back to article Firefox 3 Download Day falls flat on face

Firefox 3 Download Day began with a PR fiasco. For almost two hours after it was supposed to kick off servers were down and Mozilla Foundation websites either unavailable or publishing html error messages. The Mozilla Foundation had called on the world to start downloading the latest version of the browser at 10am PDT today - …


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  1. Laxman

    Firefox RC2 was still buggy for me... in it stopped responding quite frequently on my Windows Vista running laptop. So, if Firefox 3 final is the same as RC2, Thank god for Opera 9.5!!

    Not that I can't just use IE7...

  2. Jon

    Do you wanna be a record breaker?

    From the BBC news site:


    "It's a global effort to make history," said Paul Kim, head of marketing at Mozilla.


    "There is actually no record for the greatest amount of software downloaded in one day, so for 24 hours from the moment we push the bits live, that's when the countdown starts," he said.


    Breaking a record which doesn't exist - sounds tough...

  3. David Viner Silver badge

    Timed out!

    Well, I think the downloads have started - must be cos, at this moment (18:08 BST), it's totally impossible to get to either or What's the betting the only record broken here will be that this becomes the biggest Denial Of Service "attack" ever mounted ;-)

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Not off to a good start!

    At 10.10 PDT their website is too slow to respond, and at 10.13 it's giving "Http/1.1 Service Unavailable" errors. Maybe they won't be able to set that record afterall.

  5. Rik Ryder

    It's faster than M$ explorer, it's more secure than M$ explorer, it's more user-friendly than M$ explorer, more versatile than M$ explorer, cheaper than M$.

    If it wasn't for firefox, m$ would probably have us watching xbox adverts like on it's live messenger or coughing up cash for it's half assed, buggy, insecure browser by now.

    So quit moaning and go and download it now....

  6. Magnus

    heh, the world record site seems to have gone down...

    I've had issues loading the Spore page as well. :o)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    But first...

    Ensure your website can keep up with the demands of the day!

    Their website,, is unavailable at the moment! Doesn't appear to be working in Firefox, IE or Opera....

  8. Tyler

    Jon, don't be pedantic has acknowledge that no previous record exists - they're simply trying to *set* a record.

  9. Piers Meynell
    Thumb Up

    Http/1.1 Service Unavailable

    Mozilla achieves the record for the world's largest DDOS. \o/

  10. Steve Barnes

    Darwin Awards for web suicide

    I think Mozilla probably should get a Darwin Award and the Guiness record

    for bringing their own website down within seconds of Firefox 3 being launched :D

  11. G2
    Dead Vulture

    self-inflicted DDoS ?

    at the moment has been unreachable for more than half an hour now from here and is returning "Http/1.1 Service Unavailable" when i can connect to it, but usually the connection just times out.

    I think that mozilla might have achieved the first self-inflicted DDoS, on a global scale nonetheless... that's a really impressive record ... and the first legal one if i'm not wrong, as i cannot remember any software launch that has caused this worldwide gold rush, not even the launch of Fedora 9.

    congrats Mozilla: Aim at foot, SHOOT !.

    /using the dead vulture logo as there is no dead fox logo available.

  12. MJ

    Firefox site down!

    Hmm they could have a hard time setting any records if their site collapses due to the volume of traffic! It's now 10:15 PST and I am unable to get to either or to get my fix :-(

  13. Shane McCarrick

    Tough luck

    Seems like the main firefox website is dead as a dodo......

    I can see it, but am unable to get it to respond........

    I suppose there is always bittorrent.......

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Servers slashdotted

    Well they are from here anyway, won't get any records if people can't actually get to the server let alone click the download button.

  15. Anonymous Coward


    It might help their cause if, and weren't timing out.

    Is there a record for a company to voluntarily DDoS itself the quickest?

    I'll get me coat, since I can't seem to get Firefox :(

  16. Robert Hill

    Maybe break their record breaking attempt???

    Suppose a distributed network (or as this is El Reg, a "Beowulf cluster" even) of download clients tied to a many connections suddenly started downloading Firefox 3.0 repetitively and endlessly.

    Oh, wait, I'm pretty sure that can be described as a DoS attack, and probably punishable under some criminal laws somewhere. So let's NOT really do it...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    The great push...

    I wondered why there were a raft of updates this week to my seemingly lost forever extensions! Quite welcome too... I missed things like FireFTP, ReloadEvery and

    p.s. RC2's working great for me on Ubuntu, I never seem to get the problems others do with Firefox. That's not meant as a gloat btw!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can't see them breaking any records with these servers.

    Just tried to surf over to mozarella only to find that their servers have been bowled over by the traffic. No joy...

    Donwload Opera 9.5 instead. Much better browser =)

  19. Malboeuf

    Maybe..... maybe not.

    We're now 40 minutes past "release time" and RC3 is the only thing I'm finding on The one thing that can make you look foolish in a process like this is to generate a lot of hoopla and this misfire.

    And, if you want to set a record for missing release deadlines there are some pretty big companies to compete with.

  20. Neil

    Only 2 Million?

    Yes I will be downloading Firefox 3.

    With Firefox 2 being so far ahead of IE 6 when it launched, and heralding every significant feature of IE7 we can expect to see it looking fresher and brighter and once again leading by a broad street.

    What I can't understand is the claim of 2 million users of Firefox. 200 million maybe. A slip of the journo's pen I suspect.

    Good luck to the new version.

  21. Ash

    Artificial record.

    Much like "How long can a man stay in a tub of baked beans?" style records, this is totally artificial and not worthy of mention.

    I've already downloaded it, and i'm still using Opera.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    For the 1000th time of asking....

    It's quite simple! If you don't like it, leave it alone! No one is making you download or use it. I like Opera it's cool, I like IE sometimes, for some things, Safari has some good points and FF has good bits. They all give us choice, simply say "It doesn't work for me, 'cos of XYZ. Thanks, but no thanks.".

    Sorry but no way am I getting into a pissing contest over a browser, there are far better goals in life...peace out!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Website down already....

