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Gran Paradiso Alpha 8 is an early developer milestone for the next major version of Firefox that is being built on top of the next generation of Mozilla's layout engine, Gecko 1.9. Gran Paradiso Alpha 8 is being made available for testing purposes only, and is intended for web application developers and our testing community. Current users of Mozilla Firefox should not use Gran Paradiso Alpha 8.

These Release Notes cover what's new, download and installation instructions, known issues and frequently asked questions for the Gran Paradiso Alpha 8 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

Gran Paradiso 1.9 Alpha 8 contains the following notable changes:

  • Basic and unpolished UI for starring and tagging pages has been added, as well as a richer Location Bar autocomplete algorithm that matches against page title (see Places UI Plan for more details)
  • Prompt for remembering passwords is no longer a modal dialog
  • Built in malware protection (which you can test here)
  • Basic and unpolished UI for indicating richer website identity information has been added
  • Support for web-based protocol handlers, though it doesn't work in all situations (see bug 394483).
  • A new Applications preference panel for configuring handlers for various content types (see bug 377784) has replaced the Download Actions dialog and the Feeds preference panel
  • All Firefox add-ons must now use a secure method for auto-updating (see bug 378216 and this guide for more details)
  • Firefox now quits properly (instead of just being killed) when Windows is shut down or restarted (see bug 333907)
  • Added support for document.elementFromPoint method (see bug 199692)
  • DOMWillOpenModalDialog events are no longer fired by the nsIPrompt implementation (see bug 391100)
  • TYPE_PLUGIN has been removed from the Extension Manager code (see bug 392140)
  • You can also see the full list of all bugs fixed since Gran Paradiso Alpha 7

Some of the changes in Alpha versions of Gecko 1.9 affect the web and platform compatibility of Gran Paradiso Alpha 8. For detailed information about changes in Gecko 1.9 and Gran Paradiso, please read these pages:

Also be sure to read the known issues for this release.

Changes in previous Development Milestones

For changes in previous alpha releases of Gran Paradiso/Gecko 1.9, please visit the previous version's release notes:

Downloading and Installing

System Requirements

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

Downloading Gran Paradiso Alpha 8 provides Gran Paradiso for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X in a variety of languages.

For builds for other systems and languages not provided by, see the Contributed Builds section at the end of this document.

Installing Gran Paradiso

Once you have downloaded Gran Paradiso, follow these instructions to install:


Double click the Gran Paradiso Setup Alpha 8.exe installer to start the install.

Mac OS X

Double click the Gran Paradiso Alpha 8.dmg Disk Image to uncompress and mount it. Your browser may have already done this for you. Double click the GranParadiso Disk Image to open it in Finder and drag the Gran Paradiso application onto your hard disk. Do not double click the icon in the disk image! Be sure to drag the Gran Paradiso 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 granparadiso-alpha8.tar.bz2 tarball and run ./firefox:

tar -jxvf granparadiso-alpha8.tar.bz2
cd firefox

Other Platforms

Extract the compressed archive and run firefox

Uninstalling Gran Paradiso

To uninstall Gran Paradiso, follow these instructions:


From the Start menu, choose Control Panel. When the Control Panel appears, double click Add/Remove Programs. Find "Gran Paradiso (3.0a8)" in the list and click Remove to uninstall.

Mac OS X

Drag the GranParadiso 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

Gran Paradiso stores your user data in one of the following locations:

Windows Vista Users\<UserName>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox
Windows 2000, XP Documents and Settings\<UserName>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox
Mac OS X ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox
Linux and Unix systems ~/.mozilla/firefox


Add-ons installed under previous versions of Firefox may be incompatible and/or require updates to work with Gran Paradiso. Please report any issues to the maintainer of the extension. When you install Gran Paradiso, all of your Add-ons will be disabled until Gran Paradiso determines that either a) they are compatible with the Gran Paradiso release or b) there are newer versions available that are compatible.

Known Issues

This list covers some of the known problems with Gran Paradiso Alpha 8. Please read this before reporting any new bugs, and watch for updates as new bugs are discovered.

All Systems

  • The Cairo graphics system has drastically changed the way all text and images are rendered from previous versions of Gecko, so occasional misrenderings of non-latin scripts and fonts may occur.
  • The Phishing Protection notification bubble is hidden by the content area (see bug 341950)
  • Setting Privacy > History > Remember visited pages to "0" has no effect (see bug 366075)
  • Pausing and resuming downloads of files from non-cacheable sources can result in a corrupted download and strange download speed indications (see bug 395134)
  • Downloads that finish or fail very quickly will only be displayed in the Download Manager after it's closed and re-opened (see bug 393821)
  • The default name suggested by the Bookmarks Manager's backup function contains characters that are invalid on most operating systems (see bug 395773)

Microsoft Windows

  • If Windows Vista parental controls are enabled, Firefox will not be able to launch (see bug 396509)
  • Gran Paradiso Alpha 8 does not contain the mitigation for the QuickTime/Firefox cross-scripting flaw that was recently released with Firefox Please see MFSA 2007-28 for more details.

Mac OS X

  • The user's choice of a default font may not always be honored.
  • Font decorations such as underline and strikethrough may be drawn incorrectly.
  • Complex script (ex: Indic) may be misrendered.

Linux and Unix systems

  • Performance on complex script (ex: Indic) may be slower than previous versions of Gecko.
  • The X server may perform poorly or hang when running Gran Paradiso. This can be mitigated by adding Option "XaaNoOffscreenPixmaps" "true" in the "Device" section of xorg.conf.
  • Compatibility issues have been reported when users are not running X server 7.0 or better. Performance problems exist even with newest the versions.
  • Users may experience problems when attempting to print complex pages.
  • Some GTK themes fail to properly render the disabled state of checkboxes and radiobuttons (see bug 388131)


  • Poorly designed or incompatible Add-ons 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 trouble with your Add-ons. 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 running in Safe Mode, you can disable the add-ons that are causing trouble and then restart to try again.

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 Gran Paradiso page to learn more.

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

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

  3. Where can I get add-ons?

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

  4. Who is working on Gran Paradiso?

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

  5. Where's the Gran Paradiso source code?

    A tarball of the Gran Paradiso source code is available for download. The latest development code can be obtained through CVS. Firefox-specific source is in "mozilla/browser", "mozilla/toolkit", and "mozilla/chrome". Please follow the build instructions.

  6. Where is the mail client?

    Gran Paradiso 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 Gran Paradiso Alpha 8:

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 (if any) 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 Gran Paradiso Alpha 8 localizations (if any) are available by browsing the FTP site.