Howto: Update firefox on Linux

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Q. My Firefox version is and I’d like to update the same to latest version. How do I upgrade my Firefox on Linux?


A. You can easily upgrade firefox on Linux.

Please note that installing Firefox 2 will overwrite your existing installation of Firefox. You won’t lose any of your bookmarks or browsing history, but some of your extensions and other add-ons might not work until updates for them are made available.

Update Firefox on Ubuntu / Debian Linux

You can use APT package handling utility i.e. apt-get command. You can also use a GUI package tool called Update Manager:
Just type the following two commands at terminal:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install firefox

You can also use GUI tool: Click on System > Administration > Update Manger > Click on Check button see for updates

Update Firefox on Fedora / Redhat / CentOS Linux

Use yum tool or gui tool for the same purpose:
# yum update
# yum update firefox

Update firefox from official Mozilla site

You can download firefox from official website. Just follow these firefox installation instructions.


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.

41 comment

  1. This is the only thing slowing Linux down… At least that is MY opinion. Why can’t I just download Mozilla, then click on it’s icon and have it install itself? Better yet… Why can’t it just update itself like it does in Windows? Say what you will, but until Linux becomes user-friendly in this regard most people are not going to use it. Be nice… I LOVE Linux! I really do! I just think basic tasks like installing software need to be simplified. I HATE having to say that Windows is a better operating system for most people… but it is.

    1. You are just too leasy to explore Linux a bit more.
      Installing and finding apropriate software in Linux is much easier than in windows.
      Just read the whole post. Lamer!

      “Click on System > Administration > Update Manger > Click on Check button see for updates”

      1. This is the reason everyone thinks Linux community is retarded….because of folk like you..dipshit

        1. EXACTLY RIGHT !!! Linux is a god dam nusanse. Impossible to do things on and these geeks are utterly annoying!!

  2. No web i need to in my lapi

    I am not able toupdate my firefox2 it having 1.5 version So please suggest me .

  3. It’s people that need a “user friendly” approach that takes a mindless double click that make me ill. If you have on of the many distros that use a package manager it’s as easy as typing apt-get update and then apt-get install firefox. If that is too much work for you, or if it blows your mind then may I suggest a leapfrog? they are around 50 dollars usd come with fun learning games and require the technical proficiency of a log. There are now in 09 plenty of distros (see ubuntu) that have “double click” installs for deb files because people can’t be arsed to compile and frankly this takes from more serious work like alternatives to nt only software or web apps see silverlight vs moonlight. You can love nix all you want but it doesn’t have to love you.

    1. I have followed Ken’s instructions exactly AND now I can not get onto the internet at all. Firefox does not appear at all! ! ! I am an intelligent individual who has worked with computers (mainframe & PCs) virtually my entire career. This does not need to be so difficult for so many people. I also have Firefox installed on my Eee PC 2G. I need to upgrade. I have downloaded Firefox 33.1.tar.bz2 and unzipped it, but I can not get the PC to recognize it.

      And Ken — you are an insufferable, arrogant and pompous twit. We don’t need insults — just clear & concise directions. AND if you can not provide this — just shut up and sit down.

  4. Ken – your ignorance is astounding. While pointy-headed gits like you continue to think that a list of arcane commands that are not even the same between distros is a valid and valuable way to run a GUI-based O/S, then Linux will continue to lag in the consumer market. We don’t all have the hours to memorize long lists of “clever” command acronyms, and frankly having to compile everything in order to do anything is as dead as the 70s when it last made any kind of sense. Grow up and join the rest of the human race: we have lives to lead, and actual work to do.

