How to Install Firefox Beta, Nightly on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

Diving into the Mozilla Firefox ecosystem, one can explore the cutting-edge realms of web browsing through Firefox Beta and Firefox Nightly. For those keen on proceeding to install Firefox Beta or Nightly on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish or its older stable release Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa, this guide will serve as your comprehensive roadmap. Both these versions represent Mozilla’s dedication to delivering a web experience that is advanced and user-centric.

Key Highlights of Firefox Beta:

  • Stability: While Firefox Beta offers a glimpse into the upcoming features, it maintains a balance by ensuring the browser remains stable for everyday tasks.
  • Early Access: Experience the future of Firefox firsthand. Firefox Beta users get to explore new features and improvements ahead of the general audience.
  • Feedback Channel: Mozilla values user insights. Beta users can actively contribute by sharing feedback, aiding in the refinement of features before the broader release.

Distinguishing Features of Firefox Nightly:

  • Daily Updates: Being at the forefront of Firefox’s development, Nightly receives daily updates, showcasing the latest from Mozilla’s labs.
  • Pioneering Features: Nightly is Mozilla’s sandbox for innovation, where bold ideas and features are tested.
  • Community Collaboration: Using Nightly isn’t just about experiencing new features; it’s about being part of the development journey. Users can offer feedback, report bugs, and help shape the browser’s evolution.

So, what drives users to these versions? The allure of innovation and firsthand experience. Engaging with Firefox Beta or Nightly means being integral to the browser’s evolution. You get to witness and influence the transformation of features before they become mainstream. This is especially enticing for developers, tech enthusiasts, or anyone with a penchant for the latest web technologies.

To embark on this journey, the subsequent sections of this guide will detail the steps to install Firefox Beta or Firefox Nightly on Ubuntu using the Ubuntu Mozilla Team Upstream PPA. This ensures you’re equipped with the latest versions and receive consistent updates. Let’s venture further into the dynamic world of Mozilla Firefox.

Install Firefox Beta (Firefox Next) on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

Step 1: Update Ubuntu System Packages Before Firefox Beta Installation

It’s a best practice to start with an up-to-date system, ensuring that all packages are current. This minimizes the possibility of encountering issues during the installation process. To update your Ubuntu system, execute the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Step 2: Install Initial Packages on Ubuntu for Firefox Beta

Next, let’s make sure we have the necessary packages installed for the procedure. The following command will either install these packages if they are not already installed or ensure they are up-to-date:

sudo apt install software-properties-common apt-transport-https -y

The software-properties-common package provides necessary software to manage repositories, while apt-transport-https enables the package manager to retrieve packages over the HTTPS protocol.

Step 3: Importing the Firefox Beta Repository (Firefox Next) on Ubuntu

If you’re interested in the latest developments from Firefox, the Beta version (also known as Firefox Next) is the way to go. First, let’s check the current version of Firefox installed on your system using:

firefox --version

After that, we will add the Firefox Next Personal Package Archive (PPA) to your system’s repository list. This allows your system to fetch and install the Beta version:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-next -y

Then, update your APT repository to include the newly added PPA:

sudo apt update

Step 4: Disabling and Removing Firefox from Snapcraft from Ubuntu

Since the stable version of Firefox installed from Snapcraft will override the Firefox Next PPA, we need to disable and remove it. Disable the Firefox snap with the following:

sudo snap disable firefox

Then, remove Firefox snap using the following command:

sudo snap remove --purge firefox

Finally, ensure the removal with the APT autoremove command:

sudo apt autoremove firefox --purge -y

For a more detailed guide, visit our guide on removing Firefox Snap from Ubuntu.

Step 5: Create Firefox Beta APT Pinning on Ubuntu

APT pinning allows us to specify the priority of different sources of packages in Ubuntu. This way, we can prioritize the Firefox Beta over the default priority Snapcraft or the stable Firefox PPA if you imported this PPA previously. Instead of using a text editor to do this, we’ll use the echo command to append the necessary configurations directly to the file:

echo -e "Package: firefox*\nPin: release o=LP-PPA-mozillateam-firefox-next\nPin-Priority: 750\n\nPackage: firefox*\nPin: release o=LP-PPA-mozillateam-ppa\nPin-Priority: 550\n\nPackage: firefox*\nPin: release o=Ubuntu\nPin-Priority: -1" | sudo tee /etc/apt/preferences.d/99-mozillateamppa

The priorities defined here indicate that:

  • Firefox Next PPA (Pin-Priority: 750) has the highest preference. If this version is available, it will be installed.
  • Firefox Stable PPA (Pin-Priority: 550) is the second preference. If Firefox Next PPA is not present, the stable version will be installed from Mozilla’s PPA, not Snapcrafts!
  • Firefox Ubuntu Snapcraft repository (Pin-Priority: -1) is disabled. This ensures we install Firefox from the Mozilla Team PPA, not Snapcraft.

Step 6: Install Firefox Beta on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

Now, we’re ready to install Firefox Beta. But first, we’ll run an APT update to ensure our system recognizes the changes we’ve made:

sudo apt update

Close any existing Firefox browser windows to prevent conflicts during the installation process. Then, proceed with the installation using the following command:

sudo apt install firefox -y

If Firefox is already installed via APT as an example the stable version, we use the install command and not upgrade. This ensures that we’re installing from our prioritized source according to our APT pinning.

