back to article Mozilla cranks out Firefox 5 with cross-platform 'Do Not Track' feature

Just three months after Mozilla pushed out what was its final big beast of a browser release in the form of the long-awaited Firefox 4, the next iteration of its popular surfing tool is now available online. Firefox 5, as it has been sensibly named, can be downloaded for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android platforms. Few major …


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  1. stuff and nonesense

    FF 5

    Been using the beta for a while, no glitches, no crashes.

    Aurora and nightlies look good too. FF 7 a1 64 is sweet...

    1. kissingthecarpet

      Been using linux 7a1 64 nightly for ages

      on Debian Wheezy. Not one crash. No complaints really, which is really saying something.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I think you need to stop using Real Player, it's not 1999!!

      2. BillG

        Real What???

        I didn't think anyone used Real Player anymore.

  2. Refugee from Windows

    Bit of a hurry

    Considering FF4 hasn't yet hit a lot of Linux distro's, isn't this putting the cart before the horse in terms of deployment. Take it home and and iron out more glitches before bringing it back please.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    it's just a browser FFS

    consistency, stability, secrutiy and standards are key

    major changes = whole new ways to mess up

  4. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    What about the plugins ?

    It's all well and good Mozilla pushing out new Firefox releases so darn quickly to mimic Google Chrome, but I suspect many Firefox users like/want/need their plugins.

    Us users need to have a good chance the plugins will work when we upgrade. Heck, the HTML Validator Firefox plugin has only just been released for FF4, and now we have FF5.

  5. Dayjo

    FF4 & Windows 7 Crashing

    Hope this sorts it!

  6. Chris_Maresca
    Thumb Down

    Yes, but will it work on OSX? 'cause FF4 just didn't...

    FF4 on OSX sucked balls. > 1gig memory use, often pegging the CPU at 100%, just crappy, far worse than FF3.5 - honestly, it was probably the worst browser experience ever, even IE would have been preferable, at least it doesn't freeze your machine after 2 hours of usage...

    I would roll back to FF3.5 except that Google has announced that Apps for Domains will no longer support FF3.5 as of August 1st, which means you are pretty much forced to upgrade.

    Hopefully Mozilla has released a browser that actually works instead of piling on yet more features with memory leaks.

    And, yes, I have Safari, Chrome and Opera on my machine, but I've been using FF since 0.9 (on a variety of OSes) and it's still my browser of choice. Even if it's made me feel like a victim of abuse for the last 6 months....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Yes, but will it work on OSX? 'cause FF4 just didn't...

      If you really have been using Firefox since 0.9 then you should be completely use to the memory leaks by now.

    2. expat jan

      use ffx 3.6+

      ffx4 is crap - ugly, clumsy and trashes the most useful add-ons - coffee cup, coolpreview and zotero, as well as 'killing' mozbackup.

      Now I'll have to be certain that these are supported before I move on.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    To infinity and beyond!

    I think I will wait until Firefox 6.0 is released next week, thank you very much.

  8. Adam 60
    Thumb Down


    I look forward to having all my extensions disabled on a quarterly basis.

    1. raving angry loony


      I think that's one of the things they fixed with Firefox 5. No add-on issues here, unlike previous upgrades.

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

        I think not...

        HTML Validator ? Only says it's currently supported on F5.0 on Windows.

        Those of us on "other" operating systems are shafted.

  9. Peter Fox
    Thumb Down

    If it's not broken... ...break it.

    Go up a major version number and a load of add-ons will break just for the number jump. As of course the extra whizzo features are not going to be a big deal to 95% this means everybody, add-on developers, users and web page testers need to keep running just to stand still.

    1. dssf

      I'll see if it breaks when I use Too Many Tabs

      to handle 150 tabs I have (101 on the main bar and some 50 on the collapsed bars), hehehehe....

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like I trust...

    ...any site to respect "Do not track". Pfft, pull the other one.

    No joy in finding FF5 for Ubuntu 10.10 (not in PPAs). Oh well, not too bothered.

  11. BC Boy

    Crying in beer

    Yes, that'd be me. Flippin' major release number to add a couple of features? What's the world coming to.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You just wait...

      ... once they really start racing against Chrome there'll be a new major version number for every bug fix.