    Not gonna break a record like this

  24. jai

    re: Do you wanna be a record breaker?

    where's Roy Castle when you need him? (oh yeah, right, i forgot)

    still, it won't be the same without him playing the trumpet as the credits roll

    i still think it'd be far more fun if 2 million people all downloaded Opera or Safari on the same day

    because as you say, there is no official record yet - so even if just one person downloads it, they'll have got the "record"

  25. Patrick O'Reilly


    As of 18IST (Irish Summer Time) both and are both timing out.

    Opera rules anyway.

  26. Chika

    @ Jon

    You have to start somewhere, I suppose.

  27. Spearbox
    Jobs Horns

    Rant...? Sorry ol'chaps for pissing on your bonfire

    Well done the firefox and mozilla PR team - for making something so ridiculous as a new version of software being released "cool". Since when did nerds, *cough* define cool? I don't know which is more sad and pathetic - celebrating something like that or the 566 parties (see BBC article) that are gonna take place to commerorate it...

    Anyhow that said, technically Adobe Flash Player is software. I think they'll win this hands down. Probably i-tunes too. /me gets out the big eye-glass and starts to investigate...

    I'll leave with this thought in the meantime. Wierdly I get the same feeling as I do when I hear about Amy Winehouse or Pete Doherty every time I read about Firefox. I thought Harry Potter was bad and rest my eyes in wonderment as to how a CEO of an organisation can have the cheek of having a $500,000 USD/annum ( salary and get away with it.

    Hey look, my genetically modifed cow with two redbull cans on its behind just flew across the window sporting some quite stylish XXXL Calvin Klein boxers! Hurrah! /me runs out and chases it with a big stick and the eye-glass to see if it'll burn, baby burn!

    p.s. I prefer apple over firefox. viva la safari and her devil brother IE! (as you've probably guessed, this firefox hoo-ha annoys the hell out of me /end rant)

  28. MJ


    it's now launch +45 mins and when I finally get to the download page I'm only offered version with a link to a 'Firefox 3 Sneak Peek' article listed in the 'What's New' section on the right :) Good work lads!

  29. Jason Terando
    Thumb Down

    They'll Break a Record All Right

    New World Record: Shortest time to failure of a published URL to achieve a download target. (including is inaccessible -- I'm in California, I've been trying to get in since shortly after 10 a.m. PDT.

    It'll be fun to read the "we had no way to anticipate the positive response" excuses. They are explicitly begging people to flood the site, and obviously do not have much of a plan for dealing with the traffic. They could have, for example, they could have a set up a small loader to download and then let that stream/torrent the download from mirrored sites. They could instructed webmasters on how to post the file and report downloads back to Mozilla (I'm sure more than a few anti-M$ folks would been happy to do so)

    This is another example of my biggest problem with Firefox. For individuals, it's great. But it's management capabilities (centralized configuration control, update distribution, etc.) suck. As good as a browser Firefox is (and I've had pretty good luck with the ver 3 testing) they need to start taking the Enterprise more seriously.

  30. Richard Large

    Opera, for the more intelligent-minded among you.

    When Opera works the way I want it to, I'll consider it. Until then, I'll stick with Firefox.

    Horses for courses, not necessarily based on intelligence Ms Kelly.

  31. Joey

    Re: Do you wanna be a record breaker?

    I think that the record is really for the Internet's biggest traffic jam!

  32. StJohn
    Thumb Down

    Where's FF3???

    This site is full of lies!

  33. Rory Webber

    Site down?

    Well I'm trying to access the download site at the moment, and I'm getting nada. Zip.

    Although that could just be my location. I'm pretty sure they still use a couple of cups tied with string for telephones over here sometimes......

  34. Anonymous Coward


    "The firm claims it already has two million people worldwide running Firefox, today it will be hoping to scoop up a few more fanboys and girls in its latest onslaught against the might of Microsoft."

    Only two million? Firefox is supposed to be used by over 15% of those online, are you sure you got this number right?

  35. Robert Moore


    Perhaps that is why there was a RC3.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    As per usual, the site is down

    Hardly unexpected. Can no-one forsee these events and rent sufficient temporary server and network capacity for the 1st 24 hours ? I'm sure vendors like IBM would like the kudos and do a deal...

    "There is actually no record for the greatest amount of software downloaded" - how about all those little bits of Javascript - software surely. I guess that would go to Google...

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    working for me

    on OSX =>

  38. Graham Hawkins

    Record for the fastest off-line for a record-breaking download attempt?

    Well it was down when I looked... less than an hour after the 'Today you're history, Firefox' email arrived.

  39. Nuno

    Firefox Claims

    "its browser is better than all the others cos it's open source, faster, fluffier, more secure and now ready to graduate into the big league".

    Well, you are forgetting the most important claim: standards compliance!

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Intelligent choice?

    I dont understand why the intelligent would choose (Opera) a classic example of bloat ware (ala Office) that has so much crap inbuilt that most people won't use or care about.

    I'd say the intelligent would choose a light weight browser then install one or many of the thousands of plug-ins that are of some use to them!

  41. Daniel Bennett

    "a bigger back button"


    I havn't even got a back button on mine!!

    Refresh, Stop, Home, URL Bar, Google Search

    Nout else :o

  42. Chris Hexter

    make sure that Firefox is permitted to access the Web.

    So... who couldn't see this coming? I bet El Reg had this story already typed up!

  43. Anonymous Coward

    I got it here instead

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We broke Sweden!

    The British English Firefox download is run from servers in Sweden and the FRA's spying computer is overloaded apparently and refusing to accept any more connections to Sweden. ;)

    WE BROKE SWEDEN! Sorry about that.

    Anyway, I just downloaded and installed it, I've just checked (21:30 CET) and that works fine. Grab it from mozilla Europe instead of

  45. Chika
    Dead Vulture

    I suppose it's all how you look at it

    Yes, I am posting this from a Windows version of Firefox 3, though my Linux version is giving me a few problems, especially as installation instructions are conspicuous by their absence so I'm trying a few tricks that sometimes get things like that working (though usually I don't expect this sort of fun from a large scale update that has supposedly been tested over many months!)

