Firefox Aurora: Playing With Upcoming Features is Now Safe

Aurora Logo

Firefox Aurora is a preview of the next version of Firefox, released every six weeks. It provides a safe way to play with the latest Web technologies the Mozilla team is working on.

What is Aurora?

Aurora is a new preview version that fits between the Nightly builds and Betas:

  • Firefox Nightly ( is released every day and includes the latest (potentially unstable) features and patches.
  • Firefox Aurora ( is released every six weeks and includes the newest features not known to cause problems.
  • Firefox Beta ( is released every six weeks and includes the features that are ready to be used and be tested by a large audience.

Should I use Aurora?

Amongst other things, Aurora already lets you play with CSS3 Animations and the new tabs management of Firefox. You can help us debug and test these features simply by installing Aurora from

Switching between channels

Once you have downloaded and installed Aurora, you can switch to other channels at will. Simply click on the Help menu and open the About window.

Aurora About window

Update: The channel switcher will be removed from future versions of Aurora as explained by Johnathan Nightingale on the channels blog.

Start using it right away and let us know what you think about it.

About louisremi

Developer Relations Team, long time jQuery contributor and Open Web enthusiast. @louis_remi

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  1. Peter

    I wish it was a bit easier to run Firefox stable and Aurora side by side. Then more users would probably use it.

    April 29th, 2011 at 08:10

    1. Kevin


      April 29th, 2011 at 10:34

    2. pd


      April 30th, 2011 at 06:24

    3. Natanael L

      Well, this should work:

      /Aurora/path/firefox –no-remote -Profilemanager
      (works on Linux and Windows)

      Create a separate Aurora profile and use that command every time you want to run Aurora. Note that you should keep “Don’t ask at startup” unchecked to get back to your default profile the next time. Also make sure that you enter the correct path to default Firefox next time you run it or you might see Aurora hijacking the “firefox” “link” (if you enter “firefox” in a console you might see Aurora instead of Firefox starting up).

      May 1st, 2011 at 23:22

  2. thinsoldier

    I assume I won’t be able to simultaneously run Aurora and Firefox 4.

    So I should set up a new user profile for Aurora and set up shortcuts that launch my FF4 with my “FF4Profile” and Aurora with an “AuroraProfile”?

    April 29th, 2011 at 08:39

  3. Himanshu

    However playing facebook games with plugin-container turned on slows down and hangs the browser.
    After turning it off, the games run smoothly.

    April 29th, 2011 at 10:01

  4. Ken Saunders

    You can run multiple and simultaneous instances of Mozilla software (Aurora, Nightly, Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, etc) and other Mozilla Powered software simply by installing the program in a folder/directory other than your default one and editing the shortcuts. An example of mine in Windows.
    C:Program FilesMozilla Firefox 4
    C:Program FilesMozilla Next (Aurora is installed there).
    and C:UsersKen SaundersDesktopFirefoxFx-Testing3.7a1prefirefox is Nightly (I just never changed the name of the folder).

    “So I should set up a new user profile for Aurora and set up shortcuts that launch my FF4 with my “FF4Profile” and Aurora with an “AuroraProfile”

    Yes, and (Windows again) add this to each shortcut in,
    (right click on the shortcut) Properties > Shortcut > Target -no-remote -p
    So something like this,
    “C:UsersKen SaundersDesktopFirefoxFx-Testing3.7a1prefirefoxfirefox.exe” -no-remote -p

    I’ve done the same on Fedora (with some different settings).

    Be sure to uncheck “Don’t ask at startup’ in the Profile Manager.
    The Profile Manager is slated to be removed, but an add-on or something will be available to replace it.

    April 29th, 2011 at 10:09

  5. José

    Aurora is updated every day, even though no new patches has been added to the branch. I find this quite unnecessary. Is there any ETA to instead only update when there is something new?

    April 29th, 2011 at 11:37

    1. Lukas Blakk

      The aurora builds get nightly build and updates, and no I don’t believe that we will spend time trying to make it only do nightlies if there was a checkin during the previous 24 hours as having nightlies built every night isn’t that expensive.

      May 3rd, 2011 at 15:07

  6. Edward

    Aurora updating every day is really annoying. And if Beta is updating every 6 weeks then Aurora should be two or three weeks instead.

