Firefox 61.0 release overview - gHacks Tech News

Firefox 61.0 release overview

Mozilla plans to release Firefox 61.0 to the Stable channel today. Since all Firefox releases are in sync, today is also the release data for Firefox 60.1 ESR, Firefox 52.9 ESR, and Firefox 62 Beta and Firefox 63 Nightly.

Firefox 61.0 introduces new features and improvements. Firefox users who use tab management extensions benefit from the new ability to hide the main tab bar in the version of the browser.

The new version makes it easier to add search providers to Firefox, and it includes quite a range of under the hood improvements next to that.

Executive Summary

Firefox 61.0 download and update

firefox 61.0

Firefox 61.0 will be distributed through the web browser's automatic update system later today. Firefox users can run manual checks for updates to download the new version as soon as it gets released.

Select Menu > Help > About Firefox to display the current version of the browser and run a check for updates.

If you prefer to download Firefox manually, use the following links that point to Mozilla to do so.

Firefox 61.0 Changes

Add Search Engines from the Page Action menu

firefox page action search

Firefox 61.0 makes it easier to add new search engines to the browser. While Firefox users have access to plenty of options to add new search providers to the browser, things were not super easy for Firefox users who don't display the search bar.

Mozilla hides the search bar of the browser for new installations by default and added so-called one-off search options to the address bar.

The search bar indicates if a compatible search function is found on any website you visit and provides you with the means to add the search engine to Firefox.

The Page Action menu of Firefox supports that option as well now. Just click on the menu (the three dots in the address bar), and select the "add search engine" option to add it.

Firefox detects search engines that support open search only. One core difference between the Page Action menu and the Search Bar is that the Page Action menu does not highlight found search engines unless you click on the menu.

Homepage change notification

homepage changed

Firefox displays a door hanger notification when extensions modify the home page of the browser. The door hanger informs users about the fact and displays options to disable the extension to return the homepage to the previous state.

While you could say that users should be aware of home page changes simply by opening the homepage in the browser, less tech savvy users may have had issues in the past to identify the source of the change.

Tab Warming enabled

firefox tabs warming

Tab Warming is a new feature of the Firefox browser that reduces or even eliminates the delay when Firefox users switch between tabs in the browser.

Tab Warming can best be described as pre-loading of open tabs in the browser; this happens only when users hover the mouse cursor over tabs. Firefox uses the time between parking the mouse cursor over an tab and clicking with the mouse to switch to that tab to start the rendering process already.

You can disable the feature by setting about:config?filter=browser.tabs.remote.warmup.enabled to false.

Tab Warming is available for Windows and Linux according to the release notes.

About:preferences#home

about:preferences home

Firefox 61.0 ships with a new Home section in the preferences. These are accessed with a click on the settings icon on the new tab page or by loading about:preferences#home directly in the address bar.

The following options are provided on the page:

  • Change homepage and new windows default URLs.
  • Change New Tab page.
  • Disable extensions that control the home page.
  • Change the content that Firefox displays on the New Tab page.

Other changes

  • Faster page rendering thanks to Quantum CSS improvements (parallel CSS parsing).
  • Dark Theme support improvements.
  • Firefox does not support ftp:// to load subresources. FTP:// is still supported as a top-level URL.
  • The latest draft of the TLS 1.3 specification is turned on by default.
  • Mac OS X users of Firefox can use the Page Actions menu of the address bar to share URLs.
  • Bookmark syncing has been improved.
  • Out of process extensions enabled on Mac by default
  • Fixed implementation of proxyConfig API: non-socks proxy settings don't fail anymore.
  • Retained display lists to retain display lists from paint to paint. Initial benchmark suggests that the feature results in a 40% reduction in dropped frames.

Firefox 61.0 Issues

none listed.

Developer Changes

One of the biggest changes in Firefox 61.0 is that tab management extensions can now hide the tab bar. Firefox displays a small down arrow icon only in the tab bar when tabs are hidden.

Extensions that display tabs in the sidebar vertically may hide tabs in the main tab bar. Up until now, tabs could only be displayed in the sidebar and in the main tab bar which was redundant.

Mozilla improved the Forget button that users of Firefox may add to the Firefox toolbar as it removes Service Workers and cache data.

Other developer related changes:

  • Accessibility Inspector is now available.
  • New UI for the browser console & browser toolbox.
  • Lots of Network Monitor improvements, e.g. a new Cache tab to see cached resources.
  • CSS parsing parallelized.
  • SameSite cookie directive is available.
  • Auto-complete popups support themes.
  • Themes support fully transparent values.
  • All toolbar properties apply to the find bar.

