Firefox 4 beta PPA on Ubuntu

If you want to test out the latest Firefox 4 beta the easy way, just add the PPA for it. Details can be had at

Manually, you can add this to the sources.list – deb lucid main

(Don’t forge to add the signing key if you’re doing it manually)

If you’re feeling lazy, this will do – ppa:silverwave/testing0

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:user/ppa-name

Replace ppa:user/ppa-name with the PPA’s location as given above

One Daily A Week is better to install as of this writing. Initially, I tried One Daily A Month (since I don’t want to be updating weekly) for this Firefox 4 package but something is wrong with it . During installation it will error out saying there is no file named “/usr/bin/firefox-4.0” something. I didn’t really bother with it.

PPA installs is better since we don’t have to download from the Firefox 4 beta page. Then all that unpacking and setting the path, only to find out it conflicts with your Firefox 3.x install. Yes, you can’t run it at the same time. (Supposedly it should run since they’re treated as different instances of the software. I forget how I got into this mess.)

On this one however, you can run Firefox 4.0x and Firefox 3.x together. Don’t panic if you don’t find Firefox 4 in the main menu. It’s under another name called Minefield – Applications > Internet > Minefield.

Here’s a screenshot of the Firefox 4 beta on my Ubuntu Lucid. The latest beta is 4.08b. Yes that’s one version higher than what Firefox officially released.

I have the Hide Menubar add-on installed (see screenshot below) to give me more screen space. But in reality, I just want it to look as close as possible to the Windows (or Mac) version, with the orange Firefox Button replacing the menu bar. Unfortunately for Linux users, the Firefox button is not yet available. I bet it won’t be until the final release of Firefox. Heck, I’m not even sure if they’ll bother to make it available for the Linux version.

The addition of the new JS engine is definitely faster on the latest build. It’s called the JägerMonkey Javascript engine. What this does is work in tandem with the old engine, Tracemonkey. The extra speed boost is a welcome addition to Firefox.

All that’s left now is for the addons/plugins to get updated. See the screenshot to the left? You can see some are disabled.

Edit: Ok a few more changes. I changed the theme to Strata RELOADED 2.5.8. It looks better than the default skin that shipped with Ubuntu Lucid.

Something went wrong with Hide Menubar after I tried to install another add-on that wasn’t compatible with Firefox 4.0 (Minefield). If you look at the image below, the entire Menubar has been grayed out. You would think it has been disabled, right? Yes, but it is still working. All menus can be accessed normally via mouse or keyboard shortcuts. I just hate the look of it like it’s disabled. I tried to disable/enable or uninstall/install this add-on in an attempt to fix it, but it still remained grayed-out.

So I removed it (this time for good) and downloaded Compact Menu 2 instead. It looks better now. The original position of Compact Menu 2 button, by the way, is to the left of the back arrow button. I changed it instead to sit in-line with the tabs.

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Notice: This article was published on November 16, 2010 and the content above may be out of date.