Install Firefox 4 on Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE)

I am testing out Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) and wanted to benefit from Firefox 4 and all its speediness.  It’s not available in the repositories and since LMDE uses Firefox and NOT Iceweasel, you really can’t install it from the Mozilla Debian repository.  So, I decided to manually install things.

Normally I don’t like to manually install things outside the repository because when updates are pushed, there is no upstream source to differentiate from…so your chances of running outdated software increase unless you are vigilant.  Luckily, I consider myself vigilant.  Unfortunately, I’m not as vigilant as I consider myself to be…so I’ve added in reminders for myself on my Google calendar to check for Firefox 4 updates.

So, here’s how to get Firefox 4 onto your LMDE desktop…First, uninstall the version of Firefox you have using Synaptic or the software center.  Open a terminal up and let’s get started.

Create a temporary directory to house a downloaded and unzipped Firefox:

cd ~/ && mkdir tmp && cd tmp/

Next, let’s download and unzip it (please note this is for en-US version only…you’ll have to adjust the URL for diff. languages):

32bit

wget http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/latest-4.0/linux-i686/en-US/firefox-4.0.tar.bz2

64bit

wget http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/latest-4.0/linux-x86_64/en-US/firefox-4.0.tar.bz2

Now let’s unzip and extract it:

tar -xvjf firefox*.tar.bz2

Now let’s move the newly extracted items to /usr/local so it can be used by the system:

sudo mv firefox /usr/local/firefox4

Now we need to create a link so that applications calling firefox 4 access it correctly:

sudo ln -s /usr/local/firefox4/firefox /usr/local/bin/firefox4

Ok, the hard part is done…but you don’t have a menu entry for it nor a shortcut you can execute.  Let’s do that now.  Right click your mint menu and choose “edit menu”.  Now, select the “Internet” menu in the left hand pane.  Click the “New Item” button.  The following window will pop up…fill it in with the information contained in the picture below:

The command line should be (remember the link we made above? let’s use it!):

/usr/local/firefox4/firefox %u

launcher properties

Notice in the picture above the Firefox icon is present…yours most likely isn’t.  In order to set the icon, click the area where it appears above and then select the following image:

When you’re finished, click close.  Firefox 4 should now appear under “Internet” in your Mint Menu.  You can now right click that item and add it to your favorites if you wish.

Now let’s make sure you list Firefox 4 as the default web browser for Gnome.  Do this by opening up the control center in the Mint Menu.  Select “Preferred Applications” inside the control center.  Make sure that you choose ‘custom’ in the drop down menu shown below and the path for the command will be the same as it was for your launcher but instead of a %u you can use a %s at the end of the command (as shown in the picture below):

preferred applications

That should be everything you need to have a good Firefox 4 experience in LMDE.  To uninstall things, you can simply delete the menu items and then delete the directories we created during the install process.

Hopefully this will help those of you out there who want Firefox 4 on your LMDE install!

This content is published under the Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

  • Kris

    Great how to, tnx !
    Only little typo

    tar -xvjf firefox*.tar.bz

    should be

    tar -xvjf firefox*.tar.bz2

    • http://linux-blog.org devnet

      Thanks, fixed that thing :)

  • Jy Johnson

    Is it possible to avoid domain renewals if im hosting my own domain nameson my homemade server?? if so how? is this even possible… i have 4,908 domain names, hate paying renewal fees..

  • http://www.opensourcesoftwareforwindows.com Open Source Software for Windows

    Great how to, very informative. Love LMDE :)

  • http://backtogeek.com Backtogeek

    Thanks for this guide very easy to follow I have reposted it on my blog with credits http://backtogeek.com/2011/04/19/install-firefox-4-on-linux-mint-debian-edition-lmde/

  • Sean

    This did not work for me, copied everything word for word.

    sean@sean-linux ~ $ /usr/local/firefox4/firefox %u
    exec: 398: /usr/local/firefox4/firefox-bin: not found

    This is the error I get … any ideas??

    • http://linux-blog.org devnet

      You’re missing a dependency…in Ubuntu you’d be missing ia32-libs

  • http://pranith.wordpress.com pranith

    Iceweasel should still work in LMDE. Try the debian mozilla repositories and install Iceweasel. Hopefully you should save all the effort

  • Ga

    Thank you !

  • Pingback: Mozilla Firefox, From Darling to Enemy in One Release | TechHeads

  • Ronald Miranda

    Once you have your firefox installed I recommend you to use gTranslate, a good extension.

  • Ronald Miranda

    Once you have your firefox installed I recommend you to use gTranslate, a good extension:
    http://runakay.blogspot.com/2011/09/translating-words-on-firefox-on-fly.html

  • Pingback: Mozilla Firefox, From Darling to Enemy in One Release « Sascho's Blog

  • JJ

    Everything goes smoothly until I get to the “Preferred Applications” step. I don’t have the option for “Custom”, the drop down is just grayed out. Did I miss something?

    • http://linux-blog.org devnet

      It’s probably just been so long that something changed….I haven’t used LMDE in a while so I’m not sure what you’re seeing or not seeing.