Firefox 61.0 for Android

Not a big release. Firefox for Android benefits from Quantum CSS improvements and faster scrolling thanks to "treating touch event listeners as passive by default".

TLS 1.3 has been enabled as well, and a crash issue has been fixed on Samsung Galaxy S8 devices running Android 8.0.

Security updates / fixes

Firefox 61 patches 19 different vulnerabilities of which 7 have received the highest severity rating of critical. You find the full list of fixed issues here.

Outlook

The next Firefox Stable release is scheduled for September 5, 2018. Firefox Stable will be moved to Firefox 62.0, and Firefox ESR 52.x and 60.x to Firefox 60.2. The release ends support for Firefox's classic add-on system in all versions of Firefox supported by Mozilla.

Additional information / sources

Summary
Firefox 61.0 release overview
Article Name
Firefox 61.0 release overview
Description
The overview of the Firefox 61.0 release provides you with detailed information on changes and improvements in Firefox 61.0.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Yuliya said on June 26, 2018 at 11:13 am
    Reply

    Windows EN_US

    download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox-52.9.0esr-SSL&os=win64&lang=en-US
    download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox-52.9.0esr-SSL&os=win&lang=en-US

    download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox-61.0-SSL&os=win64&lang=en-US
    download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox-61.0-SSL&os=win&lang=en-US

    1. Yuliya said on June 26, 2018 at 11:19 am
      Reply

      browser.tabs.insertAfterCurrent
      browser.tabs.loadBookmarksInTabs
      browser.search.openintab
      browser.urlbar.openintab

      All these now work in Fx 61, and it helps sooooooo much browsing when you have 100s of open tabs! <3

      1. Tom Hawack said on June 26, 2018 at 3:42 pm
        Reply

        browser.tabs.insertAfterCurrent doesn’t exist -> browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent

        All four work here on Firefox 61 as they did on Firefox 60 :

        user_pref(“browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent”, false); // Default = true
        user_pref(“browser.tabs.loadBookmarksInTabs”, true); // Default = false
        user_pref(“browser.search.openintab”, true); // Default = false
        user_pref(“browser.urlbar.openintab”, true); // Default = false

        Maybe you may look at your user.js file if you have one and check if these entries correspond to the settings you wish.

      2. Yuliya said on June 26, 2018 at 4:43 pm
        Reply

        Tom, I have both:
        browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent;true (true by default)
        browser.tabs.insertAfterCurrent;true (false by default)

      3. Tom Hawack said on June 26, 2018 at 5:13 pm
        Reply

        @Yuliya, my fault, indeed Firefox 62 includes

        // open links in a new tab immediately to the right of parent tab, not far right
        user_pref(“browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent”, false); // Default = true

        AND

        user_pref(“browser.tabs.insertAfterCurrent”, false); // Default = false

        here as well … I must have proceeded to quickly, assuming the latter didn’t exist on the basis I’ve never set it… and even ignored it existed.

        I linger to know the difference between
        ‘browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent’ and ‘browser.tabs.insertAfterCurrent’

        You learn every day.

      4. Tom Hawack said on June 26, 2018 at 5:29 pm
        Reply

        I just found an explanation about the difference between
        ‘browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent’ and ‘browser.tabs.insertAfterCurrent’

        https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/81e9tn/new_pref_in_nightly_to_make_all_tabs_open_next_to/

        I had never heard about it, relying only on ‘browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent’ …

  2. Just tried WebRender said on June 26, 2018 at 1:53 pm
    Reply

    JUST TRIED FIREFOX NIGHTLY WITH WEBRENDER ENABLED ON MY GTX 1800Ti IT’S LITERALLY FLYIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING WOOOOOOW MOZILLA WHAT A JOB YOU’VE DONE WEBRENDER AND SERVO AND RUST ROCKS

    [satire] But muuuuuuh I can no longer have my display pinky ham over the edge XPCOM extension!!!1!11!1 [/satire]

    1. akg said on June 26, 2018 at 3:25 pm
      Reply

      your comment always brings smile for me ,thanx

      1. Tom Hawack said on June 26, 2018 at 3:50 pm
        Reply

        Yeah, always a pleasure to see happy people.
        I’ve been wondering about enabling Webrender, disabled on FF62 as it was on FF61.