    Actually, I believe that part of the problem is that the folk behind the release forgot that June 17 starts at different times in different parts of the world, or at least didn't make it clear enough for users clamouring for the package, hence it was nearly 8pm BST before the Firefox 2 update page cme down for the last time and Firefox 3 went live. For us in the UK, therefore, June 17 is nearly over!

    I'll give it a good hammering once I've sorted out the Linux problem.

  46. Roland Newmark
    Thumb Down

    working now

    I can DL it. Not that I want to or will any time soon.

  47. dervheid


    Just had 5 attempts to download, like being back on dial-up

  48. Michael Sheils

    If you wanna be a record breaker

    Make sure your servers work.

    Serves them right really for the shameless bollocks that this PR exercise has been.

  49. Jach

    Currently emerging it...

    I wonder, will they get in contact with all the major Linux distros to see how many downloads were made to the repos, or will they just count each distro mirror that adds it to the repo as one?

    rc1 had one bug for me: sometimes it'd freeze up if I closed a tab with Gmail on it from another tab. That's not enough to make me switch to something else though. (I emerged Opera 9.5 the other day, and I was not impressed at all.)

    As for the server being down, a friend of mine said the server wasn't responding but I told him to clear his cache and it worked.

  50. Thom Brown

    Yes, it is available

    You just need to look in the right place:

  51. James Whale
    Thumb Up

    It came up briefly about half an hour ago...

    ... and I managed to download my 7Mb in about 10 seconds, then it went down again.

    Have to say though that having installed, it's damn quick compared to FF2. Impressed with the browser, if not with with the server outages...

  52. Simon

    Surfing from FF3 here

    Well whatever problems people were having earlier It's downloadable now.

    Holy crap, it renders pages really fast!

    Lots of new extra features, just having a dig around now.

    I like it, a lot.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why do the BBC actively promote some commercial products?

    I'm really not bothered if Firefox gets into the news but...

    The BBC News site currenly has TWO articles about Firefox 3 and have the logo in more than once place on the same page but there wasn't a single mention of Opera 9.5 last week. There isn't even a reference to it or Safari in the Firefox articles.

    The BBC are state funded and bang on about the need to be impatial and unbiased about some things yet whenever it comes to certain topics they turn into a PR machine. The same thing applies to the Apple iPod and iPhone. There are some journalist who are bribed by companies to give good PR in their articles/reviews but even some of those aren't a patch on what the BBC volunteer to do for some products. I don't think for a minute that Apple or Mozilla make the BBC do any of this, so are they just staffed by a load of fanboys?

    I would imagine expressing a bias for a certain religion or political party would affect your chances of getting up the ladder in BBC News, but I bet they don't consider whether the candidate is a Mac fanatic or Firefox fanboy before asigning them the task of writing a browser or smartphone article.

  54. Jamie Myland

    Bugs and Records...

    personally I've not had any crashes in RC3 since I updated J2RE and I've used it a lot. Also just want to point out Mr Cynical but they're not trying to break a non existent record, it's about setting a new one, and yes it's pure marketing hype but Firefox deserves it.

  55. Ben Lambert
    Thumb Down

    Publicity Whoring

    Doesn't everyone bitch when Microsoft does this sort of thing? But since it's Firefox it's cool and hip.

    I hate Firefox, I rarely use it. Sure it has some cool things, but for the most part, who cares? IE7 works great for me.

    Firefox fanboys are getting to be almost as bad as the Apple ones.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People still use ff?

    Windoze users, please see k-meleon

    Everyone else should be using links.

  57. chris
    Paris Hilton


    Am i the only person to find it ironic that even Mozilla, who've known how many people are going to try DL this through their pledge system, has had their site buckle under the strain....way to go mozilla....

    Paris - 'cause she'd have planned things better - honest.

  58. TimBiller

    Non-story chaps, come on ...

    Just downloaded it, no issues whatsoever. The usual El Reg hyperbole ;-)


  59. Pete Slater

    Now its broken

    Damn, RC2 was working like a dream on my Linux box.

    The actual final version has introduced a number of bugs which are really pissing me off :(

    That and the hour long wait for their servers to come back to life means its a big lose from me.

  60. sean

    guess what browser i used to read this article?

    (which translates as "it's working again now!")

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wondered when this story would be updated...

    For those who just think a download party is a pile of Web 2.0 s**te you can download it froom

    If you're really lucky the download won't even count to the total.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    FF3 RC

    Stable as they come on, OS X, Ubuntu (b5) and Xp.

    Paris cos I'm sure her one night was downloaded more.


  63. Ruairi Newman


    No problems here running FF3RC2 on Windows XP SP2, Ubuntu Linux 8.04, or OS X 10.5.3... perhaps your problem is Vista?

  64. Dilbert-wannabe

    Works for me now

    I just downloaded the British localised version at over 150KB/s from

  65. Marco van Beek
    Thumb Up

    Seems to back up

    Downloading at 85KB/s at the moment, so not too shabby on bandwidth

  66. Craig M. Ling

    Collapse Of Servers

    I saw this coming......

  67. Tony Hoyle

    Not release yet, though

    Heh. Site starts working, you click 'download'

    .. and it downloads RC3.

    Way to go guys. A DDOS followed by downloading the wrong version.

  68. jeanl

    FF will not make the record due to the fact server is down for hrs

    pity isn't it?

    I will be shock if record breaking download achieved.

  69. Nathanael Bastone
    Thumb Up

    Using FF3 here too

    And the surfing is good! I don't care about the record, I just want my browser!

  70. Spunky McPunk


    download at

    now you love me :B

  71. Philip Kroker

    I finally fot FF3....

    only to have it crash when I went to check out the far cry 2 website :'(. And mouse gestures won't work now either .....grumble grumble grumble

  72. Michael Jones
    Thumb Down

    That's a good start...

    Just received a mail from Mozilla as I thought I'd make the download pledge in a show of good faith :-)

    However trying to get to their site which takes agggeess I find myself with the opportunity to download 2.0.x.x.

    However I'm somewhat smitten with Opera 9.5, so I'm no longer in any real hurry!

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows Live Hotmail

    I've just downloaded 3.0. Seems really quick, fast and snappy. Only thing of annoyance so far is hotmail reverts to classic version... My gmail works fine though. I suspect MS need to update their browser version lists.

