When a new version of Firefox comes out, there is some delay until it can be downloaded and run. This page will explain how to install Firefox as soon as possible.
The Check For Updates menu entry in Firefox is disabled or hidden in recent versions of Ubuntu. Ubuntu supported updates to Firefox are managed through the package-management system.
Installing versions of Firefox in testing
Medium difficulty, medium safety: security-testing packages are halfway through the quality-assurance process. Although bugs are rare, no guarantees are given.
Users of the most recent Ubuntu release can get new versions of Firefox a few days early from the semi-official ubuntu-mozilla-security archive. This archive holds updates to the Mozilla suite (including Firefox) while they're tested for security and stability.
To get packages that have not yet been tested for security:
Add ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-security/ppa to your system's Software Sources.
Install the package for the new version of Firefox (e.g. firefox for Firefox 3.6).
- A package without security testing will be made available a few days before general release
Report any bugs that you experience - especially anything that previously worked, then stops working
Medium difficulty, low safety: daily packages have not undergone any quality assurance. Daily packages are sometimes very safe, and sometimes don't work at all.
Users of recent Ubuntu releases can get the latest development version of Firefox from the semi-official ubuntu-mozilla-daily archive. This archive holds updates to the Mozilla suite (including Firefox) that are under active development - this is the equivalent of a Nightly build of Firefox. Although these packages will work well most of the time, you should expect crashes and other problems. To get packages that are only half-finished:
Add ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/ppa to your system's Software Sources.
- Install the firefox-trunk package.
Report any bugs that you experience
As these packages install in their own directories and each use separate profiles, you can use the stable version of Firefox along side firefox-trunk.
It will not show up with Firefox branding, instead it will show Nightly Web Browser.
Installing from the Mozilla website
Medium difficulty, medium safety: Sharing the same Firefox profile between different versions of Firefox (e.g., 3.0 and 3.5) may cause problems. As long as you avoid sharing a profile between versions (something which applies to all of the above methods, as well), Mozilla builds are safe to use, since they have undergone extensive QA prior to release.
Please wait until the Ubuntu Mozilla Team make a stable version of Firefox available for your release. If you can't wait and want to use a Mozilla build of Firefox, see the guide for installing Mozilla builds.
This page was based largely on a blog post by the head Ubuntu Firefox developer
Another blog post explains why new versions use codenames and different icons