How To Install firefox-3.0.tar.bz2 in Linux

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Q. How To Install Firefox 3.0 tar.bz2 (firefox-3.0.tar.bz2 file) in Linux?

A. You won’t lose any of your bookmarks or browsing history created by Firefox 2.0, but some of your extensions and other add-ons might not work until updates for them are made available.

Backup Existing Firefox 2.0 Settings

Just backup existing Firefox 2.0 settings:
$ mkdir ff.backup/
$ cp -avr .mozilla/ ff.backup/

Installing Firefox 3 on Linux

Just use the following instructions to download and install Firefox.

Download Firefox 3.0 for Linux

Visit official website to grab latest version. You can also use wget command to download firefox.
$ cd /tmp
$ wget ''

Linux Install Firefox for all users

First close all running old Firefox 2.x sessions. Login as the root and type the following command to move old firefox 2 and install Firefox 3 under Linux:
# cd /opt
# mv firefox firefox.old
# cp /tmp/firefox-3.0.tar.bz2 .
# tar -jxvf firefox-3.0.tar.bz2

To start firefox, enter:
$ /opt/firefox/firefox &

64 comment

  1. I have Ubuntu 8.04 which came with FireFox 3.0 beta 5.

    How do I get to install the final release by replacing the beta content ?

    My /opt folder is empty !

  2. Its odd that we have to wait for a update from Ubuntu without us manually updating it directly.

    Anyway, turns out, Ubuntu has already released an update to FF3 final.

  3. Hey,

    Given the “tar.bz2” thing in the filename for “firefox-3.0.tar.bz2”, I thought I would fine Firefox’s source code compressed, rather than already-compiled-and-ready-for-execution files.

    That was pretty confusing, since all the “innocent and newie” souls like me would go and do a search on Google like “installing tar.bz2 files”, and what you get are tons of Linux sites speaking of “source-code compressed stuff” which requires kind of complex commands for installation (decompressing it, compiling it, installing and so on).

    What’s going on exactly? I’ll be just grateful if somebody can throw some light on this.

    Thanx a lot in advance!

  4. Hey,

    A giant thank you for your quick reply. But I’m not really interested on the source code of Firefox at the moment.

    I just want to make it clear how come they’re using the “.tar.bz2” thing for distributing already compiled binary files, when they actually -according to most of the Linux sites- in “tar.bz2” file you should always include the source code of your program only, and not binaries.

    All you gotta do is a search on google with the keywords “installing tar.bz2 files”, and -like I said- you’ll get tons of Linux sites speaking of “./configure, make install”, and other complex commands.

    Now the thing is you download the firefox-3.0.tar.bz2 file, and you’ll see there are no source in it. So the question is just what’s going on?

    Once again, thanx a lot in advance!

  5. I have followed ur advice but i got confuse when i tried to use firefox is still old version
    I use fc8.
    any advices?

  6. @adhoy: you have to launch firefox on the command line giving the full path.

    if you extracted the tarball in /opt/firefox

    then /opt/firefox/firefox is the path to application

  7. -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 3949 2008-05-29 16:21 /opt/firefox/firefox
    -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 7476 2008-05-29 16:21 /opt/firefox/firefox-bin
    [email protected]:/# /opt/firefox/firefox &
    [1] 8348
    [email protected]:/# /opt/firefox/ 442: /opt/firefox/firefox-bin: not found

    [1]+ Exit 127 /opt/firefox/firefox
    [email protected]:/#

  8. You guys, some of you don’t know how to talk to people who are really ignorant; do you? Anyway, the confusion is justifiable considering that the standard, at least in the Windows and Mac world – the paid worlds, that is – is that when you double-click an installer, that thing takes care of all the decompression of the archive, the locating of the old install, the upgrade and/or replacement, and the installation of needed binaries to make it all work. Now, what you guys appear to be doing is talking about how to decompress archives or how to run the executable in an archive, but what about the old installation? This download from appears to be a compressed complete installation that doesn’t appear to interact with the old installation or replace it. This is way confusing. Somebody said that RPMs exist for RPM based systems. What the heck are they? I go to and I don’t see any darn RPM of firefox 3. I don’t see a yum version. I don’t see anything but this freekin bz crap that ends up giving me a big folder of a new installation. Arrrrrrrgh.

