Installing Firefox 4.0 under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.x

23 March 2011

If you're actually trying to install another version of Firefox, then click on the Firefox tag, as there may be an entry on that other version.

Since a fair number of the hits to this 'blog are from searches as to how to install earlier versions of Firefox on earlier versions of RHEL, I'm going to infer that people are and will be surfing the WWWeb for instructions on how to install Firefox 4.0 under RHEL 6.x. Here are the steps that I recommend:

  1. Download the archive, firefox-4.0[.n].tar.bz2.
  2. The tarball contains a directory, firefox, which should be dropped-in as a sub-directory of something. If you want to ponder where, then study the FHS. As for me, as root, I put it in /opt:
    tar -xjvf firefox-4.0[.n].tar.bz2 -C /opt/
    (Omit that [.n] if it isn't in the name of the archive that you downloaded. Replace it with the actual number from the name of the archive if such a number was included.)
  3. You'll need a .desktop file for Firefox (though you may already have one). As root, edit/create /usr/share/applications/firefox.desktop, ensuring that it reads
    [Desktop Entry]
    Comment='WWW browser'
    (If you didn't install in /opt, or changed the name of the firefox directory, then you'll need to change the above accordingly.)
  4. Log out and back in or restart the system (to up-date the GUI).

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2 Responses to Installing Firefox 4.0 under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.x

  • Marti says:

    With respect to the new /opt/firefox directory that is created, should one also then create a plugins director and then copy ove the contents from here?



    • Daniel says:

      Firefox is uses a path variable to find plugins, regardless of where Firefox itself were installed. Thus, the location for the globally-installed plugins needn't (and normally shouldn't) reflect the location of Firefox itself any more than do locations for account-specific plugins.

      The plugins to be installed for all accounts should normally be in


      (for 32- or 64-bit Linux), or in


      (for 32-bit Linux) or in


      (for 64-bit Linux).

      The plugins to be installed for a specific account should be in its


      (Usually, that detail is something that one ignores, as it is handled by the normal installation process.)

      There are reasons for installing some plugins globally, but be mindful that some user may not want this-or-that plugin installed for a given account.

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