    April 29th, 2011 at 19:35

  7. Jon

    How will we find out what new features have been added to new Aurora releases? Will there be an equivalent of Chrome’s releases blog?

    April 30th, 2011 at 03:39

  8. Erunno

    In order for me to use Aurora I’d like to see the following things fixed:

    1. Don’t push updates when no changes have been merged. It’s really difficult to develop any kind of enthusiasm for it if you know that most updates actually do nothing.

    2. Once 1 is fixed, add some kind of summary what changes have been merged into each new Aurora build. Not only does it help to track pet peeves, it again raises enthusiasm by being able to follow the development without having to hunt down information on bugzilla or mailing lists.

    3. Do something about the incompatible extensions. Right now about 90 percent of the extensions I use are marked incompatible which makes using Aurora a pain. Many Firefox users may not use extensions, but I bet that most of the audience you are targeting (i.e. early adopters) do.

    April 30th, 2011 at 03:40

    1. pd

      I still wish it was a bit easier. I’ve known about everything you’ve written here for years, I’ve used those tricks or similar and it’s just a PITA. I’m a technical user and I still find it frustrating. Imagine what less technical users would make of it? There has to be some sort of sandboxing or restore point for profiles in a multi-application scenario. After all there’s only limited value in testing without an ‘active’ profile and who wants to stop all their normal browsing just to test a secondary install that is empty of all their normal profile-based goodies?

      April 30th, 2011 at 06:40

      1. Zilvinas Vilutis


        April 30th, 2011 at 12:43

    2. Mike Ciance

      Install the Add-On Compatibility Reporter to use all your extensions. If you notice problems, this tool will also allow you to report them to the extension author.

      April 30th, 2011 at 08:19

      1. Erunno

        I’ll refrain from using the add-on compatibility reporter after I’ve read that some extension developers hate that thing with a passion (they argue that there’s usually a good reason for an extension being marked incompatible and they don’t appreciate the spam caused by the tool).

        Plus, since Firefox is moving to a rapid release schedule right now they’ll have to deal with the extension compatibility problem anyway, so Aurora is a good point to start with it.

        May 3rd, 2011 at 11:06

  9. Insano

    To echo the last comments on this blog. I tried Aurora for a couple of days but went back to trunk. Via mozillazine forums I saw that there were no updates added, but I still needed to update every day.

    I prefer Chromes approach were they do weekly updates + a blog entry listing the bug fixes.

    April 30th, 2011 at 03:55

  10. Kai

    Why is not Nightly included in the dropdown for changing which update channel to use that is located in the About box?

    April 30th, 2011 at 09:58

  11. Humbert

    Make Aurora more backward compatible and more stable. I put Aurora on and promptly took it off — it disabled close to 75% of my add-ons. And Firefox 4 and 4.01 crash every few minutes.

    I was forced to revert to 3.6.17.

    April 30th, 2011 at 13:39

  12. Ed

    The release should be longer as we get up each layer. Nightly is every night. Aurora should be weekly or bi-weekly. Then Beta is 6 week

    I understand that Aurora 6 week release is an test release for Beta. But it should still be split into 2 parts ( 3 weeks ) incase something goes wrong.

    May 1st, 2011 at 03:30

  13. Dwight Stegall

    Maybe this method will help you run Aurora and the stable version at the same time. I is for 3.6 and 4 but should work the same.

    May 2nd, 2011 at 15:38

  14. fijam

    I have been using Aurora since its launch but I just don’t know how me using it helps in any way. I don’t know what features were added, what should I focus on testing or how to best provide feedback. Still, I have to download between 2 and 17MBs almost daily. I will move back onto the beta channel as soon as the first beta is out.

    May 6th, 2011 at 00:36

  15. john

    aurora is slow, maxthon3 is faster, previous FF is faster than these latest releases

    May 31st, 2011 at 02:18

  16. Xingxing

    I don’t know why so many people are wondering about if they will be able to run Arora alongside Firefox. I use Fedora 16. I have just installed Arora. And it works perfectly alongside Firefox stable.

    It gives me an Apple feeling. And it’s so sleek! I love the design.

    August 20th, 2012 at 08:19

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