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Bon Echo Alpha 3 is a developer preview release of our next generation Firefox browser and it is being made available for testing purposes only. Bon Echo Alpha 3 is intended for web application developers and our testing community. Current users of Mozilla Firefox 1.x should not use Bon Echo Alpha 3.

These Release Notes cover what's new, download and installation instructions, known issues and frequently asked questions for the Bon Echo Alpha 3 release. Please read these notes and the bug filing instructions before reporting any bugs to Bugzilla.

Give us your feedback through this feedback form.

Changes in this Development Milestone

There is a lot in Bon Echo Alpha 3 that we need you to play with and give us feedback on:

And please continue to test out these other features which are new from previous Bon Echo releases:

  • Changes to tabbed browsing behavior
  • Search plugin manager for removing and re-ordering search engines
  • Better support for previewing and subscribing to web feeds
  • New microsummaries feature for bookmarks
  • Inline spell checking in text boxes
  • Automatic restoration of your browsing session if there is a crash
  • New combined and improved Add-Ons manager for extensions and themes
  • Extended search plugin format
  • Updates to the extension system to provide enhanced security and to allow for easier localization of extensions
  • Support for SVG text using svg:textPath


Downloading and Installing

System Requirements

Before installing, make sure your computer meets the system requirements.

Downloading Bon Echo Alpha 3 provides Bon Echo for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X in a variety of languages. To get the latest version of Bon Echo, browse the FTP site. For builds for other systems and languages not provided by, see the Contributed Builds section at the end of this document.

Installing Bon Echo

Once you have downloaded Bon Echo, follow these instructions to install:


Double click the Bon Echo Setup Alpha 3.exe installer to start the install.

Mac OS X

Double click the Bon Echo Alpha 3.dmg Disk Image to uncompress and mount it. Your browser may have already done this for you. Double click the BonEcho Disk Image to open it in Finder and drag the Bon Echo application onto your hard disk. Do not double click the icon in the disk image! Be sure to drag the Bon Echo application out of the disk image and onto your Hard Disk before running it. Drag the icon to your Dock if you want it to appear there.


Extract the tarball and run ./firefox:

tar -xzvf bonecho-alpha3.tar.gz
cd firefox

Other Platforms

Extract the compressed archive and run firefox

Uninstalling Bon Echo

To uninstall Bon Echo, follow these instructions:


From the Start menu, choose Control Panel. When the Control Panel appears, double click Add/Remove Programs. Find "Bon Echo (2.0a3)" in the list and click Remove to uninstall.

Mac OS X

Drag the BonEcho application to the Trash.


Remove the firefox folder.

These instructions leave your profile in place in case you install Firefox again in the future. If you wish to remove your profile folder, remove the location described below in the "Profile Folder" section. Note that by doing this you are destroying all of your downloaded Extensions and Themes, Bookmarks, saved passwords, settings and other information and should you decide to use Firefox again you will be starting with a clean profile.


Other Information

Profile Folder

Bon Echo stores your user data in one of the following locations:

Windows 2000, XP Documents and Settings\<UserName>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox
Windows NT WINNT\Profiles\<UserName>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox
Windows 98, ME Windows\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox
Mac OS X ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox
Linux and Unix systems ~/.mozilla/firefox

Extensions and Themes

Extensions installed under Firefox 1.5 may be incompatible and/or require updates to work with Bon Echo. Please report any issues to the maintainer of the extension. When you install Bon Echo all of your Extensions and Themes may be disabled until Bon Echo determines that either a) they are compatible with the Bon Echo release or b) there are newer versions available that are compatible.

History and Bookmarks

This release is intended to test the backend infrastructure and importing for history and bookmarks. Most of the user interface changes are in flux and testing is not needed at this point. Note that the new bookmarks and history storage for this release are separate from the previous versions, so if data corruption happens, you can still go back to Firefox 1.5 and have the old data.

We're interested in testing and receiving feedback on:

  • Importing and migrating bookmarks and history
  • Bookmark and history data integrity
  • Performance


Known Issues

This list covers some of the known problems with Bon Echo Alpha 3. Please read this before reporting any new bugs, and watch it regularly (we'll update it as new bugs are found in the release).

All Systems

History and Bookmarks:

  • The new history and bookmark system used in Bon Echo Alpha 1 has been removed. You will need to follow these steps if you are migrating a profile from Bon Echo Alpha 1.


  • When moving to Bon Echo from an earlier version of Firefox, some of your Extensions and Themes may be disabled. This is not an issue, but it may appear to be one (hence its listing here). For rationale, see "Extension and Themes" above.


Mac OS X

  • If you browse to a site that issues a SSL certificate which doesn't match the domain name of the site, and then choose to view that certificate, a blank dialog will be presented and hang the browser. A workaround is to change security.warn_entering_secure to be false in about:config or to not view the certificate. More details in bug 337646.

Linux and Unix systems

Web Page Rendering


  • Poorly designed or incompatible Extensions can cause problems with your browser, including make it crash, slow down page display, etc. If you encounter strange problems relating to parts of the browser no longer working, the browser not starting, windows with strange or distorted appearance, degraded performance, etc, you may be suffering from Extension or Theme trouble. Restart the browser in Safe Mode. On Windows, start using the "Safe Mode" shortcut created in your Start menu or by running firefox.exe -safe-mode. On Linux, start with ./firefox -safe-mode and on Mac OS X, run:

    cd /Applications/
    ./firefox-bin -safe-mode

    When started in Safe Mode all extensions are disabled and the Default theme is used. Disable the Extension/Theme that is causing trouble and then start normally.

If you uninstall an extension that is installed with your user profile (i.e. you installed it from a web page) and then wish to install it for all user profiles using the -install-global-extension command line flag, you must restart the browser once to cleanse the profile extensions datasource of traces of that extension before installing with the switch. If you do not do this you may end up with a jammed entry in the Extensions list and will be unable to install the extension globally.

If you encounter strange problems relating to bookmarks, downloads, window placement, toolbars, history, or other settings, it is recommended that you try creating a new profile and attempting to reproduce the problem before filing bugs. Create a new profile by running Firefox with the -P command line argument, choose the "Manage Profiles" button and then choose "Create Profile...". Migrate your settings files (Bookmarks, Saved Passwords, etc) over one by one, checking each time to see if the problems resurface. If you do find a particular profile data file is causing a problem, file a bug and attach the file.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What can I do to help?

    We need help from developers and the testing community to provide as much feedback as possible to make Firefox even better. Visit this Bon Echo page to learn more.

  2. Why haven't you responded to the mail I sent you?

    Use the forums. The Bon Echo team reads them regularly. We all get a lot of email and your email may get lost.

  3. Where can I get themes and add-ons (extensions)?

    Extensions and themes can be downloaded from Firefox Add-ons.

  4. Who is working on Bon Echo?

    Lots of people. See Help->About Mozilla Bon Echo, Credits for a list of some of the people who have contributed to Bon Echo.

  5. Where's the Bon Echo Alpha 3 source code?

    A tarball of the Bon Echo Alpha 3 source code is available for download. The latest development code can be obtained by cvs. Firefox-specific source is in "mozilla/browser", "mozilla/toolkit", and "mozilla/chrome". Please follow the build instructions.

  6. Where is the mail client?

    Bon Echo works with whatever mail client is the default on your system. However, we recommend Mozilla Thunderbird, our next generation email client and the perfect complement to Firefox.


The following resources contain useful information about Bon Echo Alpha 3:


Contributed Builds

These are unofficial builds and may be configured differently than the official builds. They may also be optimized and/or tested for specific platforms.

Other Systems

Builds for platforms other than the trio officially offered by can be found on the FTP site.

Localized Builds

Many localized builds are now produced and distributed by on behalf of their authors.

Builds that have not yet been certified as official Bon Echo Alpha 3 localizations are available by browsing the FTP site.