Firefox 84.0.0 and 78.6.0 ESR released

Mozilla[German]Mozilla's developer have released version 84.0.0 and 78.6.0 ESR of the Firefox browser as of December 15, 2020. These are new development branches for the browser. Here is an overview of the new features.


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Firefox 84.0.0

Firefox 84 offers performance improvements on the new Apple M1 Macs. The release notes state that Firefox brings the following new features and improvements: 

  • Native support for macOS devices built with Apple Silicon CPUs brings dramatic performance improvements over the non-native build that shipped in Firefox 83: Firefox launches over 2.5 times faster and web apps are now twice as responsive (according to SpeedoMeter 2.0 testing). If you have a new Apple device, follow these steps to upgrade to the latest Firefox. 
  • WebRender is rolling out to macOS Big Sur, Windows devices with Intel Gen 6 GPUs, and Intel laptops running Windows 7 and 8. Additionally, the developers are shipping an accelerated rendering pipeline for Linux/GNOME/X11 users for the first time.
  • Firefox now uses more modern shared memory allocation techniques on Linux, which improves performance and increases compatibility with Docker.

Firefox 84 is also the last version to support Adobe Flash – after all, Flash support ends at the end of 2020. You can find the timing details in this blog post. In version 84, the developers have closed a number of vulnerabilities in the browser, some of them critical. A list of the fixes can be found on this Mozilla page. For enterprise environments, there are some notes on this page

Firefox 78.6.0 esr

An update to Firefox 78.6.0 esr was also offered with one year of long-term support with the same vulnerabilities fixed. The Firefox 84.0.0 and the 78.6.0 can be downloaded from this web page (choose the variant from the list boxes shown). The updates are also available for direct download. 

The following comment from TAFKAegal arrived in the discussion area of my German blog, which I'll pull out here (since discussion entries are deleted after some time).

FYI: Firefox Update Problem: Endless loop between Firefox restart and Firefox Updater. I don't actually use the latter and haven't noticed it until now.

Computer restart helped and although there were actually no significant changes under Windows…


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1 Response to Firefox 84.0.0 and 78.6.0 ESR released

  1. Chris Pugson says:

    Firefox, or at least the ESR version, has a bug which blocks straightforward version updating. The update fails and the user is instructed to download the full installer. This is not helpful for an inexpert user. The difficulty seems to happen while the browser is in use, in which situation the installer seems to get locked out.

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