I had a post that I was going to write on Firefox 4 RC2, but before I could write it FF4 was released. It’s easy to install into Ubuntu Lucid 10.04 LTS and Maverick 10.10 thanks to a PPA (HT: OMG!Ubuntu!).
The easiest installation method uses the terminal. Simply cut and past these line into the terminal:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable
Then open the Update Manager (Administration -> Update Manager), click on Check, then install the updated files that it finds.
Using the PPA, Firefox 4 replaces Firefox 3.x on your system. The process proceeded very smoothly.
When you first run Firefox 4, it will check your add-ons and may find that many (or most!) aren’t compatible. I was able to find replacements for most of my incompatible add-ons, but all my major ones were Firefox 4-ready, like NoScript, AdBlock+, Flashblock, WOT, BetterPrivacy, ForecastFox, Perspectives, WorldIP, Conspiracy, All-in-one Sidebar, BBCodeXtra, etc. I was able to manually update DoD Configuration to version 1.3 which supports Firefox 4. Other than that, all my Firefox settings transferred nicely.
One immediate thing that I noticed was the lack of the Status Bar. That’s not good for me, since many of my security-related extensions put their icons on that bar. Some, like Flashblock, WOT, FoxTab, WebMail Notifier, and AdBlock+ all moved their icons to the Navigation Toolbar. For the rest, Firefox 4 has an Add-on Bar. Simply right click on an open area of any toolbar (except the Bookmark Bar) and select Add-on Bar. A Status Bar-like bar will appear at the bottom of Firefox 4 with your other extension icons on it. I rearranged some of my other extensions to better use the available space.
I played around with the bars, and found that if I deselected the Menu Bar, a new Firefox pull-down appears on the left side of the tabs. Clicking on it brings up most the the menu functions for easy access. Firefox 4 also adds a Bookmarks item on the right side of the Bookmark Bar which I really don’t want or need because I use All-in-one Toolbar to get to my bookmarks. I’ll let you know when I learn how to lose the Bookmarks item.
Clean, efficient, and presenting all my useful information. Plus, FF4 seems significantly faster then its predecessors. It certainly closes faster. So, I lost 9 extensions due to FF4 incompatibility, but retained my most important ones and gained significant speed. So far, I’m pretty happy with Firefox 4, and the PPA will help keep it updated.