64-bit Precompiled Firefox Binaries – Great for Debian Sid!

Finally I’ve settled on a happy and comfortable environment for my main workstation. The latest version of Ubuntu 12.10 really put me off with them spying on every program name and search I entered into the application pane. Pretty though.

It seems Gnome 3 has come along now just enough to make me very content, and Debian from the future (sid) has done a really great job of integrating it all into a super smooth, functional and minimalist system.

The resource utilization is so much better on Debian, both memory and processor. And I don’t have to worry about spies (at least any obvious ones).

I thought I’d share one little bit of information that actually took me a surprising amount of effort to find out, though it doesn’t seem like it would. I think most people are running 64-bit operating systems now. I certainly am. Debian Sid (unstable) and Debian Wheezy (testing) both do. And Debian has older, re-branded versions of Firefox that are renamed Iceweasel. They work great, but many of the newest addons don’t work properly with them.

So it turns out that if you install the Firefox binary from the Mozilla download site, Firefox won’t run in Debian – at least in Sid and Wheezy. That’s because it’s 32-bit. And Debian has gone to a new way of dealing with 32-bit programs that apparently doesn’t mesh in well with the Firefox binary just yet. Of course you can compile your own, but the dependencies are many, and I’m running on a little SSD partition, and don’t want to load it up with development libraries.

Then I found that Mozilla distributions pre-compiled Firefox 64-bit binaries after all. You just have to find them. I managed to, and so far the 64-bit version of Firefox is working perfectly. I’ve just installed it into my home directory’s “bin” folder since I’m the only one who uses this workstation.

Here’s the URL where you can get it, too. Pick your language even, if you navigate up one level! Thanks Mozilla!


Note: Some people have commented this link doesn’t work for them, and have offered alternative links below that do work. I’ve never seen this link not working yet, however.