What is Firefox?
Firefox is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation.
From Debian Etch through Debian Jessie, Mozilla Firefox was not available in Debian with the official name or branding. Instead, a free-software fork named Iceweasel was provided. Starting in Debian Stretch, Mozilla Firefox is again available in Debian. See the article The end of the Iceweasel Age for a discussion of how the issue began and was eventually resolved.
On Debian Stable, you can install Firefox ESR by typing the following commands in your terminal :
apt update apt install firefox-esr
Firefox Stable, Beta and Nightly
If you want to install Firefox Stable, Beta or Nightly on your Debian Stable, you can do it by following those steps.
- Download the Firefox version you want directly from the official website
- Uncompress the archives in the */opt* folder if you want to install it system-wide (you will need to have root privilege) or in your home folder if you only want to install it for your current user.
- Create a .desktop file named *firefox-stable.desktop* (replace *stable* with *beta* or *nightly*) in */usr/share/applications* if you want to install it system-wide (you will need to have root privilege) or in
- .local/share/applications* if you only want to install it for your current user.
Creating a .desktop file for firefox
Here is an example of a .desktop file :
[Desktop Entry] Name=Firefox ''Your version'' Comment=Web Browser GenericName=Web Browser X-GNOME-FullName=Firefox ''Your version'' Web Browser Exec=/path/to/firefox/firefox %u Terminal=false X-MultipleArgs=false Type=Application Icon=/path/to/firefox/browser/icons/mozicon128.png Categories=Network;WebBrowser; MimeType=text/html;text/xml;application/xhtml+xml;application/xml;application/vnd.mozilla.xul+xml;application/rss+xml;application/rdf+xml;image/gif;image/jpeg;image/png;x-scheme-handler/http;x-scheme-handler/https; StartupWMClass=Firefox StartupNotify=true
As you can see, you will need to change the name accordingly to the version of Firefox you want to install. You will also need to change the path to the executable and the icon. Optionally you can add a name, a comment, a Genericname and a X-GNOME-?FullName for an other language than english. To do so, you will need to add the country two letter code. between two square brackets right after the variable name (e.g. Comment[fr]=Navigateur Web).
If you want to be able to launch Firefox from the command line, you need to create a symlink to the firefox executable in some folder that is included in your PATH variable, such as /usr/local/bin. For example, if you uncompressed the downloaded archive in /opt, you would do it like this:
sudo ln -s /opt/firefox/firefox /usr/local/bin/
If you want to use your manually installed Firefox as the chosen alternative (see DebianAlternatives) for x-www-browser, you can do this as follows:
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/x-www-browser x-www-browser /opt/firefox/firefox 200 sudo update-alternatives --set x-www-browser /opt/firefox/firefox
Several Firefox Versions
Note: Debian (...,8=jessie,9=stretch) delivers an own password manager and syncs it _NOT_ with the default Firefox implementation.
When using several installations keep in mind that all passwords do not exists for the other Firefox Versions. (Hacks are possible for some Versions. E.g: Symlinks to the master password files if the software stucture hasn't changed!)
Example of a $HOME/.mozilla/firefox/profiles.ini file eg using also Firefox 39.0.0 (Downloaded and extracted in: $HOME/.mozilla/firefox/firefox-39-0-0.ext) :
[General] StartWithLastProfile=1 [Profile0] Name=default IsRelative=1 Path=a1b2c3d4e5f6.default Default=1 [Profile1] Name=39-0-0 IsRelative=1 Path=firefox-39-0-0.ext
Example of a .desktop file for the 39.0.0 Version :
[Desktop Entry] Name=Firefox '39.0.0' Comment=Web Browser GenericName=Web Browser X-GNOME-FullName=Firefox '39.0.0' Web Browser Exec=/home/YOUR-USERNAME/.mozilla/firefox/firefox-39-0-0.ext/firefox -P 39-0-0 --new-instance %u Terminal=false X-MultipleArgs=false Type=Application Icon=/home/YOUR-USERNAME/.mozilla/firefox/firefox-39-0-0.ext/your-icon.png Categories=Network;WebBrowser; MimeType=text/html;text/xml;application/xhtml+xml;application/xml;application/vnd.mozilla.xul+xml;application/rss+xml;application/rdf+xml;image/gif;image/jpeg;image/png;x-scheme-handler/http;x-scheme-handler/https; StartupWMClass=Firefox StartupNotify=true
The secrets are:
The shell arguments of each Firefox installation to be veryfied first and to be set to the desktop file. After starting a different version the very first time: Yo must disable the automated update to keep the selected version (Even with security holes of that version).
In german language but code snipets are transparent: Detailed alternative guide