How to Install Firefox 4 in Ubuntu Linux

How to Install Firefox 4 in Ubuntu Linux

Earlier today, we reported that Firefox 4 has just been released. Why do you need instructions to install the newest Firefox in Ubuntu? If you go into your Ubuntu Software Center, you’ll see that you more than likely have Firefox 3.6 installed, and it’s “up to date”. Naturally, they don’t add programs to the Software Center as soon as they are released. That would be foolish if there was something wrong with the new version. I don’t blame them for waiting at least a few days for the adventure seekers to provide some feedback.

There are three ways that I know of to add the newest Firefox to Ubuntu.

firefox 4

Method 1: Download Bzipped Package

You can go to the Firefox download page, download the TAR.BZ2 package and manually install it. The advantage of that method is that you won’t lose the current version 3.6 of Firefox. However, you’ll have to unpack the BZ2 file to a folder somewhere, locate the “firefox” executable file, then double click to launch it. If you’d like to, you can also create your own launcher link on the desktop or add it to a panel.

Method 2: Command Line Install

You can add the Firefox “Stable” repository and install the latest version from the command line in a terminal window. That’s actually the easiest method for most linux users. Here are the three simple commands you need to enter into the terminal.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Method 3: Software Center Install

Open your “Ubuntu Software Center” and click “Edit” > “Software Sources” then click the Other Software’ tab. Add the PPA as shown below. When you exit the “Software Sources” applet, your Software Center will reload the repositories and it may even automatically find the updated Firefox for you.


add firefox stable ppa to the software center

That’s all there is to it. Below you’ll find a quick movie showing some of the new features.  I hope you enjoy the new Firefox as much as the millions of users who downloaded it today.


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Clif Sipe

Promoting Freeware and Free information since 2004. Owner of with over 2000 pages of freebies. Please subscribe to my Google Feed or follow me on Twitter @clifnotes.

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  • What is amazing is that the footprint of FF 4 is way lighter than FF 3.xx both on Windows as well as Ubuntu.

    Sleeker interface too but I did found some add-ons not compatible with FF4.

    • moke

      Strange.. as I found FF4 with add-ons to be such a bloated hog in windows , pretty much as IE alway as has been bar perhaps the security issues.

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  • salty

    Method 2 works perfectly, so easy. Thank you very much

    • You are very welcome Salty.

      • Tony

        Neither method 2 nor 3 worked for me. Every step proceeded fine, yet the end result is I still have Firefox 3.6 installed. And when I open the Software Center, it doesn’t list Firefox 4. Any idea why that would be?

        • you might also need to do

          sudo apt-get install firefox

          for method 2

          • Tony

            Turns out I had to upgrade to Ubuntu 10.04 from 9.10. FF 4 is not available, yet, for 9.10. Funny I finally decided to upgrade my OS just so I could have a better web browser. Shows how important browsers are, I suppose….

  • sohan

    explain this things in Fedora….
    how can i install it..
    and if i install,,,wil it overrite the old version??????
    becoz m working with PHPMYADMIN…
    Will i lose it or not???

    plz give me guidelines about this…

  • Method 3 is what I always prefer. I installed fx4 in Ubuntu as well as Windows 7 and it is running very smoothly.

  • DefMunky

    Thanks for the instructions! I tried method three but my Software Center apparently didn’t update itself, it just added the repository. A quick “sudo apt-get upgrade” in the terminal fixed took care of it.

  • CPYap

    Been waiting until today still no official update from Ubuntu. Tried method 1 and 3, but not working. (Method 1 gave me my 3.6 back, method 3 got nothing on the update). Method 2 worked. Thanks!

  • tinyclave

    What if I have no firefox to start with, on my system. Would it be sudo apt-get install firefox (instead of sudo apt-get upgrade in Method 2)?

  • Earl

    Tried adding the APT line and got the following error:

    Failed to fetch 404 Not Found
    Some index files failed to download, they have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

    Maybe because I’m using 64 bit.

    • Earl

      Ooops . . .

      I made a type-o. Moderator can delete my post. Thanks!

  • Kamel

    Thanks, second method worked for me!

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  • Richard

    I’d like to know what theme you’re using in your screenshots. It’s pretty cool!

  • I have a guide for installing firefox 4 lmde linux mint on my blog

  • njoshi

    I tried out the first step. When in double click the firefox-bin file, nothing happened. I’m using Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick 64 bit). Any ideas as to what I would be missing? BTW I’m new to linux. Just learning.

  • laxmi

    method 2 shows error and method 3 shows check your internet connection. any help ?

  • laxmi

    on running first line of ‘method 2′ i get the following error
    Error reading

    for ‘method 3′ i get
    could not download repository information check your internet connection

    any help ?

  • It worked flawlessly. I used the 3rd method and all the job was finished within 5 minutes.

    But firefox4 crashes immediately with The same problem with firefox 3.2-3.5.

    I am using 3.6.7 now. No problem with CNN

  • naris

    I used software center install method. It was quite easy. Unluckily, my firefox 4 crashed and I had to switch back to firefox 3.6.17.
    I try this method to install firefox 5 today by change
    from firefox-stable to firefox-next.
    Firefox 5 is stable for me. Thank you for the very useful post.

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  • Hw do I launch firefox using command line in ubuntu.