How to configure and install Mozilla FireFox on Debian 11 Bullseye | #firefox | #chrome | #microsoftedge

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Debian uses Firefox ESR, the extended support version, as its default web browser. Its primary focus is bug fixes, security fixes, and policy updates, while accepting major updates with new features every 42 weeks. It is very useful for school or business use. However, for personal computers or those who choose the latest features, Mozilla offers the “quick release” channel with updates every month.

Option n. # 1: Install Latest Stable Firefox (Not ESR) On Debian Using Flathub’s Firefox Flatpak Package

With Firefox 75, Mozilla’s web browser has gained support for flatpak and is available from the Flathub repository. This can be used on numerous Linux distributions, including any version of Debian.

Note that Firefox installed from flatpak is in a sandbox, which may cause some problems with accessing local files and opening files with external applications, at least for now. However, being in a sandbox also offers greater security.

1. To install this Firefox package, the first thing you need to do is install flatpak, if you haven’t already done so:

sudo apt install flatpak

2. If you are using the GNOME software application, you can also install the flatpak plugin (this allows you to browse and update flatpak applications):

sudo apt install gnome-software-plugin-flatpak

3. Next, add the Flathub repository using:

remote flatpak-add -if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

4. At this point, it is recommended that you reboot your system.

5. Now you can install the latest version of Firefox (not ESR) on Debian using:

flatpak install flathub org.mozilla.firefox

Option n. 2: Install the latest version of Firefox on Debian stable or testing using the Debian Unstable repository

The Debian “unstable” repository (codenamed Sid) is like a continuous development version of Debian that will always be used as an unstable branch. This is where packages go after their maintainer uploads them, and the FTP master authorizes them for publication. The name “unstable” does not necessarily mean that the packages are unstable, but rather that they are less tested, which is to be expected since they are new packages.

Debian 10 Buster (stable) and Testing (Bullseye) only have Firefox ESR in their repositories, while Debian Unstable has the latest regular version of Firefox (not ESR) and Firefox ESR.

The advantage of using Firefox installed in this way over the other solution mentioned below is that you can install Firefox maintained by Debian, which includes Debian-specific patches.

Following the instructions below, we will add the Debian Unstable repository in Debian Stable or Testing, then we will set a low pin priority for the Unstable repository so that you cannot automatically install packages from it unless you specify it manually. This way, the normal version of Firefox will only be installed or updated when you run the install command mentioned below.

Other packages (except Firefox dependencies) from this Unstable repository are also not installed automatically, so you will continue to use Debian Stable or Testing (depending on what you are using). This article also has instructions to completely undo this.

1. Add the Debian Unstable repository on Debian 10 Buster (Stable) or Debian Bullseye (Testing).

Start by opening /etc/apt/sources.list as root with a text editor, like Nano:

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

At the end of this file (don’t modify anything) add the following line:

deb http://deb.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free

After adding this save the file and exit the text editor (if you are using Nano press Ctrl + O followed by Enter to save the file and exit Nano using Ctrl + X).

2. Set a low pin priority for the Debian Unstable repository so that your system does not install packages automatically unless you specify it manually.

Create and open a file /etc/apt/preferences.d/99pin-unstable as root with a text editor, for example using the Nano command line text editor:

sudo nano /etc/apt/preferences.d/99pin-unstable

Paste the following into this file:

Package: * Pin: release a = stablePin-Priority: 900

Package: * Pin: release a = instablePin-Priority: 10

After adding this, save the file and exit the text editor (if you are using Nano press Ctrl + O, then press Enter to save the file and exit using Ctrl + X).

3. Install the latest regular Firefox (not ESR) on Debian 10 Buster (stable) or Testing (Bullseye).

Now you can install the latest regular Firefox on Debian 10 Buster (stable) or Bullseye (testing):

sudo apt updatesudo apt install -t unstable firefox

Final words: How to configure and install Mozilla FireFox on Debian 11 Bullseye

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