  9. Mongo, FYI, the above method is applicable for Linux flavours which don’t have an installer. In other cases the popular Linux flavours like Ubuntu, Fedora, SUSE, Gentoo have a package manager bundled with them which allows you to do add, remove packages and also with AUTOMATIC DOWNLOAD i.e. you have to just configure the source repository and give a click via the GUI (or command on CUI) and your app is installed WITH DEPENDENCIES. So, unlike the idiot windows you don’t even have to download the installer!!

  10. Mongo, and further the RPMs for Fedora is available in its repositories. Give a click in the GUI or give the following command as root –

    yum install firefox


    yum update firefox (if firefox 2 is installed)

  11. hey for some reason, it goes through the motions and says it downloaded and installed it, but when i start up firefox, it still says its under version 2. any suggestions?? i am running suse 10.3.

  12. I have Firefox 2 installed on FC8 and I have tried:

    yum install firefox

    What I get though is the following message:

    Could not find update match for firefox
    No Packages marked for Update

  13. [[email protected] ~]$ su
    [[email protected] matias]# cd /opt
    [[email protected] opt]# mv firefox firefox.old
    mv: cannot stat `firefox’: No such file or directory
    [[email protected] opt]# cp /tmp/firefox-3.0.1.tar.bz2
    cp: missing destination file operand after `/tmp/firefox-3.0.1.tar.bz2′
    Try `cp –help’ for more information.
    [[email protected] opt]# tar -jxvf firefox-3.0.1.tar.bz2
    tar: firefox-3.0.1.tar.bz2: Cannot open: No such file or directory
    tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now
    tar: Child returned status 2
    tar: Error exit delayed from previous errors
    [[email protected] opt]# /opt/firefox/firefox &
    [1] 9516
    [[email protected] opt]# bash: /opt/firefox/firefox: No such file or directory
    [[email protected] opt]#
    [1]+ Exit 127 /opt/firefox/firefox

    Soy de chile, y tengo ese problema, no se si habre hecho algun paso mal, ocupo TinyMe 2008.
    si podrian ayudarme porfavor

    1. Hola compatriota, veamos por paso

      [[email protected] ~]$ su
      Hasta aca todo bien, es la manera de “loggear” como usuario (es la mejor traduccion que se me ocurrió)

      [[email protected] matias]# cd /opt
      Este directorio deberia existir en todos lo linux pero firefox no necesariamente se va a instalar ahí.
      Por ejemplo en mi caso ese directorio tiene esto
      [[email protected] opt]# ls
      google/ kde3/ kde4/

      [[email protected] opt]# mv firefox firefox.old
      mv: cannot stat `firefox’: No such file or directory
      Esto claramente significa que el directorio “firefox” no existe entonces no puedes renombrarlo :-)

      [[email protected] opt]# cp /tmp/firefox-3.0.1.tar.bz2
      cp: missing destination file operand after `/tmp/firefox-3.0.1.tar.bz2′
      Try `cp –help’ for more information.
      cuando copias un archivo, en este caso usando “cp”, necesitas dos argumentos el archivo de origen y el directorio de destino (o el nombre del archivo) en este caso, ya que estabas en “/opt” solo necesitabas agregar un punto osea:
      [[email protected] opt]# cp /tmp/firefox-3.0.1.tar.bz2
      Suponiendo que el archivo que descargaste estaba en /tmp en caso contrario deberias indicar la ruta correcta.
      Nota, en los sistemas tipo UNIX (Unix, Linux, Mac) el punto “.” se refiere al directorio en donde estas, por ejemplo puedes hacer “ls .” y veras lo que esta en el directorio en el que estas trabajando. Sin embargo, tambien existe “..” que se refiere al directorio inmediatamente superior, por lo que si haces “ls ..” estaras viendo el directorio “de mas arriba”, entonces veras lo que éste contiene, incluido el directorio actual (“pwd”).

