Firefox 94 Is Now Available for Download, Brings EGL on X11 for Intel/AMD Users

Firefox 94

Mozilla’s Firefox 94 web browser is now available for download ahead of the official launch on November 2nd, 2021.

The biggest new feature of the Firefox 94 release is the enablement of the EGL (OpenGL) API for handling graphics context management on X11 for Intel/AMD users using recent Mesa graphics stacks.

This feature replaces the old GLX implementation and promises to offer a performance boost on Intel/AMD hybrid machines. After upgrading to Firefox 94, Intel/AMD users should notice faster WebGL rendering, more effective rendering, and possibly VA-API video decoding in the near future.

According to developer Martin Stransky, EGL also unifies the rendering path for X11 and Wayland. This means that features made for Wayland, such as better VSync support or suspended rendering for invisible windows, will also be available for X11.

“EGL is “new” from Linux desktop perspective and used mainly by Wayland, Android and various small devices. It’s not fully supported by all desktop drivers and has glitches,” explains Martin Stransky. “But as Wayland is gaining momentum also EGL is getting more attention and fixes on Linux desktop.”

Of course, Firefox 94 will still use GLX for users of the proprietary NVIDIA graphics driver on X11 until a future release of their video driver gains EGL and dma-buf support (they’re working on it).

If you experience graphic glitches or other issues on your Intel/AMD machine with Firefox 94, you can switch back to GLX by setting the gfx.x11-egl.force-disabled option in about:config to true.

In addition to the EGL enablement by default for Intel/AMD users on X11, the Firefox 94 release introduces a new settings page called about:unloads where users will be able to manually unload tabs without closing them by clicking on the Unload button, in an attempt to free system resources.

The page shows how Firefox prioritizes tabs and which tab will be unloaded when tab unloading is triggered.

Also new in Firefox 94 is a Site Isolation feature to better protect users against side-channel attacks like Spectre, adds the Firefox Multi-Account Containers extension with the Mozilla VPN integration, and introduces several color schemes that you’ll be choose when you start the web browser.

In addition, Firefox 94 disables the warning when exiting the web browser or closing a window using the menu, a button, or a three-key command by default, makes the storage initialization faster, implements better scheduling of garbage collection, and reduces CPU usage during socket polling for HTTPS connections.

More of Firefox 94’s new features and improvements will be unveiled tomorrow, November 2nd, 2021, when Mozilla will officially release the new web browser version for all supported platforms can be found in the release notes. You can download the binaries or sources from Mozilla’s FTP server or the official website.

Last updated 2 years ago

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