How to Install Firefox ESR in Ubuntu 21.10 Impish Indri

Ubuntu is switching default Firefox to Snap. For those looking for alternative, Firefox ESR is one of good choices though native DEB still available so far

For users stick to old Firefox release, the Extended Support Release (ESR) is present. Here’s how to install the Firefox ESR in Ubuntu via PPA.

What is Firefox ESR:

Mozilla Firefox provides two software channels for its users: Rapid release and Extended Support Release (ESR). While Mozilla recommend the Rapid release, some Linux Distributions, e.g., Debian 11, stick to Firefox ESR as their default web browser.

The “Rapid release” is the normal software release which is Firefox 93 at the moment. The release number increases regularly along with new features, security and other fixes almost every month.

While, the ESR only publishes policy updates, crash and security fixes every 4 weeks. And, it will get major updates every 42 weeks. In addition, it has access to additional policies than the rapid release.

How to Install Firefox ESR in Ubuntu:

Thanks to the Ubuntu Mozilla Team, who maintains a well trusted stable PPA that contains Firefox ESR (v78 so far). The PPA so far support for Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, and Ubuntu 21.10. And Linux Mint 20, Elementary OS 6, ZorinOS 16, and other systems based on Ubuntu are supported.

1. Add the Mozilla Team PPA.

Search for and open terminal from activities overview screen, or from start menu depends on your Desktop Environment. When terminal opens, run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/ppa

It will asks for password authentication while no visual feedback. After that, hit Enter to continue.

[email protected]:~$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/ppa
[sudo] password for merilyn: 
PPA publishes dbgsym, you may need to include 'main/debug' component
Repository: 'deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/mozillateam/ppa/ubuntu/ impish main'
Description:
Mozilla Team's Firefox 78 ESR and Thunderbird 78 stable builds
More info: https://launchpad.net/~mozillateam/+archive/ubuntu/ppa
Adding repository.
Press [ENTER] to continue or Ctrl-c to cancel.

2. Update package cache.

Since Ubuntu 20.04 and higher, it automatically updates the system package cache while adding an Ubuntu PPA. However, old releases and some derivatives still require run the command manually to do the update:

sudo apt update

3. Install Firefox ESR.

Finally, run command in terminal will install the Firefox ESR edition:

sudo apt install firefox-esr

Type y to confirm and wait until the process done.

[email protected]:~$ sudo apt install firefox-esr
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
Reading state information... Done
The following additional packages will be installed:
  xul-ext-ubufox
Suggested packages:
  fonts-lyx
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  firefox-esr xul-ext-ubufox
0 upgraded, 2 newly installed, 0 to remove and 5 not upgraded.
Need to get 59.3 MB of archives.
After this operation, 213 MB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n]

When everything’s done. You may open the web browser by searching from activities overview or running command firefox-esr in terminal.

That’s all. Enjoy!

Merilyn Ne
Hi, I'm Merilyn Ne, a computer geek working on Ubuntu Linux for many years and would like to write useful tips for beginners. Forgive me for language mistakes. I'm not a native speaker of English.