back to article Final beta of Firefox 3 available now

Mozilla has made the fifth beta version of its upcoming Firefox 3 browser available for download today, and is freezing code for release candidate 1 in only six days. Trailblazers can get Beta 5 here and the release notes over yonder. Beta 5 includes more than 750 changes from the previous beta release, including "improved …


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  1. James L


    Been using Firefox 2 until 5 minutes ago...

    all I can say is sweet jesus this is fast!

  2. Patrick O'Reilly
    Dead Vulture

    And they all come at once.

    This news reaches me just as I test drive Opera Mini 4.1 beta.

    And with Ubuntu 8.04 and 3 beta but mere days away, beta testers have never been busier.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I'm not usually such an early adopter, but FF3 seems pretty sweet - the page scaling function is great, especially now that the bugs affecting the Reg comments pages have been fixed (HOW did those make it as far as Beta 4 - surely this website has a larger proportion of nerdy beta tester hits than most?!).

  4. Anonymous Bastard

    I would...

    ...but the hard work is about to start: Getting all those fantastic plugins compatible and up to date. The existing plugins, for myself at least, are the most attractive feature.

  5. Alan Parsons

    grrrr no adblock + yet

    but yeah... very ... very ... fast

  6. Dean Burrows
    IT Angle

    oh sweet lord...

    Why cant MS take a long hard look at firefox and realise IE in any form falls so far short of the standards firefox gives us?

    Cant wait for the final release but I agree with the anonymous bugger...

    the plugins are key... maybe some backwards compatability (always a fave) until they can get new releases for ff3?

  7. Pete
    Thumb Up


    I like it. :-)

  8. Graham Jordan

    Top stuff

    I moved over to FF3 perminantly since beta 4.

    Tis bloody great. Seems incredibly stable and fast as... something incredibly fast.

  9. Giles Jones Gold badge

    RE:oh sweet lord...

    ---Why cant MS take a long hard look at firefox and realise IE in any form falls so far ---short of the standards firefox gives us?

    Who cares? Microsoft is slowly becoming irrelevant. I wish they would stop the FUD against Linux and make their browser available for all platforms or just shelve it completely.

  10. Sceptical Bastard

    Lazy as well as sceptical

    I'm too idle (and technically uniformed) to contribute to beta-testing. And I'm too cautious to be an early adopter of anything. So I'll wait til June's full release and then wait a week or two more til the inevitable last-minute issues have been patched.

    But from what I've read here and elsewhere, the new 'Fox will have been worth waiting for.

  11. Simon Neill

    @oh sweet lord...

    MS WILL take a good look at FF3. These features will then be incorporated into IE9.

    (see features added to IE7 like tabs and FF2....)

  12. marc

    I like it...

    But i prefer IE's transparent toolbar in vista. I might as welll go back to XP if they don't have that!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Getting Extensions to Work

    Only do this if you're willing to deal with possible bleeding edge extension bugs and security risks!

    * Type about:config into Firefox's address bar and click the "I'll be careful, I promise!" button.

    * Right-click anywhere. Choose New>Boolean. Make the name of your new config value extensions.checkCompatibility and set it to false.

    * Make another new boolean pair called extensions.checkUpdateSecurity and set the value to false.

    * Restart Firefox.

    AC as I don't won't to be blamed if it all goes wrong!!!

  14. Anonymous Coward


    You do have my sympathy

  15. Dennis
    Thumb Down


    it's installed on mine with 10 or so forward/back buttons across the top...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Marc

    If you like the transparent toolbar in Vista and FF3 doesn't have it why would you go back to XP?

  17. dervheid

    Let's not start...

    another Vista Bashing session here, there'll be another one along shortly, no doubt.

  18. David Austin


    Been sequentially using Firefox 3b2,3,& 4 and been increasingly impressed with it's stability and features - the searchable address bar is a particular fave.

    Aside from the very occasional crash, the biggest problems I've had is the browser header is blocked by a few webapps I use (Such as LogMeIn), and plugin development lagging behind the browser development. I've removed the minversion check, which got most of the essential plugins working, but looking forward to native Firefox 3 versions, if they arrive.

  19. Spearbox
    Paris Hilton


    It's off topic I know, but is it me, or does the FF2 page really resemble the MSN butterfly shape and colours? Is that irony, or some sort of hidden subliminal remark that has been put there intentionaly.

    In regards to FF3, I'll wait patiently. The software and the clients I have won't allow me to fiddle with Beta software. Maybe, I'll install Virtual Windows... is the experience worth it? Talk to me, convince me people, show me the way of the l.. err red fox!

  20. Gilbert Wham

    No more memory leaks?

    Does this mean I can have my RAM back, plz? FF2 was using 880megs the other day...

  21. A J Stiles

    Just this minute built it

    I downloaded it and built it this morning. It's just like firefox ..... only faster! And the new address bar behaviour is interesting -- should definitely win the n00b vote.

    I'll let you know more if and when I manage to break it.

  22. J Thompson

    I'm sure it's great, but

    I'm still too much in love with Opera to use anything else, despite most pages looking nicer in the other browsers.

    It was Opera's mouse gestures that first did it. I know there are gesture plugins available for FF, but none of them seem as good.

  23. Spearbox


    I'm at work, so can't download it until I get home... /rant

    Does anyone have links to some screenshots?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Page scaling - Eee?

    Someone mentioned page scaling - would this not be a particularly useful feature to improve use on the Eee with its 800 pixel horizontal resolution?

  25. marc

    @greig strafford

    Yes it was a running joke that that the only reason to upgrade to Vista is to get the flashy new icons and transparency.

  26. Robert Ramsay


    The last boss is really hard and I used lots of Phoenix Downs...

  27. Anonymous Coward

    @ Marc

    And there was me wondering LOL even sadder I'm mac-ing it

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    User Context?

    Which user context does FF run in (under Win)? I assume that it is the user running it, or is there a broker service between FF and the user as in the current version of IE?

  29. Simon


    The problem with multiple forward/back buttons has been seen quite a bit.

    It would be helpful if you could add your localstore.rdf file to:

    [see comment #16 for details of what they need and why]

    That bug report also lists a few ways to fix things up so they look normal again.

  30. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Breakneck speed

    Obviously FF is trying to play catch up with Opera but I wonder if the QS is as good. Been using Opers 9.5 since the first alphas - all the releases have been fast and nearly all of them very stable - but no release yet. Will wait for a final release of FF to see if it's anywhere near as good but nice to see healthy competition.

  31. Dave

    Not a huge improvement...

    FF3 is good...but annoying!

    It's gone like IE7....too many "are you sure" type situations - yes im bloody sure i want to accept the unsigned security certificate - its on my local network!

    Also why in gods name did they remove the 'home' button by default - took me ages to find that again!

    I do like the 'search bookmarks' thing though when typing into the address bar that's nice.

    Plugins wise, Adblock+ has worked for a month or so at least, i can't get my bookmark syncroniser to work though :( I'm refusing to use a 3rd party service (hate relying on other systems - my internet is a wires only service)

  32. Steve Sutton
    Thumb Up

    @ Gilbert Wham

    ...yes! I've been using beta4 for a few weeks now, and it does seem to use a lot less memory.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Fast but where is the home button

    Speed is great and all but how do I get to my homepage? Where has the home button gone?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    right click on toolbar/address bar, select customise find the home button & drag it to the tool bar et voila.

    dunno why they dropped it as defult, but it is there!

  35. This post has been deleted by its author

  36. Philip Cheeseman

    I'be been using it since the first alpha

    And its only crashed 3 or 4 times. Using IE6 that IT requires for intranet is like pulling teeth.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I reverted to FF3 Beta 4

    I reverted to FF3 Beta 4 almost immediately after installing Beta 5 !

    Why ?

    Simple really - Beta 5 refused to work with the add-ons that I have successfully had working in Beta 4 and earlier.

    i.e. I'd rather be behind than go without Adblock Plus !!

  38. alistair millington
    Thumb Up

    IE7 just neared FF2 and then...

    FF3 leaps ahead again

    it's fast, asked me if when closing 6 tabs that I might want to not only be aware I am closing 6 but also save all 6 so I didn't need to remember them.

    Nice when windows bug hunting on the net and having multiple forums open.

    Only problem I find is the Reg itself. Open red hardware in a tab, the main reg page in another reg tab and then watch firefox jump to 99 % CPU just keeping those two tabs open. :(

  39. The Mole

    RE: J Thompson

    I'm with you on this one, Opera may not be perfect but I'm going to stick with it for now

  40. Unknown
    Thumb Up

    Can't wait for the final version

    Everyone must switch to firefox right now! Great job mozilla, keep it up

  41. DS
    Black Helicopters


    All the love is very nice.

    But I have to say, I installed it on a machine with FF2 on - purely for testing.

    FF2 no longer worked (not a big issue.)

    All my extensions were buggered, and not one of them worked. Looks as though extensions will need to be done from scratch for this version..

    In the end, I un-installed. FF2 was left in a shaky state, but worse was to follow. It seems in their wisdom, that FF screws round with the registry, and for example, Outlook would no longer open HTTP links (some might say that's a good idea..)

    I had to mess around with the registry, and reset IE settings and a host of other meddling to put things right.

    Basically, to cut to the chase, it all looks fine, I'm not that keen on the changes made to the registry, or the things those changes left broken on un-install. My fault, I accept, Beta, but I do hope they get fixed before release, or its going to cause problems.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    howsabout a flash on/off switch

    - coz although you can block images from adserverbolx.wever, there's no way to kill the wretched flash things that roll into view. - short of never installing flash.

    or is there?

  43. Dave McCall

    Firefox is so two-years-ago

    Someone else figured out how to do tabbed browsing right: iRider.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    It Sucks Piles

    Don't know how they managed it, but the new default GTK+ theme is even uglier than new default Windows theme (that is at least usable with the small icons). Thank God for 3rd party themes. And if you are not running Gnome the menu and tab text appears to ignores your font settings in ~/.gtk-2.0 and defaults to a ridiculously small size. And the new address bar and new bookmark system still suck.

  45. Aint
    Thumb Up

    @ kevin

    That's a good idea, expanding the concept of ad blockers to filter out flash movies hosted on external sites.


    I have to say this looks quite nice on the Mac side, and the Home button showed up by default for me. Much faster page loads, giving Safari a run for it's money.

    Their zoom feature works better than Opera's. Opera's +/- keystrokes do a 100% plus/minus, which seems awfully dumb to me. That behavior might be customizable, but I honestly don't use Opera enough to bother checking. I primarily use Opera to test websites, since it's one of my commonly supported browsers, along with Firefox, Safari and IE 6/7.

    The fact that all of the latest browsers other than IE display pages with 99% consistently, is enough reason to disregard any IE apologist rhetoric.

  46. Keith T
    Paris Hilton

    Does not sound at all stable

    "750 changes since the previous beta"

    Think Paris. That doesn't sound at all stable to me.

    a. If 750 bugs were fixed in beta 5, that means there were at least 750 bugs in beta 4, and that there were at least 750 bugs that were undiscovered or unreported in beta 3. (If not bugs, then they introduced new features in the beta just before creating a release candidate, which I can't believe, but which would equally point to instability.)

    b. How many other bugs remain unreported or undiscovered in beta 5?

    c. How many new bugs did those 750 changes in beta 5 create?

    At this rate, if this really is the last beta, we can expect at least 5 release candidates and official releases before Firefox 3 becomes stable enough for use on computers that people rely upon for work or school.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flash on/off

    The Flashblock extension is available for FF2 - no doubt it will be available for FF3 too.

  48. Gilbo

    Sweet Jesus

    Normally wouldn't touch a beta with a bargepole but some comments here prompted me to give it a go.

    It's very, VERY fast at rendering pages. Those using Firefox 2 will be stunned. Those using IE will genuinely think this browser can somehow see into the future.

  49. Skip Rather

    just hack adblock

    I've got adblock running fine on 3.0b5.

    You work on the .xpi extension file:

    1. rename the .xpi file to .zip

    2. open the .zip file and edit the install.rdf file, with the FireFox section edited to look like:

    <!-- FireFox -->








    3.Save install.rdf and close the .zip file

    4. rename the .zip back to adblock-

    5. Go to FireFox 3 and do File | Open file to locate the edited file and install adblock.

  50. Maya Posch

    Nightly Tester Tools

    @Alan Parsons

    If you install the NIghtly Tester Tools addon, you can make Adblock Plus compatible with Fx 3. It actually works just fine on Fx3, but the version check in the ABP addon just says it won't.

    I just installed Fx 3 Beta 5 and will try it out after I restart Fx. Wish me luck!

  51. Dr.Frito

    Waiting final release....Wish Opera worked

    Just started using FF in the last 6 or so months....sure enjoy it.

    Tried IE again and realized just how much I hated it and opera still doesn't work on some sites I goto.....such as searching for a home on

    I'm looking forward to adblock and pagezoom IF/when they work well. Pagezoom didn't work on the first beta I tried so will wait for awhile like others for the bugs to be worked out...


  52. Anonymous Coward

    hee! hee! hee! - splash!

    i have nothing constructive to add.

    but as a web designer who has on many occasions previously torn great clumps of hair out - trying to get standards compliant code to render properly in IE, i just wanted to say how much i enjoy watching windoze users realise that 'internet exploder' is a steaming pile of turd.

    long may its demise on your platform - at the hands of firefox - continue!

    mind you, being a mac user and therefore devotee of the platform that 'no-one makes applications for', i'm severely limited to having to choose from safari, firefox, opera, camino, omniweb, icab, shiira ... and even netscrape - in that order of preference.

    the dripping sound you can hear is some wee coming out, while i laugh uncontrollably at the thought that some poor sods actually still use internet exploder!

  53. Not That Andrew
    Thumb Down

    Awesome bar - WTF?

    Whichever marketing wonk thought up the term "Awesome Bar" for that abortion of an address bar should get his whale-song CD's and joss sticks shoved shoved where the sun don't shine.

  54. Seán

    Bye bye spacesick astronauts

    Hooray for the comments on theregister.

    Opera is the most beautiful

    Firefox is the one I use because of firebug.

    Adding the Nightly Tester Tools addon allows adblock to work again (it'll kill off the flash ads too). Maya Posch rocks for that post.

    I must say having used firefox with adblock for so long I was a bit shocked at how gaudy the internet has become. Even the BBC news site is soaked in ads, and I thought it was just soaked in propaganda.

  55. Mark Daniels

    @ Seán : Bye bye spacesick astronauts

    ""Maya Posch rocks....""

    This is El Reg not ""....... unless of course the erstwhile Ms Posch is a palaeontologist. In which case "Maya Posch uses/examine/ crushes rocks....." et al.

    And the Beeb website only has the adverts if you are outside the UK.

    If you don't like it, read your own news providers web service... unless of course that happens to be RTE, in which case, my synpathy.

  56. Mark Daniels

    @ Seán : Bye bye spacesick astronauts

    ""Maya Posch rocks....""

    This is El Reg not ""....... unless of course the erstwhile Ms Posch is a palaeontologist. In which case "Maya Posch uses/examine/ cruches/ rocks....." et al.

    And the Beeb website only has the adverts if you are outside the UK.

    If you don't like it, read your own news providers web service... unless of course that happens to be RTE, in which case, my synpathy.

  57. Mark Daniels
    Dead Vulture

    @ Seán : Bye bye spacesick astronauts

    ""Maya Posch rocks....""

    This is El Reg not ""....... unless of course the erstwhile Ms Posch is a palaeontologist. In which case "Maya Posch uses/examine/ crushes rocks....." et al.

    And the Beeb website only has the adverts if you are outside the UK.

    If you don't like it, read your own news providers web service... unless of course that happens to be RTE, in which case, my sympathy.

  58. Mark Daniels
    Thumb Up

    The following Add Ons work :

    AdBlock Plus

    All In One Sidebar

    Colourful Tabs

    Fox Clocks



    All with the Nightly Tester Tool.

    Vertigo DOES NOT WORK.


  59. Anonymous Coward

    Rendering changes and new crashes?

    I've been using FF3 since about beta 2, dutifully upgrading every time a new release comes out - but with this latest update, I've noticed two oddities:

    1) I use a calendar web page as my startup. It rendered fine in Beta 4, but looks horrible (unreadible) in Beta 5. Anyone else seen rendering differences in Beta 5?

    2) I also use TaskFreak. Beta 5 crashes on occasion when clicking a task for more details; Beta 4 didn't. Anyone confirm?

    Otherwise, it is very fast, but it needs a 'classic' theme too so it looks more like FF2 :)

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