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Firefox 2 Beta 2 is a developer preview release of our next generation Firefox browser and it is being made available for testing purposes only. Firefox 2 Beta 2 is intended for Web application developers and our testing community. Current users of Firefox 1.x should not use Firefox 2 Beta 2 and expect all of their extensions and plugins to work properly.

These Release Notes cover what's new, download and installation instructions, known issues and frequently asked questions for the Firefox 2 Beta 2 release. Please read these notes and the bug filing instructions before reporting any bugs to Bugzilla.

Give us your feedback through this feedback form.

What's New in this Development Milestone

There is a lot in Firefox 2 Beta 2 that you can play around with and give us feedback on:

  • Visual Refresh: Firefox 2's theme and user interface have been updated to improve usability without altering the familiarity of the browsing experience. For instance, toolbar buttons now glow when you hover over them. We will continue to improve the look and feel throughout the release candidate process.
  • Built-in phishing protection: Phishing Protection warns users when they encounter suspected Web forgeries, and offers to return the user to their home page. Phishing Protection is turned on by default, and works by checking sites against either a local or online list of known phishing sites. This list is automatically downloaded and regularly updated when the Phishing Protection feature is enabled. Please note that at this time we are using a limited list to test the core Phishing Protection framework within the browser. Users are encouraged to wait until a future release of Firefox 2 to verify the accuracy of the list of Web forgeries.
  • Enhanced search capabilities: Search term suggestions will now appear as users type in the integrated search box when using the Google, Yahoo! or search engines. A new search engine manager makes it easier to add, remove and re-order search engines, and users will be alerted when Firefox encounters a website that offers new search engines that the user may wish to install.
  • Improved tabbed browsing: By default, Firefox will open links in new tabs instead of new windows, and each tab will now have a close tab button. Power users who open more tabs than can fit in a single window will see arrows on the left and right side of the tab strip that let them scroll back and forth between their tabs. The History menu will keep a list of recently closed tabs, and a shortcut lets users quickly re-open an accidentally closed tab.
  • Resuming your browsing session: The Session Restore feature restores windows, tabs, text typed in forms, and in-progress downloads from the last user session. It will be activated automatically when installing an application update or extension, and users will be asked if they want to resume their previous session after a system crash.
  • Previewing and subscribing to Web feeds: Users can decide how to handle Web feeds (like this one), either subscribing to them via a Web service or in a standalone RSS reader, or adding them as Live Bookmarks. My Yahoo!, Bloglines and Google Reader come pre-loaded as Web service options, but users can add any Web service that handles RSS feeds.
  • Inline spell checking: A new built-in spell checker enables users to quickly check the spelling of text entered into Web forms (like this one) without having to use a seperate application.
  • Live Titles: When a website offers a microsummary (a regularly updated summary of the most important information on a Web page), users can create a bookmark with a "Live Title". Compact enough to fit in the space available to a bookmark label, they provide more useful information about pages than static page titles, and are regularly updated with the latest information. There are several websites that can be bookmarked with Live Titles, and even more add-ons to generate Live Titles for other popular websites.
  • Improved Add-ons manager: The new Add-ons manager improves the user interface for managing extensions and themes, combining them both in a single tool.
  • JavaScript 1.7: JavaScript 1.7 is a language update introducing several new features such as generators, iterators, array comprehensions, let expressions, and destructuring assignments. It also includes all the features of JavaScript 1.6.
  • Extended search plugin format: The Firefox search engine format now supports search engine plugins written in Sherlock and OpenSearch formats and allows search engines to provide search term suggestions.
  • Updates to the extension system: The extension system has been updated to provide enhanced security and to allow for easier localization of extensions.
  • Client-side session and persistent storage: New support for storing structured data on the client side, to enable better handling of online transactions and improved performance when dealing with large amounts of data, such as documents and mailboxes. This is based on the WHATWG specification for client-side session and persistent storage.
  • SVG text: Support for the svg:textpath specification enables SVG text to follow a curve or shape.
  • New Windows installer: Based on Nullsoft Scriptable Install System, the new Windows installer resolves many long-standing issues.