  74. peter


    Not to dismiss firefox, but this is pointless and embarrassing. Why not run a torrent version instead, something different and it could be tracked centrally so set a record.

    Akami handle downloads of far bigger numbers every day, as do microsoft.

  75. Sabine Miehlbradt
    Thumb Down


    But I need that effing Google sync - Godd***it. And it insists on installing over FF" even in advanced mode.

  76. Richard Hebert


    We're getting it fine here now.

    In the right version i might add.

    Great new browser , whatever the record attempt's result

    you win downloading it. Everyone wins.


  77. Steven Raith
    Paris Hilton


    As there currently isn't a record, then even if only one file was downloaded, that would be a New Record. Do keep up.

    Does anyone know if Ubuntu has automagically included FF3 in the daily update list? I have downloaded FF3 as a Tar thingy, but no point overwriting a repository package, is there?

    Steven R

    Paris, because I'm too thick to use Linux

  78. Gav
    Thumb Up

    Download it from the European site. And my word, page rendering is like lightning compared to previous version.

  79. John Miles
    Thumb Up

    FF3 No problem

    Whats the problem - loaded it fine to two machines - 7Mbyte at 250k/s.

    Runs very snappily.

  80. kenzie


    I'm posting from the new firefox. I see the big back button, and a bigger reg icon in the address bar!

    Hopefully it won't fall on it's face now =) I'm off to beat people into downloading it...

  81. nacnud

    Works fine now.

    El reg jumped the gun with the doom and gloom.

  82. Homard


    Thanks for the URL to the bedding site !!! !!

    Just got a nice four poster. Wife is now tied in nicely. So what am I still doing on here ??

    Won't really need me coat, but I'd better take it so noone reads the name label inside. Best take my satchel and thermos too...

  83. Ian Ferguson

    Just have to ask... rile up the fanboys. Why should I care that your browser is open source? I use both open source and closed source software, and have yet to notice any personal advantage in the open source kind. I am not technically skilled enough to fix any bugs, or have any desire to (if a piece of software is buggy I tend to dismiss it and find an alternative). Frankly, I tend to come across less bugs in closed source software, as quality control is stricter.

    Also; I see many people saying Firefox is better because it's free, and Microsoft alternatives are not. Hello? Have you noticed that IE is also free? As far as I remember it always has been, unlike Opera.

    To be fair; I use Firefox because it is downright *better* than IE. And that's the only reason people will.

  84. CTG

    Occam's Razor

    Ask yourself which is more likely:

    1) Mozilla asks 1.5 million people to download FF, but then forgets to put in extra server capacity to handle the traffic


    2) Some script kiddie thinks "hehe, I'm going to DDoS to ruin their party"

    OK, so it's a PR stunt, but Mozilla aren't *that* dumb. On the other hand, there are plenty of dickheads out there who just like to ruin the fun for everyone else. Just like there are plenty of arseholes who like to post smart alec comments without taking two seconds to think about what they are saying.

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Patrick O'Reilly

    IST is Irish Standard Time, not Irish Summer Time.

    Irish Winter Time is IST -1

    (And FF 3.0 is downloading just fine now - at 21:30 IST, 13:30PDT)

  86. Jay
    Thumb Down

    @Tony, Snap!

    Yay a download... RC3?! Nicely organised guys...

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who gives

    a toss. its a web browser

  88. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    "For the more intelligent-minded ..."

    I installed Opera 9.50 - It's a steaming pile of crap IMO. It didn't respect my Windows colour settings and what's worse failed miserably to even render the User Feedback form correctly when I went to complain.

    I did the intelligent-minded thing, uninstalled it and deleted the waste of time and effort download.

    Back using Firefox and at some point it will punt the latest bloatware version to me, and I'll probably bend over and take it.

  89. anarchic-teapot

    Firefox 3 Download Day falls flat on face

    The word we're looking for here is "hubris". If you announce a world record attempt (yes that *does* include establishing the first one) on the Internet, you are asking for your servers to go belly-up asap.

    @ Steve R: Sadly, Ubuntu is sticking with RC2 for now. I quite like Firefox (for the record, I find IE7 awkward, but yes Opera with v9.5 is at last useable without intensive retraining and profanity) and FF3 is now appreciably faster than FF2 or the beta. About bloody time.

  90. Doug Glass
    Thumb Down


    I guess I need 5,003 add-ons because the ones I really wanted aren't there. Oh well, I did get it and I did get my certificate ... I'm so proud.

    Mozilla has the same problem others have (and some 30,000 people agree with me) it just ain't ready Jack. I know, 30,000 is a small number compared to the whole but still 30,000 is 30,000. And that's per the Mozilla site.

    But hey, the boss of the outfit certainly earned his $500,000 salary today; he met the deadline. Well, he did meet 6/17/08. And that puts him in good company. It's said Mussolini, "He made the trains run on time". Very good Mr. Baker

  91. Peter Leech Silver badge

    @ G2

    > "I think that mozilla might have achieved the first self-inflicted DDoS, on a global scale nonetheless... that's a really impressive record ... and the first legal one if i'm not wrong, as i cannot remember any software launch that has caused this worldwide gold rush, not even the launch of Fedora 9."

    I think Valve managed to get their authentication servers for Half Life 2 essentially DDoS'ed by millions of customers trying to play the game on release day a few years back.

  92. Daniel Bennett

    RE: "a bigger back button"

    Scrap that. I had to tell firefox to show it!

  93. Sim
    Thumb Down

    firefox 3 Url-bar Rubbish Behaviour

    I downloaded Firefox 3 and uninstalled it after 15minutes

    The url bar no longer autocompletes urls as you type it searches every thing the browser has ever read in a crappy fashion ( in the middle of words in page titles)-cant be switched off


    i am back on v2 because i cannot do without firebug

  94. Mike Morris

    Good one...

    Less than a minute to download, less than a minute to install including an update to google toolbar. All my add-ons seem to work. (Will need a few days to really check most functionality.) Seems a bit quicker. Need to play a bit more to see what's hot but no issues with minimum required functionality unlike some versions of IE which fell over on start.



