Brief: The game-changing Firefox Quantum is here to reclaim the lost userbase. Here’s how to install Firefox Quantum in Linux right now.
The latest version of Mozilla’s web browser Firefox is called Quantum because it’s blazing fast. It has been coded in Rust instead of the usual C++ and it is the first web browser to truly utilize the power of a multi-core processor.
Because of these changes, Mozilla claims that Firefox is two times faster and takes 30% less power than its previous release.
It’s not just Mozilla who is claiming things on its own. There has been lots of buzz around Quantum release. It is touted as a game-changing release that will help Firefox gain its lost userbase to Google Chrome.
Installing Firefox Quantum in Ubuntu and other Linux
Ideally, Firefox Quantum has been released. But it will be sometime before your Linux distribution makes it available for you. But since I couldn’t wait, I thought of installing it before it is officially available from Ubuntu.
Before you go on manually installing Firefox Quantum, I advise you to run the system update and see if it is already available. If not, here is how to upgrade it.
One more warning, if you are installing a new version of Firefox afresh (instead of a regular update via your system update) you will lose the bookmarks, history etc. So make sure that you make a backup or use Firefox Sync account.
If you too cannot wait, I’ll show you how to install Firefox 57 Quantum in any Linux distribution right now. The tutorial is divided into three parts:
- Just run Firefox Quantum and test how it looks and works. This won’t replace your existing Firefox browser.
- Install the Firefox Quantum and do some tweaks to replace your existing Firefox with Quantum with proper desktop icon and menu search support.
- Use the development PPA from Firefox to easily install it on Ubuntu based Linux distributions.
Method 1: Use Firefox Quantum without replacing the older Firefox
You won’t be able to use a number of add-ons and extensions in Firefox Quantum. Perhaps for this reason, you would want to keep using Firefox 56.
But hey, everyone is talking about how awesome Firefox Quantum is. So you may want to try your hands on it.
Good thing is that you can do that without replacing your existing Firefox install. Let’s see how:
Download it from the official website:
Extract the downloaded file (just right click on it and you’ll see the option) and Go to the extracted folder. If you have an older version of Firefox running, stop it.
Look for an executable file called Firefox. Now double click on the Firefox executable file to run the Firefox Quantum.
Method 2: Install Firefox Quantum in Linux by replacing the older Firefox [with desktop icon and menu search support]
If you just used the above method and decided that you want to keep using Firefox Quantum, let’s see how to replace the older Firefox and make Quantum the default Firefox. This method will enable you to access the newer Firefox Quantum like a regular install. Which means you’ll have the icons in the launcher, it could be searchable in menu etc.
Let’s see how to do it.
If you haven’t done already, download Firefox Quantum from its official website:
If you haven’t extracted it already, open a terminal and use the following commands to extract it.
tar xjf firefox-57.0.tar.bz2
We’ll copy the extracted files in /opt location. It’s a standard practice to use /opt directory to keep application files.
Just to make sure that you don’t have a Firefox there already, run the command below:
sudo rm -r /opt/firefox
Now move the extracted Firefox Quantum directory to /opt
sudo mv ~/Downloads/firefox /opt/firefox
Just in case, if you want to use the older Firefox, make a backup of it:
sudo mv /usr/bin/firefox /usr/bin/firefox_old
Now create a symbolic link to the new Firefox 57 using the command below:
sudo ln -s /opt/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox
And that’s it. You’ll see that when you start Firefox now, it uses the new Quantum version.
Method 3: Upgrading via PPA in Ubuntu, Linux Mint and elementary OS
Update: Firefox Quantum is already available in Ubuntu now so you just need to update your system and you shall have the new Firefox Quantum.
Mozilla has an official PPA to test the beta version. You can use the same PPA to install Firefox Quantum.
Open a terminal and enter the following command one by one:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-next sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
If you already have Firefox installed, you’ll see that it has been metamorphosed into Quantum. Firefox logo changed immediately.
Apart from the logo, you’ll also notice that the UI has been changed as well. It looks more like Opera now.
In case you don’t have Firefox installed already, you can use the command below to install it:
sudo apt install firefox
That’s it. You can enjoy the newer, faster and better Firefox.
Revert Firefox Quantum to Firefox 56
If you do not like Firefox Quantum, you can remove it and install the stable Firefox 56. Though you won’t be able to enjoy Firefox 56 for long as it will be upgraded to Firefox 57 Quantum gradually.
To do that, use the commands below:
sudo apt remove firefox sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:mozillateam/firefox-next sudo apt install firefox
You should be back to the normal Firefox.
How is Firefox Quantum?
If you try Firefox Quantum, don’t forget to share your experience with it. Is it really as great as people say?