Run Two Versions of Firefox on Mac OSX

by Simon. Average Reading Time: less than a minute.

Last week Firefox 4.0 was released to the world. Web developers everywhere celebrated with delight, the new browser. Well, almost! The browser comes packed with a super-fast JavaScript engine called JägerMonkey, improved support for HTML5 and CSS3 and a bunch of new interface updates. But don’t get too excited just yet! It’s still a good idea to keep that old version of Firefox around for testing; we can’t assume everyone has upgraded to Firefox 4. So, to run both Firefox 3.6 and Firefox 4.0 on the same machine, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Open up your Applications folder and find your old version of Firefox.
  2. Right click -> Get Info.
  3. Rename to “Firefox36.app”.
  4. Download Firefox 4.0 and install as normal.

Voilà! You now have more than one Firefox browser to play with.

That was really simple huh? If someone knows how to do this on the Windows and Linux side, I would love to hear how.

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  • Jeff L
  • I wrote a little utility for OSX that makes this even easier. It’s free (as is the source code) so hopefully you’ll find it useful! http://davemartorana.com/multifirefox/

  • I wrote up a windows equivelent a few versions ago that I think still works:

    However, I think the way you’ve done it doesn’t separate the profiles, so each time you open up the other version it will convert your profile. That can get messy with lots of pluggins.

  • To run two versions at once, you need two profiles:

    /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox-bin -p profile-1 -no-remote > /dev/null 2>&1 & disown %1

    /Applications/Firefox36.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox-bin -p profile-2 -no-remote > /dev/null 2>&1 & disown %1

  • Yo_paisan

    It’s that easy huh?  So, can you have 3 versions?  Cause Firefox 5 just came out now today too…

  • No reason why not.