  5. Miran, you are correct! Linux will never be for most people. I’m fairly new to Linux (about 2 months now and using ubuntu) but it is far superior to windows for some people. I run a dual boot system and the first thing I noticed was power up to internet times. Vista takes me 3min 42 seconds to be on the internet and working. Linux is 38 seconds. Windows being user friendly also means it is resource hungry. 38GB just for the OS while ubuntu uses only 2GB and can be ran from a cd or usb drive. Windows is basically for people who don’t have time to learn how to really use a computer. Linux is tool for computer savvy people who need to or want to use the computer as a tool and not just for the software. Finally it should be noted that Linux is free, and seeks out more users, not to simply use the system but also to contribute to it and continue to build upon a solid foundation. You’ll never witness a Linux user download anti-virus software off a pop-up they received warning them their computer was at risk. If you still need a mindless OS fix, you can always run a dual boot. If you ever get into any kind of programming you’ll see that Linux is a must.

  6. So, if the way linux does things is so much better, why not remove the ability to use Firefox’s normal add-ons, and instead force people to implement those in the same way as the Firefox updates themselves? For that matter, why bother with a gui at all? Obviously, anyone reading this thread realizes that linux has any number of advantages over windows (or whatever)…
    well, OK, there may be a few who are just so stingy they’d rather do the extra work than pay for a Windows/Mac OS. I actually fall into both categories to some extent, though I have only just this morning gotten around to installing linux, previously making do with XP on an ancient system because I refused to buy a newer one if it meant being stuck with Vista. I am now happily viewing this page on my ps3, whose 256 meg of RAM (from what I’ve heard) is actually more than I have XP running on…OK, slightly less happily after I got booted out of linux when I clicked submit, but at least fifefox saved everything I typed. I knew it saved tabs, but would never even have hoped to have anything I was typing be saved. Learn something knew every day.
    -end sidenote-
    But to be blind to the aspects where Windows has advantages over linux is just as counter-productive a mindset as insisting that everything be done for you regardless of the bloat that comes with it. Not being a programmer/developer myself, I can only assume the reason it isn’t as straightforward is precisely because of the different ways it needs to be done in the various distros, thus making it hard for a “universal” linux installer that you could just double-click; so it wouldn’t be worth the effort given the average computer literacy of a linux user vs. that of the average windows user. To imply that a process is somehow better merely by virtue of its inconvenience is truly childish.

  7. I have OS Linux Xandros on my asus eee pc. I have activated full desktop mode and it is excellent. Also, I have updated firefox 2 to firefox 3. Now I am looking for upgrading firefox 3 to firefox 3.5. If anyone can help me with this, I would appreciate.
    Thanks in advance.

  8. Hi
    I have EEEPC 701 with Linux installed Mozilla Firefox 3.5.5 and Flash Player.
    I need to upgrade both and have no idea how. I have downloaded however neither will just reinstall. I can’t use “Check for updates” as it is greyed out.
    I cannot use delete button to get rid of the firefox directory.
    I cannot cut or paste.
    Getting frustrated and want to throw Linux away but hate Windows more.
    Can someone please send me the most basic instructions on how to fix this.
    I need the latest flash player before I die.

  9. Since you have already downloaded firefox, just copy it to your home directory and follow these instructions:

    log into the terminal as root using
    $ su
    it will ask for your admin password.
    # mv firefox-3.6.9.tar.bz2 /usr/lib/; cd /usr/lib/; tar -jxvf firefox-3.6.9.tar.bz2; ln -s /usr/lib/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox

    But before you can do this, you must remove the current firefox with the command
    ‘sudo apt-get remove firefox’
    That is if you have apt-get. If you don’t I can help you with that.

  10. “You can easily upgrade firefox on Linux.” Baloney.

    There’s nothing easy about upgrading Firefox. One person says upgrade, another says you have to remove then install. Oh wait, here’s the easy to remember method below!

    # mv firefox-3.6.9.tar.bz2 /usr/lib/; cd /usr/lib/; tar -jxvf firefox-3.6.9.tar.bz2; ln -s /usr/lib/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox

  11. No longer able to use linux as my webmail will not work with Mozilla Firefox 2 and I have spent 8 hours trying to work out how to update. I have 25 years experience with computers, starting with self assembly and basic programming. If I cannot do it ,then this may be the reason Linux is falling behind windows. It is a pity because I prefer Linux.