Downloading and Installing

System Requirements

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

Downloading Firefox 2 Beta 2 provides Firefox 2 Beta 2 for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X in a variety of languages. You can get the latest version of Firefox 2 Beta 2 here. For builds for other systems and languages not provided by, see the Contributed Builds section at the end of this document.

Installing Firefox 2 Beta 2

Once you have downloaded Firefox 2 Beta 2, follow these instructions to install:


Double click the Firefox Setup 2.0 Beta 2.exe installer to start the install.

Mac OS X

Double click the Firefox 2.0 Beta 2.dmg Disk Image to uncompress and mount it. Your browser may have already done this for you. Double click the Firefox Beta 2 Disk Image to open it in Finder and drag the Firefox application onto your hard disk. Do not double click the icon in the disk image! Be sure to drag the Firefox 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 firefox-2.0b2.tar.gz
cd firefox

Other Platforms

Extract the compressed archive and run firefox

Uninstalling Firefox 2 Beta 2

To uninstall Firefox 2 Beta 2, follow these instructions:


From the Start menu, choose Control Panel. When the Control Panel appears, double click Add/Remove Programs. Find "Mozilla Firefox (2.0b2)" in the list and click Remove to uninstall.

Mac OS X

Drag the Firefox 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

Firefox 2 Beta 2 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 Firefox 2 Beta 2. Please report any issues to the maintainer of the extension. When you install Firefox 2 Beta 2 all of your Extensions and Themes may be disabled until Firefox 2 Beta 2 determines that either a) they are compatible with the Firefox 2 Beta 2 release or b) there are newer versions available that are compatible.

Known Issues

This list covers some of the known problems with Firefox 2 Beta 2. 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

Phishing Protection:
At this time we are using a limited list to test the core Phishing Protection framework within the browser. Users are encouraged to verify that the above test links properly display a warning dialogue, but to wait until a future release of Firefox 2 to verify the accuracy of the list of Web Forgeries.
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 Firefox 2 Beta 2 from an earlier version of Firefox, some of your Extensions and Themes may be disabled. See "Extension and Themes", above.
Feed Preview and Subscription:
Web based Feed Readers added by users aren't remembered in the Feeds preferences pane. This is being tracked by bug 349225.
Spell Checking:
Dictionaries for several locales can't be packaged with the builds, and must be manually downloaded by selecting "Add Dictionaries..." on the shortcut menu. New dictionaries are regularly being added to Mozilla Add-ons, so if you don't see the particular dictionary you need, check back later. In future releases, users will be offered the opportunity to download dictionaries the first time they run the product (see bug 349945).
Help System:
In some localized builds, there are several blank help pages. This is being tracked by bug 344312.


  • If you obtained Firefox 2 Beta 2 through the Software Updater, you will not be able to uninstall it from the Windows Control Panel. You can manually uninstall the application by running "uninstall.exe" in the "Uninstall" folder located where Firefox 2 Beta 2 is installed. This has been fixed by bug 349551.

Mac OS X

  • Users running Firefox on Mac OS X 10.3 may experience frequent crashes due to bug 345388. This was fixed after the deadline for Firefox 2 Beta 2 and will not happen in recent nightly or future builds of Firefox.


  • 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 the Firefox 2 Beta 2 page to learn more.

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

    Use the forums. The Firefox 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 Firefox 2 Beta 2?

    Lots of people. See Help->About Mozilla Firefox, Credits for a list of some of the people who have contributed to Firefox 2 Beta 2.

  5. Where's the Firefox 2 Beta 2 source code?

    A tarball of the Firefox 2 Beta 2 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?

    Firefox 2 Beta 2 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 Firefox 2 Beta 2:

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.

Solaris (contributed by SUN Desktop Beijing Team)

Tarball format (README)

Pkgadd format (README)

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. These are available on the Firefox 2 Beta 2 download page.

Builds that have not yet been certified as official Firefox 2 Beta 2 localizations are available by browsing the FTP site.