Saturday, November 20, 2010

Installing Firefox 4 pre-Beta 8 on Ubuntu 10.10

Firefox Beta 7 came out recently. For those who can't wait for the final release expected next year there's a daily PPA available to lets you use Ubuntu's package management tools to easily install/uninstall packages. The caveat is the daily PPA contains pre-Beta 8 releases instead of Beta 7 so it's more bleeding edge than some will be comfortable with. That also means it's likely to be broken on any given day so if you do try it out and it's broken, try again the next day.

To install the daily Firefox 4 pre-Beta release, you'll first need to add the daily PPA then install the firefox-4.0 package that's made available.

~$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/ppa
~$ sudo apt-get update
~$ sudo apt-get install firefox-4.0

After installation completes, you'll have Firefox 4 installed side-by-side with Firefox 3.6. It's in the Applications menu as Minefield Web Browser.

Firefox 4 pre-Beta 8
Migrating your current Firefox profile

Firefox 4 stores its profile data in a different folder. If you want your browsing history and bookmarks to be accessible from Firefox 4, you'll need to copy over your Firefox 3.6 profile from ~/.mozilla/firefox to ~/.mozilla/firefox-4.0. Be sure Minefield isn't currently running.

~$ mkdir ~/.mozilla/firefox-4.0
~$ cp ~/.mozilla/firefox/* ~/.mozilla/firefox-4.0

Your current browsing history and bookmarks will now be available in Firefox 4.

Keeping things sane

The daily PPA also contains pre-release versions of Firefox 3.6.x so unless you happen to also be interested in running Firefox 3.6.x test versions it's a good idea to disable the PPA in Software Sources before updating Ubuntu with Update Manager.

Related posts:

Firefox 4 Beta 7 release
Reverting PPA packages
Taking Firefox 4.0 Beta for a spin