  95. Homard

    Fast !

    Got it installed on an XP box here to see what it is like.

    It renders web pages in a fraction of the time ie7 takes. OK, this is not hard, but it really is fast, even on the old box it is installed on.

    Most of the time fonts are rendered correctly, but el-Rej comments seem to be 'graphically' truncated - as in that 'e' is missing a bit, etc. Is the fact that I don't have XP SP3 on that box the issue ? Not blaming ms. Just haven't installed it.

    Will have to try the Linux version.

    Thank heaven for OSS and other alternatives to m$. Without this we would still be in the m$ dark ages, with no innovation (Tm).

    Long live Firefox3, and happy baptism of fire day.

  96. Steven Raith
    Thumb Up

    Cheers, anarchic-teapot

    I'll just wait until it comes down in the repository automagically then - I can't be arsed dicking with TARs and terminals at this time of night.

    As an aside, I've really enjoyed using Opera for the last few years as my forum browser - great for forums and websites that are surrounded by Javascript ads.

    Open up Opera, F12, No JS thanks, No more ads.

    Job done. Use FF for pretty much all else, bar anything that renders oddly in it, which really isn't much these days.

    Now I just need to get Flash 10 to see if it works any better than Flash 9 for the videos on - Flash9+Centrino 1.7ghz+Ubuntu = stutttttter. Flash 10 beta allegedly better for it...

    Steven R

  97. Daniel
    Thumb Up

    Aint half bad

    Well I have it, and it seems a little nippier than version 2, but it might just be the rose coloured glasses. Piclens still works, my Web developer toolbar still works, only gestures that dont so had to get another one produced by someone else, but it does almost the same job. not quite as good as marc boulet's version though!

  98. Nordrick Framelhammer
    Thumb Up

    2 million and counting

    After about 5 hours there are over 2 million copies downloaded. This evening I will be downloading a copy for each of the computers I have direct control over.

    Having read another story about this elsewhere there was a peak of 14,000 simultaneous downloads happening with a resultant trafficv flow of 13 Gigabits per second. So I think that Mozilla can be forgiven for having a few stuttering steps when world + dog comes knocking at their door.

    It will be interesting to see the download figure after the weekend is over.

  99. Craig Ringer
    Thumb Down


    Why on earth would I download it from Mozilla when I have a perfectly good copy integrated into my Linux distro? Sure, it's RC2+patches, but it'll be updated to 3.0-final any minute (and the RC works great anyway). The only package available directly from the Mozilla folks doesn't integrate into Linux distros at all and makes central installation for many users painful and difficult.

    As usual the mozilla folks completely fail to consider distros. I wouldn't be too surprised if distro packagers would be willing to provide .debs / .rpms (to be included in the distros' updates repositories shortly thereafter) for to offer as alternatives to the .tar.gz bundle. The mozilla folks, however, never think about Linux distros at all.

    They also apparently don't think about load distributed clustering ;-)

  100. Jach

    Finished compiling my copy a while ago

    @Ian: perhaps you misunderstand the other meaning of free. When I say Firefox is free and IE and Opera aren't, it's a matter of liberty. Free to redistribute, modify, copy, or look at what happens under the hood (it wouldn't surprise me if M$ does data collection practices like Gmail does with IE, but there's no way to reassure me of that). Albeit Firefox isn't completely free (like RedHat) because they use name branding, but nevertheless. All the add-ons for Firefox exist because it is Open Source. Not to mention us who like to compile it can choose to compile stuff OUT of it so it's less bloated, and it's also compiled specifically for our machines.

    As for the new URL bar that others dislike, it has grown on me, but I bet there will be an add-on released sometime in the near future to change it back to the old one. (You can completely disable it by setting a variable in the configuration, but I forget which one that is.)

  101. ZM
    Thumb Up


    WAY faster... Very nice.

  102. Kai Hauschildt


    ff is so innovative etc et al. WtF?!? "a bigger back button" as a new feature? how innovative.

    anyhow, some things just run under the heading "it's good enough" for me. does ie7 have some drawbacks? yup. do ff, opera, safari have drawbacks? i'm sure they do. (don't use any of em regularly, so can't say for sure)

    ms has married the browser to the os in no uncertain manner. a lot of the os'es activities involve parts of the browser in some way. this is why i am happy with the way ie7 and its predecessors worked. i do not see the point of installing another piece of software to replace one that comes with the operating system and performs in an adequate fashion, especially since i can not remove the included browser from the system as the system needs parts of it to run...

  103. Gerrit Tijhof
    Paris Hilton

    @Sim: re addressbar

    "firefox 3 Url-bar Rubbish Behaviour " was solved with the use of the 'oldbar' add-on.

    Paris, cause I'd try her too :)

  104. Bruce Sinton
    Paris Hilton

    I am lonely here

    I am not a geek like vast majority of you posters .

    You seem to prefer Opera-so why not just use it.

    The choice is yours.

    Strangely though , Opera is very low on the popularity scale from what I have seen.

    I am on Ubuntu, and my browser says "Firefox version 3.0".

    Had it for a couple of months now.

    Peace and joy to you all.

    My icon is another very friendly ,warm , cuddly thing.

  105. Stephen Baines
    Thumb Down

    @Sim - autocomplete

    Agree about the URL bar. That for me is a deal breaker and absolutely horrendous. I really loath that feature, it doesn't make it easier, it makes it harder. It lasted all of 5 minutes, and most of those hunting for the option to turn that feature off. I'll stick with 2 as long as that feature remains. Or perchance I may peruse other options.

  106. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's still good...

    Firstly, to all the ones who come out with "download opera, it's better"...i'd say firefox and opera are aimed at different kinds of users...personally, I like firefox because it’s just a web browser, I only use it to browse websites. Opera is feature packed and for me is just bloated and a waste of space since it has so much I just don’t need or want. So it's pretty pointless to troll an article about a web browser different to one you use (really, why do people have to act like that ALL the time?)

    Now onto things that matter...

    Shortly after the release I had no problems getting firefox (one of the lucky few?), downloaded fast and installed fast...and then suddenly I went from a slow running firefox with multiple windows open to one that has been lightning fast for nigh on 10 hours. The program itself loads faster than firefox 2, pages load a lot faster and I haven’t experienced any slowdowns that I often got with firefox 2.

    What really pleases me is the download manager doesn’t slow down to snails pace when you have a lot of downloads that you haven’t cleared off the list (that annoyed me greatly when I was trying to download something and had to wait for that thing to decide to do something.)

    The only thing I don’t really like at the moment is the "awesome bar"...I prefer good old fashioned auto complete, and they've integrated the "go to address" button into the address bar which just annoys me as it disappears once it's reached the website unless you start typing something else it...slightly annoying.

    But all in all I think firefox have done a good job. Still, it's early days so we shall see.

  107. Spearbox


    Yes, but it'd be a bit more interesting to see how many people, like you downloaded it multiple times for no apparent reason other than to donate to a meaningless stat. Toodles.

    I done a little digging around - apparently as of March 2008, adobe estimate 864,000,000 users have flash player. That's about 9.6 million downloads a day?

    I can't find many more stats though about it, and Adobe seem near impossible to get in touch when you have a non-software related query.

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Out and Out Browser War?

    A browser war can never be a fair contest, not when IE 8 will be pushed to the majority of Windows users without them specifically wanting it.

    Nor when companies (financial institutions) write web interfaces that only work on one browser...IE

    Nor when Apple sneaks Safari into the machines of people using iTunes and Quicktime.

    Shrug... All the browsers can view El reg - I'll take my pick.

  109. James

    firefox version?

    When I click the download firefox 3 link it downloads version huh?

  110. Steve


    Maybe they should be hosting on IIS7/Win2k8?! :-)

  111. GrahamT

    Ubuntu,(?) Vista and XP sp2 versions downloaded

    Forgot about this until last night. A message popped up on Ubuntu 8.04 saying there was a new version of Firefox. It told me it was Version 3. I saw no mention of RC2. Installed automagically, quickly and painlessly and works great.

    I then went downstairs and loaded FF3 onto my Vista laptop. (over WiFi, so a bit slower) Again painless.

    This morning at work, despite having to find a backdoor in the company firewall, I downloaded onto my company XP SP2 laptop without issue. (I need it for testing our website developments - honest, Guv.)

    In all cases all personalisations, bookmarks, etc were preserved, and add-ons updated.

    I have been using RC2 on my Vista laptop, so no surprises. I love the speed of rendering. Pages with complex CSS still render better than IE7, but I can't see that they are better than FF2 yet.

    I am a happy bunny

  112. John Taylor

    Fine for me

    Firefox 3 works fine for me and the addition of the automatic spellchecker really dopes make life easier for me, but the disappearence of the forwards and back butons as standard was annoying me, although these can be manually readded which I have done and does help improve the use of the browser having them there.

  113. Anonymous Coward

    Firefox getting better...

    Never been a fan of Firefox, but have to admit this one does

    seem better.

    Prettier than before, although I think IE7 is still tidier.

    It does seem pretty darn quick to load pages, although still

    a bit slow to load.

    Other than that... still seems like a web browser to me...exciting as mud.

  114. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Better than Opera 9.5...

    Installed it last night and love the rendering speed. Everything else is fine, and a step up from Opera 9.5, which looks nice but seems to drag my PC to a halt every time I use it.

  115. Rasczak

    @Anonymous Coward Tuesday 17th June 2008 18:48


    I dont understand why the intelligent would choose (Opera) a classic example of bloat ware (ala Office) that has so much crap inbuilt that most people won't use or care about.

    I'd say the intelligent would choose a light weight browser then install one or many of the thousands of plug-ins that are of some use to them!


    If Opera is so bloated, then why is is the classic installer download, with many of the most useful features that you need to install an add-on for already included, less than 70% of the size of the latest Firefox download ? Even the MSI installer takes the download up to only 95% of the Firefox one, and then you have to find, download and install the addons for Firefox when they are ready to go in Opera.

    My own installs of Opera 9.5 and Firefox 3, I do like Firefox as a backup browser, are for Opera, 16 MB of program and 7 MB for profile, including cache. For Firefox it is 30 MB for program and 11 MB profile, for all the extensions that I needed to get some of the same functionality I have in Opera, such as closed tab history, user agent switching, content blocking, setting the close tab button where I want, but not all of the functionality, for example I can't have 2 pages open side by side within the same instance of Firefox, I can in Opera.

    So even if you don't want all of the included feautures, email client, usenet client, IRC client, Torrent client, are some of the things I don't use myself but are installed in the smaller footprint, you have used less space and taken less time to get to the same place.

    I'll leave others to decide which they think of these options is the intelligent and lightweight one.

  116. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Down

    How to update?

    I'm running FF2. I go to Help - Check for Updates. It tells me there are none available.

    I'm guessing they haven't made it automatically update yet, but wouldn't that be an obvious way of hitting 2 bazillion downloads or whatever they're aiming for? If everyone running previous versions of FF had been faced with a message saying 'download FF3 now' yesterday morning, they would have been sorted.

    PR stunt, nothing else. And like all PR stunts, it's all fluff and no news. A bit like the 'save the earth by turning off your lights hour' - in Southampton the council and shopping centres announced they would turn off their lights for an hour during the night (as if that would make the slightest iota of difference) - then didn't actually turn them off. FAIL.

  117. Anonymous Coward

    The record is dead long live digital

    Perhaps moz realised that records are oldskool and everything is digital now so deicied instead of breaking a world record to break the world(wideweb)server instead.

    the one with 'kick me' on the back. (and moz on the front)

  118. Eddie Edwards

    They wouldn't have this problem ...

    ... if they used IIS on those servers <g>

    Mine's the one being jumped up and down on by scores of Apache fans.

  119. Julian

    @Firefox RC2 was still buggy for me...

    " in it stopped responding quite frequently on my Windows Vista running laptop"

    Internet Explorer also freezes now on all my computers running XP pro SP3 every time a page is slow to load.

    I finally managed to download Firefox 3 last evening, very slowly though. For me it runs very nicely and I appreciate the choice.

