How to install the Mozilla Firefox browser on your Chromebook

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Before we had Linux on Chrome OS it was not possible to use any other browser than Chrome. This isn’t exactly a major issue because I personally prefer using the Chrome browser over any other. However, if you do prefer to use a different browser. You’ll be happy to know you can now do this on your Chromebook thanks to Linux.

A couple of popular browsers that you can install is Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox. In this article, I’ll show you how to install Firefox on your Chromebook. If you want to install Microsoft Edge. Then watch my video on how to install Microsoft Edge on your Chromebook.

The advantages of two browsers

Before I owned a Chromebook I always made sure I had more than one browser installed on my computer. The main reason is that some websites work differently depending on the browser you’re using. If you had an issue with a website, which you could not get around. Trying to use the website in a different browser can sometimes fix the issue.

Another reason is I tend to ask one of the browsers to remember my login details. By doing this it means I can visit Facebook, for example, and not need to log in every time. I’d only recommend doing this if you don’t allow other people to use your computer login details.

Sometimes you may want to check what a website looks like when you’re not logged in. Instead of logging out of the website. You can simply use a different browser. This is a good way to save some time logging in and out of online accounts.

You can install Firefox in different ways on your Chromebook

The first thing you need to know about Linux is you’ll usually have different ways to install a program. Personally speaking, I would recommend downloading an app using a Linux App store if possible. Doing this makes it much easier to check for updates at a later date.

If you have a Linux App store installed you can simply run the app store and search for ‘Firefox’. Not all apps are available in the app store, but Firefox is, so it makes it really quick to install.

How to install Firefox ESR using an App store

Firefox ESR does not have the latest features you may get from the standard Firefox browser. However, it has the latest security updates, so is arguably more secure.

To install Firefox ESR using an app store. You will first need to ensure you have a Linux App store installed on your Chromebook. If you don’t yet have one installed. Then my YouTube video will show you how to install a Linux App store. Once you’ve got it installed you can follow the instructions below:

  1. Open your Linux App store
  2. Search for Firefox
  3. Click on install

It’s as simple as that. Also, because you’ve installed via an app store. When you next run the app store on your Chromebook it will check for updates for Firefox. This is really important because you want to make sure an internet browser is always up to date.

How to install Firefox from their website

If you want to install the standard version of Firefox on your Chromebook. You can do this by visiting the FireFox website. Click on the download Firefox button and it should automatically recognise your operating system. If it has the file downloaded should have an extension similar to .tar.bz2.

If your Chrome OS operating system isn’t recognised and the wrong type of extension is downloaded. You should now be on a page, which provides a separate link such as ‘download in another language or for another operating system’. Click on this link and you’ll be able to choose the operating system you need a download for. Choose Linux 64-bit and then click on download.

Once the file is downloaded. Move it from your downloads folder into your Linux files folder, as shown below.

firefox download showing in your linux files folder on Chromebook

Installing Firefox from the command line

To install Firefox from the command line. You first need to complete the step above. Once you’ve done this you can follow the instructions below.

Install Firefox from the command line:

  1. Open the Linux terminal from your Linux Apps folder found in the launcher menu
  2. before type the following into the command line, read the whole of this instruction (after tar xjf the rest of the command is the actual filename. You can see the filename I’ve used from the image above. You’ll have to adjust your command depending on the filename of your tar file download name. The command I entered was tar xjf firefox-94.0.2.tar.bz2.
  3. Now type the following into the command line sudo apt-get install libdbus-glib-1-2 (your terminal should look similar to the below after this step)

4. You can now enter firefox in the command line and it will launch the browser.

If you want to avoid opening a command line in the future and typing firefox to launch the browser. Once you’ve launched the browser, simply right-click on the icon on the shelf at the bottom of the desktop. Then click ‘pin’.

Summary

Unless you want the full Firefox version with all the latest features. I would recommend installing Firefox ESR using the Linux app store. It’s a much easier process and it will ensure Firefox is updated when new updates are available.

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