A Bash script to install Firefox Dev Edition

Posted on: Saturday, Feb 03, 2018

Installing an app manually on Ubuntu isn't much of a hassle, until you need to do it many times. Such is the case with the Firefox Dev Edition (FFDE). It rolls out new versions quickly (too quickly to keep the PPAs current) and it's important to stay current. This post provides a Bash script to automate the installation of FFDE--but could easily be modified to work with other apps.

Chrome has been my-goto WebDev browser for a long time. However, since the introduction of the FireFox Quantum family, FireFox (especially the Developer Edition) has earned a spot (again) on my must-have tools. The Developer Edition's CSS Grid Inspector is especially cool. Give FireFox another chance. If only to keep Chrome honest and to not become the IE of the 21st century!

Getting the number of the most recent FFDE version

This script would have been a little simpler if Mozilla provided the most recent download in a statically named file (such as "FirefoxDevEd-current.bz2"). However, it doesn't. There is, however, a "releases" page with the FFDE downloads available, with the most recent version at the bottom of the list. To keep this script as frictionless as possible it uses curl, grep, and tail to scrape the most current version number from that releases page. That process is detailed in this post.

This script stores FFDE in the /opt/firefox-dev folder. It asks for the sudo password while running.

After fetching the most recent FFDE version number and storing it in a Bash variable, this script:

  • Downloads the latest FFDE installation file
  • Unzips it
  • Adds the target folder /opt/firefox-dev if encessary
  • Clears out that target folder
  • Copies the new version to that target folder
  • Deletes unnecessary files

To uses the script below, put it a folder in your path and make it executable with:

chmod +x installffde 

Then, run it with


This file makes is really easy to keep your version of Firefox Dev Edition current. The process takes about 30 seconds. See this post for instructions on creating a .desktop file for easy access to FFDE.

installffde - Bash script to install Firefox Dev Edition
#!/usr/bin/env bash

# Get the lastest FFDE version number.
curl -o releases.txt https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/devedition/releases/
VERSION=$(grep -o '[0-9][0-9]\.[0-9][a-z][0-9]' releases.txt | tail -1)    
rm releases.txt    

# Get download file name.

# Create /opt/firefox-dev if it doesn't exist.
if [ ! -d "/opt/firefox-dev" ]
    sudo mkdir /opt/firefox-dev

# Get Firefox download.
curl -o $FILE https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/devedition/releases/$VERSION/linux-x86_64/en-US/$FILE

# If you don't get the file you specified, you get an HTML file with a 
#'404 Not found' text in it.
if grep -iq '404 Not found' $FILE 
    echo Error...
    echo $FILE did not download.
    rm $FILE

# Unzip the install file.
tar xvjf $FILE

# Clear the target directory.
sudo rm -rf /opt/firefox-dev/*

# Move the program files to the target directory.
sudo mv firefox/* /opt/firefox-dev

# Remove the unzipped install folder.
rm -rf firefox

# Remove the install file.
rm $FILE

echo Firefox Dev Ed $1 installed.

Bash script to install Firefox Dev Edition 


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