Install Firefox 3 Beta 3 in Ubuntu with One Command

Update: Beta 3 is out-of-date; see Install Firefox 3 Beta 4 in Ubuntu with One Command.

Heard about the new Firefox 3 Beta 3 and want to try it out in Ubuntu? Here’s a one line command that will install it in Ubuntu (or another distro) alongside your existing Firefox.

Firefox 3 Beta 3

The command does two things: it downloads Firefox to your home directory using wget, and extracts the Firefox folder there. Copy and paste the command (it’s one line) and run it in your terminal:

wget -P ~ &&  tar xjf ~/firefox-3.0b3.tar.bz2 -C ~

After Firefox 3 has finished downloading and extracting you can delete the firefox-3.0b3.tar.bz2 file in your home directory. If you have any problems using the command to install Firefox, leave a comment so I can help you out.

Before you run Firefox, you may want to back up your profile from Firefox 2. I haven’t had any problems sharing the profile besides a home button being added to my bookmarks toolbar. Just don’t let Firefox 3 update update your extensions when it starts to avoid incompatibilities. This command will back up the Firefox profiles folder to firefox_profile_backup in your home folder:

cp -r ~/.mozilla/firefox/ ~/firefox_profile_backup

Restore from the backup by replacing the firefox folder from the hidden .mozilla folder with the backup.

Ready to run Firefox 3? Close any Firefox 2 windows first. Double-click the firefox file inside the firefox folder in your home folder, or run this command:


Archived Comments

Alan Pope


sudo apt-get install firefox-3.0


(In gutsy)

Dan the man

Hey awesome! Now how do i get a regular launch icon?

Scott Wegner

I’d be a little worried about using this, as Firefox will use the same directory for settings and profiles (that is, ~/.mozilla/firefox). I know I could create a separate profile for testing, but could I tell Firefox to save all of its settings in a new folder, such as ~/.mozilla/firefox3/ ?


Thanks for the tips…the one ting I have a problem with and I am not sure if this is a beta thing or what but after close firefox, it never really goes away..the process “firefox.bin” always remains and I have to go to the system monitor to end that process if I wanna open firefox again..any idea why this is happening? it only started with Beta 3


Alan Pope:
That’ll work, but get you a really old version.

Dan the man:
You can use the menu editor (System->Preferences->Main Menu) to add an item for Firefox.


Technically that’s not one command but one line ;)


Hmm… Why would anyone want to do that when the latest Firefox 3 Beta is available in the Ubuntu repositories itself.

I had written about it earlier. Its available in Synaptic.


Manas: You are referring to “Firefox 3 Beta”, not “Firefox 3 Beta 3” which as far as i know is not in Ubuntu’s Repos.


How do you split the profiles?

-Close any firefox.
-Launch firefox -ProfileManager
-Create a profile “unstable”
-Close ProfileManager

create launcher items: “/usr/bin/firefox -P default” “~/firefox-3.0b3/firefox -P unstable”. Click them to run old/new firefox.



I have firefox-3.0 installed in Gutsy using the backports.

Am I the only one who gets font ugliness in firefox-3.0?

I’m sure I’m missing a trick, but depending on the font size the font rendering is pretty ugly – ie some letters spindly etc. I’m sure it is some anti-alias setting or something – for what it is worth firefox-2.0 fonts are fine.


@ Shimmy - I am referring to Firefox 3 Beta 3. ;)

It is available in “Gutsy backports” from the Ubuntu repository.


I have install ff 3.0b3 as describe above runs fine but FF is not loading plugins, only flash on the list. Same situation with FF 3.0b3 in Ubuntu synaptic PM. How do I get plugins installed!?
This is my version: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9b3) Gecko/2008020513 Firefox/3.0b3


i have downloaded firefox into the disk and this is the error message i got while trying to install.

root@edubuntu:~# apt-get install firefox-3.0
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
E: Couldn’t find package firefox-3.0


I don’t like these directions for a couple of reasons:

1. The old Firefox 2 is still on my drive hiding in some directory where Ubuntu put it by default

2. Firefox 3 Beta 2 is installed into /opt/firefox/

3. Why would anyone install software into their home directory? That makes backing up /home/me/ a huge pain in the rear. I don’t need to back up software.

What we need is directions on how to remove previous versions of firefox first, and then put firefox where it goes: /opt/


These instructions are intended for those who want to try Firefox 3 without removing the old version.


Tom, I appreciate your instructions on how to test-drive FF beta 3. I’ve been using it for the last couple of weeks in both Ubuntu and WinXP. At this point, I’m happy with it and I’d love to replace the FF 2 installation. Is there an easy way to do that?



useful info. thanks


firefox3 bita is very nice in performance but my 1st problem is installing flash player. i can’t install flash player plugging.. anybody help me ?


i am getting an error after extracting and invoking through ./firefox

./firefox-bin: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such fi le or directory

Help needed

ishnu @

I was trying to get FF 3.0.3 installed in RHL EE and am not able to do thatsome libraries missing.. :(


Great thanks!


Does any have issues with FF 3.5 ?
It works very slow for me.

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