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Installing firefox 4 in Linux Ubuntu


Downloaded Firefox 4 beta3. I'm on Linux (Mint-ubuntu). I am assuming it detected my OS, because it offered no choices. (got a .tar.bz2 file)

I was expecting a self-installing file (like Chrome and Virtualbox provide) where one can just click on the file and it installs (just like in windoze). (you guys really should make it as easy as for chrome - not everyone on Linux is a geek).

I have no idea how to install this. If it's just to extract, I don't know the conventions on where to send it, and have it add the program to the Mint menu.

Could you please provide with detailed instructions or point me to the correct file for download? Thanks very much.

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  • Gecko Media Player Player Plug-in for QuickTime, RealPlayer and Windows Media Player streams using MPlayer
  • The next generation Java plug-in for Mozilla browsers.
  • This plug-in detects the presence of iTunes when opening iTunes Store URLs in a web page with Firefox.
  • Shockwave Flash 10.1 r82


  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100723 Linux Mint/9 (Isadora) Firefox/3.6.8

More Information

Question owner

Thanks, however, the instructions are wayyyyy too technical for a beginner!

Also, the lubuzilla or whatever it is called, doesn't seem to include the firefox 4 testing release in the possible installs (besides, I followed instructions and entered what they said on the command line, and I still don't see anything that isn't already offered before in my package manager).

HOW HARD is it for the people at Mozilla to deliver an auto-installable package like Chrome, Freephoneline, Virtualbox, and many more now offer? Is it more effort for a few, than to ask all beginners to jump through hoops? After trying this, I just installed Chrome!

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Yeah, considering that most Linux distros come with Firefox or have it available from their repository, maybe Mozilla doesn't feel the need for creating self installer packages for the various distro groupings. Basically, if a user isn't capable of installing a "tester" pre-release version by command line, are they capable of "testing" it?

I've been using Firefox for almost 8 years now and have run "tester" versions on Windows from the beginning; but, when it comes to Linux I am a 'noob', and until I master the intricacies of Linux I don't think I would have much to contribute to the testing process.

Question owner

We're not talking about reverse-engineering and analyzing source code now are we? I man, how mentally challenging is it, to fill out a bug report? Insulting comments you made there. Because really, that is all that is asked of a tester!

Chrome is also in all the repositories, yet they have the forethought of making the downloaded file installable.

It's all the little things, in the end, that will determine if someone uses it, and if a developer adopts it for their distro.

Modified by Timmi

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You can download a tar.bz2 archive and open it in a file manager like Krusader with cursor Right and copy the files to a folder to install such a beta version or any other version. If you use a file manager with two panels like Krusader or GNOME commander then that only takes a few seconds.

Question owner

Thank you for that cor-el. That brings us to the part in my original post "If it's just to extract, I don't know the conventions on where to send it, and have it add the program to the Mint menu."

I don't want to make a mess, and like things tidy. Where should I place those files /the directory containing them, once extracted? And how is this added to the menu of Mint-ubuntu?

I still feel an auto-installing file would be better.

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You can copy the files to a new directory (e.g. firefox) on your Home directory to make it easier to update that Firefox installation. I always copy the files as root user to a directory in /usr/local/ for better security, but that requires to run Firefox as a root user each time you want to update to have write permission for that folder.

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Sorry, didn't mean to be insulting, just expressing my opinion.

Question owner

You know, if I was one of the smart developpers contributing to this project, I would feel very embarrassed at this oversight (especially since chrome offers it no fuss), and would have seen to it that an installable file was released pronto!

Question owner

PS: regarding your comments that "most distros come with firefox anyways"... 3.x maybe, but for a while recenty, many distros started implementing Chrome instead.

(commentary written in Chrome because it is easier to add than firefox4 and I no longer settle for 3.x as many others now)

earcam 0 solutions 1 answers

Helpful Reply


This is really easy using PPA. Just copy 'n' paste these two commands into a console/terminal shell.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/ppa && sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install firefox-4.0


fixed broken hyperlink

Modified by the-edmeister

centauropy 0 solutions 1 answers

Hi this is really the best way, installing firefox 4.0 three clicks and it is done.

thank you.

sissymbolrote 0 solutions 1 answers

Helpful Reply

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

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install firefox-4.0

Modified by sissymbolrote

testuser2 0 solutions 1 answers

link refer's to FF4 as Beta?? will this install beta ver? It does work as advertise tho! so thumbs up!

paxitus 0 solutions 1 answers

Here are some really easy to use installation instructions that use steps that I feel are good for any Ubuntu user to know: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/03/firefox-4-ppa-for-ubuntu-10-04-and-10-10-users/

miguelolo 0 solutions 1 answers

The package you download doesnt need any "installing" as they normally do in windows. extract the package somewhere like say for example /opt and then what you have to do is:

mv /usr/bin/firefox /usr/bin/firefox_old; sudo ln -s /opt/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox and the you just click your normal firefox launcher and it should work

PS: you can also configure another laucher pointing to firefox_old to launch older version of firefox since it is not uninstalled

Modified by miguelolo

malcolm777 0 solutions 1 answers

Timmi, I agree with you, and you are OBVIOUSLY correct. With all the intelligent people working at Mozilla, I am SURPRISED that they have NOT created an automatic-installation package like the one they have created for Windows.

I have been using Mozilla Firefox for longer than I can remember. I just began using Linux Ubuntu 10.10 two days ago, and I am UTTERLY SURPRISED that they have NOT created an automatic-Installation package like they have for the Windows Operating Systems. I'm surprised and disappointed, to say the least.

And to add to this disappointed, the Firefox version 3.6.16 that I am using in my Linux Ubuntu 10.10 Operating System does NOT have an option to update under the Help drop-down menu. SHOCKER! What the hell were these people thinking !? Unless I download a later version completely from scratch, I am stuck with Firefox Version 3.6.16.

Perhaps I'll switch to Google Chrome like you.

Congratulations on making the move to Linux. Microsoft products NOT ONLY SUCK, but they represent slavery and monopolism.

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If you want an auto installation on Linux then you need to use a package from the (Mozilla) software repository of your Linux distribution. Such versions however usually do some special branding and may include (unwanted) extras and you also have to wait longer for an update.

cliffswallow 0 solutions 2 answers


Regarding the apt-get commands, although that is a solution that allows you to install Firefox on Linux, that is not a solution to the issue the original poster is addressing. To be frank your response was a really glib answer and indicative of a person who doesn't really understand the question.

What Timmi is referring to is what you should do immediately after receiving the tar.bz2 file you get by visiting firefox.com and clicking the big green "Free Download" button that allows you to download the latest version (link below):


There are no instructions as to how to install the extracted files--only a readme within the archive that points to http://getfirefox.com/releases, which as of this post is dead and does not take you anywhere.

Uninstalling your current version of Firefox and installing anew either via Ubuntu Software Centre or Synaptic (under the assumption that the version is newer) does not download Firefox 4 but rather Canonical's latest hosted version of 3.6.13 (as of this post).

Mozilla should offer a package that allows you to install on clicking the download just like Opera and Chrome does, if it wants to remain relevant. Opera and Chrome wants you to use their browsers and offer one-click installation; by the additional work that is required to install Firefox 4, perhaps Mozilla is not overly concerned about its adoption.

cliffswallow 0 solutions 2 answers

Further the actual answer to Timmi's question can be found here: