Firefox 57 is now available to download — and it’s probably the single biggest update to Firefox in the browser’s 13 year history.
‘One of the biggest updates to Firefox in the browser’s 13 year history‘
So big are the changes on offer that Mozilla has given the release its very own name: ‘Firefox Quantum‘.
A fitting title for such a fit release. As you’ll see, Firefox 57 is a quantum leap over the one we all thought we all knew…
- A powerful, new engine that’s built for rapidfire performance.
- Better, faster page loading that uses less computer memory.
- Gorgeous design and smart features for intelligent browsing.
“Faster and even more minimalist, Firefox Quantum makes Chrome look old.” — (Digital Trends)
Faster: Performance Revamp
‘Firefox is 2x as fast as this time last year, and uses 30% less memory than Google Chrome’
According to the bods at Mozilla Firefox Quantum is 2x as fast as last year’s Firefox 49, and uses 30% less memory than Google Chrome.
Well, it’s partly down to all-new CSS engine called ‘Stylo’, true multi-process architecture (a process which began with Electrolysis), plus new smarts in setting tab priority, and more.
“Over the past seven months, we’ve been rapidly replacing major parts of the engine, introducing Rust and parts of Servo to Firefox. Plus, we’ve had a browser performance strike force scouring the codebase for performance issues, both obvious and non-obvious,” explains Mozilla’s Lin Clark in a (thoroughly excellent) write-up.
All of the changes create an effectually new Firefox.
Stronger: more abilities
Firefox Quantum comes with AMD VP9 hardware video decoder support for better video playback and lower power consumption, support for Date/Time input, the ability to manage website data, as well as support for the Accessibility indicator to be displayed in the title bar of the window.
On Linux, Firefox 57.0 provides a stricter security sandbox designed to block reading and writing on the local filesystem, and it changes the behaviour of the middle mouse paste to no longer navigate to URLs by default when used in the content area. Also, asynchronous scrolling was implemented in the browser’s autoscroll feature to provide for a smoother scrolling experience.
Download Firefox 57
So that’s the skinny on why you may want to give the latest release a spin for yourself. But how do you get Firefox on Ubuntu?
Well, that depends. If you’re using Windows, macOS or Linux you’ll be able to download Firefox 57 from the Mozilla website later today.
The latest stable release is technically already available to download from Mozilla’s FTP servers (the impatient route).
If you’re using Ubuntu you can relax. Ubuntu users will receive an automatic upgrade to Firefox 57 on supported versions of the distro (which includes Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, 16.04 LTS and the latest Ubuntu release, 17.10) shortly. If you can’t wait, you can add the Firefox PPA for the latest release – Firefox Quantum 57 here:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-security/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install firefox