What is Firefox ESR? How to Install it in Ubuntu?

The snap version of Ubuntu is not to your liking? Don’t like constantly changing things with every Firefox release? You can try the Firefox ESR version if you value stability over features.

What is Firefox ESR?

Firefox ESR is a special edition of Firefox browser that doesn’t necessarily get new features monthly as the regular edition but it provides a stable and secure browsing experience. This is suitable for enterprises, organizations and institutes where stability and core features matter more than shiny new features.

Think of Firefox ESR as the long-term stable release of Linux distributions. They do not necessarily get brand-new features but they get regular security and maintenance updates. This gives the users a familiar and stable environment.

Why should you care for Firefox ESR?

Firefox releases a new version almost every month. It contains security and feature updates.

But some people may not like the inclusion and removal of features. If, after an update, you keep wondering where did certain settings go or do not like things that are different than before, Firefox ESR could be worth a try.

Basically, if you value stability more than new features, Firefox ESR is for you. This is the same version of Firefox that ships with Debian, which is known for being one of the most stable distros you can get in the market.

Let me show you how to get Firefox ESR on Ubuntu. You can have both Firefox and Firefox-ESR versions installed simultaneously. There is no visual difference in their logos so you have to pay attention to which Firefox version you are opening.

Installing Firefox ESR in Ubuntu

Before I jump to the installation part, let me share what’s the version difference between regular Firefox and Firefox-ESR. While writing,

  • Firefox is running at version 107.0-2.
  • Firefox-ESR is currently having 102.5.0esr.

So if that’s fine for you, let’s look at the first method.

Method 1: Install Firefox-ESR using PPA

Firefox-ESR is not available in the default repository of Ubuntu, so you can use the PPA.

PPA is nothing but a repository being maintained by individual techies or developers to have what the default repository does not.

And if you want to learn more about PPA, I would recommend checking our other guide that explains how you can use PPA on Linux.

Open your terminal and use the given command to add PPA for Firefox-ESR:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/ppa

And press Enter to confirm you want to add PPA:

add firefox esr repository in ubuntu

Once done, you will have to update the repository index in Ubuntu to take effect from the changes:

sudo apt update

And now, you can install Firefox-ESR by using the given command:

sudo apt install firefox-esr

Next, you can use the given command to check the installed version of Firefox-ESR in your system:

firefox-esr -v
check installed version of firefox esr in ubuntu

Uninstalling Firefox-ESR from Ubuntu

If the ESR felt too outdated for your work or for any other reason you want to remove it from your system, you can follow the steps to remove the Firefox-ESR package and the repository.

First, let’s remove the Firefox-ESR package using the following:

sudo apt remove firefox-esr

Now, you can use the given command to remove PPA from Ubuntu:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:mozillateam/ppa

And that’s it!

Method 2: Install Firefox-ESR using Snap

Love it or hate it, Snaps comes pre-configured on Ubuntu and I find using snaps a neat way of installing packages, especially when you want to avoid building them for source or using PPA.

All you need to do to install Firefox-ESR using snaps is to follow the given command:

sudo snap install firefox --channel=esr/stable
install firefox esr using snaps in ubuntu

Removing Firefox-ESR Snap

To remove Firefox-ESR (snap package), use the snap remove command:

sudo snap remove firefox

And that’s it!

Wrapping Up

I explained how to install Firefox-ESR in Ubuntu using multiple methods in this guide. I personally use Firefox-ESR instead of the regular version as I was having random crashes.

Since I shifted to Firefox-ESR, things have been going rock-solid for me. And if you were having the same, you should give it a try.

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