Choosing The Right Firefox For You

Firefox Nightly

There are different branches of Firefox out there, Firefox Stable, Firefox Beta, Firefox Developer Edition, Firefox ESR, and Firefox Nightly. I'm going to go over and cover these branches to ease you in making a decision. I will be covering Firefox only for computers, I won't be covering Firefox for Android/iOS. I also won't be going into much detail, so don't expect a lot to be covered here.

  1. Firefox (Stable Branch)

This the Firefox that is commonly found on a large number of computers. Each new major update brings new additions that improve your browsing experience. With other updates fixing issues and patching vulnerabilities. This branch is good for generally good for anyone who just wants to use Firefox and nothing more. Unlike the beta or nightly branch, updates aren't too frequent. Although an emergency update may be issued quickly, should there be a major problem that warrants one. You can view the release calendar here. Release notes for new major releases can be found here.

  1. Firefox (Beta Branch)

Firefox Beta allows for anyone who's interested, to try out new features for Firefox, these changes usually are moved to the beta branch from nightly. Although not as often as nightly, Firefox Beta is still updated quite frequently and is not recommended for people who just want to browse the web without any unnecessary issues. Only install Firefox Beta if you are willing to help test out features and help refine them before making it to the stable branch. This means you're encouraged to help report any issues that may occur.

  1. Firefox (Developer Edition)

Firefox Developer Edition includes tools useful for web developers, or people studying web development. Other changes are made for web development.

  1. Firefox (Nightly Branch)

Firefox Nightly incorporates code changes daily. This allows you to try out new features that are introduced, or changes to existing features. Nightly is not recommended for anyone who isn't expecting some (or many) things to encounter problems while testing. Again these new features or changes are supplied on a daily basis, so updates are at their most frequent. Use Firefox Stable or Beta is this is too much for you.

  1. Firefox (Extended Support Release)

Firefox ESR is a branch that receives extended support, this branch will generally include critical patches, and will not receive any of the latest features at a regular interval. See here for additional coverage. The ESR branch is usually meant for organizations like businesses and universities, that deploy and maintain on a large scale.

Final words

It all depends on what you want. I usually stick with using the stable release, as I no longer wish to participate in testing new things often. That's all for now.

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