How to Easily Upgrade your Firefox to 3.5 (and future version) in Ubuntu

Have you ever feel frustrated when Mozilla releases a new build for their software (especially Firefox) and you are still stuck at the previous older version, simply because Ubuntu did not (and do not intend to) add the newer version of software packages to the repository?

The truth of fact is, Ubuntu does not update its repositories for newer version of software packages, with the exception of security fixes, until the next release of Ubuntu. For example, the default version of Firefox for Ubuntu Jaunty is Firefox 3.0 and it won’t be upgraded to Firefox 3.5 at least until Ubuntu 9.10. In most cases, especially when it comes to browsers and various Web application, it is always better to upgrade to the newest version due to the new features and security improvement. This is where Ubuntuzilla comes into play.

Ubuntuzilla is a python script that checks your system for Mozilla software (Firefox, Thunderbird, or Seamonkey) and update them to the latest version released from Mozilla server. It also comes with an update checker that periodically performs automatic checks and updates to keep your system up-to-date with possible changes in the Mozilla website and release servers.

Install Ubuntuzilla

Download the deb file to your desktop. (64-bit users go to this site and download the ubuntuzilla-x.x.x-0ubuntu1-amd64.deb package.)

Double click on the deb file to load the graphical installer. Click on the Install Package to install it in your system.

ubuntuzilla-install-deb

Running Ubuntuzilla

Once you have finished the installation, close all instance of your Firefox (if you are using Thunderbird or SeaMonkey, close them as well).

Open up a terminal (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal) and type

ubuntuzilla.py

It will now prompt you a series of questions:

The first question is to ask if you want to upgrade to the latest version of Firefox. No doubt, the answer is ‘y‘.

ubuntuzilla-install-firefox

Next step is to choose the language for your Firefox.

ubuntuzilla-firefox-lang

It will then proceed to download and install the latest stable build of Firefox in your system.

At the end of the installation, it will ask you if you want to schedule a periodical check of the latest release of the software.

ubuntuzilla-schedule-check

Remove Firefox

For some reasons that you are not happy with the latest release of Firefox and wanted to switch back to the previous version, you can easily remove the latest build by running the following command in the terminal:

ubuntuzilla.py -a remove -p firefox

Firefox 3.0 will be restored in your system.