Firefox 44, the latest version of Mozilla’s hugely popular open-source web browser, is now available for download.
Firefox 44 brings a minor set of changes to the web browsing table, with development having focused on security improvements, bug fixes and media playback tweaks rather than ‘new features’.
Firefox 44 Changes & New Features
The biggest user-facing change in Firefox 44 is one you don’t want to see: a redesigned warning page.
Firefox shows the clearer, more concise “Your connection is not secure” page for websites with certificate errors or an insecure connection. Mozilla explains further:
“When Firefox connects to a secure website it must verify that the certificate presented by the website is valid and that the encryption is strong enough to adequately protect your privacy. If the certificate cannot be validated or if the encryption is not strong enough, Firefox will stop the connection to the website and instead show an error page.”
Click on ‘Advanced’ to see further information about the issue (previously hidden behind ‘Technical Details’) and to the load the site in spite of the warning(s) thrown (Advanced > ‘Add Exception’)
- Support for the new Brotli compression algorithm
- WebM/VP9 video support enabled on systems that lack MP4/H.264 support
- New warning page with clearer text and action button
- Font matching on Linux uses same font matching code as on other platforms
- RC4 cipher support deprecated
- Support for website push notifications
- Service Workers API
- Improvements to certificate authority
Enforced Add-Ons Policy Deferred
Add-on signing was due to be enforced in Firefox 44, by removing a hidden toggle to override it.
A last minute change has deferred the removal add-on signing to Firefox 46, as Mozilla explains:
“In Firefox 43, we made it a default requirement for add-ons to be signed. This requirement can be disabled by toggling a preference that was originally scheduled to be removed in Firefox 44 for release and beta versions (this preference will continue to be available in the Nightly, Developer, and ESR Editions of Firefox for the foreseeable future).”
“We are delaying the removal of this preference [in beta & stable builds] to Firefox 46.”
The toggle to load unsigned add-ons is still present, news that will please extension developers and all four users of our (severely antiquated) OMG! Ubuntu! Firefox add-on 😉.
(As soon Firefox support for Chrome extensions arrives we’ll port over our nifty Chrome add-on).
Download Firefox 44 for Linux
If you’re running a supported version of Ubuntu¹ you will receive this update automatically via Ubuntu Software Updater.
Since Ubuntu updates aren’t pushed out in realtime you may need to run a manual check for the update(s).
- Open Dash
- Search for ‘Software Update‘
- Click ‘Check for New Updates’ button
In addition, Firefox is available to download on all platforms directly from the Mozilla website.
¹Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu 15.10