  12. Not That Andrew


    Where's my x86_64 Windows build? They said there would be a x86_64 Windows build.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Do not track"

    ...Oh yeah, that'll work as marketing self-regulation is so effective. There's no stick. I suggest an additional feature whereby -if 'do not track' is activated and someone drops a tracking cookie on you, FF responds either by firing off a random attack (pulled from a database of zero-day naughtiness); or port-scanning the offending site and forwarding the details to lulzsec or similar for processing.

    1. Jimmy 1

      Please do not track - pretty please?

      There is something pathetic about appealing to a bunch of parasitic data-thieves in the hope that they will refrain from their 'profiling-for-profit' activities.

      To get a flavour of how this will work in practice just hang a sign round your neck with the words "Please don't kick me." on it and go about your normal daily routine. By the end of the day I guarantee your sorry ass will be in a medical sling.

      Mozilla need to take a much more robust approach to this problem by incorporating techniques similar to Noscript or Ghostery into the code of the browser.


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Drops a tracking cookie

      If a site does try to drop a tracking cookie on you then shirley the browser should refuse it? And as such that would probably stop the site from working. Try visiting one of those dodgy sites with cookies off and you'll find you just get a message saying cookies need to be switched on for it to work. So that's all you should see with "do not track" switched on, if FF is doing it right.

      And if they are really doing it right you should also get a message from FF saying something like "this site is trying to track you even though you've asked it not to".

  14. Anonymous IV
    Thumb Down

    Almost impossible to believe...

    ... that the Google Toolbar for Firefox won't work (yet) on Firefox 5!

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Now there's an advantage right there

      Of course if yot bother about privacy you wouldn't have it installed in the first place.

  15. jonathanb Silver badge

    What changes should I look for

    Just upgraded, and paid a visit to el-reg to test it out.

    Apart from the "do not track" tick box in the settings, which presumably everyone will ignore, is there anything to justify this is a 5.0 release rather than a 4.0.2 release?

  16. Cameron Colley

    I was going to be smug.

    But the FF team need to stop this and calm down.

    The addons are, at least part of, what makes FF and the fact they are always left behind is now a serious issue.

    I'm a happy user of 7.0a1 (2011-06-21) -- but I cannot recommend Firefox to anyone while it keeps up this "we must have a response to Chrome" release schedule.

    1. Burch

      always left behind?

      I have numerous add-on, three didn't work, though one has since been updated. You can't really expect such if you're using alphas.

      1. Tom 13

        I'm not using alphas and it nuke one of mine this morning.

        So yes, Mozilla do need to take a F-off attitude to the Chrome schedule. If it makes sense for the user community, yes go ahead. But not soley to keep up with the Do Evil boys.

    2. Cameron Colley


      I should, perhaps, have elaborated. I am on the Nightly channel and I use Add-on Compatibility Reporter (or whatever it's called) and that generally lets me run addons without much problem -- thought I have had some weird issues with Addblock, Noscript and flash fighting amongst themselves. However, before I went onto the Nightly every time the browser was updated one or another of my plugins would stop working for a couple of days.

      That's why it's hard to recommend Firefox -- because the plugins are, often, the reasons I'd recommend it.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Playing the game

    Actually I doubt it will make much of a difference. Google don't shout about Chrome's version number in the same way that Mozilla do for FF. Go to and you won't see any mention of the version number on the front page. Clicking around the site you'll be hard pushed to see what version Chrome is at. Certainly the casual user isn't going to spot it.

    So what do Mozilla think they are actually fighting against? Sure Google do seem to crank out new "major" releases pretty fast, but they don't really advetise their version number. Furthermore you only have to look at their site to see that they are not aiming at users who are in any way tech savvy. They are aiming at users who treat their browser as an appliance much as they do their TV or dishwasher. Which is probably where Google will beat Mozilla in the long run. FF relies to a great extent on a fiercly loyal user base, how many people are fiercly loyal to their favoured domestic appliance brand?

    I suspect they are more after IE users than Chrome users. I've lost count of the number of (non-technical) IE users who have told me that they're not going to change to FF because it's only at version 4! I usually confuse them by pointing out that Opera is at version 11 and is, as such, way ahead of IE.

