Firefox installation guide (Non snap)

In light of firefox becoming a snap, i have a tutorial on how to replace the snap version with the version from mozilla's website.
Snap firefox is fine. But if you are the person who hates the constant slow startup times, and inabillity to install mozilla extensions, you're not alone.
Note: This involves getting through a little bit of terminal, but we'll just be copying and pasting commands here. This also works with any Ubuntu flavour.
Precaution: I advice to remove the firefox snap before doing this. Only remove snapd if you don't want it anymore.

  1. in a terminal, type in sudo snap remove firefox. Type in your password, then wait until the snap is removed.

Now, we can proceed to installing the tar version of firefox! :smile:

  1. Download the tar from the website.

  2. Open a terminal and paste this command:
    cd ~/Downloads

  3. Then extract the contents using this command:
    tar xjf firefox-*.tar.bz2

  4. Apply this command:
    sudo mv firefox /opt.
    You will be asked to enter your password.

  5. Apply this command to make sure firefox is executable:
    sudo ln -s /opt/firefox/firefox /usr/local/bin/firefox

  6. And last but not least apply this command:
    sudo wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/mozilla/sumo-kb/main/install-firefox-linux/firefox.desktop -P /usr/local/share/applications

  7. And your done :slight_smile:

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There are numerous ways. I have used the Ubuntuzilla myself for years very happily.

Tutorial:
(How to Install Latest Firefox as classic Deb in Ubuntu 22.04 | UbuntuHandbook)

How to Install Latest Firefox as classic Deb in Ubuntu 22.04
Ways to get Firefox in Ubuntu as deb:

Snap is OK. But when you trying to install Gnome Extensions, the browser doesn’t work at the moment! So, you need workarounds:

  • Firefox Linux tarball from Mozilla website
  • Firefox ESR PPA.
  • Firefox PPA.
  • Ubuntuzilla repository
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The one i used was the tarball.

  1. The flatpak version of Firefox themes worse than the snap package. Like for instance, my system is primarily dark mode, but i can still see white shades on the Firefox flatpak
  2. I decided to try out the official Mozilla method to see if it works.

Question: Is it true you have to re download the tar at every upgrade? At least that's what I've heard from the link you posted. If Firefox doesn't update properly, I'll change the guide again as i want to avoid confusion.

1 Like

@devemux86 I'm just posting it in case a person needs a current guide. If this way doesn't work out for me or other people, I'll just use the ubuntuzilla ppa.
Also, I'm not a fan of ESR, but if that works, I'll add it to the guide.

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Note that the reason why i said that you should only remove snapd if you don't need it, is because apps like mate welcome and software boutique are snaps and people may depend on them.

Superb topic - thanks to all the folks for the great info shared here !!

Being forced into using snaps is just nasty IMO & as such I avoid things which come that way and also prefer to avoid flatpaks via flatpak not even being installed.

Snap was a different story though, as it got installed automatically as part of updating.

I barely use FF - but did take a look inside /var/lib/snapd/snaps & no FF exists there.

Moving forward, I can tolerate the few things shown, but wish to have my system actively resist conversions of any more of its normal apps to snaps - is there any method for doing that ??

Thanks.

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If your apps you depend on have a deb version, you can download it from the website.
If you want to get rid of snaps completely, beware: Mate Welcome and Software Boutique will be removed.
In a terminal, type in sudo apt remove snapd.
After snapd is removed, type in sudo apt-mark hold snapd.
Then snap is never coming back to your system.

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Update: I notice that the snap Firefox takes 7 seconds to launch on a cold boot now. I can see an improvement.

Whenever other apps need to launch a browser, they likely invoke x-www-browser or gnome-www-browser. If other apps aren't invoking Firefox, you may need to manually set its priority.

Open a Terminal (Ctrl-Alt-T), then copy-and-paste the following command-line to check the x-www-browser setting:

sudo update-alternatives --config x-www-browser

If Firefox isn't on the list of installed browsers, add it with the following Terminal command:

sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/x-www-browser x-www-browser /usr/bin/firefox 250

Repeat the first command above to confirm Firefox's position on the x-www-browser list.

Likewise, check the gnome-www-browser setting:

sudo update-alternatives --config gnome-www-browser

If needed, add Firefox to the gnome-www-browser list with this command-line:

sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gnome-www-browser gnome-www-browser /usr/bin/firefox 250

As default browser, the following Terminal command pops open Firefox and goes to DuckDuckGo...

xdg-open https://duckduckgo.com

Now apps such as Google Earth will invoke Firefox whenever a browser is needed.

1 Like

Same guide I posted. I read UbuntuHandbook every day. Ji's amount of knowledge of Ubuntu is truly amazing and comes in useful for me very often.

Xolvix: I agree with you. Firefox-esr is the easiest and fastest way to get rid of snap

On omg!ubuntu! there is now a guide how to install and keep Firefox as a deb package.

The tar.gz version is the best as it updates automatically and will be guaranteed to be maintained.

FYI reading on IRC the mozilla team who maintain the PPA that has jammy builds for both firefox and firefox-ESR have made it clear that the PPA is not a guaranteed permanent thing. Originally said by @fossfreedom on Ubuntu Budgie Discourse.

I've noticed recently that snap firefox takes five seconds to launch on initial boot.

Works here, just upgraded to 100 using .tar version.
Clicked on menu, Help, About Firefox and it checked for updates. Showed checking for updates and changed to update to 100. Clicked on it and it downloaded small file and changed to restart to update Firefox. Restarted and now have 100.

Just unsure of automatically, just pushed button and it did automatically upgrade using check for updates vs did not try automatically install updates in settings. Prefer to choose when.

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I just posted some thoughts which relate with this topic, here: