Firefox 13 Stable now available

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Firefox users who run the stable version of the browser may observe a recurring theme every six weeks or so. Six weeks is the interval in which Mozilla releases new major version updates for the browser. These updates land on the Mozilla release ftp server first, before they are moved and distributed to other servers to make sure that all Firefox users running a stable build will have a positive updating experience. The new releases land often days ahead of schedule on the ftp server, and while they are sometimes replaced by newer versions, it is rarely the case that this is happening.

Firefox 13 is now available on Mozilla's ftp server for all supported operating systems and languages. You'll also find the release on major software portals before it is officially released. Softpedia is for instance already listing Firefox 13.0 final on their website.

If you are interested in an in depth overview of what is new in Firefox 13, I suggest you take a look at my review of the new version that I published at the end of April.

firefox about-home

Here is a short summary for those of you who are in a hurry:

  • New about:home startpage. This is initially displayed to new users as the default homepage of the browser. It displays a Google search form, links to the add-ons repository, and links to Firefox menus and features such as downloads, bookmarks, sync or the settings of the browser.
  • The new tab page displays a Speed Dial like interface. You can drag and drop often visited websites and services from your bookmarks or a site you are on to the speed dial interface. It is possible to disable it with a click on the icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
  • Better performance thanks to Mozilla's Project Snappy. This includes for instance the new load tabs on demand feature that users who restore the session of the browser on start up will benefit from. Instead of loading all websites in all tabs during start, only the active tab's website is loaded. The other sites are loaded once they are activated by the user.
  • Reset Firefox is another new feature that Firefox users may like, as it can be used to reset a broken or ill-behaving Firefox installation. It basically creates a new profile and copies some of the user's personal information and data to it afterwards. This includes the bookmarks, saved passwords, cookies, form data and the web browsing history. Some features, like the installed add-ons or interface customizations won't be transferred though, as they are often the root cause of the issue. I'd recommend to create a backup prior to resetting Firefox to restore features that you are interested in this way. The reset Firefox feature will propose a reset automatically under certain circumstances, and you can also run it manually via about:support.
  • Smaller changes have been integrated into the web browser, like smooth scrolling, improvements to developer tools, or the integration of ASRL Address Space Layout Randomization for add-ons.

Firefox 13 will be released officially on June 5, along with Firefox ESR 10.0.5, Firefox 14 Beta and Firefox 15 Aurora.

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Responses to Firefox 13 Stable now available

  1. Paulus June 2, 2012 at 11:39 pm #

    Today i updated main Firefox to number 13.
    You wrought in your Firefox 13 what's new article 'The second change is the new blank tab page that Firefox users will notice when they open a blank tab in the browser. This page gets automatically populated with a speed dial feature that is displaying the nine most popular websites based on the user’s browsing history. I"
    But main new blank tab is only giving me main standard https:\ google.com page. Could you explain to me how to put Ghacks.net in one of those speed dials. I am not getting it how to do it?

    • Martin Brinkmann June 3, 2012 at 1:10 am #

      Paulus that is strange. When I open a new tab in Firefox 13 I see the new tab page there.

      • boris June 3, 2012 at 2:26 am #

        I see only blank page.

      • boris June 3, 2012 at 2:28 am #

        Oops, sorry. I clicked of top right corner and new tab grid is back.

  2. Paulus June 3, 2012 at 1:22 am #

    Yes Martin I can see the new tab page with blank pages except the one with main Google home page, but I can get now new ones one it.

    How do I get new ones on it. I am working with Firefox and did go to many websites but there are not coming up, when I open a new tab after that.
    So I can not pin (lock) them (those visited pages) so that they stay there. How do I do that?

    • Martin Brinkmann June 3, 2012 at 8:15 am #

      Are you clearing your browsing history? The feature seems to rely on it, if you clear it the new tab page seems to stay blank.

  3. BobbyPhoenix June 3, 2012 at 2:18 am #

    Try the "reset firefox" feature. It happened to me to until I reset the browser, or make sure under settings you have your new tab page set correctly.

  4. boris June 3, 2012 at 2:38 am #

    Memory leaks are still there. I wish they would make 64bit version already that I will be able to use all my memory. Hopefully it would make browser more responsive.

    • BinhPV June 3, 2012 at 3:26 am #

      You can use waterfox. It's 64 bit Firefox and really fast and more responsive.

      • boris June 3, 2012 at 6:12 am #

        Problem with extensions. I have a lot of ones last updated in 2009/2010. They may not work with Waterfox.

    • kaylee June 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

      I've been using Palemoon 64 bit and it works great
      http://www.palemoon.org/

  5. David June 3, 2012 at 4:28 am #

    Speed dial & better performance? Must be worth upgrading.

  6. Peter (NL) June 3, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    Thanks Martin for the update. I'll wait till June 5th for the update and then I will see and find out about some new features.

    When I tested this new about:home page in the Nightly channel, I provided Mozilla some feedback. I am interested to see whether something has been changed since then ....

  7. Randall Blacet June 3, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    It is not stable. almost every day (4 to 5 times a week) according to my computer firefox is the reason my computer locks up. I get a message from you telling me you are sorry. Why are you telling us it is stable? Just because of that the next time my computer locks I will go back to Chrome. If it continues to lock up I will go to the most stable system that I personally have run, Internet Explorer

    • Peter (NL) June 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

      That's why I always wait for the official release. I do not trust any other file, available for download.

      But locking up your PC .... there might more be wrong thus ...
      What I read about Google Chrome, that is also a drama ...... chrashes, page content not rendering well, et cetera bbbrrrr.

      • Martin Brinkmann June 3, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

        Peter I think he is referring to Firefox Stable in general, not that particular release.

  8. Transcontinental June 3, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    If you want to change the about:home search engine -- which defaults to Google and delivers Google results in a such a way the page is invulnerable to certain scripts -- the following page tells you how to proceed (try DuckDuckGo is my advice) :
    http://support.mozilla.org/fr/questions/779082#answer-188068

    Strange that changing this default search engine is not as easy as elsewhere in the browser ... moreover the search engine will require dom.storage.enabled to be set to true (default) when privacy concerns propose to set it to false.

    Here we are sticking with Super Start Firefox add-on, no new about:home, no New Tab, which sets it all to :

    dom.storage.enabled : false / default=true
    browser.newtab.url : about:blank / default=about:newtab
    browser.newtabpage.enabled : false / default=true

    Wow, what an improvement :)

  9. Katorce June 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    Hey. Do you know how put a 4x4 grid on the new speed dial instead 3x3?

    Thank you of antebrazo.

  10. Linux User June 4, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    Lol, I am running firefox 12. when I go to help>about firefox and then check for updates it shows 'firefox is up-to-date'. Firefox 13 is not released yet! lol

  11. bastik June 4, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

    "The reset Firefox feature will propose a reset automatically if the browser under certain circumstances,"

    There's something wrong, probably missing.

    I'll take a look at the changes, when FF arrives through the update channel.

    • Martin Brinkmann June 4, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

      You are right, corrected. It notices if the browser has not started properly for instance, and will propose a reset automatically then.

  12. cezi June 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    @boris
    use the same profile = they WILL work (all of them )
    I did it with my about 170 addons.
    Copy content of your FF32 profile and replace into Waterfox64 profile folder .

    Alternatively U can use Nightly 64 from http://ftp.mozilla.org = it uses your old profle

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