How to Install Firefox ESR on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

The Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) browser is a robust and stable alternative to the standard Firefox browser, specifically designed for organizations such as businesses, enterprises, universities, and users who prefer long-term support (LTS) releases. Firefox ESR offers a range of benefits tailored to these users’ needs, including enhanced security, stability, and compatibility.

Some key advantages of Firefox ESR include the following:

  • Extended Support: Firefox ESR provides long-term support, ensuring consistent stability and reliability over extended periods without frequent updates that may disrupt workflows.
  • Security Updates: Although Firefox ESR does not receive feature updates as frequently as the standard Firefox browser, it is regularly updated with crucial security patches to protect users from potential threats.
  • Compatibility: The slower update cycle of Firefox ESR ensures better compatibility with various web applications and extensions, reducing the likelihood of compatibility issues due to frequent browser updates.
  • Centralized Management: Firefox ESR is tailored for easy deployment and centralized management across large organizations, streamlining the update process and reducing the administrative burden for IT departments.

The following guide will demonstrate how to install Firefox ESR on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish or Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa using the official Mozilla Launchpad PPA to ensure you receive the latest version of this reliable, LTS-focused browser.

Step 1: Update Ubuntu

Before starting the installation process, ensure your Ubuntu operating system and its packages are up-to-date. This helps prevent potential conflicts or issues during the installation.

  1. Update Package Index: Open the terminal and run the following command to update the package index:
sudo apt update
  1. Upgrade Packages: After updating the package index, upgrade any outdated packages using the command below:
sudo apt upgrade

Step 2: Import Firefox ESR Browser PPA

In this step, you’ll install the necessary dependencies, import the GPG key, and add the Mozilla Team’s PPA for the latest Firefox ESR version.

  1. Install Dependencies: Ensure that the following packages are installed on your system. Most of them should already be present, as they are commonly used packages:
sudo apt install dirmngr lsb-release ca-certificates software-properties-common apt-transport-https -y
  1. Generate Directories (if needed): If you haven’t previously imported a GPG key from the Ubuntu keyserver, you may need to create the required directories. Run the following command:
sudo gpg --list-keys

Example output:

gpg: directory '/root/.gnupg' created
gpg: keybox '/root/.gnupg/pubring.kbx' created
gpg: /root/.gnupg/trustdb.gpg: trustdb created

If you encounter any issues, run this command and retry the subsequent steps.

  1. Import GPG Key: Import the GPG key for the Mozilla Team PPA using the command:
sudo gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /usr/share/keyrings/mozillateam.gpg --keyserver --recv-keys 0AB215679C571D1C8325275B9BDB3D89CE49EC21 > /dev/null

Example output:

gpg: keybox '/usr/share/keyrings/mozillateam.gpg' created
gpg: key 9BDB3D89CE49EC21: public key "Launchpad PPA for Mozilla Team" imported
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg:               imported: 1
  1. Add Mozilla Team PPA: With the GPG key imported, add the Mozilla Team PPA containing the latest Firefox ESR version:
echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/mozillateam.gpg] $(lsb_release -cs) main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/firefox-esr-stable.list
  1. Update Package Index: Before proceeding with the installation, run another package index update to reflect the newly imported PPA:
sudo apt update

Following these steps, you will have successfully set up the required dependencies, imported the GPG key, and added the Firefox ESR PPA. You’re now ready to install Firefox ESR on your Ubuntu system.

Step 3: Install Firefox ESR Browser

With the necessary preparations completed, you can now proceed to install the Firefox ESR browser on your Ubuntu system.

  1. Install Firefox ESR: Execute the following command in the terminal to install the Firefox ESR browser:
sudo apt install firefox-esr

It’s worth noting that you don’t need to remove the standard Firefox stable browser, as the ESR version will be installed separately.

  1. Verify Installation: To confirm the installation and check the build version of the installed Firefox ESR browser, run the following command in the terminal:
firefox-esr --version

Step 4: Launch Firefox ESR Browser

Now that you’ve installed the Firefox ESR browser, there are a couple of ways to launch it:

  1. Launch from Terminal: Open the Firefox ESR browser by entering the following command in the terminal:
  1. Launch from Application Menu: Alternatively, you can locate and launch Firefox ESR using the application icon. Navigate to the applications menu and search for the Firefox ESR browser:
Activities > Show Applications > Firefox ESR


Once the application has launched, you will arrive at your default landing screen.


Step 5: Getting Started with Firefox ESR on Ubuntu

After successfully installing Firefox ESR on your Ubuntu system, you can optimize your browsing experience by familiarizing yourself with some of its unique features, customizations, and general tips. Below, we’ve outlined a few sections to help you get started.

1. Configuring Firefox ESR Settings

To make Firefox ESR truly your own, take some time to explore and configure its settings:

  • Access settings by clicking on the menu button (three horizontal lines) in the top-right corner and then selecting Preferences or Options.
  • Adjust privacy and security settings, such as tracking protection, cookies, and permissions.
  • Customize the appearance with themes, font sizes, and toolbar preferences.

2. Managing Extensions and Add-ons

Enhance your Firefox ESR browsing experience with extensions and add-ons:

  • Open the menu, click Add-ons and Themes, and then select Extensions or Themes.
  • Browse the available extensions or themes, and install those that suit your needs.
  • Manage your installed extensions by enabling, disabling, or removing them.

3. Syncing Your Firefox Account

Synchronize your bookmarks, history, and other data across multiple devices:

  • Click on the menu button and select Sign in to Sync.
  • Create a new Firefox account or sign in to an existing one.
  • Customize your synchronization preferences, such as which data types to sync.

4. Keyboard Shortcuts for Faster Browsing

Improve your browsing efficiency with keyboard shortcuts:

  • Open a new tab: Ctrl + T
  • Close the current tab: Ctrl + W
  • Reopen the last closed tab: Ctrl + Shift + T
  • Switch between open tabs: Ctrl + Tab
  • Search within the current page: Ctrl + F

5. Privacy and Security Tips

Protect your online privacy and security while using Firefox ESR:

  • Regularly update your browser to ensure you’re using the latest security patches.
  • Use strong and unique passwords for each online account.
  • Enable tracking protection and use private browsing mode to enhance privacy.
  • Install trusted privacy and security extensions, such as ad-blockers and password managers.

By following these tips and exploring the various features, customizations, and extensions, you can optimize your Firefox ESR experience on Ubuntu and enjoy a more secure, efficient, and personalized browsing experience.

Additional Commands & Tips

How to Update Firefox ESR Browser

While Firefox ESR should update automatically alongside your system packages using the APT package manager, you can also manually check for updates. To do so, run the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

How to Remove (Uninstall) Firefox ESR Browser

To remove Firefox ESR completely, enter the following command:

sudo apt remove firefox-esr

Afterward, if you’re certain you won’t need to reinstall Firefox ESR in the future, you can remove the imported PPA. Use the command below to remove the corresponding PPA file:

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/firefox-esr-stable.list


Installing Firefox ESR on Ubuntu provides businesses, enterprises, universities, and users who prefer LTS releases with a stable, secure, and regularly updated browser. By following the provided steps, you can easily add Firefox ESR to your Ubuntu system and take advantage of its benefits.

Additional Resources and Links

Explore more about Firefox ESR and its features by checking out these official resources:

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