Mozilla released the Firefox Developer Edition! How do I install it on Ubuntu?


  • 4
    Um, reading the whole article, there's a link for download at the bottom? That would be a good place to start! Nov 10 '14 at 18:34
  • 3
    You could have answered this one directly: askubuntu.com/questions/547987/… And please try to use first party links (hacks.mozilla.org/2014/11/…) instead of third-party ones.
    – muru
    Nov 10 '14 at 18:38
  • 1
    Since Firefox Developer Edition is a tool designed for developper, I suggest you to validate the answer that explain how to install it with the official ubuntu installer called ubuntu-make (umake) : askubuntu.com/a/584704/85273
    – cm-t
    Mar 8 '15 at 1:12
  • @cm-t I edit my answer on how to install F.D.E with Ubuntu Make!
    – blade19899
    Dec 14 '15 at 10:13

10 Answers 10


Firefox Developer Edition

The Firefox Developer Edition is a modified version of Firefox, specifically designed for web developers. It uses a separate profile than the regular version of Firefox. Meaning you can have both Firefox or F-beta, installed next to the developer edition. Note that your F.D.E. will be a completely UN-customized browser. To unify settings, you can use Firefox sync.

Here's one of many perks when using F.D.E:

"By using the Developer Edition, you gain access to tools and platform features at least 12 weeks before they reach the main Firefox release channel." - Developer Edition - Mozilla | MDN#The_latest_Firefox_features


There are currently three ways to do this, manually, PPA or via Ubuntu Make.


Download from Mozilla Firefox Developer Edition webpage. Extract it with file-roller and move the folder to its final location. A good practice is to install it in /opt/ or /usr/local/.

Once you moved the files to their final location (say /opt/firefox_dev/), you can create the following file ~/.local/share/applications/firefox_dev.desktop to get a launcher with an icon distinct from normal Firefox.

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Firefox Developer 
GenericName=Firefox Developer Edition
Exec=/opt/firefox_dev/firefox %u
Comment=Firefox Developer Edition Web Browser.
StartupWMClass=Firefox Developer Edition

Please note, that the parameter StartupWMClass is added to prevent duplicate icons in the launcher, as explained here.

To mark the launcher as trusted, make it executable:

chmod +x ~/.local/share/applications/firefox_dev.desktop

To launch it, navigate to ~/.local/share/applications/ using your "Files" application (ensure you turn on hidden folders), then double-click firefox_dev.desktop. Alternatively, search for Firefox Developer, and simply run the firefox binary, and voilà.

Note that, when you install manually, the F.D.E. does not have the unity global menu by default.


Firefox for developers currently resides in Firefox Aurora builds : “Ubuntu Mozilla Daily Build Team” team. It should be noted that:

"Firefox Developer Edition replaces the Aurora channel in the Firefox Release Process. Like Aurora, features will land in the Developer Edition every six weeks, after they have stabilized in Nightly builds." - Developer Edition - Mozilla | MDN #The_latest_Firefox_features


"Version 35.0a2, first offered to Firefox Developer Edition users on November 10, 2014" - Firefox — Aurora Notes (35.0a2) — Mozilla#main-content

Install the Firefox Developer Edition, formerly know as Aurora, like so:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/firefox-aurora
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install firefox

The Mozilla PPA only holds packages for the supported Ubuntu releases, not EOL(End Of Life) releases.

Note that installing with the aforementioned ppa, will result in your current Firefox installation being replaced!

Ubuntu Make

This method has been provided by Jorge Castro. I am adding this here, because it's also an excellent way to install the Firefox Developer Edition(and many others dev tools).

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lyzardking/ubuntu-make
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-make

After you have installed ubuntu-make, tell it to install the web tool firefox-dev.

umake web firefox-dev


If you wish to keep the Current default Firefox, because The FDE has no new features you like, or for whatever reason, here are a few ways to uninstall it.


You can remove the ppa, and its packages, using ppa-purge.

Install it like so:

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge

The following will remove the PPA, and its packages:

sudo ppa-purge ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/firefox-aurora


remove the binaries with the rm command(rename the path to the location you actually extracted FDE). Or with your file-manager:

sudo rm -r /opt/firefox_dev/

Also remove the firefox_dev.desktop

sudo rm ~/.local/share/applications/firefox_dev.desktop

After that you have successfully removed the Firefox Developer Edition.

