How to install Firefox 59 Quantum on a Linux

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My Linux distro comes with Firefox ESR. I read Firefox 59 is over twice as fast as Firefox from 6 months ago, built on a completely overhauled core engine with brand new technology. How do I installed newly released Firefox version 59 Quantum on a Linux operating system?

Yes, Firefox 59 is a whole new Firefox, built for faster page loading, smoother scrolling, and more responsive tab switching. These performance upgrades come paired with a modern, intuitive design. Start browsing and experience it for yourself: the best Firefox yet. Firefox Quantum 59 boosts page loading times, adds options for blocking intrusive website requests and more. This page shows how to install the latest version of Firefox 59 on a Linux operating system.

Step 1 – Download Firefox 59

Open the Terminal app and type the following wget command:
cd /tmp/
wget -L -O firefox.tar.bz2 'https://download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox-latest-ssl&os=linux64&lang=en-US'

Sample outputs:

--2018-01-23 23:01:04--  https://download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox-latest-ssl&os=linux64&lang=en-US
Resolving download.mozilla.org (download.mozilla.org)... 54.201.111.182, 34.209.161.100, 52.24.26.241
Connecting to download.mozilla.org (download.mozilla.org)|54.201.111.182|:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 302 Found
Location: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/59.0/linux-x86_64/en-US/firefox-59.0.tar.bz2 [following]
--2018-01-23 23:01:05--  https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/59.0/linux-x86_64/en-US/firefox-59.0.tar.bz2
Resolving download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net (download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net)... 13.33.178.58, 2600:9000:2098:2a00:e:19d6:1546:5981, 2600:9000:2098:e000:e:19d6:1546:5981, ...
Connecting to download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net (download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net)|13.33.178.58|:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 54189435 (52M) [application/x-tar]
Saving to: ‘firefox.tar.bz2’
 
firefox.tar.bz2                                             100%[=========================================================================================================================================>]  51.68M  2.87MB/s    in 21s     
 
2018-01-23 23:01:27 (2.41 MB/s) - ‘firefox.tar.bz2’ saved [54189435/54189435]

Step 2 – Install Firefox 59 Quantum on a Linux

Untar the tar ball named firefox.tar.bz2 into your home directory, run:
mv firefox.tar.bz2 $HOME
tar xf firefox.tar.bz2

OR
tar xvf firefox.tar.bz2 -C $HOME
Sample outputs:

firefox/gmp-clearkey/0.1/libclearkey.so
firefox/gmp-clearkey/0.1/manifest.json
firefox/libmozgtk.so
firefox/gtk2/libmozgtk.so
firefox/chrome.manifest
firefox/firefox
firefox/dictionaries/en-US.dic
firefox/dictionaries/en-US.aff
firefox/icons/updater.png
firefox/dependentlibs.list
firefox/libplds4.so
firefox/libnspr4.so
firefox/updater.ini
firefox/libnssdbm3.so
firefox/crashreporter.ini
firefox/firefox-bin
firefox/libmozavutil.so
firefox/minidump-analyzer
firefox/browser/chrome.manifest
firefox/browser/crashreporter-override.ini
firefox/browser/blocklist.xml
firefox/browser/chrome/icons/default/default32.png
firefox/browser/chrome/icons/default/default16.png
firefox/browser/chrome/icons/default/default48.png
firefox/browser/chrome/icons/default/default64.png
firefox/browser/chrome/icons/default/default128.png
firefox/browser/features/firefox@getpocket.com.xpi
firefox/browser/features/followonsearch@mozilla.com.xpi
firefox/browser/features/shield-recipe-client@mozilla.org.xpi
firefox/browser/features/aushelper@mozilla.org.xpi
firefox/browser/features/onboarding@mozilla.org.xpi
firefox/browser/features/activity-stream@mozilla.org.xpi
firefox/browser/features/screenshots@mozilla.org.xpi
firefox/browser/features/webcompat@mozilla.org.xpi
firefox/browser/features/formautofill@mozilla.org.xpi
firefox/browser/extensions/{972ce4c6-7e08-4474-a285-3208198ce6fd}.xpi
firefox/browser/omni.ja
firefox/fonts/EmojiOneMozilla.ttf
firefox/liblgpllibs.so
firefox/libfreeblpriv3.so
firefox/libsmime3.so
firefox/precomplete
firefox/plugin-container
firefox/icudt60l.dat
firefox/libnssdbm3.chk
firefox/crashreporter
firefox/application.ini
firefox/defaults/pref/channel-prefs.js
firefox/Throbber-small.gif
firefox/libplc4.so
firefox/updater
firefox/libnss3.so
firefox/libsoftokn3.so
firefox/libmozsqlite3.so
firefox/libmozsandbox.so
firefox/libxul.so
firefox/libssl3.so
firefox/libnssckbi.so
firefox/libmozavcodec.so
firefox/libsoftokn3.chk
firefox/removed-files
firefox/omni.ja
firefox/update-settings.ini
firefox/libnssutil3.so
firefox/libfreeblpriv3.chk
firefox/pingsender
firefox/platform.ini
firefox/plugin-container.sig
firefox/gmp-clearkey/0.1/libclearkey.so.sig
firefox/firefox.sig
firefox/libxul.so.sig
firefox/firefox-bin.sig

Before launching firefox type the following command to kill all instance of older firefox using the killall command:
$ killall firefox

Step 3 – Start Firefox 59 from the CLI

Just type the following command:
$ ~/firefox/firefox
OR
$ ~/firefox/firefox &
Sample session (about box):
How to install Firefox on Linux
Another screenshot of Firefox running on my Linux desktop:

Fig.02: Firefox is really fast as compared to Firefox 52 ESR
Fig.02: Firefox is really fast as compared to Firefox 52 ESR

Firefox version 59 is faster as compared to both older version of Firefox and Chrome. Yes, it consumed less memory in my test while providing a smooth user experience.

Update: Ubuntu Linux 17.10 rolled out Firefox v59

Yay, you can install an updated version with the following apt command/apt-get command:
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt upgrade
$ egrep -o firefox.* /var/log/apt/history.log

Restart your browser. Verify new version from the command line:
$ firefox --version

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

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9 comment

    1. I updated the page to include apt/apt-get command. It should update or install firefox.
      $ sudo apt install firefox

  1. Here is what I get following your instructions:
    bzip2: (stdin) is not a bzip2 file.
    tar: Child returned status 2
    tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now
    edwin@linux-a4n0:~> bzip2 -d firefox.tar.bz2
    bzip2: firefox.tar.bz2 is not a bzip2 file.

    1. Seems like your file corrupted. Delete it and download again. Use file command to verify file:
      $ file firefox.tar.bz2
      Also let me know your Linux distro and version.

  2. As of 12:41 PM November 18th, 2017, I was able to install firefox 57 along 531 Mbytes of other software. I started it from the menu, and it worked!

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