    1. I have similar experience with computers to you and I am having a similar problem updating Firefox. I am very wary about uninstalling the current version before installing the new. If it doesn’t work then I will be left with no Internet access and it seems no way of re-installing.

      With all Windows disadvantages, at least updating software is straight forward.

      Please let me know if you solve the problem.

    2. Malcolm, were you ever able to upgrade from Firefox 2 ??? I, too, have Firefox on my Eee PC 2G Surf and have been unable to upgrade.

      Also, I have been a computer programmer for 20+ years — this is THE most absurd process I have ever encountered.

  12. I have managed to update now, but I got the information needed from the eepc website. I did this two weeks ago so cannot remember specific details. I still have problems because I cannot access webmail via my Talk Talk service provider in Linux.
    I have to use one of my other Windows computers for webmail.

  13. Well I am totally baffled. I have been looking into this for the past 12 months now and I am still none the wiser. At this rate I will be buying a new laptop with Windows. I really don’t understand all this root business and having to type commands to download a newer version at the risk of losing access to certain applications. I much prefer downloading in one click and knowing it is all in the right place on the PC. If only I had more time to learn more about computer programming.
    Is there really no fool proof method? I just wanted a basic computer that works with simple instructions. EEE PC – I’m sure it said something about being easy??? :-(

  14. This post started in 2007 – we have 2011 now ;)

    I work with Linux (UNIX) since 1990..and you know what – I typed this ‘how to update firefox on cent/os’ in google and came to this site ;)
    Ofc – most people working with linux know how they could manually update a package/software… but that’s not what a lot of people want to do. They want to use their package manager rpm/debian-based and do it the standard way. Cent/OS as other L*nix distros never have the latest software – they test it before shiping ;)
    That’s why I was looking for an ‘unofficial’ repro for the software (to use yum-package manager) – reading all this here didn’t really help, but was entertaining ;)

    Btw: I still don’t get this windows/linux war on every web site ;) I don’t think people should always discuss windows or linux – windows will go away and we will all use a Mac in the future ;)
    was all I had. But I thought maybe someone has a yum-repro somewhere for updates .

  15. when i am installing any software in my ubuntu8.10-32bit, it shows ” E: could not found package ‘software name’ “.
    what i have to do for this?

  16. I have read this post top to bottom and still cant figure out to install the upgrade. I tried clicking into system/administration… but there was no update manager. I am new to this OS and I don’t hate it but I need help.


    1. Robert Laing — Did you ever get the information needed to upgrade Firefox ? ? ?

      I have an Eee PC 2G which has Firefox installed. I desperately need to upgrade AND all of this nonsense has given me a headache ! ! ! Do I need to throw my Eee in the garbage ? ? ? ?

  18. I run Ubuntu 10.04 still which I like better then Unity and Gnome 3.
    First I go to here to download Mozilla Firefox:
    which Gnome’s GUI it will end up under Places, Dowloads
    and under the filesystem it will be under:
    also notated as:

    I made a script that someone once helped me with but I have to open it from the terminal to get it to work,
    first right click the Desktop, go to Create Document and choose empty file,
    I named it:
    hit enter
    then double click that file and put this text in by highlighting it and copying and pasting into that text file. Ctrl-C copies and Ctrl-V pastes.

    tar xvf ~/Downloads/firefox-*.tar.bz2 -C /usr/lib

    I take the file named:
    and drag and drop it into the terminal after typing sudo so it looks like this:
    sudo /home/username/Desktop/

    where it says username your username will be, the script is marked as an executable by right clicking the file and choosing Properties, permissions, then click the box next to allow executing file as program then close that window.

    I was trying to get a launcher to open it using sudo or su or sudo su or gksudo or gksu or su-to-root
    but it just wouldn’t seem to work out. Any suggestiongs for what I am trying to get happen would be great.

