Update: for up-to-date instructions on installing Firefox 3 in Ubuntu, see Install Firefox 3 Beta 4 in Ubuntu with One Command.

Mozilla has officially released the first beta test version of Firefox 3. Here’s how to try it out for yourself in Ubuntu.

  1. Download the Linux version of Firefox 3 beta 1.
  2. Extract the tar.bz2 archive that you downloaded. Simply right-click on the file and click Extract Here.
  3. Open the firefox folder that was created. Double-click on the firefox file and choose Run.
  4. Firefox 3 will start and import your settings.

Here are the changes that I ran into after playing with beta 1 for a few minutes:

  • The tabs have been changed so inactive ones blend in the background better.
  • GTK form widgets are used by default.
  • There is a star in the address bar for adding favorites, very much like Gmail’s star feature.
  • The add-ons windows displays a restart Firefox button all the time.
  • The downloads window is redesigned.
  • The full page can be zoomed, including graphics.
  • Typing in the address bar searches page titles.

I use Firefox more than any other application, and Firefox 3 looks like it will be a nice upgrade.

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