    BTW who's noticed that FF5 is that little bit more Opera like than 4?

  18. Sir Barry

    Something has to be typed here *sigh*

    FF is my browser of choice, but having just read this:

    "more than 1,000 improvements and updates"

    How bad was it in the first place?

  19. Big_Ted
    Thumb Down

    installed and removed in 1 minute

    Installed on Android

    No Flash support


    Oh well what did I expect..................

  20. John Tserkezis

    Why the push for "Do not track"?

    Everyone knows it's only the "Do not call register" of the Internet.

    And we know how well that turned out.


  21. dshan

    Silly Version Games - Mine's Bigger Than Yours!

    My only complaint is the 5.0 release number. One thing Mozilla shouldn't copy from Google is incrementing the major version number every time they release a fairly minor feature, bug fix and security update. Chrome's double digit release numbers already make them look silly, why copy a daft idea Mozilla?

    C'mon this is really a 4.1 or 4.2, not 5.0. And 6.0 due in a couple of months? Madness.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Does this fix the F6 key that they broke in FF4?

  23. Bilgepipe


    Crashed within minutes of upgrading.

  24. Paul 98
    Thumb Up

    I like it

    Installed it last night and at work this morning using the auto updater. I like the AppTabs already.

    There's an interesting article on Coding Horror about how Chrome is making version numbers irrelevant.:

    I tend to agree with it, although initially it didn't sit easy with me.

    FF5 hasn't broken any of my plugins.

  25. bob's hamster


    I don't care about any feature enhancements, but I do care about speed. Is it faster than FF4, anyone? If not I'll stick with this for the foreseable future.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    slow down, sparky

    enuff already firefox!

    FF is turning into one big cluster. Frankly, I'd rather stay on older versions that my extensions work on.

    I wish someone would take up supporting something along the lines of FF2*, because everything they've put out since then has sucked more and more each time!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Trouble is...

      "Frankly, I'd rather stay on older versions that my extensions work on."

      Trouble is Mozilla stop supporting old versions very quickly after the new version comes out. Once they stop updating the old version you'd be a fool to keep using it.

  27. frank 3

    Now with actual web browsing!

    Dear mozilla,

    a web browser that isn't worse than Microsofts offering. Is that too much to ask. I've been using FF for years, but 4 is terrible and now 5. Great. so this will get rid of the problems with flash video and cpu suckage and poor javacript performance will it?


  28. Rustybucket


    Am I the only one who didn't notice a difference...

    ... except that some add-ons got disabled?

    1. S Watts
      Thumb Up

      no more "not responding"s?

      FF4 suffered chronically from "not responding" or "script taking too long", which was a real blight on usability.

      So far, I've had FF5 running (WinXP/x86) all day, with several windows and many tabs... and not a sign of either issue.

      Hopefully this will hold true for Win7 (which has to wait till I get home).

  29. JCF2009

    Breaks Norton Toolbar

    Had this on my machine for about two minutes today - long enough to confirm that FF 5.0 breaks compatibility with Norton Toolbar. Norton's warning function for Google results is a big safety factor for me. I'll try again in a month.

  30. Jean-Luc

    Firefox 42 is now available - April 1st, 2014

    3 release numbers in about 8-9 months? I don't mind the boys playing "mine's bigger" games, but they should think about where this arms race will lead in just a few years.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Breaks Norton Toolbar

    You use Norton? What are you doing reading the Reg and using FF?

  32. pitagora
    Thumb Down

    F off Mozilla

    A lot of plugins aren't working on FF 4 yet. I still regret updating to this day! If we upgrade to FF 5 even more will break. You know, just f off! The only reason FF is great are plugins, and you are taking that away from us. We will switch to chrome if this continues.

  33. Disgruntled of TW

    This will kill corporate usage - DEAD

    It takes companies like EMC, Oracle or defense contractors YEARS to add support for a major browser version atop their latest ERP software stack/dung pile. This release schedule effectively gives all that ground to IE, positioning FF with the raft of "boutique" browsers that aren't prepared to acknowledge the software lifecycle in B.I.G. organisations and government.

    Not clever. Worrying actually. IBM have it right, gosh.

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