      [[email protected] opt]# tar -jxvf firefox-3.0.1.tar.bz2
      tar: firefox-3.0.1.tar.bz2: Cannot open: No such file or directory
      tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now
      tar: Child returned status 2
      tar: Error exit delayed from previous errors
      Normalmente, si cometes un error tendras una cadena de errores. Este es el caso: no puedes descomprimir el archivo simplemente porque no lo copiaste (paso anterior)

      [[email protected] opt]# /opt/firefox/firefox &
      [1] 9516
      [[email protected] opt]# bash: /opt/firefox/firefox: No such file or directory
      [[email protected] opt]#
      [1]+ Exit 127 /opt/firefox/firefox
      casi lo mismo que lo anterior, es parte de la cadena de error. No copiaste el archivo –> no lo descomprimes –> no ejecutas.


      By the way, I’m also trying to update firefox and there’s absolutely no instructions about how to install it. What I’m trying now is to put the folder somewhere and link the executable file to /usr/local/bin. (or whatever my PATH is)
      If I’m not wrong, .tar.bz2 is actually a way to distribute software just like rpm or deb. I think it’s used in some “power user” distributions like Slackware.

  14. What he said was that he is from chile, and he has that problem and he doesn’t know if he did something wrong.

    I get the same thing he does, and I am running Ubuntu 7.04 feisty. Any advice would be wonderful. Thanks!

  15. Well it works for me but I miss the fist 3 comands because didnt work as I spected, I just uncompresed the archive and replace it instead the firefox.old, then I run al the ‘tar’ comand and the next one, ok good luck to all:

    cd /opt
    mv firefox firefox.old
    cp /tmp/firefox-3.tar.bz2 .
    tar -jxvf firefox-3.tar.bz2
    $ /opt/firefox/firefox &


  16. my problem is this…

    /opt/firefox/firefox-bin: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

  17. You need xulrunner and xulrunner-gnome support packages. Under Debian / Ubuntu Linux try following to install the same:
    sudo apt-get install xulrunner-1.9 xulrunner-1.9-gnome-support
    Under RHEL / RedHat / Fedora / Centos, use yum
    yum install xulrunner
    Once installed you should see file under /usr/lib64/xulrunner-1.9/ (64bit) or /usr/lib/xulrunner-1.9/ (32bit) or /usr/lib/xulrunner- (debian/ubuntu linux)


  18. hello,

    can anyone just post the simple directions on how to install the firefox 3.03 to ubuntu 8.04

    this is too complex for newbies like us! thanks!

    1. It’s funny. Linux was supposed to be a viable alternative to windows. Then programmers got involved and made Linux as easy as Chinese Calculus. The should have tested Linux on real people.

      The first OS I learned was DOS. Simple and elegant command line OS. Linux is a Cluster F***. It’s like you need to learn some secret language in order to update your computer.

      I don’t want to learn a new OS language in order to update a computer. I have a job, children, and a life that does not include relearning an OS language.

      Linux will always be a little used OS. It’s just not user friendly.

      Now I just have to get a copy of windows and install it on this computer. I give up. I applaud everyone who tried to develop this OS, but it’s just is not for mass consumption.

  19. Hello,
    Can u tell me why when I type: /opt/firefox/firefox &
    I get:[email protected]:/opt# Error: no display specified
    Please tell me why…
    Thank you!

