How to Install Pale Moon on Debian 12, 11 or 10

This guide will demonstrate how to install Pale Moon on Debian 12, 11, or 10 Linux using the command-line terminal and a third-party PPA maintained by Steven Pusser. This well-known repository provides easy access to future updates, having dedicated branches not just for Debian but also Ubuntu.

Pale Moon, an open-source web browser, stands out in the crowded field of internet browsers. Originating as a fork of Firefox, it’s designed to strike a balance between efficiency and customization. Here’s what sets Pale Moon apart:

  • Optimized for Modern Hardware: Tailored to leverage the capabilities of current processors.
  • Customizable Interface: Offers a user-friendly experience with customizable toolbars and UI elements.
  • Focus on Privacy: Enhanced privacy features to protect user data.
  • Extensive Extension Support: Compatible with a wide range of Firefox extensions and exclusive Pale Moon add-ons.
  • Lightweight and Fast: Streamlined codebase for quicker browsing and lower memory usage.
  • Active Development and Support: Regular updates for security and feature enhancements.

With these key features in mind, let’s delve into the installation process of Pale Moon on Debian Linux.

Install Pale Moon Browser on Debian via APT

Step 1: Update Debian Before Pale Moon Installation

To avoid any potential conflicts during the installation process, updating your system and ensuring that all existing packages are up to date is essential. This step will help ensure a smooth and error-free software installation.

Open your terminal and use the following command:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Step 2: Install Pale Moon Initial Required Packages

To successfully install Pale Moon, you will need to install specific dependencies. While some of these packages may already be on your system, running the installation command will help ensure all necessary dependencies are installed and the installation process goes smoothly.

sudo apt install curl apt-transport-https -y

Step 3: Import Pale Moon APT Repository

To install the Pale Moon browser on Debian, it is necessary to import the GPG key that verifies the authenticity of packages from the repository and then import the repository itself. It is essential to ensure that you import the correct GPG key and repository that matches your Debian distribution.

The following commands can be used to import the Pale Moon repository:

Trixie (Debian 13 – Testing): Import GPG Key and APT Repository commands:

curl -fsSL | gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/home_stevenpusser.gpg > /dev/null
echo 'deb /' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/home:stevenpusser.list

Bookworm (Debian 12): Import GPG Key and APT Repository commands:

curl -fsSL | gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/home_stevenpusser.gpg > /dev/null
echo 'deb /' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/home:stevenpusser.list

Bullsey (Debian 11): Import GPG Key and APT Repository commands:

curl -fsSL | gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/home_stevenpusser.gpg > /dev/null
echo 'deb /' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/home:stevenpusser.list

Buster (Debian 10): Import GPG Key and APT Repository commands:

curl -fsSL | gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/home_stevenpusser.gpg > /dev/null
echo 'deb /' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/home:stevenpusser.list

After importing the repository, run an APT update to reflect the changes:

sudo apt update

Step 4: Install Pale Moon Browser via APT Command on Debian

You can now install the browser on your Debian system with the Pale Moon repository successfully imported. To install the browser, run the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt install palemoon

This command will initiate the installation and automatically install the Pale Moon browser on your system. Once the installation is complete, you can verify the version of the browser using the following command:

palemoon -v

Running this command will display the version of the Pale Moon browser installed on your system, confirming that the installation was successful.

Terminal screenshot showing Pale Moon version on Debian LinuxPin
Confirmation of Pale Moon version installed on Debian Linux via command terminal

Launch Pale Moon Browser on Debian

After successfully installing the Pale Moon browser on your Debian system, you can quickly launch it by following these steps:

  1. Click on the “Activities” button in the top left corner of your screen.
  2. In the Activities menu, select “Show Applications.”
  3. From the list of applications displayed, click on “Pale Moon.”