    The command of the launcher I made is real simple :
    sudo /home/username/

    but it doesn’t just work. Somehow I got it to work using one of the commands above but I think it was because I had just used the terminal with gksudo nautilus to navigate to the folder under /usr/lib/firefox to copy it to my desktop just in case and delete it then check to make sure Firefox didn’t open which of coarse it didn’t. There of coarse is no need to delete that folder, I was just messing around to see and if things went wrong I have that folder on my desktop.
    I meant to say:

    “The default timeout of sudo is 15 minutes” so the launcher I made must have worked because of that and that I had changed the command from:
    sudo /home/username/
    su /home/username/
    sudo su /home/username/
    gksudo /home/username/
    gksu /home/username/
    su-to-root /home/username/

    in no certain order and I just never understood what each one is for except that gksudo is for opening GUI programs with password and sudo is for using UI programs that need password because I was told so.
    So gksu is the gui way to use su
    but what is su-to-root ??
    I found it in the BleachBit (as root) launcher:
    su-to-root -X -c bleachbit

    The root terminal is:
    gksu /usr/bin/x-terminal-emulator

    I mean I know I would open nvidia-setting like this for instance because it is a gui:
    gksudo nvidia-settings

  19. I figured out how to make the script I was talking about work from a launcher.

    Right click the launcher to the script,
    choose Porperties,
    To the right of where it says Type click on the box and choose Application in Terminal,
    and for the command I made it:
    sudo ./

    I named the script file so it would be hidden under my home folder. To use the GUI(Graphical User Interface) of Gnome 2 to phyically see that file click on Places, then Home Folder, then either
    click on View then Show Hidden Files and scroll down to it,
    hold Ctrl-H which toggles the showing hidden files

    The inside of the script has this:
    tar xvf ~/Downloads/firefox-*.tar.bz2 -C /usr/lib

    OK, so I don’t know how scripts are supposed to be but for me for this script to be complete is download the file from Firefox in English as the latest version of Firefox.

  20. I figured out how to make the script I was talking about work from a launcher.

    Right click the launcher to the script,
    choose Porperties,
    To the right of where it says Type click on the box and choose Application in Terminal,
    and for the command I made it:
    sudo ./

    I named the script file so it would be hidden under my home folder. To use the GUI(Graphical User Interface) of Gnome 2 to phyically see that file click on Places, then Home Folder, then either
    click on View then Show Hidden Files and scroll down to it,
    hold Ctrl-H which toggles the showing hidden files

    The inside of the script has this:
    tar xvf ~/Downloads/firefox-*.tar.bz2 -C /usr/lib

    To get it to open firefox download the file I want into the Download folder, install that downloaded Firefox archive, wait then delete that downloaded archive from the Download folder I made this script:
    sudo tar xvf ~/Downloads/firefox-*.tar.bz2 -C /usr/lib
    wait %1
    rm -f ~/Downloads/firefox-*.tar.bz2

    That’s all I wanted to add here, if anyone has any suggestions to make this script better that would be great. Sorry moderator.

  21. Arg, I forgot to say that I changed the command for the launcher to:

  22. God I hate how frustrating Linux is! NOTHING seems to install or update intuatively and the arrogant Linux geeks do my head in!!! I’ve been trying for yeeeears on and off to get away from windows and use Linux but I just cant see how to do just about anything on it!!??!

  23. I’m just getting back into Linux after not using it for about 15 years and it is now easier then it has ever been. If you want a version of linux that is simple, easy to use, etc… get a smartphone that is not Apple or Microsoft based.

    Most distros are free and the communities that work on them, focus on improving the operating system and the tools. Most do not want to invest piles of time making things easier for those who won’t spend a couple hours figuring out simple problems.

    Microsoft is very good at making many things simple. However, that’s their focus, so you can expect constant security updates in Windows instead of tools being constantly improved.

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