        User ‘Just tried WebRender’ invites me to give it another try …

        // enable Webrender
        // user_pref(“gfx.webrender.all”, true); // Default = false on Firefox 61, 62
        // user_pref(“gfx.webrender.enabled”, true); // Default = false on Firefox 61, 62

        I mean, if WebRender is such a power vector fore some users apparently but still not enabled by default on FF62, there must be a reason (the one most invoked seems to be that it’s not sufficiently polished if FF releases)

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on June 26, 2018 at 4:13 pm
        Reply

        Probably not yet ready for release and thus locked behind a pref. What I like about Firefox is that you can play around with lots of things that are not yet ready to get an early look.

        Whether WebRender will improve things a lot or not remains to be seen. Current target is Firefox 64 but it is not set into stone yet.

      3. Tom Hawack said on June 26, 2018 at 4:36 pm
        Reply

        “Current target is Firefox 64 but it is not set into stone yet.” : Webrender planned to be enabled by default on Firefox 64… OK. I’ve enabled both above mentioned WebRender settings in about:config but I lack User ‘Just tried WebRender’s enthusiasm as I notice no obvious RocketFox :=) Must be noted that he mentioned running Firefox Nightly which is maybe why he flies so fast.

      4. Integral Part said on June 26, 2018 at 5:42 pm
        Reply

        Maybe it’s because he has a 1080Ti (one of the fastest mainstream graphic cards on the market right now) which will definitely butter things out.

        For Firefox 64 it’s only going to be enabled by a small percentage of users with a certain combo (Windows+Nvidia graphic cards+something else), Intel IGP users will have to wait. you can see the mozillagfx.wordpress.com blog for an example of things that are fixed to improve performance in the WebRender integration.

      5. Anonymous said on June 28, 2018 at 5:21 am
        Reply

        For these far-reaching changes, such as Multiprocess, Stylo / Quantum CSS or WebRender / Quantum Render, there’s so many corners for some corner case to pop up that it frequently feels production-ready while Mozilla is still fixing things behind the scenes.

        Because you really don’t want things to go wrong, even just for 1% of users, with such a big change. Because when things do go wrong that probably means those 1% won’t see anything in their browser anymore, or that many webpages are rendered wrong for them. You’d lose that 1% of users in a heartbeat.

        And yeah, on my laptop I’ve had it “accidentally” enabled for probably the past two months already. Which means, I set it at some point and forgot that I had. So, no obvious problems for me either. And it was also just not that much faster for me, as I only have an onboard Intel HD Graphics 4000 in that laptop.

        But just now, I’ve enabled it on my phone, which has a stronger GPU than my laptop, and yeah, there it is a joy. The feel-good-factor is probably also just higher, because you shove about webpages directly by moving your thumb, so you notice it more when things lag behind your thumb.

  3. Barto said on June 26, 2018 at 2:07 pm
    Reply

    Another interesting change: Replace EmojiOne with a free emoji font
    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1358240

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 26, 2018 at 5:05 pm
      Reply

      Thank you!

  4. Curtis K said on June 26, 2018 at 2:30 pm
    Reply

    Remove the locate part of the url as it will go to your country’s language.

  5. Richard Allen said on June 26, 2018 at 5:08 pm
    Reply

    I’ve been using v61 for almost a week now and during that time I couldn’t help but think about how much the performance has improved from 52ESR to v57 and from v57 to where it is now. With what I’m seeing on my desktop I’m impressed. For me, everything feels fast and… smooth, for lack of a better term. Scrolling and rendering performance while scrolling is excellent. When I very quickly auto-scroll a long graphics heavy webpage like on flickr or thechive the rendering is never trying to play catch up and when I try to do the same thing in Chrome the difference is obvious and Chrome is by no means slow. Of course hardware and bandwidth plays into that.

    One thing not mentioned in the article is that DNS over HTTPS (DOH) is now working in FF v61, at least it is for me. Which is nice because I had heard it was supposed to be ready and released with v62. One thing to be aware of is that TRR (Trusted Recursive Resolver) doesn’t read or care about /etc/hosts and I’ve verified that on my end. I haven’t yet decided how I feel about that since I’ve been using a hosts file since my IE6 days and do I really need DOH when I do very little e-commerce and for the most part that is one of the few things I still use Pale Moon for. I was only able to get DOH to consistently work using mode 3 (TRR only). And I changed the blacklist duration from 20 minutes to 5 but it doesn’t really matter because I am yet to experience even one failed request. Not that I’ve noticed. Because it is not officially official there can still be some bugs, just saying. ;)

    user_pref(“network.trr.blacklist-duration”, 300);
    user_pref(“network.trr.bootstrapAddress”, “104.19.196.102”);
    user_pref(“network.trr.mode”, 3);
    user_pref(“network.trr.uri”, “https://mozilla.cloudflare-dns.com/dns-query”);