Ubuntu Make

the following command will remove Firefox Developer Edition:

umake web firefox-dev -r

You can also remove umake and its PPA (ppa-purge needed, see installation instructions above):

sudo ppa-purge ppa:lyzardking/ubuntu-make


enter image description here Firefox Developer Edition on Ubuntu 14.04.1

Change Theme

At the time of writing, there are three themes available for F.D.E. Here is how to enable them.

Type in the url bar:


When in the search filter type in theme. Then double click on devtools.theme. After that, type in light, and the theme will be applied.

Multiple FDE themes

Screenshot with multiple themes available for F.D.E.


Some - but not all - features touted by Mozilla:

  • WebIDE:

    • allows you to develop, deploy and debug Web apps directly in your browser, or on a Firefox OS device. It lets you create a new Firefox OS app (which is just a web app) from a template, or open up the code of an existing app. From there you can edit the app’s files. It’s one click to run the app in a simulator and one more to debug it with the developer tools.

    • Web IDE - YouTube

  • Valence:

    • (previously called Firefox Tools Adapter) lets you develop and debug your app across multiple browsers and devices by connecting the Firefox dev tools to other major browser engines. Valence also extends the awesome tools we’ve built to debug Firefox OS and Firefox for Android to the other major mobile browsers including Chrome on Android and Safari on iOS. So far these tools include our Inspector, Debugger and Console and Style Editor.

    • Valence - YouTube

  • Responsive Design Mode:

    • see how your website or Web app will look on different screen sizes without changing the size of your browser window.
  • Page Inspector:

    • examine the HTML and CSS of any Web page and easily modify the structure and layout of a page.
  • Web Console:

    • see logged information associated with a Web page and use Web Console and interact with a Web page using JavaScript.
  • JavaScript Debugger:

    • step through JavaScript code and examine or modify its state to help track down bugs.
  • Network Monitor:

    • see all the network requests your browser makes, how long each request takes and details of each request.
  • Style Editor:

    • view and edit CSS styles associated with a Web page, create new ones and apply existing CSS stylesheets to any page.
  • Web Audio Editor:

    • inspect and interact with Web Audio API in real time to ensure that all audio nodes are connected in the way you expect.


  • 1
    Yeah - I got that far too. But a) where does one put in in the directory tree after that (I did /usr/lib just like regular firefox, after renaming the folder to firefoxdev)? And b) how do I get the icon into the launcher, and how do I get the search boxto find it? Nov 10 '14 at 20:35
  • 11
    @ThomasBrowne No, that's wrong. You shouldn't manually place programs in that location or anywhere else than /opt/, /usr/local/…, your home directory or removable media. /opt/, is probably better than /usr/local/…. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filesystem_Hierarchy_Standard For launcher icons see: askubuntu.com/q/13758/40581
    – LiveWireBT
    Nov 10 '14 at 21:57
  • 2
    Excellent answer, much appreciated over the smarmy "read harder" comments. Thanks.
    – Seth
    Dec 17 '14 at 5:16
  • 2
    Using the ppa does nothing, I'm still stuck with the non-dev version of firefox; umake just outputs ERROR: Download page changed its syntax or is not parsable. Apr 3 '17 at 6:44
  • 5
    Looks like the Aurora PPA was deprecated. Not sure why... Jun 29 '17 at 21:46

The Firefox Developer Edition is available as part of Ubuntu Make:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lyzardking/ubuntu-make
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-make

After that just run the Firefox installer as your user (don't use sudo in this case):

umake web firefox-dev

It will prompt you where to install Firefox, and then download it automatically and install it.

If you are using ubuntu (unity), in the launcher, a new icon Firefox Developer Edition has been pinned. Click on it to launch your freshly installed Firefox Developer Edition.

Firefox Developer Edition will prompt itself for auto-updates (will not use apt).

