How to Install Firefox 81 in Linux

Firefox 81 officially released for all major OS e.g. Linux, Mac OSX, Windows, and Android. The binary package is now available for download for Linux (POSIX) systems, grab the desired one, and enjoy the browsing with new features added to it.

What’s new in Firefox 81

This new release comes with the following features:

  • The Protections window shows reports about tracking protection, data breaches, and password management.
  • Improved graphics performance to an even larger audience.
  • Support for Audio Worklets that will allow more complex audio processing.
  • Better privacy protection for your web voice and video calls.
  • Enhancements to core engine components, for greater browsing on more sites.
  • Enhanced performance and nicer user experience for extensions.
  • Other various security fixes.

New Firefox has also added lots of new interesting features to Android as well. So, don’t wait, just grab the latest Firefox for Android from Google Play Store and have fun.

Install Firefox 81 in Linux Systems

Ubuntu users will always get the latest version of Firefox via default Ubuntu’s update channel. But the upgrade isn’t yet available and if you are curious to try it, there is an official Mozilla PPA to test the new version of Firefox 81 on Ubuntu and its derivatives.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-next
$ sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
$ sudo apt install firefox

On other Linux distributions, you can install Firefox 81 stable from tarball sources in Debian and Red Hat-based distributions such as CentOS, Fedora, etc.

The download link for Mozilla Firefox tarballs can be found by accessing the below link.


The process of installing the latest version of Firefox from archive sources is similar for Ubuntu and CentOS desktop version. To begin with, log in to your desktop and open a Terminal console.

Then, issue the below commands in your Terminal in order to download and install Firefox from tarball sources. The installation files will be placed in your distribution /opt directory.

For 32-Bit OS
$ cd /opt
$ sudo wget
$ sudo tar xfj firefox-81.0.tar.bz2 
For 64-Bit OS
$ cd /opt
$ sudo wget
$ sudo tar xfj firefox-81.0.tar.bz2 

After Firefox application files had been decompressed and installed to /opt/firefox/ system path, execute the below command to first launch the browser. The latest version of Firefox should open in your system.

$ /opt/firefox/firefox

In order to create a quick launch icon in your desktop applications menu, issue the following commands in the terminal. First, change directory to /usr/share/application/ directory and create a new desktop application quick launcher based on firefox.desktop app launcher. The new launcher will be named mozilla-quantum.desktop.

$ cd /usr/share/applications/
$ sudo cp firefox.desktop firefox-quantum.desktop 

Afterward, open firefox-quantum.desktop file for editing and search and update the following lines.

Name=Firefox Quantum Web Browser
Exec=/opt/firefox/firefox %u
Exec=/opt/firefox/firefox -new-window
Exec=/opt/firefox/firefox -private-window

Save and close the file changes. Launch Mozilla Quantum by navigating to Applications -> Internet menu where a new Firefox Quantum launcher should appear. In Ubuntu desktop just search for quantum in Unity dash.

After hitting on the shortcut icon, you should see the new Mozilla Quantum browser in action in your system.

Firefox Quantum
Firefox Quantum

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Firefox 81 browser from a tarball source file in Debian and RHEL/CentOS Linux distributions.

Note: You can also install Firefox with a package manager called ‘yum‘ or ‘dnf‘ for Centos/Fedora/RHEL and ‘apt-get‘ or ‘apt‘ for Ubuntu-based distributions, but the available version may be little older.

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72 thoughts on “How to Install Firefox 81 in Linux”

  1. Mozilla 68.0 would not run on my Linux Mint 13 (yes, I know it is out of support but I run all apps in firejails and behind iptables). I believe it is from an older gtk release. Firefox goes into a constant loop of crash reporter, this even when disabling crash reporter by editing the application.ini file.

    How can I determine what libraries Firefox needs? Can I obtain the correct libraries, copy them to the same folder as Firefox, and still run it in a firejail?

  2. XPCOMGlueLoad error for file /var/tmp/firefox/ cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
    Couldn’t load XPCOM.

    testing machine in VirtualBox/Vagrant, CentOs, ssh/xwindows forwarding :((

    • @Mirek,

      The latest Firefox 60 requires GTK 3.4 to run. The only way to install latest version of Firefox is to upgrade your Linux system.

      • yum provides “*/” # -> gtk3
        yum install gtk3

        So I have installed gtk3, xorg-x11-xauth, dejavu-lgc-sans-fonts.
        vagrant ssh (Vagrantfile: forwardconfig.ssh.forward_agent = true ; config.ssh.forward_x11 = true)
        or: ssh [email protected] -X -p 2222

        • @Mirek,

          That’s really great and thanks for sharing, let me give a try on my CentOS 6 box, last day me too facing same problem, but I didn’t tried it installing from YUM package manager thought latest Firefox needs upgraded GTK…:)

      • ssh -X # or:

        vagrant ssh
          where in Vagrantfile:
        yum install gtk3
        yum install xorg-x11-xauth
        yum install dejavu-lgc-sans-fonts
        # log out/in (exit/ssh)
        echo $DISPLAY   # will print: localhost:10.0

        We need firefox v58+ (at this time v52 from repo is not enough)

        cd /opt
        tar xfj firefox-60.0.tar.bz2
        ln -s /opt/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox
        exit  # -> normal user
  3. If coming from Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release) then I think you might want to adjust your edits suggested above as follows:

    1) Do a global search and replace:

    $ sudo vi /usr/share/applications/firefox-quantum.desktop  
    :%s/Firefox ESR/Firefox Quantum/g

    >> 46 substitutions

    2) Include just one Exec line edited as follows:

    -> Exec=/usr/lib/firefox-esr/firefox-esr %u  
    +> Exec=/opt/firefox/firefox %u  

    3) Leave Icon=firefox-esr (otherwise it disappears from my cinnamon menu.) Perhaps someone else can tell me how to do this better.

    4) Simplify StartupWMClass:

    -> StartupWMClass=Firefox-ESR
    +> StartupWMClass=Firefox

    So far this seems to work for me. (Debian Stretch 9.2 / Cinnamon 3.2.7)


    • I just copied the icon from the quantum firefox directory to the “icon directory??”. (No idea if that’s what pixmaps actually is…)

      # cp /opt/firefox/browser/icons/mozicon.png /usr/share/pixmaps/
      -> Icon=firefox-esr
      +> Icon=mozicon128

      Thanks Howard for all the other info!


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