Mozilla Firefox 94 is now available to download.

The latest update to the famed open source browser enables the OpenGL EGL backend by default under X11 for Intel. AMD and recent Mesa users (NVIDIA is still working to add support for EGL to its proprietary Linux driver).

Developer Martin Stransky explains more about this change in a post on his blog, writing:

“What you can expect from EGL in Firefox? Faster WebGL rendering (used on Google Maps for instance), more effective rendering due to to partial damage support and potential VA-API video decoding [ and it] unifies rendering path for Wayland and X11, which means X11 will gain features done for Wayland.”

Firefox 94 comes with a serious set of speed tweaks, including a reduction in Javascript memory usage, better scheduling of garbage collection (for faster page loads), reduced CPU usage during socket polling for HTTPS connections, faster storage initialisation, and improved start-up times from cold.

a screenshot of Firefox 94's new colour ways on Linux
New theme colours are available

Also new in Firefox 94 is the about:unloads page. From here users can manually unload tabs without closing them to free up system resource. The unloads page is analogous to the chrome://discards page, if you’re familiar with it. 

The site Isolation features Mozilla wrote about earlier in the year is present in Firefox 94 to “protect all Firefox users against side-channel attacks” like Spectre.

Firefox now quits when you hit the close button (or select the quit option from the menu) — yup, even if more than one tab is open. The browser used to throw a ‘close tabs and quit’ dialog to warn you when trying to close the window multiple tabs open. If you liked that intervention you can re-enable the setting within Firefox Settings.

a screenshot of Firefox's dialog to warn when attempting to close with multiple tabs open
You won’t see this dialog unless you enable it

On Linux, Firefox 94 fixes a usability issue with Orca on Ubuntu, corrects a quirk where form field popups were too small on Wayland, and resolves a bug where colour profiles were not correctly handled.

Theme fans should check out Firefox’s new ‘Colourways’ available from the browser’s Themes panel — though be quick as Mozilla say the additional colour schemes are only “available for a limited time”.

Download Firefox 94

Firefox 94 is free, open source software available for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android. You will be able to download the latest release from the Mozilla website.

Link to Mozilla Firefox download page

Users of the Firefox repo package (including those on derivative distros like Linux Mint and elementary OS) will get the Firefox 94 update via the Software Updater tool (or equivalent) later this week.

Firefox Snap user? You’ll get this update automatically (albeit silently) in the background in the next day or so. If you’re using the browser as it’s updated in the background you should get a notification notifying you of the update and suggesting you restart.

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