Firefox Debian install

Mozilla Firefox is, without a doubt, the most popular web browser on Linux systems. It’s even installed as the default web browser on the vast majority of Linux distributions, including Debian Linux.

But, the previous statement is only partly true. Firefox is indeed the default browser for Debian; however, it’s Firefox ESR. Firefox ESR is essentially a more stable and tested version of regular Firefox. This is accomplished by holding back the latest feature upgrades, at least until they’ve been thoroughly tested in the main branch of Firefox. While foregoing the newest features, ESR still maintains current security and stability patches.

If you would like to install ordinary Firefox on Debian, or have already removed Firefox to try other browsers like Google Chrome and now wish to hop back, this tutorial will show you how. Follow along below as we take you through the step by step instructions.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to install Firefox ESR on Debian
  • How to install Firefox (normal release) on Debian
Mozilla Firefox successfully installed on Debian Linux
Mozilla Firefox successfully installed on Debian Linux
Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Debian Linux
Software Mozilla Firefox
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Install Firefox on Debian

Debian offers Firefox ESR in its official repositories, and it can therefore be easily installed with an apt command. If you’re fine with the ESR version of Firefox, the following command will install the browser on your system:

$ sudo apt install firefox-esr

If, instead, you’d like the normal Firefox release, the easiest way to do that is by downloading the Linux installer directly from the official website:

$ wget -O firefoxsetup.tar.bz2 ""

Once it’s downloaded, use the following commands to extract the files and install Firefox.

$ mkdir -p ~/bin
$ tar -xf firefoxsetup.tar.bz2 --directory ~/bin

Firefox is now accessible under ~/bin/firefox/firefox. You can create a shortcut icon or add it to your quick launch area for easier access.

Mozilla Firefox successfully installed on Debian Linux

If you still have Firefox ESR installed (as well as regular Mozilla Firefox), then you can remove Firefox ESR with this command:

$ sudo apt remove firefox-esr


In this guide, we saw how to install one of the world’s most common web browsers, Mozilla Firefox, on Debian Linux. Using Debian’s package manager makes the job very easy, but only if you’re trying to install Firefox ESR. Otherwise, the normal release of Mozilla Firefox can be easily downloaded from the official Mozilla website.