Mozilla finally released the long awaited Firefox 3 beta. Still in its early stages, it is considered unstable and not fully secure. So if you are going to follow my instructions below and install it, tread with caution. Don't use it for writing any long emails without saving occasionally, and don't do your banking or online Christmas shopping with it just yet.
After hearing about how much faster Firefox 3 is, I was curious. In my entry regarding my aging computer and online Flash games, I mentioned that I try to do things to squeeze some more performance and another year or two out of this old faithful. Well, that start with using software that claims to use less memory and act more efficiently - Firefox 3.
Recenly my install of Firefox 2 started crashing frequently as well and that straw broke the camel's back. I had to give the faster and more efficient Firefox 3 a try, even though it may not be stable... (who knows, crash more often that 2).
So lets get started.
Go ahead; download the latest nightly build from the Mozialla FTP trunk and install it - IMPORTANT: INSTALL IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTORY than your current Firefox 2 installation. The default directory that is set in the installer will do just fine. (i.e. C:\Program Files\Minefield) (Minefield is the code name for the current trunk, but sounds like adware/spyware).
Read all the instructions on this website; BUT if you are a Windows user, you'll have to come back here to get some extra tips on how to make it work, since the linked article is more focussed on hacking it for Mac and Linux.
Here are the differences:
Trying to start the Profile Manager under Windows without closing Firefox:
Rather than typing: /path/to/firefox -profilemanager -no-remote
Goto Start >> Run >> type: firefox.exe -profilemanager -no-remote
This will start up the profile manager.
Go ahead and create a profile, I've called it 'Firefox3', and the linked article calls it 'Minefield'... it doesn't matter as long as you remember what you've named it.
Firing up Firefox 3 beta:
Again, rather than typing: /path/to/firefox3 -P minefield -no-remote
Open up Windows Explorer and head over to the directory where you installed Firefox 3 beta. (Default is: C:\Program Files\Minefield)
Right click on firefox.exe, Send To >> Desktop (Create Shortcut)
We need to do this since we need to add the command line parameters. (So that it will use the new 'test' profile and not mess up your existing one.)
Head over to your desktop, and right click on the newly created Firefox shortcut and select Properties.
Here is where we will add the command line parameters. In the Target field add the following: '-P Firefox3 -no-remote'
Where 'Firefox3' is the name of your newly created profile.
The target field should look something like this: "C:\Program Files\Minefield\firefox.exe" -P Firefox3 -no-remote
Click OK, and start up the new Firefox.exe...
And there you have it. Running Firefox 2 and Firefox 3 beta concurrently, without jeopardising your current profile.
Just for fun: If you want to see how much faster FF3 is, load up the high res image links that I have listed below. Open them as quick as you can in seperate tabs. (Right click each link, select Open in New Tab).
Again, on my old faithful computer, the images and tabs seemed to load up a lot faster.(Don't goto these links if you're using dialup).
Links to high res images:
Also if you open up your task manager, you will see two instances of
firefox.exe running. One should have a lot lower memory usage, if you have the same tabs open on both.
Enjoy, and I will report back on my findings regarding FF3. Running great so far.