  • 4
    From Ubuntu 15.04 on you can install the package ubuntu-make from the main repositories. May 13 '15 at 22:59
  • The PPA only provides Ubuntu Make packages, with the name: ubuntu-make not umake!
    – blade19899
    Nov 13 '15 at 14:39
  • 1
    On Ubuntu 16.04.1 I had to use the PPA. The ubuntu-make in main repo is outdated and gives ERROR: Download page changed its syntax or is not parsable. The PPA version works fine.
    – TalkLittle
    Oct 8 '16 at 5:55
  • 1
    When installing manually, how to enable the unity global menu?
    – ARX
    Nov 19 '17 at 19:28
  • 3
    I was getting an error in the installation that said ERROR: One default was already registered, can't register a second one in that choices set:, to solve this just install like this: umake web firefox-dev --lang en-US or with any other language Mar 29 '19 at 14:57
sudo apt-get install gnome-panel 
sudo mv /from_where_it_is to /opt/firefox_dev/
sudo chown -R $(whoami):$(whoami) /opt/firefox_dev/
gnome-desktop-item-edit ~/.local/share/applications --create-new

than just search it in unity

  • 3
    For gnome-desktop-item-edit, you will have to install gnome-panel: apt-get install gnome-panel.
    – Zoltán
    Nov 11 '14 at 9:02
  1. Download the tar.bz2 file from https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/developer/
  2. In the terminal, extract the tar (tar xvjf filename.tar.bz2)
  3. Go into the new directory where the files have been extracted to. For me it was called firefox/
  4. Type ./firefox
  • 2
    how do you make it update-able, if update comes how does it work ? Jun 9 '17 at 7:02
  • simple and easy
    – sivaBE35
    Oct 14 '17 at 10:16

One thing you can do, if you don't have gnome-panel/gnome-desktop-item-edit installed, is create a .desktop file manually.

You can run this:

sudo mv /from_where_it_is to /opt/firefox_dev/
sudo chown -R $(whoami):$(whoami) /opt/firefox_dev/

then run (you can obviously swap out nano for whatever app you want to use):

sudo nano ~/.local/share/applications/firefox_dev.desktop

and enter the following (or change it around how you like):

[Desktop Entry]
Version=35.0a2                                  # version of the app.
Name[en_US]=firefox_dev                         # name of the app.
GenericName=Firefox Developer Edition           # longer name of the app.
Exec=/opt/firefox_dev/firefox                   # command used to launch the app.
Terminal=false                                  # whether the app requires to be run in a terminal.
Icon[en_US]=firefox                             # location of icon file - Firefox Dev currently has no icon of its own, so just using the system default for Firefox
Type=Application                                # type.
Categories=Application;Network;Developer;       # categories in which this app should be listed.
Comment[en_US]=Firefox Developer Edition Web Browser. # comment which appears as a tooltip.
  • Putting the .desktop file into that folder wasn't enough for me. Instead, right click the file, click Properties, turn on the "run as executable" permission, and double click the file. FF Dev Edition should launch. Right click its icon in the launcher and lock it.
    – Jack M
    Mar 22 '18 at 14:11

Shameless plug for for my own solution to this problem: I made a .deb package for Mozilla's tar and published it in releases section of the Github repo that houses the sources for the packaging scripts.

The repo is located here: https://github.com/wheelerlaw/firefoxdev

To install, run the following commands (assuming you have jq installed):

curl -fsSL "https://api.github.com/repos/wheelerlaw/firefoxdev/releases/latest" | jq '.assets[0].browser_download_url' | xargs curl -OL
sudo dpkg -i firefoxdev_*_.deb
  • Nice, works fine! 😀 The following one can update it: sudo wget -c "https://download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox-devedition-latest-ssl&os=linux64&lang=en-US" -O - | sudo tar -xj -C /opt && sudo rm -rf /opt/firefoxdev && sudo mv /opt/firefox /opt/firefoxdev Oct 13 at 11:11

Assuming you are in your Downloads folder [credit @blade19899]:

tar xjf  firefox-36.0a2.en-US.linux-x86_64.tar.bz2 
sudo mv firefox/   /opt/firefox_dev/
sudo gedit ~/.local/share/applications/firefox_dev.desktop

Now copy and paste [Desktop Entry] as mentioned in manual installation.

