HowTo: Install Firefox 3.5 in Ubuntu

July 2, 2009


If you’re impatient like me you won’t want to wait for Firefox 3.5 to hit the repositories to take advantage of its slick new features such as location aware browsing, and native open audio/video support under HTML5 . Luckily installing from source is a piece of cake. Simply download the Linux source file most relevant to you and read on below:

Note: Whenever you’re compiling from source code you’ll need to make sure you’ve got the build-essential package installed. If you’re unsure, enter the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt-get install build-essential

After downloading the source file, a tar.bz2 file, you’ll need to extract it. To keep things simple, I recommend extracting the file to your home folder. First, use the command line to navigate to the directory to which you downloaded the file. Then enter this to extract to your home folder :

tar -xvjf ./firefox-3.5.tar.bz2 -C ~/ &&  rm ./firefox-3.5.tar.bz2

Note: this command also removes the downloaded archive after extracting to your home folder.

To run your updated Firefox simply enter this command:


You’ll want to redirect any icons on your panel/desktop/dock to that file for the time being. That is, until the most recent version of Firefox is added to the Ubuntu repositories. You’ll notice that this method leaves any previously installed versions of Firefox intact on your system. Which means that your plugins, add-ons, and profiles will all be fine. So, when the upgrade manages to percolate its way onto your system through the repositories simply remove the directory created above and point your icons back to ~/.mozilla/firefox to restore them.

Filed under: Linux,Ubuntu

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