    “https://daniel.haxx.se/blog/2018/06/03/inside-firefoxs-doh-engine/”
    “https://blog.nightly.mozilla.org/2018/06/01/improving-dns-privacy-in-firefox/”

  6. Tom Hawack said on June 26, 2018 at 5:47 pm
    Reply

    A big Firefox 62 lack IMO is the disappearance of the Cookie Manager. Since Firefox 60 it was still accessible (on a per-site basis) via ‘Page Info’ / Security Tab -> View Cookies … and even that has vanished.

    This means that it only is possible to know the number of cookies for a given site (via Options / Privacy & Security / Cookies and Site Data / Manage data) but impossible to know the ‘cookiename’ of a given cookie. For instance YouTube will create a cookie including different names, or arrays, one of which is ‘PREF’ … you no longer can detail a cookie, and I don’t like that.

    Why the heck did Mozilla remove the Cookie Manager in FF 62?!

    1. yogaisevil said on June 27, 2018 at 1:53 am
      Reply

      @Tom: I don’t know, it was limited to begin with.

      Press F12 for developer console goto storage then cookies and/or use ‘Cookie Quick Manager’ addon instead

      1. Tom Hawack said on June 27, 2018 at 2:16 am
        Reply

        @yogaisevil, ‘Cookie Quick Manager’ doesn’t work here as well as all other cookie managers/editors Firefox extensions I’ve tested, and I presume it’s due to the fact they cannot access cookies when First Party Isolation is set to true.

        I’ve found a workaround which is to install an extension called ‘Cookiebro’ which is in a way similar to the ‘Forget Me Not’ cookie manager I use now but which moreover includes a cookie editor which is brilliant : I can use but that cookie editor and leave the cookie management inactive by unchecking all settings -> That way I have a cookie editor (ore than I asked for) together with the details of all cookies (like ex-Firefox Cookie Manager). I’m not fond of using extensions for the half of what they provide but this is the only solution I’ve found to be able to know what the cookies I have in the browser contain.

        Perhaps few of us feel concerned by cookies’ ingredients (if they ever care for cookies to start with). I know that I like to see what’s in them, exactly; Firefox’s Cookie Manager used to perform just that and it’s been removed. OK, FF62 is great, improvement on the fly ever since 57, but I do happen to consider a loss of functionality and its bothering when you refer often to a tool then removed.

      2. user9183 said on June 27, 2018 at 10:54 am
        Reply

        The majority of users wants to simply use a browser and doesn’t care about micro-management of cookies or the technical details.

        Look at whats happening with mobile (the lack of user options), Chrome forcing people away from HTTP and how you can’t disable third party cookies in Safari beyond ITP, and you see where the web is going.

        The web is becoming increasingly more gated, and the original desktop user with the desire for control is becoming extinct in the eyes of the big corporations.

      3. Tom Hawack said on June 27, 2018 at 11:34 am
        Reply

        Impossible to disagree with your comment, @user9183. Unfortunately.

        “[…]the original desktop user with the desire for control is becoming extinct in the eyes of the big corporations”

        In the eyes of big corporations, certainly. Business is the art of hiring the best to swallow the worst. Nevertheless we remain many (and I’m not sure we’re not increasing) to be aware of what you state. Even then, even if a happy few in comparison of a tremendous majority are concerned by privacy, even if they limit the damage as they can, the point is that this very privacy is becoming the fact of the aware and mighty, far from a democratic approach as distant from the masses as heaven is from Earth.

  7. Wolfie0827 said on June 26, 2018 at 5:48 pm
    Reply

    I just updated today and I get this for almost every page I go to.”Secure Connection Failed

    An error occurred during a connection to http://www.ghacks.net. SSL received a record that exceeded the maximum permissible length. Error code: SSL_ERROR_RX_RECORD_TOO_LONG

    The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because the authenticity of the received data could not be verified.
    Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem.

    Learn more…

    Report errors like this to help Mozilla identify and block malicious sites”

    I have to reload the page a couple of times to actually get the page to load. every time it fails to load I get the exact same message. And nothing in the support forums or the user support forums at this time for this that I could find.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 26, 2018 at 5:55 pm
      Reply

      Anyone else seeing the error? I tested in Nightly, Beta and Stable, and other browsers, and don’t get it.

