How to install an old version of Firefox on Linux

There could be several reasons why you want to stick with a specific (old) version of Firefox web browser, instead of updating it to the latest version. Some of your favorite add-ons could no longer work after Firefox update; you may want to try out an old Firefox extension which has not been updated for too long a time to be compatible with the latest Firefox; some web application's user interface may no longer be accessible after you have upgraded your Firefox, etc.

While it is recommended that for security reasons, you always stay up-to-date with the latest release of Firefox, you may still want to go back to an old version of Firefox if it is absolutely necessary. It is not very complicated to install an old version of Firefox on Linux. The following is 5-minute guide to do it.

First, download the version of Firefox that you want from Mozilla FTP archive.

In the above archive, there are two binaries available for each version. 32-bit Firefox binary is contained in "linux-i686" folder, and 64-bit counterpart is in "linux-x86_64" folder. 64-bit binaries are available only for version 4.0 and higher.

Once you have downloaded a Firefox tar file from the archive, untar it in your system.

$ sudo tar xvfvj ~/Downloads/firefox-3.5.9.tar.bz2 -C /opt

If your system already has another version of Firefox installed (e.g., /usr/bin/firefox), create a backup as follows.

$ cd /usr/bin
$ sudo mv firefox firefox-backup

Finally, create a symbolic link pointing to the Firefox you just installed.

$ sudo ln -s /opt/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox
$ sudo chmod 755 /usr/bin/firefox

Now an old Firefox is ready to be used!

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Dan Nanni is the founder and also a regular contributor of He is a Linux/FOSS enthusiast who loves to get his hands dirty with his Linux box. He likes to procrastinate when he is supposed to be busy and productive. When he is otherwise free, he likes to watch movies and shop for the coolest gadgets.

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