  20. I have machine with a red-hat linux and no firefox on it (only mozilla works)
    today, I downloaded firefox-3.0.tar.bz2 and followed your instructions:
    # tar -jxvf firefox-3.0.tar.bz2
    $ /opt/firefox/firefox &
    This gave the following error message:
    /opt/firefox/firefox-bin: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

    Please let me know what I should do
    thanks in advance,
    V. Ravindran

  21. [[email protected] /]# cd opt
    [[email protected] opt]# ls -l
    总用量 0
    [[email protected] opt]# /firefox/firefox &
    [1] 8674
    [[email protected] opt]# /firefox/firefox-bin: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or director

  22. I have a pc with redhad 9.0.when i install firefox3.0 as your instuction .show error as fofllow:
    [[email protected] /]# cd opt
    [[email protected] opt]# ls -l
    总用量 0
    [[email protected] opt]# /firefox/firefox &
    [1] 8674
    [[email protected] opt]# /firefox/firefox-bin: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or director

  23. —Yum installing…
    [[email protected] /]# yum install firefox
    Loaded plugins: refresh-packagekit
    Setting up Install Process
    Parsing package install arguments
    Package firefox-3.0.2-1.fc9.x86_64 already installed and latest version
    Nothing to do
    —But I want to update my firefox as 3.0.5… and nothing happened

    —As for the directions…
    [[email protected] ~]# cd /opt
    [[email protected] opt]# mv firefox firefox.old
    mv: cannot stat `firefox’: No such file or directory

    —Can somebody explain this instructions in a matter that it can easily be comprehend.. Anyway the “firefox” named file under the firefox folder in the firefox-3.0.5.tar.bz2 can be clicked and opens up a firefox browser.. Does this mean the firefox-3.0.5.tar.bz2 is new installer to be download..

  24. I am a newbie, and find this discussion very interesting as we can see different angles of the problem as well as the solution. It started with “How to install Firefox(current version) in Linux”. This also means that, if I have an older version of Firefox, I want to UPGRADE to the current version, and if I don’t have an older version of Firefox, then I simply want to INSTALL the current version. Also, Linux has different flavors (Ubuntu, Fedora, SuSE etc.), so is the directory structure same for all. Like can I follow the above method (cd /opt …) in all cases? Can anybody help (Upgrade, Install)??

  25. I’m running RHEL4 Update 4 and I’m running into the same problem as other users above:

    # tar -jxvf firefox-3.0.tar.bz2
    $ /opt/firefox/firefox &
    This gave the following error message:
    /opt/firefox/firefox-bin: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

    I understand I need to have the following packages/libraries installed in order for this version of Firefox to work:

    GTK+ 2.10 or higher
    GLib 2.12 or higher
    Pango 1.14 or higher
    X.Org 1.0 or higher

    Is there somewhere on the internet I can download these from? I don’t have yum installed.

    Thank you!

  26. Fedora8_64, just ran “yum update firefox” as root in a terminal window. Everything appeared to work except I find I’m still running FireFox 2! I’d love to use Linux, I don’t expect it to be ‘friendly’ like Windows, but trying to figure out the most basic things (like upgrading software) is like pulling teeth (and I’ve been looking off & on for about a year). Vivek, your directions above seem to be for running FireFox from a command line in a terminal window. How do I launch FireFox from the window (Fedora) I/F? Thanx in advance –

  27. Extract the bz2 anywhere you are comfortable with.

    Add a link to the Panel with the firefox icon……..Should work like gem…

    NOTE: Avoid using old Firefox when this is done……

  28. I am newbie.
    /opt/firefox/firefox-bin: error while loading shared connot open shared object file:No such file or directory.
    what should i do ?


  29. hi dears,
    im a fresher in os(linux)doesnt support firfox now.i just want to reinstall .i downloaded firefox whixh is in tar format.anywas am not able to install and solve the problem.i hope u can help me.and i want to know any other browsers for linux

  30. Here there when i try to run the instruction below i got this one
    stm9999:/root# /opt/firefox/firefox &
    [1] 5388
    stm9999:/root# /opt/firefox/firefox-bin: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

    Pls help.. Thanks

  31. Dear all
    after extracting the archive follow:
    1. rename the firefox folder located in /uer/lib/fir…
    2. copy the folder u just extracted “….bz2” to /usr/lib
    3. the folders /usr/bin/firefox and /usr/lib/firefox are links to the previous folder u just renamed. delete this link. delete these 2 folders and create new links to the the new folder u have just copied by using the command:
    #ln -s /usr/lib/fire…. /usr/bin/firefox
    #ln -s /usr/lib/firefox
    This procedure worked for me in Slackware.
    Good luck

  32. sir,
    plz tell i am using Redhat 3 and i dont have firefox in my Pc that’s why i am able to access orkut plz how to install firefox in system. give me some comman command.