    2. Tom Hawack said on June 26, 2018 at 6:07 pm
      Reply

      @Wolfie0827 I recently faced a similar problem to later find out it was related to the cert9.db file in my Firefox profile which was old.

      I closed Firefox, renamed cert9.db to cert9.db.bak, restarted Firefox (which initiated a new cert9.db) and I faced no longer the issue.

      It seems than new versions of Firefox don’t touch the user’s cert9.db file (maybe because the user may have edited it himself). Having cert9.db be created as new may solve many ssl connection problems. BE SURE to rename/backup the active cert9.db file before …

      1. Wolfie0827 said on June 26, 2018 at 6:25 pm
        Reply

        Thanks Tom, while I haven’t tested extensively this does seem to have fixed the issue. Again, thanks.

    3. jucarl said on June 26, 2018 at 6:09 pm
      Reply

      I have the same problem

    4. Richard Allen said on June 26, 2018 at 6:56 pm
      Reply

      On my end, Firefox and Nightly both are working better than they should! ;) Pale Moon and Waterfox have no issues. Chrome and Chrome Dev have the Google problem but no connection issues. And Vivaldi is working fine even though it’s two versions behind Chrome. So, maybe like Tom suggested, delete your cert8 and/or cert9, delete both if you have both, I do in Nightly. I’ve deleted the cert8/9 file many times to remove Intermediate CA’s and the file always gets recreated.

      1. Richard Allen said on June 26, 2018 at 7:04 pm
        Reply

        Just to be clear, I should have said: the file always gets recreated and the new file size will likely be much smaller.

    5. Ahmed said on June 27, 2018 at 8:53 am
      Reply

      If you are running Avast, go into Web Shield and uncheck “enable HTTPS scanning”. This is what solved the problem for me.

      It has to do with TLS 1.3 being enabled now by default.

      This reddit post discusses it:

      https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/8smtga/question_about_securitytlsversionmax/

  8. Joe said on June 26, 2018 at 8:09 pm
    Reply

    After I updated to FF 61, I realized that my homepage was not the same. It had gone to FF default. I checked options and found that all my setting had been removed and replaced with default settings. I had to reset the fonts, homepage and my search engine. This is the first time this has happened after updating…

  9. Jody Thornton said on June 27, 2018 at 2:22 am
    Reply

    So just how do you hide the tab bar in v61? I’ve looked at all the options, but I’ve yet to find this.

    1. Pants said on June 27, 2018 at 10:01 am
      Reply

      Its an API for Web Extensions

  10. Pants said on June 27, 2018 at 10:00 am
    Reply

    Martin, under “Additional information / sources”- some of links point to 60, not 61

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 27, 2018 at 10:01 am
      Reply

      Thanks!

  11. Alex TYrrell said on June 27, 2018 at 2:08 pm
    Reply

    The latest Firefox version has downloaded and now Firefox won’t work. I have had to run System Restore 4 times now and each time Firefox was working again until it installed some update and then it immediately stopped working. I have went into options and set Firefox not to update but every time I do a restart it switches back to the default automatic download setting! Getting really fed up with this now and thinking of switching to another browser as I can’t spend my life doing system restores. My suggestion would be a simple one, if the damn thing is working then leave it alone! There are too many people out there working for these companies who think they are clever and all they do is mess things up.

  12. Anders said on June 27, 2018 at 11:20 pm
    Reply

    Tab warming is total failure in my opinion. Thanks for turn off switch reveal.

  13. Emil said on June 28, 2018 at 5:20 pm
    Reply

    Cyberfox 52.9 also released, IMHO the best FF fork. With all extensions and plugins working, an unrivalled level of comfort and usefulness.

  14. James said on July 4, 2018 at 2:09 am
    Reply

    Stupid UNNECESSARY UI changes really irritate the heck outta me. Latest example in FF 61.0: On the Library > Downloads page (which you can also reach by clicking the Downloads down-arrow toolbar button and selecting “Show All Downloads”) they’re moved the “Clear Downloads” button from its previous position to the right. Now due to my muscle memory I keep clicking in the wrong damn place. WTF is wrong with Mozilla? Do their devs REALLY have NOTHING better to waste time on?

    1. DB said on July 7, 2018 at 6:17 am
      Reply

      I agree with James July 4 post — how do we get “Clear Downloads” back where it belongs

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