The much awaited release of Firefox 4.0 is finally out. From my brief tests it does seem a hell of a lot faster than it’s 3.x predecessor both in opening up and loading up all my previously opened tabs. This is even with a dozen or so addons installed. Firefox is back to being the exciting speed demon it once was. Along with the performance increase Mozilla has also redesigned the layout of their new browser.
Very similar to the way Google Chrome looks, the new Firefox displays it’s tabs at the very top of the window. Now, at first with Google Chrome I didn’t really like this, but over time I have gotten used to it and even prefer it now. Firefox 4.0 also lets you hide the menu bar at the top, giving you more room on your screen. They have also move the back and forward buttons onto the address bar and allow you to close the “addon bar” at the very bottom of the screen for even more vertical room saving.
Another new and improved feature is Firefox sync. This allows you to sync your Bookmarks, Passwords, Preferences, History and even your open tabs across all your Firefox browsers on multiple computers. This is also handy for backing up all that information for when you need to reinstall your computer’s operating system. Just a quick login to Firefox sync and you have your browser just where you left off the last time you used it.
At the time of this writing, Firefox has been downloaded over 3 million times in the 13 hours it’s been released. There was another new browser released recently that boasted less than that in a full 24 hours. We’re on track to about double those numbers.
Now, for most users, getting Firefox is as easy as going to http://getfirefox.com and clicking the big green download button. Or by clicking on Help -> Check for Updates at the very top right of your Firefox window. Unfortunately, for Linux-based operating systems, Mozilla only provides a tarball package of their new release. This works perfectly fine once extracted somewhere on your computer and running the “firefox” binary. But it isn’t a very clean or trackable install. Fortunately, there is a Mozilla Team at Ubuntu for all of it’s users who have taken the time to package up Firefox 4.0 into a PPA you can add to your Software Center which will allow you to upgrade to the latest version just like any other normal update. I have found easy instructions from a recent post on the Ubuntu Planet here. Thank you Adnan Quaium.
- Go to Applications > Ubuntu Software Center from the top panel.
- Head to Edit > Software Sources and click the ‘Other Software’ tab.
- Press ‘Add’ button and then paste the following line into the relevant field to add thePPA.
- After adding the PPA you will be prompted to update your sources.
- Once the update is done you can head to System > Administration > Update Manager to perform an upgrade.
- Thus FF4 will be installed in the system.