  33. hi all this is vikas i am redhat linux 4.0 prof..i just want to ask how i can get original books & training video clips..plz tell me on mail…

  34. I want to thank “Ghooma” for the example that opened my eyes to this and helped me understand what any of this means.

    Everyone, I will try to break this down to a newbie level since I’m a complete newbie myself, so some of my explanations may not be official “linux” answers.

    Please forgive any misteps but I’m trying to understand this process and explain it at the same time.

    I’m using “Suse Linux Enterprise Server 11”.

    I will give the steps listed by “Ghooma” and then try to explain what was done in each one so that you won’t feel as though you’re just pushing buttons with no idea of what you’re accomplishing.

    Please make sure that you have closed all running firefox browsers before trying any of these steps.

    1. Rename the “firefox” folder that is located in “/usr/lib/”.
    1exp: This seems to be pretty close to the program files folder in windows and we’re renaming the folder that all of the shortcuts currently point to when you open firefox. I renamed mine to “firefox OLD”

    2. Copy the folder you just extracted to “/usr/lib”
    2exp: I just downloaded “firefox-3.5.3.tar.bz2” and then ran the archiver tool “Ark” (Or file-roller) and extracted the compressed file into a new folder. I renamed the new folder “firefox” and it now contains all of my newly uncompressed files. Next I copied the newly named “firefox” folder from the downloaded and extracted location over to “/usr/lib”. This means that our firefox shortcuts will still be pointing to the same place but will be looking at our new “firefox” folder instead.

    3. The folder “/usr/bin” contains a symbolic link to the original firefox file named “firefox”. ***NOTE***(This Is Where It Gets Tricky!!!)
    Delete this symbolic link(“/usr/bin/firefox”) and also delete the folder “/usr/lib/firefox OLD” If you’re nervous here then just move them someplace where you can easily locate them again so the you can put the originals back if you want to.
    3exp: “/usr/bin/firefox” is the symbolic link that all of the firefox shortcuts in the system point to when you click them, and they point directly to the “/usr/bin/firefox/firefox” (now “/usr/bin/firefox OLD/firefox”) shell script which launches firefox. Since we have renamed the old version and copied a newer version into its place, “Ghooma” suggests that we delete references to the old versions and get ready to make a new symbolic link pointing to the new version of firefox.

    ***NOTE*** My old links pointed to a file name “/usr/lib/firefox/” but in my new firefox folder the file was named “firefox” instead of “”!!! PAY ATTENTION!!!

    Your old and new links will all stop working if you do not tell your symbolic link the correct filename in the new firefox installation!!!

    I’m giving 2 extra versions of “Ghooma’s” next line of code because they both work depending on which scenario you have so please pay attention.

    4. “Ghooma’s Original Code” ln -s /usr/lib/firefox /usr/bin/firefox (Will Probably Not Work!!!) (Sorry Ghooma)
    4a. “My code” ln -s /usr/lib/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox
    4b. “My code variation” ln -s /usr/lib/firefox/ /usr/bin/firefox

    4exp: This statement needs to be run from a command prompt. I ran as su.
    This statement makes a symbolic link in the “/usr/bin/” folder and the link is named “firefox” (“/usr/bin/firefox”)
    This symbolic link points to the file “firefox” OR “” located in the new folder that we copied earlier (“/usr/lib/firefox”)
    The reason for multiple examples is because the file that launches firefox is a shell script file and may or may not have the “.sh” suffix but I’m almost certain that it will be nested deeper than the first 4. example.


    I clicked my firefox shortcuts immediately after performing this trick and they all open with the new version of firefox.

    Once again thanks to Ghooma for shedding light on this and I’m hoping that by being a little verbose that I may help someone else start appreciating linux.

    Harold M.

