Pale Moon 24 ships with many new - and old - features
Just like there are several Chromium-based browsers out there, Iron or the recently reviewed privacy-centered Epic Browser, there are several browsers that are based on Mozilla Firefox.
Pale Moon is one of them. The browser has been updated to version 24 recently, a major new release according to the author. What may make Pale Moon attractive to Firefox users is the fact that the developer does not follow Mozilla's lead blindly.
The author of the browser is not too fond of the Australis theme for instance that Mozilla will release soon for all Firefox users, or other changes that the organization makes to aid "the confused masses".
If you go through the release notes of this particular release, you will notice that it restores several features that Mozilla has removed from Firefox:
- Graphical Tab Switching is back. Press Ctrl-Shift-Tab and you see thumbnails of all tabs so that you can switch between them easily.
- Option to hide or show the tab bar at all times.
- The load images preference is available in the content tab in the options.
- Send link / email link functionality integrated in the browser.
- Better recovery options in safe mode.
That's not all though what has been changed in Pale Moon 24. If you have used the browser before you may remember that it still displays HTTPS sites in special colors in the address bar. Mozilla is not doing that anymore for all types of https connections. A new change in Pale Moon 24 is that you get a red shading now on sites with mixed contents (meaning a HTTPS site that makes HTTP connections).
The author has updated other features, enabled the Gecko 24.0 code base, added security fixes, and improvements to the browser's performance in general.
The developer has removed Tab Groups or Panorama from the browser for example. Panorama was a feature that Mozilla had lots of hope for, but it did not really catch on. Instead of just removing the feature, an add-on has been created that users who liked the feature can install to get the functionality back in Pale Moon.
Tip: You can migrate your existing Firefox profile to Pale Moon. It is necessary that you download the Pale Moon profile migration tool and run it. It has a couple of limitations, incompatibility with portable Firefox versions or that you can only migrate the default profile locations.
Pale Moon performs as well as Firefox in most benchmarks with the usual variation in results that you get that do not really matter that much.
You are probably wondering what the catch is. There are a couple. First, updates to Firefox do not find their way to Pale Moon instantly. You will have to wait for them to be added to the browser due to the available resources the developer has at his disposal. That's a problem in regards to security updates.
Second, Pale Moon is only available for Windows. If you are running Linux or Mac OS X, you are out of luck.
Pale Moon is an excellent alternative to Firefox, for Firefox users who want to keep using their browser extensions but do not really like where Mozilla is headed. While it is possible to install add-ons to get back functionality that Mozilla removed from the browser, some users may prefer to use a product where they do not have to do so in first place.
I very much appreciate this article, as well as the many other Ghacks pages that are bookmarked in my feed reader, Martin. Many thanks for your diligent and always insightful guidance.
You should also review the extension he made, Pale Moon Commander, looks good. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/pale-moon-commander/
It was moved to web developer tools, which is the right place for it.
Firefox is supposed to be about users taking back the web, originally from the likes of Microsoft. Now Mozilla is taking it back from their users. It’s absolutely ludicrous to not be able to quickly and easily disable executable code from random web sites from running on your computer without resorting to extensions or registry-like about:config editing.
Shame on Mozilla. They are shooting themselves in the feet by catering to the lowest common denominator. They are no longer leading but following.
One option that disables part of the web doesn’t in my opinion give the web back to the users, or does it? And how quick is it to go to the options and search there for check box than using a button to turn it off/on, or having an extension that keeps track of sites which you allow or disallow, neat isn’t it?
In Firefox you should resort to the extensions, it is how the users can get the web back, take the control of how they are using the web and their browsers. Shame on users that don’t understand this.
You think people shouldn’t disable it because, “It is the standard of today’s web.” So what? The user should have the power to choose to disable it and thereby not make himself vulnerable when he visits sites that use it.
And the fact is that many sites, if not most, do not do this.
But that’s irrelevant to the point, anyway! The point is the user having the ability to disable JS so he won’t be vulnerable by default. And this should be possible without installing an extension or using about:config.
“One option that disables part of the web doesn’t in my opinion give the web back to the users, or does it?”
That’s EXACTLY what it does! The following quote is from the Mozilla Manifesto (which Mozilla seems to be ignoring now):
“5. Individuals must have the ability to shape their own experiences on the Internet.”
Being able to disable JS certainly is part of shaping one’s experience on the Internet.
