How to install firefox on Debian 11 bullseye

Endrit Qerreti

Endrit Qerreti

In this tutorial, you will learn how install firefox on Debian 11 bullseye.

Installing firefox on debian is easy and it doesn't take too much time, all you need is internet connection for an easier install. However, you can also install it offline, in case you don't have internet access on the machine that you are looking to install firefox.

Whether you choose to install it via terminal, or manually by installing the .deb file , both ways will result on the same thing and you should install it via whichever method you are comfortable with.

Install firefox via Terminal

Launch your terminal on debian 11, and run the following command to install firefox esr

sudo apt install firefox-esr

Once you run the command above, you will be asked to confirm with yes on the terminal, press Y to confirm and proceed with the installation process.

firefox-esr, is the package that you can download from debian stable repository, the esr version (extended support release) is recommended by debian as it is more stable, but it won't have the new features that regular firefox gets. 

Install firefox tar.bz2

Step 1 - Download Firefox

Via terminal

You can use wget to download firefox directly from your terminal


wget should be installed on your system. If you don't have wget installed, install it via sudo apt install wget , then try to download firefox.


--2023-05-23 05:50:53--
Resolving (
Connecting to (||:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 79793237 (76M) [application/x-tar]
Saving to: ‘firefox-113.0.1.tar.bz2’

firefox-113.0.1.tar 100%[===================>]  76.10M  5.58MB/s    in 14s     

2023-05-23 05:51:08 (5.38 MB/s) - ‘firefox-113.0.1.tar.bz2’ saved [79793237/79793237]

Via browser

Navigate to firefox's official website below, and click the download button. Once you click the download button, a file called firefox-113.0.1.tar.bz2 will get downloaded on your downloads folder.  This is the setup file, so make sure you can access the folder where you downloaded firefox in order to be able to install it.

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Step 2 - Extract firefox-113.0.1.tar.bz2

Next, you need to extract the content of the file that you downloaded. Navigate to the downloads folder using your terminal

cd Downloads

once you are in the downloads folder, execute the following command to extract the content of firefox-113.0.1.tar.bz2

tar xjf firefox-113.0.1.tar.bz2

Once the extraction is completed, you will see a new folder called "Firefox" on your downloads folder, this is the folder that contains all the firefox files.

Step 3 - Move firefox folder to /opt

Now you need to move the firefox folder to opt folder. The reason why we are moving the firefox folder to /opt and not /usr/local/bin, is because the firefox folder contains multiple files and it's not one single binary file.

On the same path where you downloaded the firefox, run the following command

sudo mv firefox /opt

Step 4 - Verify

Verify that firefox folder was moved successfully to the /opt folder, cd into /opt

cd /opt

and run the ls command to view the content of the /opt folder


and you should see firefox folder as shown in the image below

Step 5 - Create firefox launcher

Now that all files are moved to the /opt folder ,you need to create a launcher of firefox so you can launch firefox from the applications menu or from your desktop.

First we need to create the .desktop file, this file contains all the configuration for the launcher

Run the following command to create firefox.desktop file

touch firefox.desktop

once firefox.desktop has been created, you need to add the following configuration to this file

[Desktop Entry]

Then save firefox.desktop by pressing CTRL +X and confirm with Y.

Now you should have a firefox.desktop file created on your computer

launch this file by double clicking on it, firefox should open, if firefox doesn't open when you execute firefox.desktop, make sure the exec path is specified correctly. Exec=/opt/firefox/firefox

You will get the following prompt when you launch firefox.desktop, this happens because firefox.desktop is not marked as executable. 

Make firefox.desktop executable

To make firefox.desktop executable, run

chmod +x firefox.desktop

Now, try to launch firefox.desktop to see if the warning still pops up.

Step 6 - Add firefox to app list

Firefox.desktop won't be showing on the applications menu by default, to be able to launch firefox from your application menu you need to move the firefox.desktop launcher to /usr/share/applications

sudo mv firefox.desktop /usr/share/applications

Alternatively, you can copy firefox.desktop to /usr/share/applications if you want to keep this launcher on desktop too

sudo cp firefox.desktop /usr/share/applications

Launch Firefox

Now, you can launch firefox by searching Firefox on the applications menu, or simply by going to the Internet category on the applications menu, and click Firefox.


In this tutorial, we explained how to install Firefox esr and firefox regular release on Debian 11, by installing it via terminal or by downloading the official tarball project. We also explained how to add firefox on the applications menu when installing it manually.