  35. I have machine with a red-hat linux and no firefox on it (only Konqueror works)
    today, I downloaded firefox-3.5.5.tar.tar and followed your instructions:
    # tar -jxvf firefox-3.5.5.tar.tar
    $ /opt/firefox/firefox &
    This gave the following error message:
    /opt/firefox/firefox-bin: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

    Please let me know what I should do
    thanks in advan
    Satish Kumar

  36. Awesome Harold……Great description…it worked for me.

    Just follow the steps outlined by Harold, when it comes to symbolic link, first delete the old link present in /usr/bin.

    cd /usr/bin
    rm firefox
    cd /usr/lib/firefox
    here create your new link
    ln -s /usr/lib/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox

    Just click on your shortcut and u see the magic.

  37. Hi. Can someone help out a Linux Freespire newbie with installing firefox-3.6.tar.bz2, which was downloaded to my Desktop? I’d really appreciate it! Thanx so much!

  38. How to update firefox-1.x to firefox-3.x the lastest firefox version which is probably in the tar.gz format !!

    2.extract it ; it will create new firefox folder

    3.close all the firefox browser to make backup of ur old firefox i suggest u do this graphical

    cut the folder ” /usr/lib/firefox-*” to any other folder say oldfirefox on desktop

    * -> represents the version

    cut the sh script file “/usr/bin/firefox” to oldfirefox folder

    if the “firefox” sh-script not present their could be same script named “” cut that !! but both r not present in same folder copy the newly extract firefox folder to /usr/lib/

    6.Goto terminal and type the code (which ever works)

    “#ln -s /usr/lib/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox”


    “#ln -s /usr/lib/firefox/ /usr/bin/firefox”

    (1st code worked for me)

    7 thats it !! open the firefox shrotcut !!

    8 special thx to “Ghooma” and “Harold M.”

  39. Thanks for all the help with this, but there are so many things I can’t do on my computer. eg I can’t do anything in /usr/lib because I don’t have permissions. It seems like in any set of instructions the things that don’t work for me are so numerous as to be insurmountable. I have that Linpus Lite v1.0.13.E that came with the Aspire1. I have tried several other builds but they all have problems. I’m with others who’ve said that if this is Linux it’s still only for the technophiles. I’m a bit of a technophile myself, but I’m somewhere where I can get no help, so if anything stops working I’m stuffed.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  40. hi there. succesfully extracted the tar file but when i try to run the app (as normal user or even as admin), i keep getting this error message.

    We’re sorry, this application requires a version of the GTK+ library that is not installed on your computer.

    You have GTK+ 2.8.
    This application requires GTK+ 2.10 or newer.

    Please upgrade your GTK+ library if you wish to use this application.

    help please! thank u.

  41. Rowan. This killed me to until I found how to change the password. Basicly hit Alt-F2 tick the box saying run in terminal and put in “sudo -su” without the quote marks. Then type password and press enter. Then enter your new password. Mind you I’m still struggling with this update!

  42. I did the setup that u have given.. still i couldnt able to start the browser…

    could u plz give another way to install n start..


  43. How do you install Google Chrome on Freespire? *.deb doesn’t load when I double click… *.rpm just converts to *.deb… help? Also, Flash player 10 won’t install. Console says the install_flash_player_10_linux.tar.gz file is not on my desktop, even though I’m staring at it now… help? Thanx!

  44. how do i install firefox 5.0 in Redhat??? i have already downloaded the setup… don’t know which file to execute first??

  45. *lol-not*

    Look at Harold M’s loooooong explanation on how to install Firefox from tar.bz2…

    Now is the year 2012 (February), and still n00bs like me have the same problem as 3.5 years ago – how to get Firefox from/in a tar.bz2 installed…

    “googling” for the solution indeed is useless.

    /sarcasm I _almost_ long back to Windows… /end sarcasm
    Great as Linux (in my case Ubuntu) is, it (still) can not beat OS X (open .dmg file, copy content to Program folder, *ZING* done: try to beat this, GNU/Linux).

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