Objective

Debian Linux comes with Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release) version, which in some rare scenarios may not adequately fit your needs. The objective is to replace the Debian's default Firefox ESR with the latest bleeding edge Firefox.

Operating System and Software Versions

  • Operating System: - Debian 9 Stretch

Requirements

Privileged access to your Debian Linux system will be required.

Difficulty

EASY

Conventions

  • # - requires given command to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
  • $ - given command to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Instructions

Download latest Firefox tar-ball

First, download a latest Firefox version. The below command will always fetch the latest binaries:
$ wget -O FirefoxSetup.tar.bz2 "https://download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox-latest&os=linux64&lang=en-US"

Extract new Firefox tarball

# mkdir /opt/firefox
# tar xjf FirefoxSetup.tar.bz2 -C /opt/firefox/

Replace existing binary

Make a backup of the original Firefox binary shipped with Debian and create a new symbolic link pointing to downloaded Firefox executable:
# mv /usr/lib/firefox-esr/firefox-esr /usr/lib/firefox-esr/firefox-esr_orig
# ln -s /opt/firefox/firefox/firefox /usr/lib/firefox-esr/firefox-esr

Update Firefox

To update your Firefox execute:
$ wget -O FirefoxSetup.tar.bz2 "https://download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox-latest&os=linux64&lang=en-US"
# tar xjf FirefoxSetup.tar.bz2 -C /opt/firefox/

Restore Debian's Default

To restore original Firefox execute:
# unlink /usr/lib/firefox-esr/firefox-esr
# mv /usr/lib/firefox-esr/firefox-esr_orig /usr/lib/firefox-esr/firefox-esr