How To Install Firefox Beta in Ubuntu & Linux Mint

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Dec 22, 2017
A straightforward guide to trying the latest development builds


Want to know how to install the latest Mozilla Firefox Beta (or Nightly build) on Ubuntu or Linux Mint? If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this post we show you how to install the latest Firefox beta release by adding a PPA to your software sources. Doing this will let you upgrade to Firefox beta — and if you’re feeling particularly brave, we’ll show you how test the latest Firefox Quantum nightly release too!But before we skip on to the good stuff there are a couple of things you will need keep in mind.

Remember PPAs Mean System Wide Install

First off, remember that Firefox beta and nightly builds are intended for testing and not regular, everyday, use, Ask yourself why you want to install Firefox beta on Ubuntu. If you can’t answer, then don’t install it!

Beta builds will contain bugs, particularly if new features are included, and potentially throw errors and breakages. You should submit bug reports and file feedback where appropriate, Or, to put it another way: ask yourself why you want to install Firefox beta on Ubuntu. If you can’t answer, then don’t install; stick with stable version your OS came with instead, Second, if you install Firefox Beta in Linux Mint or Ubuntu using a PPA it will replace the stable version that your distro came with. This is not the case for nightly builds (which we’ll explain in a moment)

To try Firefox beta (or alpha builds) without installing them locally you can download Linux binaries directly from the Mozilla website. Just unpack the .zip and double click on the firefox.bin inside.

Install Firefox Beta in Ubuntu from a PPA

Firefox developers maintain an official repo, the Firefox Next PPA, that you can use to install or upgrade to latest Firefox beta build for Linux, The PPA provides packages of Firefox beta for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, 16.04 LTS and 18.04 LTS. The PPA also supports Linux Mint 17 and above, Open a new Terminal window and run the following commands to add the PPA and upgrade Firefox: in the below screenshot

Once install completes you will need to restart Firefox if currently running.

Install Firefox Nightly (Alpha) in Linux Mint or Ubuntu from PPA repository

Only the bravest among you will want to install Firefox Nightly builds on Ubuntu. These versions come with no warranty, are often updated multiple times a day, and break often.

You can run Firefox Nightly alongside a stable version of Firefox, making perfect for testing

But there’s an upside

Unlike the Firefox beta PPA we showed you above the packages in this repository do not replace your current Firefox installation. This means you can use this PPA to install Firefox Nightly alongside a stable version of Firefox (or the Beta build, if you installed it above) without any ill effects, Firefox Nightly also uses a different profile on your system. This means any changes you make, bookmarks you add, or add-ons you install won’t affect your stable/beta Firefox build — perfect for testing.
To add the Firefox Nightly PPA and install the latest Firefox Nightly alpha build on Ubuntu or Linux Mint simply run these commands in a new Terminal window:

Once installed you can launch the application from your desktop’s applications menu or dash by searching for “nightly”.

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