[Z17 BETA/UBUNTU 22] How to get the native Firefox instead of flatpak/snap

As of the beta, Zorin 17 provides firefox as a flatpak. For performance and compatibility reasons, I can see that many of us (including myself) would prefer the native version. Sadly, because of a decision from Ubuntu, doing "sudo apt install firefox" brings the snap and not the native package. So after a bit research, trial and error with some different blogs and ubuntu forum posts, I have finally gotten the native firefox to install with apt instead of Ubuntu's snap. The steps are quite easy to follow:

1) Add Mozilla's ppa

Type in the terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/ppa

and then

sudo apt update

If the next steps are too complicated or you don't have the time to follow them, you can stop here if you are fine with the long-term-support version of firefox:

sudo apt install firefox-esr

Ubuntu hasn't made a snap of that one, so it will install with no problems

However, if you prefer the up-to-date version of firefox that you used back in Z16, you need to continue with the rest of the tutorial

2) Create a file that tells apt to give the ppa higher priority for firefox than ubuntu's repository

Create a new file on the desktop called "repository-priority"

Open it with the text editor and copy-paste this:

Package: firefox
Pin: release o=Ubuntu 
Pin-Priority: 1

Package: firefox
Pin: release o=PPA Repository 
Pin-Priority: 500

It basically just tells to get firefox from a ppa instead of Ubuntu's repository when it's available on both

Then, open a terminal and type:

sudo nautilus

(If the firefox flatpak stays after the stable release, replace "nautilus" with "nemo" if you are using Zorin Lite)

Then, go to


and drag the "repository-priority" file from the desktop to that folder

Now apply the changes with:

sudo apt update

(OPTIONAL STEP): Check if everything worked fine by typing on the terminal "apt search firefox" (or searching firefox on the synaptic package manager) and make sure the description of the package doesn't say anything about being a transitional package for the snap. If it doesn't, it worked. It should say something like "Safe and easy web browser from Mozilla"

And now all that's left is to install it:

sudo apt install firefox

13 posts were split to a new topic: Discussion about Z17 β Firefox Packaging

Here is some additional information supplied by the ZorinGroup:

Is Firefox installed default as a Flatpak?
We're currently shipping Firefox as a Flatpak as – apart from Snap – it is currently the only Linux package source officially maintained by Mozilla.
Given that the web browser is such a critical component of the OS and it's security is of utmost importance, we want to ensure that the security updates are provided officially by Mozilla.

The Firefox PPA that has been mentioned on the forum is not maintained by Mozilla. It is maintained by the confusingly named "Mozilla Team" which is part of Canonical. We wouldn't be confident shipping the PPA by default in Zorin OS as Ubuntu primarily focuses their efforts on the Firefox snap so the PPA could be discontinued at any time.

We have been in touch with Mozilla and they have told us that they are working on providing an official Debian repository. The repository is currently in testing, with only Beta and nightly builds of Firefox available. However, Mozilla have told us that they are expecting to be ready to provide stable builds sometime in January.

As a result, we will be shipping Firefox as a Flatpak in the initial release of Zorin OS 17 but are considering switching to the new official Firefox Debian repo in a point release, once it has been deemed to be fully stable and ready for production use. This change would be subject to our own testing, so we haven't made a final decision on whether we will do this yet.


Question: Is (Mozilla) Thunderbird also only a Flatpak on Z17Beta? (I have not tested Z17Beta to find this out myself)
If true, I'm wondering if Mozilla intend to produce a .deb repository for Thunderbird same as for Firefox. Also if true, maybe @staff have discussed this with Mozilla and have an answer?

I do not know if this warrants a separate thread or not. Mods can split if needed. Zab

I'm pretty sure it is, I deleted it from my installation, but searching it in gnome software brings both, the flatpak and the .deb

I still dont see a big deal with native app over snap/flatpak.

I never had any issues with snap/flatpak/native. No performance issues or differences.

I know that on reddit and other forums is a big trash talk about Ubuntu and snaps.
But that is the same as AUR on Arch, apt/deb on debian ..Every distro have own app choice.. If it works, than I dont care from where it is :smiley:

Mozilla recently released their own APT repository, so it is more recommended to use that one instead of the one said on this post

Here are the official instructions for it, I will see if I can edit the original post to replace canonical's "mozilla team" ppa with the official one after I'm done with the exam I got to do in half an hour from now (yes, exams are the reason why I have been less actively here lately)