We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Coming Soon: A Faster Firefox for Linux Users

Starting with Firefox 6, Mozilla's browser for the open source OS will feature performance on par with the Windows version.

Linux users' proverbial cup is already overflowing this spring thanks to several recent coups for the open source operating system. Just last week, however, more good news arrived for users of the free software in the form of an announcement from Mozilla that Firefox has been given a huge speed boost on Linux.

Specifically, despite several failed attempts in the past, a group of Mozilla developers has succeeded in getting the open source browser's Linux builds to compile with version 4.5 of GCC, or the GNU Compiler Collection.

"We finally managed to get our Linux (and, obviously, Linux64) builds to use GCC 4.5, with aggressive optimization (-O3) and profile guided optimization enabled," wrote developer Mike Hommey on Friday.

"This means we are finally using a more modern toolchain, opening opportunities for things such as static analysis," Hommey explained. "This also means we are now producing a faster Firefox, now much closer to the Windows builds on the same hardware on various performance tests."

Though the feature is not slated to appear officially until Firefox 6, the newly improved builds should work on older Linux platforms as well, including Red Hat and CentOS 5, Hommey noted. The main thing that's required is that they come with the GNU standard libstdc++ library from GCC 4.1, he added.

First Firefox 5 Beta Build

Following the wildly successful debut of Firefox 4 in March, the new browser just exceeded 10 percent market share for the first time this past weekend, according to fresh data from StatCounter. Still ahead of Firefox 4 are just Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 and Mozilla's own Firefox 3.6, according to StatCounter's data.

Meanwhile, as part of its new, six-week development cycle, Mozilla just posted its first Firefox 5 beta build. Now making its way into that version are new CSS3 support and tab management along with improved HTML5 support, according to a report in ConceivablyTech.

The final release of Firefox 5 is due on June 21, likely followed by Firefox 6 in mid-August.

It's been noticeable to Linux users for some time now that Firefox didn't perform as well there as it did on Windows. It's great to see Mozilla address the issue and reaffirm its commitment to this growing segment of the market.


IDG UK Sites

Samsung Galaxy S6 release date, features and specs rumours: When will the Galaxy S6 come out?

IDG UK Sites

Why people aren't upgrading to iOS 8: new features are for power users, not the average Joe

IDG UK Sites

Free rocket & space sounds: NASA launches archive of interstellar audio on SoundCloud

IDG UK Sites

iPad Air 2 review: Insanely fast and alarmingly thin. Speed tests, camera tests, beautiful...