Firefox is a highly-rated, and secure web browser that is installed by default in Ubuntu.
Firefox comes into its own with the customisation options that are available for it. For a start, it's themeable, allowing you to choose a look that suits your preferences.
Also, it can also be extended by extensions which enable you to tailor the browser around what you want to do online. Pretty much any eventually is catered for with an extension - for example, blogging, newsfeed readers, FTP, etc.
It's also easy to try out extensions and then uninstall them if you're not happy with their functionality.
- Tabbed Browsing
- Ample choice in 'extensions' (add-ons) and themes.
Hints and Tips
Examples of Extensions
NoScript - gives you greater control over what scripts are allowed to run in your browser
CookieSafe - offers similar functionality, only for cookies
Xclear makes it easier to paste things into search/address bars.
Tab Mix Plus - is a helpful extension for working with tabs and has a good session saver (you can also insert the sessions icon on one of the available toolbars)
All-in-One Sidebar - allows easy access to key features
Tiny Menu - Shortens the menu (see screenshot). This means that you can increase the space for content by, for example, putting the favicons of your favorite sites (Bookmarks Toolbar Icons) alongside your newly-shortened menu and hiding your Bookmarks Toolbar.
Zotero - An extension designed for internet research that organizes sources for a bibliography and offers integration with OpenOffice.org's Writer.
Ubuntu Forums Menu - Links to key areas of Ubuntu's Forum pages
ubuntuusers Menu - Links to key areas of Ubuntu's Forum pages, ubuntuusers.de and ubuntu-de.org
There are a number of basic adjustments you can make that have been reported to improve Firefox's performance.
Open a new tab in Firefox and enter in the address:
No http, or anything, just 'about:config'. Then search for each of the following, by typing them in the Filter box, and make the suggested changes:
network.dns.disableIPv6 - Double-click on this to set it to true
network.http.max-connections - set to 16
network.http.pipelining - set to true
network.http.pipelining.maxrequests - set to 8
network.http.proxy.pipelining - set to true
Another option that many users find useful is single clicking in the url bar to select the entire url. To set this, use the Filter option to filter with the word "click". Set value
to TRUE by double clicking it.
Important Security Note
Ubuntu has a strict policy of not having new versions of software in a stable version of Ubuntu. However, Firefox is an exception to that rule, due to issues with backporting fixes. All supported versions of Ubuntu can receive newer versions of Firefox in updates as soon as they are available.
See New Firefox Versions and Ubuntu Backports for more information.
PDF Preview in Firefox isn't honored on some URLs
There is a limitation for PDF where if the URL is served as application/octet-stream, or set with a content-disposition: attachment header, it will force downloading of the file, instead of honoring the preference to Preview in Firefox. For more on this, please see here.
Other browsers you may wish to look at
Chromium - Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web.
Chrome - Chrome is modified version of Chromium available from Google.
Seamonkey - Mozilla's Internet Suite.
Opera - Opera web browser, a proprietary but free as in cost web browser which is standards-compliant and has many features.
Epiphany - Gnome's default Web Browser
Swiftfox - A version of Firefox that's said to be better optimised for individual machines.
How to avoid potential privacy concerns over some toolbar extensions (mozillaZine Forums)