Linux Mint Devs Announce Partnership with Mozilla to Improve Firefox in Linux Mint

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Linux Mint’s lead developer Clement Lefebvre announced today a partnership with Mozilla, the maker of the popular Firefox web browser, to improve Firefox in the Linux Mint distribution.

According to Clement Lefebvre, this is both a commercial or a technical partnership in an attempt to improve the Firefox web browser in Linux Mint. Firefox will still be distributed as a .deb package in Linux Mint, but starting with the Firefox 96 release, it will receive better support for rounded corners for its own window decorations.

But, what’s most important is the fact that the default Firefox configuration in Linux Mint will change due to this partnership to provide users with a configuration almost identical to the version of the web browser distributed by Mozilla.

This means that the default start page will no longer point to https://www.linuxmint.com/start/, the default search engines will be reset to Mozilla’s search partners like Google, Amazon, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Ebay, etc., and there won’t be any code changes or patches from Linux Mint, Debian, or Ubuntu included in the web browser.

“Firefox is still a champion of Open Source, it still proudly promotes Free Software outside of our community and it still produces one of the best and the most open browsers available not only to us but to millions of people who enjoy it on proprietary operating systems before migrating to Linux,” said Clement Lefebvre.

With this partnership, Mozilla wants to make their open-source web browser work the same across all supported platforms, while the Linux Mint developers won’t have to hassle with Firefox’s maintenance in their Ubuntu-based distribution as they’ll now only package Mozilla’s version of Firefox.

Both Mozilla and Linux Mint hope to improve software updates in Firefox, which will integrate with Linux Mint’s Update Manager to allow users to install newer versions of the web browser straight from the browser itself.

The Linux Mint developers also confirm the fact that Firefox in Linux Mint will be faster due to this partnership, but they warn users that their default search engine settings will be reset to Google, yet DuckDuckGo will remain available but with a different URL. However, other user settings will be preserved.

Linux Mint users should expect the transition to the vanilla Firefox to happen with the next version, Firefox 96, coming this week in the Linux Mint 19.x and Linux Mint 20.x series, as well as the Debian-based LMDE distribution.

Last updated 2 weeks ago