Chrome OS: What about Firefox? [A]

Introduction

Do you use Windows or macOS, and do you are a fan of Mozilla Firefox (Wikipedia article), the well-known browser?

Firefox on macOS
Firefox on macOS | Image: cyldx.com

Are you wondering if you have to use Google Chrome on Chrome OS? No. That’s not the case!

In this post, I show you how to install and use Firefox on Chrome OS!

Important Notes

Notes for beginners: My posts usually contain some basics so that you can understand how to proceed. I partly repeat the basics in other posts, so you don’t have to jump back and forth all the time.

Here is the meaning of the abbreviations after the headings: [E] Everyone [A] Advanced [B] Beginner [P] Professional

If you still miss something, feel free to comment. The community will try to help you! πŸ™‚

Notes for professionals: My posts usually have the form of a knowledge database entry and should be equally suitable for beginners, advanced users, and professionals. Just pick out what you need right now. You can also find content specifically targeted to professionals. These are marked accordingly with [P] and other finger points.

Do you want to have more professional content on a topic? Add it to the comments πŸ˜‰

Disclaimer of liability: As always on this blog, I warn you that all changes to your system mentioned in this post are at your own risk! It is theoretically possible that there are system or application errors that could lead to data loss and further problems!

The Firefox Android app on Chrome OS [B]

Overview [B]

I want to start with the Firefox Android app. You can install it from the Google Play Store. Do you’re a Chrome OS beginner, and only the browser’s core functions are essential to you? Then this app will be enough for you!

The installation [B]

The Chrome OS’s launcher lets you search for the Play Store and launch it from there:

Launching the Play Store from the Chrome OS Launcher
Launching the Play Store from the Chrome OS Launcher | Image: cyldx.com

There you search for Mozilla Firefox and press the Enter key:

Searching Firefox in the Play Store on Chrome OS
Searching Firefox in the Play Store on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com

Click on “Install” to install the app:

Installing Firefox from the Play Store on Chrome OS
Installing Firefox from the Play Store on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com

How to use the Firefox app

Once the Firefox app is installed, you can find it in the Chrome OS launcher:

Launching Firefox from the Chrome OS launcher
Launching Firefox from the Chrome OS launcher | Image: cyldx.com

When you start the app, Firefox first offers you basic options for privacy, design (light/dark), and toolbar location (top/bottom):

The basic settings of the Firefox app on Chrome OS 1
The basic settings of the Firefox app on Chrome OS 1 | Image: cyldx.com
The basic settings of the Firefox app on Chrome OS 2
The basic settings of the Firefox app on Chrome OS 2 | Image: cyldx.com

If you confirm your selection with “Start browsing,” a simple view appears that allows you to browse websites:

The Firefox app on Chrome OS
The Firefox app on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com

Is this limited functionality not enough for you, and you don’t want to miss out on any of the features you use in the Firefox on Windows or macOS? No problem! That’s also possible! πŸ™‚

The desktop version of Firefox in Chrome OS Linux mode [A]

Overview

There is a Linux version of Firefox that brings a similar feature set as Firefox for Windows or macOS.

In the package sources of Debian Buster, the Linux distribution of the Linux mode of Chrome OS, Firefox is included as Firefox ESR (a version with extended support), which is based on an older version. You can download and install the latest version from the manufacturer’s site. I describe both versions here.

How you can activate the Linux mode and configure a different language as system language, I have described in this post: Link.

The installation [A]

With a graphical app store [A]

In this post, I described the Gnome Software Center: link and here the KDE Plasma Discover: link. Which software management you want to use is a matter of taste. I describe here the installation of Firefox using the Gnome Software Center. The installation via Discover is similar.

Search for Firefox in the Software Center search box:

Searching Firefox ESR in Gnome Software Center on Chrome OS
Searching Firefox ESR in Gnome Software Center on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com

Then click on the search result “Firefox ESR.”

You start the installation with the buttonInstall:”

Installing Firefox ESR from the Gnome Software Center on Chrome OS
Installing Firefox ESR from the Gnome Software Center on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.de

That will install an English version. If you want to use Firefox in a different language than English, you must install the corresponding language package. To do this, start the “packagesapplication belonging to the Software Center.

Launching the Gnome Software Center package manager from the Chrome OS launcher
Launching the Gnome Software Center package manager from the Chrome OS launcher | Image: cyldx.com

There you search, e.g., for “firefox-esr-l10n-de” for the German language pack:

Installing the German language packages of the Firefox ESR with the package management of the Gnome Software Center on Chrome OS
Installing the German language packages of the Firefox ESR with the package management of the Gnome Software Center on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com

You may change “de” to “fr” or “es” for another language like French or Spanish.

Using Firefox [A]

After the installation, I recommend you reboot your system and then start the terminal or another Linux application.

Once this is done, you can find Firefox in the launcher and launch it from there:

Launching the Firefox ESR from the Chrome OS launcher
Launching the Firefox ESRr from the Chrome OS launcher | Image: cyldx.com
The Firefox ESR in the Linux mode of Chrome OS
The Firefox ESR in the Linux mode of Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com

If you want to learn more about Firefox, feel free to leave a comment. πŸ˜‰

Via the terminal [P]

First of all, you should update your system and applications:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Now you can install Firefox, including, e.g., German language packs:

sudo apt-get install -y firefox-esr firefox-esr-l10n-de*

You may don’t copy the last part of the command if you want to have the English version. Alternatively, you may change “de” to “fr” or “es” for another language like French or Spanish.

Installing the Firefox ESR via the terminal of the Linux mode on Chrome OS
Installing the Firefox ESR via the terminal of the Linux mode on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com
The latest version from the manufacturer’s site [A]

Here you can download the latest Linux version of Firefox: link.

You may save the packed version in a folder of your choice. I always recommend a folder below “Linux files.”

You can unpack Firefox, e.g., with the Double-Commander (described by me here: link):

Unzipping the downloaded Firefox archive in the Linux mode of Chrome OS 1
Unzipping the downloadUnzipping the downloaded Firefox archive in the Linux mode of Chrome OS 1 | Image: cyldx.com

Then confirm everything in the dialog that then appears by clicking on “Ok:”

Unzipping the downloaded Firefox archive in the Linux mode of Chrome OS 2
Unzipping the downloaded Firefox archive in the Linux mode of Chrome OS 2 | Image: cyldx.com
Unzipping the downloaded Firefox archive in the Linux mode of Chrome OS 3
Unzipping the downloaded Firefox archive in the Linux mode of Chrome OS 3 | Image: cyldx.com

Double-click on “Firefox” to launch Firefox:

Launch Firefox in the Linux mode of Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com

At the moment, I don’t know how to create a shortcut for it in the Chrome OS launcher. That will follow in due course.

Conclusion

You are free to choose your browser on Chrome OS, also. Firefox can be installed in different variants and can be used similarly to Windows or macOS.

Have fun with it! πŸ™‚

Ravolos aka Marcel

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