Alternatively, you could use the following terminal command:

Pale Moon browser icon on a Debian Linux desktopPin
Pale Moon’s application icon as seen on Debian Linux

Getting Started with Pale Moon Browser on Debian

Now that you’ve adeptly installed Pale Moon on your Debian Linux, it’s time to delve into some first-time tips to kickstart your experience with this robust browser. These recommendations are tailored exclusively for Linux installations, ensuring a seamless browsing adventure on your Debian system.

Pale Moon browser ready for use on Debian LinuxPin
Pale Moon browser successfully installed and ready for browsing on Debian

General Pale Moon Tips with Debian

  • Default Settings: Pale Moon comes with a set of pre-configured settings to ensure optimal performance. Familiarize yourself with these settings under the Preferences menu to understand the baseline configuration.
  • Keyboard Shortcuts: Expedite your browsing with keyboard shortcuts. For instance, Ctrl+T to open a new tab, Ctrl+W to close the current tab, and Ctrl+Shift+T to reopen the last closed tab.
  • Profile Manager: Manage multiple browsing profiles by accessing the Profile Manager. Launch it from the terminal using the command:
palemoon -ProfileManager
  • Extensions and Add-ons: Enhance your browsing capabilities by exploring the vast array of extensions and add-ons available within the Pale Moon ecosystem. Navigate to the Tools > Add-ons menu to get started.

Pale Moon Customizations with Debian

  • Themes: Alter the look and feel of Pale Moon to your liking by applying themes. Find a plethora of themes under Tools > Add-ons > Themes.
  • Toolbar Customization: Tailor the toolbar to meet your needs by right-clicking on it and selecting Customize. Here, you can add, remove, or rearrange toolbar items to streamline your browsing experience.
  • Homepage: Set a personalized homepage via Edit > Preferences > General. Insert the URL of your desired homepage in the designated field to make it the first page you see upon launching Pale Moon.

Other Pale Moon Browser Tips with Debian

  • Search Engine Management: Customize your search engine preferences by venturing to Edit > Preferences > Search. Here, you can select your preferred search engine and manage search settings to refine your online inquiries.
  • Privacy Settings: Uphold your online privacy by configuring the privacy settings found under Edit > Preferences > Privacy & Security.
  • Performance Tweaks: Advance your browsing performance by tweaking the configurations under about:config. Proceed cautiously, as altering advanced settings could affect the browser’s stability.

Your endeavor with Pale Moon on Debian Linux is now poised with foundational insights to foster a proficient browsing environment. These initial steps set the stage for a rewarding and personalized browsing experience.

Screenshot of the default UI landing page of Pale Moon Browser post-launch on Debian 12, 11, or 10.Pin
After launch: Default UI of Pale Moon Browser on Debian 12, 11, or 10.

Additional Commands For Pale Moon Browser on Debian

Update Pale Moon Browser

To ensure that your Pale Moon Browser is up-to-date with the latest security patches and features, you can run an APT update in your terminal as you would to check for system updates. To do this, enter the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

This command will check for updates for your entire system, including the Pale Moon browser.

Remove Pale Moon Browser

If you no longer require the Pale Moon browser, you can remove it from your system by running the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt remove palemoon

This command will uninstall the Pale Moon browser from your system.

Ideally, you will also want to remove the repository you added earlier. To do this, enter the following command in your terminal:

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/home:stevenpusser.list

This command will remove the Pale Moon repository from your system.


There you have it! We’ve successfully navigated through the installation of Pale Moon on Debian Linux, using a reliable PPA for easy updates. Pale Moon stands as a great choice for those valuing speed, customization, and privacy in their web browsing experience. Just remember to keep it updated for the best performance and security. Thanks for following along; I hope this guide enhances your internet browsing on Debian. Happy surfing!

2 thoughts on “How to Install Pale Moon on Debian 12, 11 or 10”

  1. Following the instruction for Debian Bookworm I get the following error:

    sudo apt install palemoon
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree… Done
    Reading state information… Done
    Package palemoon is not available, but is referred to by another package.
    This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
    is only available from another source

    E: Package ‘palemoon’ has no installation candidate


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