    However, I think Mozilla did manage the record attempt very badly by failing to disseminate useful information/instructions in advance and hence were not really prepared.

  120. Anonymous Coward

    yawn yes but no but er what

    what does this do that IE Doesn't exactly? if you get excited about this boaring piece of me-too-ware then you have far too much time on your hands in which case install slackware it will be far more eventful.

  121. TMS9900
    Gates Halo


    "Features in Firefox 3 include nearly 5,000 add-ons to customize a page, a bigger back button, and the ability to store browsing history for up to three months."

    Whoop-de-fucking-doo... Oh be still my beating heart....


  122. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's now running here (and at home). I can see some cosmetic differences, but, err, not a lot else. Which isn't surprising as most of the change are all under-the-hood stuff.

    It seems to be better than FF2 and is leagues ahead of IE. As I don't use Safari or Opera I can't comment. All the minor 3 are (to greater or lesser degrees) standards compliant, only IE is the issue.

    It's such a shame IE 6 is still in the wild. *sigh*

  123. tim

    Render speed

    I was intrigued by peoples reports or fast render speed so I thought I would give it a look. However I can't see any difference between it and IE7. Most of the time when pages are slow its the download not the browser speed.

    Plus I had forgotten how much better ClearType makes everything look in IE7, without it FF looks like something from the 20th Century. (someone will now tell me you can use it as an Add-on, well whats the point of that?)

  124. Adrian Brophy

    Hmmm, not sure its that much of a fialure....

    ... I read about the download day was curious and downloaded it. As a non tech fanboy, I probably wouldn't have noticed a new version had come out unless they'd created some kind of spin to get headlines. So I'm now reading The Reg using their new browser, now my default, and IE has been effortlessly usurped. Forget the 5m download target, just having a significant number of people doing what I've just done is probably the end game for Mozilla, so I expect they're happy.

  125. Hans-Peter Lackner
    Paris Hilton

    I like it very much...

    I use it quite a while now and had no noticable problems..

    And with the Drag & Grab AddOn and my graphics tablet I never want to use a mouse again for browsing ;-)

  126. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shome mishtake shurely?

    The advertised release time was 1000 PDT yesterday (June 17th). That is 1800 here in the UK. Yet the article was dated 1613 June 17th! At the time it was posted, nearly two hours were yet to elapse before the planned release hour.

    I was mildly disappointed to find the servers unavailable last night. So I waited till this morning to download my copy - still easily within the 24 hours. No biggy.

  127. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton


    Hmmm , I am starting to like Opera 9.5 it is quick and has a nice feel and is relatively secure , although lately Java scripting is really pushing single core CPU's to their limit stops merely to render a web page or maybe I need a bigger more powerful graphics card on a four year old system !

    Although I have come across a nice Opera/Mozilla/IE browser security test site at this link here =

  128. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    How long will the record stand?

    There are more IE users than Firefox users, MS has a lot more web servers than FF, so it's almost certain that on launch day IE8 downloads will far outstrip FF3 downloads. I think that FF have started something they will regret with this one.

    As a PR stunt I think there are numerous ways for this to backfire.

  129. Danny

    Got it

    And am very happy with the rendering speed BUT - I don't like that most of my add-ons no longer work and I really hate the new 'awesome bar'. I hate the fact you cannot disable it even more.

  130. Elfoad Regfoad

    working great

    Running it on two XP machines, OSX and Windows 2000 without any issues, certainly faster then Firefox 2.0 imho :)

  131. steogede

    Re: Only 2 Million?

    >> What I can't understand is the claim of 2 million users of Firefox. 200 million

    >> maybe. A slip of the journo's pen I suspect.

    I read it as 2 Million users of Firefox 3 (or pre-releases of). Although when I went back to the article to quote it, it appears to have been edited.

  132. Cyberwlf

    Firefox 3

    Got it last night (around 8pm London time), works very well, I use Opera 9.5 as well, and it gives Opera a run for its money speed wise. Both however are now fine browsers! (I had been turned off Firefox in later updates of V2, but now back again)

  133. Chika

    So what became of...

    Posted last night following the start of this debacle. For the record, FF3 was fine on Windows, even if it did announce itself as "Hendrix" (the last RC). Seems OK.

    Couldn't get the bugger to run properly on Linux, however. I could get it to run, but it refused to install properly, insisted in using an internally installed theme which looked so washed out that some of it was impossible to read and wouldn't run unless I specifically issued the command /usr/lib/firefox/firefox, which was just wrong. Rolled back to FF2 and there it will stay for now. Mozilla had nothing of any use to suggest on the site that the README file directed me to, so sod it!

    Just waiting until Thursday and the openSUSE 11 release! ;)

  134. Doug Glass

    Give The Devil His Due

    RE:Firefox 3 Download Day falls flat on face

    The site boasts over 6,500,000 downloads. Looks to me your shaft .. uh staff sort of E-jackulated a bit early. Do you guys know Jack? I know Jack. I don't think you guys know Jack.

  135. Schroeder

    A nice sun style thread to gather up all the shills

    Nicely done, el Reg.

    All the Microsoft and Opera shills, all squealing in one place.

    Especially love all the AC's who think Microsoft's ability to force its standards ignoring browser on unsuspecting non-technical users compares to the Mozilla Foundation getting people to voluntarily take up their wares.

    And to the supposed 'linux users' complaining that it doesn't install correctly, or that they couldn't find the correct install procedure for their distro.

    If you were so excited that you couldn't be wait for it to be pushed out through your own distro's package management system, then it's your own fault. As others have shown, you were to stupid to find the correct instructions on the site, and thought you were better than the packagers of your distro. Some might even wonder if your Microsoft shills trying to drive a little wedge, with a 'it doesn't work on linux' play ...

    Me, I'm happy to sit on the RC2 that got pushed out on kubunto recently, till they get around to pushing the final build out. After all, the only changes should be the version name and possibly the removal of some debugging info.

    I suppose I could have made the effort and joined in the record attempt by upgrading from FF2 on my XP partition at home, but as I've hardly booted into it since I invested in a PS3 for gaming, it didn't even cross my mind last night.

