How to Install Previous Versions of Firefox in Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin)

Want to go back and use older versions of Firefox or downgrade to something you love? This brief tutorial will show you how to install your favorite past versions in Ubuntu 12.04. From Firefox 2.0 through 12.0 can easily be installed and used in Ubuntu. To show you how this works, I’m going to be installing Firefox version 3.6 in the current version of Ubuntu which has Firefox 11.0 installed by default.

I personally love version 3.6 of Firefox and this is going to take me back in time.


  • Learn how to install older versions of Firefox in Ubuntu
  • Enjoy!

To get started, go and download a version of Firefox from here of here.

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When prompted, choose the save the file. By default it should be saved in your Downloads folder.




After saving, press Ctrl – Alt – T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the commands below to extract the downloaded file.

tar xvf ~/Downloads/firefox-3.6.28.tar.bz2




After extracting the file, move it to the /opt/ folder by running the commands below.

sudo mv firefox/ /opt/firefox3




Then backup your current Firefox executable by running the commands below.

sudo mv /usr/bin/firefox /usr/bin/firefox-old




Finally, run the command below to create a symbolic link to the older Firefox executable.

sudo ln -s /opt/firefox3/firefox /usr/bin/firefox




All your icons and launchers shouldn’t change. They should a work with the previous version just fine. Go and launch Firefox and test it.




That’s it!


To go back to your current version of Firefox, first remove the current executable of the previous version.

sudo rm /usr/bin/firefox


Then run the commands below to restore your current version.

sudo mv /usr/bin/firefox-old /usr/bin/firefox



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12 thoughts on “How to Install Previous Versions of Firefox in Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin)”

  1. FYI, the extract command won’t work as written. Since the archive is compressed with bzip, the correct extraction options would be `tar jxvf firefox-version.tar.bz2`

  2. Big thanks for such a detailed instruction. I did not like version 23, this was great to go back to a previous version. Be sure to block future updates. I used about:config, as I was not sure the UI worked.

  3. I have upgrade my ubuntu to 14.04 and trying to install previous verion of firefox 20.0 with following same steps but i am not able to start firefox after this clicking but not opening…?? any permission issue…

  4. I attempt to install version 9.0, 12.0, 12.0 on kubuntu 14.10. But not working. When I start the firefox then open the crash report window.

  5. None of these commands worked for me! Running Ubuntu 12.04LTS & FF 36.1 trying to downgrade to FF 18.0.2 Every peace of info I’ve tried from here to the Ubuntu forum have all been a joke!
    Nothing but mis-information everywhere!

  6. Hello Everyone,

    I tried to downgrade Firefox 28 to 26 in Ubintu 14.04 LTS, but it rejects overwriting the directory

    mv: cannot overwrite non-directory ‘/opt/firefox26/firefox’ with directory ‘firefox/’

    Could anyone say, why it is so and what should I do?

    I would appreciate detailed command as I am not a programming expert.

    Many thanks for your help.

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