Step 7: Verifying the Installation Of Firefox Beta on Ubuntu

After the installation, we want to confirm that the correct version of Firefox has been installed. This can be done by checking its version:

firefox --version

This command will output the version of Firefox currently installed on your system, helping you verify successful installation of Firefox Beta.

Screenshot displaying Firefox Beta on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04, highlighting the 'b' in the version output number.Pin
Visual demonstration of Firefox Beta installed on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04, emphasizing the ‘b’ in the version number.

As explained, the beta replaces the stable version of the browser. Only Firefox Nightly comes in a separate installation browser.

Manage Firefox Beta on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

In case you wish to remove the Beta build from Firefox and revert to the stable version, follow these steps:

Step 1: Remove Firefox Beta From Ubuntu

Firstly, we need to remove the beta version of Firefox using the following command:

sudo apt remove firefox

Step 2: Remove the Firefox Beta Repository from Ubuntu

Next, we will remove the Firefox Next PPA from our system’s repository list. This is achieved by adding the --remove flag to the previous add-apt-repository command:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:mozillateam/firefox-next  -y

Step 3: Importing the Firefox Stable Repository on Ubuntu

Now, let’s reintroduce the stable version of Firefox. We’ll add the Mozilla Team PPA containing the latest stable Firefox browser. Remember, our APT pinning preferences have already been set up to prioritize this repository over the Snapcraft version.

Use the following command to import the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/ppa -y

Use the following command to import the PPA:

sudo apt update

Step 4: Installing the Stable Version of Firefox

With the repository in place, we can now reinstall the stable default version of Firefox:

sudo apt install firefox -y

Step 5: Verifying the Firefox Version on Ubuntu

Finally, verify that the correct version of Firefox has been installed by checking its version:

firefox --version

And that’s it. You have successfully removed the nightly build from your Ubuntu desktop.

Install Firefox Nightly (Firefox Dev) on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

Firefox Nightly, also known as the developer version, allows users to experience the bleeding edge of Firefox’s development. This version is a great choice for those who enjoy testing the latest features and improvements before they make it to the beta or stable releases.

A key advantage of installing Firefox Nightly on Ubuntu is that it doesn’t interfere with your existing Firefox installations – it is installed separately from the stable and beta builds.

Step 1: Import Firefox Nightly Repository on Ubuntu

Our journey to install Firefox Nightly begins by adding its repository to our system’s list. This is achieved through the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/ppa -y

This command is adding the PPA (Personal Package Archive) for Ubuntu’s daily Firefox builds to your system’s software sources.

Step 2: Updating the APT Repository After PPA Import on Ubuntu

After successfully adding the repository, we need to update our system’s APT repository to reflect the new addition. Run the following command to accomplish this:

sudo apt update

Step 3: Install Firefox Nightly on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

With the repository in place and our system updated, we can now proceed to install Firefox Nightly. Ensure any existing Firefox windows are closed to prevent conflicts during the installation process. Then, run the following command:

sudo apt install firefox-trunk -y

This command will fetch and install Firefox Nightly (referred to as firefox-trunk in the repository) on your Ubuntu system.

Step 4: Verifying the Installation of Firefox Nightly on Ubuntu

To ensure that Firefox Nightly was installed correctly, we can verify its version with the following command:

firefox-trunk --version

This command will display the version of Firefox Nightly currently installed on your system. Note that the Firefox Nightly icon is slightly different from the standard Firefox icon, even the colors are vastly different, helping you distinguish between them easily.

Screenshot showcasing the Firefox Nightly application icon on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04.Pin
Visual representation of the Firefox Nightly browser icon on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04, ready for launch.
Screenshot of Firefox Developer Nightly on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04, emphasizing the 'a' for Alpha in the version number.Pin
Visual demonstration of Firefox Developer Nightly installed on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04, highlighting the ‘a’ for Alpha in the version number.

Managing Firefox Nightly on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

If at any point you decide that you no longer need Firefox Nightly on your system, the process of removing it is quite straightforward.

Step 1: Remove Firefox Nightly From Ubuntu

The first step in removing Firefox Nightly is to uninstall it with the following command:

sudo apt autoremove firefox-trunk --purge -y

Step 2: Remove the Firefox Nightly Repository From Ubuntu

Next, we need to remove the Firefox Nightly PPA from our system’s repository list. We can do this by adding the --remove flag to the previous add-apt-repository command:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/ppa -y

Step 3: Updating the APT Repository

Finally, we’ll need to update our system’s APT repository again to reflect the changes we’ve just made:

sudo apt update

And voilà! You’ve successfully removed Firefox Nightly from your Ubuntu system. This guide ensures you understand each step’s importance and purpose, and the commands provided will help you execute the tasks efficiently. Happy browsing!

Closing Thoughts

Through this guide, we’ve explored how to install both Firefox Beta and Firefox Nightly on Ubuntu Linux. These versions offer an exciting opportunity to test and experience the newest features and updates even before they reach the general public. We covered the necessary steps to add the appropriate repositories, update our system’s repository list, install the desired version, and even how remove them if needed. By following these instructions, you are enriching your browsing experience and contributing to the development of Firefox by testing these pre-release versions.

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