I've accidentally sudo apt-get upgrade (while c/p-ing instructions to do something and failing to notice that it isn't sudo apt-get update) and it upgraded Firefox from 28 to 30. Now my menus are completely messed up, so I want FF28 back and I'm not interested in opinions how newer versions are better (there are plenty of those in Mozilla support forums instead of actual answers).

Also, downloading firefox-mozilla-build_28.0-0ubuntu1_i386.deb and trying to use it apparently doesn't work, Ubuntu software center says:

Breaks existing package 'firefox' that conflict: 'firefox'.

  • 2
    They may or may not be "better", but new releases have security patches.
    – xangua
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 15:16
  • Please update the correct answer
    – alfonx
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 21:28

3 Answers 3



apt-cache show firefox | grep Version

to get a list of available Firefox versions. On my 14.04 it results:

Version: 32.0+build1-0ubuntu0.14.04.1
Version: 28.0+build2-0ubuntu2

Next tell APT exactly which version to install:

sudo apt-get install firefox=28.0+build2-0ubuntu2

Next you have to tell APT not to upgrade to the newer version again. According to https://askubuntu.com/a/18656/22865 there are many ways to do it, I chose:

sudo apt-mark hold firefox

Once you want to let go of your Firefox 28 and follow the usual releases again, just do:

sudo apt-mark unhold firefox
sudo apt-get upgrade

Alternatively, you can list the available versions with:

apt-cache policy firefox

PS: Firefox stores all its settings in the ~/.mozilla folder. This folder is not changed by above commands, so all your settings should persist. If you want to be on the safe side, backup you settings before you downgrade:

cp -ra ~/.mozilla ~/.mozilla.backup
  • Wondrfull answer, detailed and clear even for newbie like me!
    – realtebo
    Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 11:31
  • This should be the answer, it gives the option to know which firefox version you have.
    – Edenshaw
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 21:56
  • It would be great to know what will be lost: bookmarks, passwords, add-ons and maybe their settings etc. Or none of them?
    – ka3ak
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 9:59
  • @ka3ak Nothing should be lost - I appended the answer on how to backup your settings anyways.
    – alfonx
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 8:06
  • 1
    @alfonx Thanks. Yes, I also noticed it. However there may be some problems with installed add-ons. The other problem is that "apt cache" shows me a very old firefox version. For example, I recently upgraded to firefox 56, wasn't satisfied with it and decided to downgrade to the previous version, but I didn't expect that "apt cache" would still show me firefox 28! It's too old. After that I downloaded a package containing the firefox 55 from mozilla ftp server, extracted it and I'll use it till the problems are fixed.
    – ka3ak
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 8:48

Try removing it first by:

sudo apt-get purge firefox

Then you can install using firefox-mozilla-build_28.0-0ubuntu1_i386.deb

  • If you cannot find the previous FF version for your version of Ubuntu, this answer may help.
    – mivk
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 19:24

After reading the answers, my answer is slightly different from the above ones, as it served my purpose. The instruction is to downgrade to any version, when existing version of firefox is still in the system.

  1. First find a firefox version that you want:

  2. Go to directory where you have downloaded the .tar.bz2 file and run in terminal (it will unpack your file):

    tar xvjf firefox-35.0.1.tar.bz2 (change filename to your liking)

    This command will unpack your tar.bz2 file and create a firefox folder

  3. Then run in terminal:

    which firefox

    It will give you something like: /usr/bin/firefox. That is the location of your firefox. Delete the folder (as you will replace it later with the other firefox folder)

  4. Remove any old firefox profiles from directories:

    • .mozilla/firefox/

    And maybe these as well (but I haven't done that):

    • /etc/firefox/
    • /usr/lib/firefox/
    • /usr/lib/firefox-addons/
  5. Copy the firefox folder from the step 2. to the /usr/bin/firefox and all is done. Run your firefox like you run normaly and you will run that specific downloaded version.

  6. Disable the update in Preferances -> Advanced -> Updates , if you need to keep the version.

Side note:

If you need this for ruby and selenium driver, then before that, check which version of firefox you actually need.

Go to https://github.com/SeleniumHQ/selenium/blob/master/py/CHANGES and locate your selenium version and check which firefox version it supports. For example, look for something like this: Firefox support up to 35

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