How to install Firefox on a Chromebook

How to install Firefox on a Chromebook


Chromebooks run Chrome OS, basically the Google Chrome browser. When the Chromebook is powered on, the Chrome browser automatically launches so you can surf the web instantly.

But what if you are not a fan of Google Chrome? Or maybe you’re wondering what Google is sneakily collecting data if you’re using its browser.

Fortunately, there are several ways you can install Firefox on a Chromebook. Here is how you do this.

Instructions for installing Firefox on Chromebooks

  • Install the Android Firefox application
  • Install Firefox as a Linux application
  • Install Firefox ESR
  • Install the standard Firefox

Install the Android Firefox application

Most new Chromebooks support Android apps, which means you can easily install Firefox from the Play Store.

1. Open Play Store on Chromebook.

2. Perform a search Firefox.

Install the Android Firefox application

There are several Firefox browsers that you can choose, namely the standard Firefox, Firefox Focus and Firefox Preview. Firefox Focus is a minimal privacy browser, blocking a variety of online trackers. Firefox Preview is an experimental Mozilla browser. If you are looking for a browser with the most features, install it Firefox standard is the best option.

3. After installation, you can use the Android version of Firefox.

Firefox for Android also supports extensions, although options are quite limited. Because it is a mobile browser by nature, you may not have a very good desktop user experience.

Install Firefox as a Linux application

If your Chromebook supports Linux applications, you can install the Linux version of the Firefox desktop.

To check if your Chromebook supports Linux apps, open the menu drawer and select Settings.

Open Settings

In Settings, search “Linux”.

If you see the option “Linux (beta)”, the Chromebook can install Linux applications. Click it to activate (if you have not already done so).

Select Linux (beta)

Install Firefox ESR

The Linux container below is running Debian and only Firefox ESR is available in its repository. Open terminal in menu drawer. Enter the following command to install Firefox-ESR.

sudo apt install firefox-esr

After installation is complete, you will see the Firefox icon in the dock. You can start using Firefox in Chromebook.

Firefox-ESR stands for Firefox Extended Support Release, this is a long-term support version. The fact that Firefox-ESR is a stable release, means that it is suitable for corporate use.

Releases will be maintained for more than a year, with security updates coinciding with regular Firefox releases. New features in regular Firefox releases will only be offered in ESR in the next major release, after the end of the current release cycle.

Install the standard Firefox

If you want to use the regular Firefox release instead of Firefox ESR, here’s a simple way to install it on a Chromebook.

1. First install Firefox-ESR. This will install the dependency files required by Firefox.

sudo apt install firefox-esr

2. Next, delete Firefox-ESR without deleting its dependencies:

sudo apt remove firefox-esr

3. Visit the Mozilla website and download Firefox to the directory Home in Linux. (Folder Home of Linux is the directory “Linux files” app Files).

Download Firefox to the Home folder

4. Unzip the tar file into the directory Home with the following command in terminal. (Change the file name of Firefox in the command below).

tar -xvjf firefox-68.0.2.tar.bz

Extract the tar file

You will now see the directory Firefox.

5. Finally, we will create a Firefox desktop icon. In the terminal, enter the following command:

sudo nano /usr/share/applications/firefox.desktop

In the editor, paste the following code:

[Desktop Entry]
 
 Name=Firefox
 
 Comment=Browse the World Wide Web
 
 GenericName=Web Browser
 
 X-GNOME-FullName=Firefox Web Browser
 
 Exec=/home/USERNAME/firefox/firefox %u
 
 Terminal=false
 
 X-MultipleArgs=false
 
 Type=Application
 
 Icon=firefox-esr
 
 Categories=Network;WebBrowser;
 
 MimeType=text/html;text/xml;application/xhtml+xml;application/xml;application/vnd.mozilla.xul+xml;application/rss+xml;application/rdf+xml;image/gif;image/jpeg;image/png;x-scheme-handler/http;x-scheme-handler/https;
 
 StartupWMClass=Firefox-esr
 
 StartupNotify=true

Change USERNAME into your username in the Linux terminal. Your username is the name in the terminal, preceded by “@Penguin”. In the example case, the username is “Damienohwj”.

Change USERNAME to your username

Save (Ctrl+o) and exit (Ctrl+x) nano editor.

6. You should now see a Firefox icon in the menu drawer. (If not, reboot the Chromebook.) Click on it and the Firefox browser will launch. It will also automatically update in the future.

Although the Chrome browser is the default browser in Chromebooks, that doesn’t mean you have to be “stuck” with it. With support for Android and Linux applications, you now have options to install the browser you want, including Firefox. If you like Opera or Vivaldi, you can also install them.

Hope you are succesful.

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