Installing Firefox Quantum on Debian Stretch

Debian only provides the ESR (Extended Support Release) line of Firefox. As a result, currently, the latest version of Firefox available for Debian Stretch is Firefox 52, which is pretty old. Lately, Firefox 57, also known as Quantum, was released as Beta. It provides many improvements over older Firefox releases, including both security and performance.

Begin by downloading the latest beta (for Firefox 57) and extract it to your home directory:

$ wget -O firefox-beta.tar.bz2 ""
$ tar -C ~/.local/ -xvf firefox-beta.tar.bz2

This installs Firefox to your current user. Because Firefox is installed in a user-specific location (and without root-priveleges), Firefox will also auto-update when new versions are released.

If you prefer using the stable version of firefox, simply replace the first step by

$ wget -O firefox-stable.tar.bz2 ""

Next, we take care of desktop integration. Put the following in ~/.local/share/applications/firefox-beta.desktop:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Firefox Beta
Exec=/home/guyru/.local/firefox/firefox %u

3 thoughts on “Installing Firefox Quantum on Debian Stretch

  1. Shalom

    In the .desktop file the path (/home/guyru/.local/firefox/firefox %u) needs to be adjusted per user

  2. Sudarshan Kakoty

    Wow, great article. But is it that unsafe to run ESR, that comes by default in Debian Stretch, say for home use?

  3. Guy Post author

    Running ESR should be relatively safe as Debian backports the security fixes. However, newer Firefox versions have improved security using better sandbox and other mitigations which are not backported.

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