  136. Marco


    Having tried them both now I will probably stay with Opera 9.5, which is a nice bit of lean and fast code.

    And, besides, why go for the plagiators when you can have the original?

  137. John

    Pay for a browser?

    After about 5 hours there are over 2 million copies downloaded. This evening I will be downloading a copy for each of the computers I have direct control over.

    Why the hell would anybody pay for a browser? I used Opera back in the day when it was free and wasn't impressed. It wasn't bad, per se, but it was no better than anything else out there. Now it's new and improved after all these years and they want people to pay for it? There are so many free browsers there I can't see any reason to pay for one.

    Mine's the one with the "freetard" sticker on the back.

  138. shania

    Firefox 3

    The server overload was anticipated and welcomed got people all over the world blogging about......If everything went smoothly ...we wouldn't be talking about it here..

  139. Gareth Jones Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Pay for Opera?


    Do you live in a parallel universe. You haven't had to pay for Opera for a good long while now. I think you've got your Opera history arse about face.

    Paris because she's got more idea about web browsers than John...

  140. TheHempKnight


    Think I'll stick with Firefox 2, I did have one of the betas of FF3 and didn't notice much of a difference. I can also say that I have downloaded both Safari and Opera and used each for a few days before running right back to FF2 as Opera didn't show any noticeable advantages for me, and the same with Safari. I will keep them installed as they are both still better that the feature theiving IE7 as an alternative to FF2.

  141. yeah, right.


    Well, there's Opera. It's apparently "much better", as in "faster", and "better designed". But wait, I can't do a site-by-site javascript denial as I can with Firefox and NoScript. I can't selectively block advertising the way I can with AdBlock. Those two functions alone make Firefox worth much more than other browsers to me.

    So Firefox itself might be old and outdated, that's true. But it seems to me that it's more than happy to let the community add necessary functionality. Unlike Opera, that has taken the attitude that "this is what we're going to give you, and you'll like it". Much like another company I know of.

  142. StopthePropaganda
    Thumb Up

    one hour and 50 minutes of Fired! Fox jokes

    and I was finally able to get the DL. After that, no glitches for the other three boxes I needed to set it up on. Works pretty well on Vista even, which says a lot considering the handicap Vista puts on everything anyways.

    For all the haters, the one reason I recommend FF over IE even in a business environment? When there's a bug, exploit or flaw, it is reported immediately (often by the M$ and @pple people) and usually before I finish reading the article, the update button is flashing for a fix. M$ at best makes you wait till their patch tuesday, and sometimes takes weeks or months to make a fix, even though they were aware of the exploit even earlier than reported. @pple simply denies anything could be wrong with the Holy Browser and refuses to work on the flaws they and their acolytes claim do not exist-and try to legally oppress those who report the flaw or try to repair it themselves.

    Now, the true benefit of the open-source movement-let the plug-in developer wars begin! For all those whinging about their favorite plug-in not working, if it's even remotely popular, the fix is already in the works, if not already available for download. For mine, IEtab was disabled and one of my favorite skins-but FF3 allows you to check for updates, which it did, found the updated fix, and installed so all my plugins are back the way they were.

    And as for those complaining about missing features in FF3, let's look at how these are handled:

    IE: wait a year or so until the next version of IE (which may require the next version OS) and it may contain your desired feature.

    Anything by @pple: Everything you need or want is already there. If it's not there, you don't need it or want it, only the Unfaithful and Unartistic/Uncool would want it.

    FF: check the plugins, it's probably already there. If not, wait a week. If it's still not there, obviously no one but you wants it, so commission someone to make it for you.

  143. pctechxp

    'Tis Good

    Seems a lot quicker than Firefox 2

    Just a bit annoyed that I cant seem to run the Netcraft toolbar on it (apparently it doesn't support a secure update mechanism)

    Hopefully Netcraft will sort this (and yes, I am sad enough to want to know who owns the IP address of the server whose pages I'm looking at) athough El Reg just comes up as individual IP space which isn't that informative now is it?

    The Geek guy because, well I am one and proud of it.

  144. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I'm sorry to have to report:

    I've downloaded and been running this new improved FireFox now for over 24 hours. Its is riddled with CSS rendering and JavaScript bugs which were not there in V2.

    Not any better than the beta. At ALL.

    IE7 renders the same pages without a glitch. I say IE7 — its actually IE8 Beta in IE7 compatibility mode. So does Safari.

    FF3 is a turkey, at least in this incarnation. I'm not at all impressed with Opera 9.5 either.

  145. Rasczak

    @ yeah, right. Re: Alternatives


    Well, there's Opera. It's apparently "much better", as in "faster", and "better designed". But wait, I can't do a site-by-site javascript denial as I can with Firefox and NoScript.


    Site Preferences allows you to disable/enable Javascript, even only disable certain specific javascript functions, set popup preferences, whether cookies are allowed, whether Java or any other plugins are used, whether frames or iframes are allowed, set the style sheet used, set whether referrer info is sent, set whether autoredirection is allowed, set the user agent used and other things, on a site by site basis and is included without installing anything else


    I can't selectively block advertising the way I can with AdBlock.


    The Block Content function, which can be set to allow otherwise blocked content to be viewed if on a specific site, does this quite happilly, again built in with no extra add-on to find, trust and install.


    Those two functions alone make Firefox worth much more than other browsers to me.


    So Opera has the same features with extra functionality in them, in a smaller package, (with the same 5 pages open in both Firefox 3 and Opera 9.50 on my machine, Opera uses a third to half the RAM that Firefox is using, other size differences are mentioned in my other post), without the need to go and find extra things, and you think that this is worth less than and is not "better designed" than Firefox? It sounds like you haven't even installed Opera let alone looked at what it can do on its own.

    And of course, if you so wish, you can make further changes in either ini files or through Opera:config to get other custom settings as you like, and easily swap back to the defaults if it doesn't work out. With the Opera Community and opera.* newsgroups for advice on how to do these things.

  146. Stuart Halliday


    Like any good IT person, I'll wait until 3.1 comes out.

    Let the users find the bugs the developers couldn't.

    Firefox 2 is perfectly fine ATM.

    Some of us are not version junkies.

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