  • 5
    "sudo mv /firefox ..." I doubt this is correct. A firefox dir in root?
    – Rinzwind
    Jan 13 '15 at 11:33
  • @Rinzwind Well it works.That's where we put it when we want it to be executable from dash.
    – srbh
    Jan 13 '15 at 12:20
  • @srbh: the issue is that it seems that you have put stuff in /, even if you stated that you are working in Download folder, you shouldn´t put explicitly copy/pastable code that needs to be tinkered to work. Just add a simple cd ~/Downloads, and correct your mv line. Yet, the best would be to use wget and work in /tmp to have fully copy&pastable code that downloads and install it. If you can also avoid fixing the version of firefox (which renders this code obsolete extra quickly), this would be greater. And a link is missing to make firefox executable from $PATH.
    – vaab
    Feb 9 '16 at 0:57
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/firefox-aurora
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

This will add the firefox daily build to your repositories and install firefox-dev. As of writing this post, these version numbers match (35.0a2).

  • Did you actually try what I wrote, or did you just come here to tell me I'm wrong? I did exactly this and I'm working with a nicely installed version of Developer Edition, full suite of new dev tools included. In fact, the top answer here seems to have taken my solution. Nov 13 '14 at 21:07
  • at the time of your post, yes, I did try, and it wasn't the same build - looks like it's been updated since then, and maybe it was stale package data. Maybe a bug in my system, but either way at the time of commenting it wasnt the same version
    – Thomas Ward
    Nov 13 '14 at 21:21

The problem is that when you downloaded the file, it didn't get saved with executable permissions.

  • Download the firefox developer edition here:

  • Extract the file manually to /opt/firefox/

  • Open Nautilus: Go to Edit->Preferences-> Behavior-> click on "Run executable text files when they are opened"

  • Go to the file 'firefox' in /opt/firefox/

  • Right click and select Properties--> Permissions--> Execute: Allow executing file as a program.

  • Open terminal and type:

gnome-desktop-item-edit ~/.local/share/applications --create-new

Create a shortcut and You're done !

If you're still unable to run it, you might be having problem with installing firefox even after following all the answers here. It might be because Firefox will not run at all without the following libraries or packages:

  • GTK+ 2.18 or higher
  • GLib 2.22 or higher
  • Pango 1.14 or higher
  • X.Org 1.0 or higher (1.7 or higher is recommended)
  • libstdc++ 4.3 or higher

libstdc++ is not included in Ubuntu by default.

For optimal functionality, the following are the recommended libraries or packages:

  • NetworkManager 0.7 or higher
  • DBus 1.0 or higher
  • HAL 0.5.8 or higher
  • GNOME 2.16 or higher

To install a package, open a terminal and type

sudo apt-get install [package-name]

I was not able to launch the executable script contained in file 'firefox' in firefox directory.

  • This doesn't really count as an answer to the question - you haven't answered how to 'install' the firefox developer edition.
    – Thomas Ward
    Nov 11 '14 at 19:30
  • @ThomasW. Yes, I assumed he must be having problem with running it after following the instructions here. Edited the answer to resolve a possible cause for the executable file not being able to run.
    – Faiz
    Nov 13 '14 at 14:09
  • No "Edit" button or anything laleled 'Edit' in Nautilus (Ubuntu last 18 version - Nautilus is called 'Files' here)... Is it something only available on older versions or are you referring to something else? And if the first case, do you know what is the equivalent now?
    – Martin
    Nov 17 '18 at 12:30

If you are going to install manually (download, extract and create .desktop file) following desktop sample can resolve problems like;

  • duplicate icon show up on favorites bar
  • right-click to 'open a new window' & 'private window'

Referenced PPA installed firefox desktop file.

Extracted under /opt/firefox-dev/

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Firefox Web Browser Developer Edition
Comment=Browse the WWW
GenericName=Web Browser
Exec=/opt/firefox-dev/firefox %u
StartupWMClass=Firefox Developer Edition

[Desktop Action new-window]
Name=Open a New Window
Exec=/opt/firefox-dev/firefox -new-window

[Desktop Action new-private-window]
Name=Open a New Private Window
Exec=/opt/firefox-dev/firefox -private-window

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