You continue, “And how quick is it to go to the options and search there for check box than using a button to turn it off/on, or having an extension that keeps track of sites which you allow or disallow, neat isn’t it? In Firefox you should resort to the extensions, it is how the users can get the web back, take the control of how they are using the web and their browsers.”
I don’t even know what you’re getting at with that incoherent run-on, but here is another part of the Mozilla Manifesto:
“4. Individualsâ€™ security on the Internet is fundamental and cannot be treated as optional.”
Yet you advocate having to use extensions–optional addons–to be able to control the most powerful security setting in the browser. Mozilla themselves have said that such choices are fundamental and non-optional.
“Shame on users that don’t understand this.”
No, shame on you for advocating taking choices away from users by default. Even Mozilla doesn’t look down upon users who are simply ignorant of complex technology.
– Pale Moon is available in 64-bits version
– Pale Moon requires to install a package of language for non English speakers (but it is easy and well explained)
Version 24 is very fast.Only “problem” is that I had to install SettingSanity Firefox add-on.
Thanks for the Pale Moon article. I’ve been curious about it â€” especially since Opera began its Chrome journey â€” but didn’t want to install it to find out more. Looks like I might have a decent browser option if I find (the new) Opera intolerable. I definitely do not like where FF is going.
I had tried the previous version of Palemoon (32-bit) on Windows 7 64-bit and no doubt the rendering was faster. i’m bound to try this latest version.
About Firefox profile migration: it is also possible to copy it manually, especially if the profile is not in the default location which is required for Palemoon’s migration tool. Be careful if you do copy by hand, take care with the folders and with the new profile.ini.
I have a question regarding Palemoon 64-bit version. The developer warns on possible issues in particular regarding video. Can anyone here testify on a successful run of Palemoon 64-bit on a 64-bit system such as Windows 7 64-bit ?
Yes. I am running Palemoon 64 bit on Windows 7 64. Its works beautifully and is the only browser I’ll use now. I simply don’t require another. :)
I have Palemoon on my desktop and it works great
i have cyberfox on my laptop, it’s x64 powered by mozilla code
I’m a die-hard Firefox fan for many years. When Mozilla started going off the rails, I switched to Palemoon (probably heard about it here). That’s been a year or so ago, and I’ve never regretted the decision. It’s just like Firefox in the “good old days”.
Much better as Firefox these Days. And much less add-ons necessary to maintain the amount of functions INSIDE the browser! Hopefully Australis can be really avoided in that one, and i am ready to update also beyond V24 :D
Take a look at the HTML5 progress rate in that one… 444 Points, thats very good :D
Thanks Martin, I also read about Palemoon earlier from your site. Since then I switched to it and there is no looking back. I started with a fresh profile there. Firefox is still there on my PC but I have kept it for other users who are not bothered much about the missing things Mozilla “pushes” with each update. Yes, I do update it also to notice the difference between Firefox and Palemoon and every time I see the Firefox changes, I become more satisfied for my switch to Palemoon earlier.
Palemoon is (or will be) the way to go for users who dislike what Firefox is becoming with every new version.
Long life to those alternate versions and add-ons developers… Mozilla would probably lose even more users without them ;)
Psst, it’s Palemoon (or Pale Moon) not “Palemon”, please change the title.
BTW, great review!
One important point that needs correcting – ALL security updates (relevant to Pale Moon) are applied almost instantly by means of point releases (e.g. Pale Moon 20.3 contained all the needed Firefox 23 security patches – see: http://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2922). So there is NO PROBLEM in regards to security updates!
Perhaps that paragraph (see below) could be edited or the above correction added?
“You are probably wondering what the catch is. There are a couple. First, updates to Firefox do not find their way to Pale Moon instantly. You will have to wait for them to be added to the browser due to the available resources the developer has at his disposal. That’s a problem in regards to security updates.”
PS. Its “Pale Moon” – certainly not “Palemon” (Typos in Article main title + Responses title)!!!!!
Corrected that. Thanks for the comment.
I value stability above the last bit of performance, so I use the current FF release (now v. 23). I’ve installed and run the various FF branches, Pale Moon, Waterfox, etc. None of them was significantly better or faster than FF with the add-ons I like (Adblock+, Autocopy, Flashblock, Uppity), so I uninstalled them and went back to FF.
If, as you say, Pale Moon offers no perceptible performance bump over FF, and I don’t care about the infighting over, e.g., Australis, why should I change?