How to Install Firefox ESR on Ubuntu 22.04 | 20.04


Firefox ESR is the perfect choice for enterprise users who need stability and security updates but may not have access to newer features. The Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) versions are officially supported by their respective organizations because they do not contain any bugs or unfinished products within their programmed functions! The Firefox extended support release is perfect for university or government networks needing more support than updated software or for users who prefer using Enterprised-based software.

The following tutorial will teach you how to install Firefox ESR on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish or Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa LTS Linux using a recommended Launchpad PPA repository to provide the most up-to-date version using the command line terminal.

Update Ubuntu Packages – System Upgrade

Before you begin, update your Ubuntu operating system to ensure all existing packages are up to date.

sudo apt update

Optionally, you can list the updates for users who require review or are curious.

apt list --upgradable

Proceed to upgrade any outdated packages using the following command.

sudo apt upgrade

Import Firefox ESR Browser PPA

Install Dependencies

First, ensure the following packages are installed on your system using the command line terminal. Most of these should be installed already and are very commonly used packages.

sudo apt install dirmngr lsb-release ca-certificates software-properties-common apt-transport-https -y

For users who have not previously imported a GPG key from the Ubuntu keyserver, the command line terminal will often have issues importing GPG keys from LaunchPAD PPAs because the directories are not created. This is an easy fix. Use the following command that will, in turn, generate the directories.

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

This can be skipped, but if you encounter an issue, just run the command and re-try.

The next task is to import the GPG key needed.

sudo gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /usr/share/keyrings/mozillateam.gpg --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --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

With the GPG key now imported, import the “Mozilla Team” team PPA containing the latest up-to-date Firefox ESR version.

echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/mozillateam.gpg] https://ppa.launchpadcontent.net/mozillateam/ppa/ubuntu $(lsb_release -cs) main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/firefox-esr-stable.list

Before running the installation command, run an apt update to reflect the new imported PPA.

sudo apt update

Install Firefox ESR Browser

Install the software using the following command.

sudo apt install firefox-esr -y

Note you do not need to remove the standard Firefox stable browser; this is installed separately.

Optionally, you can confirm the build version of Firefox ESR installed while you are still on your terminal using the following command.

firefox-esr --version

Example output:

Mozilla Firefox 102.6.0esr

How to Launch Firefox ESR Browser

Now that you have the software installed launching can be done in a few ways.

In your terminal, use the following command.

firefox-esr

Alternatively, you can use the show applications search to open Firefox ESR using the application icon.

Activities > Show Applications > Firefox ESR

Example:

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

Example:

Congratulations, you have installed Firefox ESR on Ubuntu.

Additional Commands & Tips

How to Update Firefox ESR Browser

The software should update itself with your system packages for desktop users using the APT package manager. For users who want to check manually, use the following command in your terminal.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

How to Remove (Uninstall) Firefox ESR Browser

For users who no longer want to have Firefox ESR, using the autoremove command is best to keep your system clean and not bloated and remove the browser entirely.

sudo apt autoremove firefox-esr -y

Next, remove the imported PPA if you have no desire to re-install the software with the following command.

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

Conclusion

Firefox ESR is the perfect choice for users who need stability and security updates but may not have access to newer features. The tutorial has demonstrated how to install the MozillaTeam LaunchPAD PPA, so you will always have the latest up-to-date version available.

See also
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