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Firefox 4 Theme For Linux – Tabs on Top, Tab Peek, Lots More!

Notice: This post is more than a year old. It may be outdated.

With Firefox 3.6’s release earlier today you may be falling in love with your browser all over again – especially thanks to the integration of ‘Personas’.

A month or so back we posted the mocked up interface to Firefox 4 in Linux and the opinion on it was almost unanimous – it looked gorgeous!

Well you can get that look -right- now!

How To Make Current Firefox Look Like Firefox 4

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you already have Firefox installed, if you don’t then you’re reading this tutorial for fun, right! Hello!

Lets go back to basics; if you have any themes, interface modifying extensions (such as the awesome Meerkat add-on, stylish, etc) then disable them. We need to get as close to a vanilla Firefox as we can.

One part easily over looked is resetting the toolbar to its default state. We can do this by: –

  • Going to View > Toolbars > Customize
  • Click the ‘Restore default set’ button.


The Strata40 theme which we are about to install was created by Spewboy, so a big thanks goes to him.

  • Install the Strata40 theme from here.
  • You will need to check the box acknowledging that you are aware these theme is ‘experimental’ before you are allowed to download it.
  • Check it, click ‘Download’ and install.
  • Restart Firefox


Now we need to install the companion to the Strata40 theme – an addon called StrataBuddy. This is what provides us with the options to move the tabs on top, switch various buttons around and generally tweak this and that. You cannot get the full experience without it!

  • Download the extension from here and allow it to install
  • Restart Firefox

Now you’ll want to tweak it.

  • Go to Tools > Addons > StrataBuddy
  • In the ‘Strata’ tab select ‘Firefox 4’ and a ‘Background Style’ from the list (barring either Aero options)
  • Go to the ‘Tabs’ tab and choose ‘tabs on top’. (If this is your preference; holding the mouse icon over an option will show you a thumbnail of each style.)
  • Now go through the other options selecting your preferences.

Final Touches

To round out the theme with a fully functional ‘Firefox 4’-esque appearance there are a few additional add-ons one can install.

Fission combines the address/URL bar with the sprogress bar (like the Safari browser).

Tab Progress Bar
Tab progress bar shows the progress/loading speed in the tab itself. A small download (6kb) and very cool!

App Tabs
App tabs is a feature planned for Firefox 4 (and is already present in Google Chrome under the name ‘Pin tab’.)
It allows a user to right click any tab and reduce its size to the width of the site favicon, thus removing the clickable closing ‘x’. A tab may be un-pinned or closed via right-clicking it.

Hide Menu
Easily toggle the pesky main menu using your ALT key with this useful add-on

Omnibar combines the address/URL bar with the search bar, freeing up space and just generally making life easier.

Use Ubuntu Notification System
To get Firefox to alert you using the Ubuntu notification system, see our post here.

Tab Scope
TabScope ives you thumbnail previews of your tabs as you hover your mouse over them. Kinda like ‘Preview’ in Compiz.

Finishing Up

If all has gone according to the steps outlined above then you should now be sat blinking at your transformed browser. Isn’t it pretty?!

If things haven’t gone to plan or it looks a bit… strange you may want to check/ensure that you’ve disabled any user-scripts or add-ons that affect appearance. I sat using a Firefox with an elongated URL bar before realising i had one user-script still enabled!