Mozilla’s Firefox 86 web browser is now available for download ahead of tomorrow’s official release, for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows.
The biggest change in Firefox 86 was supposed to be the enablement of AV1 Image File Format (AVIF) support by default. AVIF is a powerful, royalty-free and open-source image file format designed to encode AV1 bitstreams in the HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format) container.
While AVIF support was offered in during the beta testing, Firefox 86 doesn’t come with AVIF support enabled by default. However, you can enable it yourselves by setting the
image.avif.enable option in about:config to
For Linux and Android users, the Firefox 86 web browser activates a new protection to mitigate the so-called Stack Clash attacks, a set of old vulnerabilities in the memory management of several operating systems that could lead to privilege escalation. More details are available here.
In addition, this is the first release of the web browser to disable DTLS 1.0 support, which was used for WebRTC PeerConnections. Mozilla informs users that all WebRTC services need to support DTLS 1.2 from now on as the minimum DTLS version. Furthermore, Firefox 86 introduces Total Cookie Protection to the Strict Mode.
Firefox 86 also enables multiple Picture-in-Picture support by default to let you view more than one video at a time in Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode, Reader mode support for local HTML pages, credit card management and autofill capabilities for Canadian users, as well as revamp Print functionality and About Firefox dialog.
This release also brings various performance and stability improvements due to moving of the canvas drawing and WebGL drawing to the GPU process, as well as several screen reader improvements, and the usual security fixes.
Mozilla also consolidated all video decoding in the new RDD process to make Firefox more secure, and added some new features for web developers, such as the enablement of the CSS image-set() function to allow for responsive images in CSS, a new warning in the Inactive CSS tool to warn you about margins or paddings set on internal table elements, and the ability for the Developer Tools Toolbox to show errors on the current page.
Firefox 86 is available for download right now from the official website as 32-bit and 64-bit binaries for GNU/Linux distribution, and a source tarball for those who fancy compiling it. However, I highly recommend that you install Firefox from your distro’s repositories, which should happen in the coming days.
Update: Article previously stated that AVIF support was enabled by default, a feature that was offered during beta testing, but it looks like Mozilla decided to leave AVIF support disabled by default in the final release. I’ve updated the article accordingly.
Last updated 8 months ago