This question asks how to install FF32 bit while keeping the 64 bit.

I want the much more simple thing: is there a canonical way to install firefox 52 ESR as "default" firefox in my 16.04?

I found this launchpad team ... but there are no packages; probably no wonder given the fact that the linked blog article dates back to 2012.

So, 2017, Ubuntu 16.04; how to install FF 52 ESR (as I simply need the java plugin to work for me).

( my current solution: I downloaded the TAR file from mozilla, extracted that to /opt; and then changed /usr/bin/firefox to be a link to that ESR version of firefox. works, but ugly )

  • I believe there is no official package, if that's what you are after. The custom install in your home (just replace /opt with ~/opt) is the best way to go, so you do not tamper with the system, and if you backup your home, it will be there when/if you need to restore. Mar 20, 2017 at 12:43
  • I don't backup my home, I backup my /data :-)
    – GhostCat
    Mar 20, 2017 at 12:47

4 Answers 4


There is an official Firefox ESR PPA for supported Ubuntu versions: https://launchpad.net/~mozillateam/+archive/ubuntu/ppa

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install firefox-esr
  • 5
    this should be the accepted answer, why using a completely non official ppa when there is a semi official one? But you should still explain why it is only semi-official
    – Jeno
    Nov 17, 2017 at 8:59
  • I think it's official. If you look at the digital certificate of the website in a browser, you get this: You are securely connected to this site, owned by Canonical group Ltd, London, London, GB, Verified By: DigiCert Inc launchpad.net/~mozillateam/+archive/ubuntu/ppa
    – linux64kb
    Nov 29, 2017 at 21:30
  • 2
    @linux64kb Irrelevant, that's the certificate for launchpad.net, not for the PPA.
    – Nobody
    Jan 3, 2018 at 16:19
  • @Jeno I thought if it would be fully official it would be part of the Linux official repos, not only a ppa (which stands for Personal Package Archive)
    – linux64kb
    Feb 13, 2018 at 20:12
  • 1
    @linux64kb I'm not sure I made myself clear. There is a large difference between the certificate for launchpad.net/~mozillateam/+archive/ubuntu/ppa and the certificate for the ppa which belongs to that website. No matter which PPA's launchpad site you open, the website certificate will always be from Canonical, because launchpad is their website. The key for the PPA is linked below "Technical details about this PPA" and has the user id "Launchpad PPA for Mozilla Team" which does not say anything about the official or unofficial status of that "Mozilla Team".
    – Nobody
    Feb 13, 2018 at 22:48

This firefox-esr PPA works for me on Xenial: https://launchpad.net/~jonathonf/+archive/ubuntu/firefox-esr

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonathonf/firefox-esr-52
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install firefox-esr

but please note that you will not get security updates as this version is obsolete.

  • 2
    Just works. Great, thank you. And kudos to Jonathon F for providing this ppa!
    – GhostCat
    Jul 18, 2017 at 10:29
  • With Firefox 57 breaking key-binding extensions by not adding the necessary API for WebExtensions (bug 1325692), I expect many users to switch to Firefox 52 ESR just to disable Ctrl+Q. Sep 6, 2017 at 23:52
  • 1
    Debian has firefox-esr package, but Ubuntu does not. You may want to vote for it on LaunchPad bug 1676164.
    – N0rbert
    Sep 10, 2017 at 10:32
  • 11
    The Mozilla Team has their own PPA for ESR. I would give preference to it launchpad.net/~mozillateam/+archive/ubuntu/ppa Nov 5, 2017 at 16:05
  • I just did this with the Mozilla PPA. First try, all of my extensions still showed as disabled in Firefox-esr. I ended up deleting one extension and reinstalling it. Then all of them were enabled again. I also uninstalled the regular Firefox. Not sure exactly what fixed it. Recommended reading: downthemall.net/…
    – Joe
    Nov 17, 2017 at 4:36

I have added this into my ansible playbooks, thanks for @galatians .

# Firefox ESR.
- name: add apt key of firefox-esr
  become: true
    keyserver: "hkp://p80.pool.sks-keyservers.net:80"
    id: 4AB0F789CBA31744CC7DA76A8CF63AD3F06FC659

- name: add apt repository of firefox-esr
  become: true
    repo: "deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/jonathonf/firefox-esr/ubuntu {{ ansible_distribution_release }} main"
    state: present

- name: install third-party apt packages of desktop
  become: true
    name: firefox-esr
    state: present



Try the open source web application I built to generate bash script with installation steps for each application. https://www.ins2all.com/?a=Firefox_ESR

It will generate a bash script with the content:

# Firefox ESR
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonathonf/firefox-esr

#Update system
sudo apt-get update

#Installing Firefox ESR
sudo apt-get install firefox-esr

You can run it to install the selected application.

  • Can we see the contents of that link? Dec 16, 2017 at 7:28
  • It is an open source web app. You can get a bash script for installing any set of applications.
    – gkvm
    Dec 17, 2017 at 1:08
  • Is there any good reason to crib from the accepted answer for the same question? If you were trying to improve the accepted answer you should instead suggest an edit. Other wise improve your answer in legitimate ways. Possibly include the contents of the script your site would generate, so that the community could weigh in on its utility.
    – J. Starnes
    Dec 29, 2017 at 4:40
  • Added the script which will be generated by the application.
    – gkvm
    Dec 29, 2017 at 4:55
  • It is unwise to lower the barrier to running arbitrary code from an unknown or untrusted source. See Is there any sort of automated scripts for the answer for discussion on this point. Your web site gave me a less useful version than is in your answer, disinclining me to trust it. However one good point the web site does provide the contents of the script for review before downloading it.
    – J. Starnes
    Dec 30, 2017 at 18:21

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