Mozilla Details Firefox Release ChannelsBy: Zach Walton - May 8, 2012
I’m sure many of you know about Firefox and you probably even used it at one point or another. You might even still be a huge fan of the browser, like me, and become invested in testing out new features seen in Beta, Aurora and Nightly.
If none of those things made sense, you probably aren’t aware of the Firefox release channels. Similar to Chrome’s release channels, Firefox splits its release channels into four products: Firefox, Firefox Beta, Firefox Aurora and Firefox Nightly. Here’s a handy infographic created my Mozilla that breaks the release channels down:
Much to the chagrin of old school Firefox fans, Mozilla has also taken up a release schedule that mirror’s Chrome by updating every six weeks. Personally, I kind of wish Firefox went back to doing its own thing, but Web technology is moving too fast. Mozilla has to keep up so they can keep their promise of delivering the best open Web standards with each new release. Here’s a breakdown of the Firefox release timeline:
All of this is to drum up support for more people to test out the new features in the Beta and Aurora releases of Firefox. If you have a single profile, the Beta install will overwrite your stable install of Firefox. Keeping multiple profiles allows you to use multiple browsers at the same time. This way you can check back and forth between Beta and stable versions of each release.
Lastly, if you’re a Web developer, you should consider testing out Aurora or Nightly. Aurora is definitely the better bet since its relatively stable and built for Web developers and enthusiasts. Nightly is built on cutting edge tech and will crash often. It’s similar to Chrome’s canary build in that only hardcore Web developers should check it out. If you wish to download any of these versions of Firefox, just head over to the release channel page. Nightly has its own page which can be accessed here.