update-desktop-database to update the database manually.

If you also want to differ the icon, use --set-icon='/path/to/new/icon' in last command.

Firefox web browser announced the release of 119.0 this Tuesday.

The new release improved PDF editing, by allowing to add images and alt text, in addition to text and drawings.

“Firefox View” icon has been replaced with a folder icon instead of the previous Firefox logo. And, it allows to see all open tabs from all windows, and all tabs from other synced devices.

The release also has some security improvements. They include Encrypted Client Hello (ECH) to extend TLS encryption to cover more of the handshake and better protect sensitive fields, supports the partitioning of Blob URLs for Total Cookie Protection, and restrict website fonts visibility to system fonts and language pack fonts in Enhanced Tracking Protection strict mode.

Other changes in Firefox 119 include:

  • Ability to import some extensions from Chrome.
  • Recently closed tabs now persist between sessions that don’t have automatic session restore enabled.
  • Updated Storage Access API web standard.
  • Santali (sat) language support.
  • Unexpected jumps in scroll position on Facebook.
  • Various security fixes, and development changes.

How to Get Firefox 119

The official release note as well as the download link is available at the link below:

For Ubuntu, the pre-installed Firefox Snap package has already been updated to v119. If you don’t have it, try running snap refresh firefox in terminal.

For the .deb package, Mozilla Team PPA is available though you have to manually block the Snap package.

This simple tutorial shows how to install the latest Firefox Nightly in all current Ubuntu releases!

Firefox Nightly is the bleeding edge version of the web browser that updates twice a day. It contains features that are still in developments months or even years before they become mainstream.

The Nightly build is more likely to crash than the stable release. For testing purpose or power-user who prefer the very latest features, here you can install Firefox Nightly via 3 ways!


Method 1: Install Firefox Nightly via Snap package

The easiest way to get Firefox Nightly is using the Snap package. It receives updates automatically, however, will override the pre-installed Firefox, by updating it to the latest edge channel.

Ubuntu 22.04 and higher users, can simply open Ubuntu Software (or App Center). Search Firefox and switch channel/source to “latest/edge”.

Or, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When terminal opens, run the command below instead to install Firefox Nightly:

snap refresh firefox --channel=latest/edge

NOTE: The Snap package will take use the previous profile. In the case, you can open about:profiles page, then create a new profile and set it as default.

Method 2: Use New Apt Repository

Mozilla announced new official apt repository recently. It contains the .deb package of most recent Firefox Nightly package for all current Ubuntu and Debian releases.

1. First, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When terminal opens, run command to download & install the key for that repository:

wget -q -O- | gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /etc/apt/keyrings/ > /dev/null

2. Next, add the apt repository by running the single command below:

echo "deb [signed-by=/etc/apt/keyrings/] mozilla main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mozilla.list > /dev/null

This command will create the ‘mozilla.list‘ file under /etc/apt/sources.list.d directory and write the source line into it.

3. Finally, refresh the system package cache:

sudo apt update

And, install the Nightly build of Firefox from that repository by running command:

sudo apt install firefox-nightly

Method 3: Install Firefox Nightly via Ubuntu PPA

For choice, there’ a daily build PPA maintained by Ubuntu members. Which, so far supports Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 22.04, Ubuntu 23.10, and Ubuntu 24.04

The PPA is a good choice, since it contains native .deb package. It will NOT override any other Firefox Stable package (neither deb nor snap), and uses its own profile for storing user data.

1. To add the PPA, first press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/ppa

Type user password (no asterisk feedback) when it asks and hit Enter to continue.

2. Linux Mint user needs to manually update the system package cache after adding PPA, though its done automatically in Ubuntu 20.04 and higher:

sudo apt update

3. Finally, install the Firefox Nightly build by running command:

sudo apt install firefox-trunk

After installing the package, launch it from ‘Activities’ overview screen or app menu depends on your desktop environments. And, you can use “Software Updater” (or Update Manager) every day to keep the package up-to-date.

Uninstall Firefox Nightly

For the Snap package, just open terminal and run command will restore to the pre-installed Firefox package:

snap refresh firefox --channel=latest/stable

However, the restored Firefox Snap will create a new user profile instead of using the original one, though you can manually backup and restore your important data.

For the apt repository package, open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command to remove it:

sudo apt remove --autoremove firefox-nightly

To remove the source repository, just delete the source file and key by running the 2 commands below one by one:

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mozilla.list
sudo rm /etc/apt/keyrings/

And, refresh system package cache via sudo apt update to apply change.

For the PPA package, run the command below to remove it:

sudo apt remove --autoremove firefox-trunk

Also remove the Ubuntu PPA by either running command:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/ppa

or use “Software & Updates” utility under ‘Other Software’ tab by removing the source line.

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.

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Mozilla today announced the release of Firefox 112.0. See what’s new in this release!

For Ubuntu user using the Chromium browser that was installed as Snap package from system repository, Firefox 112 adds ability to import data from that browser. Though, the feature so far does not work in Firefox itself installed as Snap package.

When working with too many browser tabs, user can now click on the down arrow icon (‘⋁’) to open tab lists, and use middle mouse click on any tab to close it.

Also, the Ctrl+Shift+T re-open closed tab shortcut key, can now restore the previous session if there are no more closed tabs from the same session to re-open.

Other changes in Firefox 112.0 include:

  • Right-clicking on password fields now shows an option to reveal the password.
  • Update EnableTrackingProtection policy to prevent from more cross-site tracking.
  • Enables overlay of software-decoded video on Intel GPUs in Windows
  • Disable the deprecated U2F Javascript API by default.
  • Various security fixes.

How to Install Firefox 112.0 in Ubuntu

For Ubuntu 22.04 and higher, that using the pre-installed Firefox as Snap package. You should now has updated to the new release. Just open browser, and check its version via the ‘About Firefox’ page.

For Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 18.04, just wait! The new release page will be made into system repository in next few days. Keep your system up-to-date will automatically update Firefox package to the latest.

For those who do NOT like the pre-installed Snap package, and old Ubuntu users who can’t wait, there’s also an Ubuntu PPA that contains the latest Firefox package, see this step by step guide how to install Firefox from that PPA.