Firefox 84 comes with Webrender enhancements for Linux, shared memory and more

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The new version of Firefox 84 is here and comes with various improvements of which some of them are focused on Linux, such as improving the support of Webrender for X11 and Gnomeas well as shared memory allocation methods along with Docker enhancements, among other things.

In addition to the innovations and bug fixes in Firefox 84, 31 vulnerabilities have been corrected, of which 19 are marked as dangerous, 7 of them (compiled for CVE-2020-35113 and CVE-2020-35114) are caused by memory problems, such as buffer overflows and access to already freed memory areas. These problems could potentially lead to the execution of malicious code when opening specially crafted pages. The critical vulnerability CVE-2020-16042 is also observed, which, by manipulating the BigInt type, allows reading the contents of uninitialized memory.

It can also be noted that Firefox 84 will be the last version to support the Adobe Flash plug-in, as as many will know Adobe intends to end support for Flash by the end of December 2020.

Main new features of Firefox 84

Of the main changes that stand out, we can find that for Linux distributions with GNOME and X11, the WebRender compositing engine is used by default, NVIDIA's proprietary drivers remain on the block list for WebRender, as well as Intel drivers when using screen resolutions of 3440 × 1440 and above. To force inclusion in about: config, enable the "gfx.webrender.enabled" setting or start Firefox with the set of environment variables MOZ_WEBRENDER = 1.

While for Android, the WebRender engine is enabled for devices with Mali-G GPUs, plus Adreno 5xx (Google Pixel, Google Pixel 2 / XL, Oneplus 5), Adreno 6xx (Google Pixel 3, Google Pixel 4, Oneplus 6), and Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 smartphones. For Windows, WebRender support is enabled for XNUMXth and XNUMXth generation Intel GPUs, for macOS for the Big Sur version.

Another major change for Linux, eI know now more modern shared memory allocation methods are used, resulting in better performance and better compatibility with Docker. When viewing multimedia content such as YouTube videos, the GNOME and MATE volume and playback controls now show a thumbnail of the currently playing content and the playback control buttons.

Using the infrastructure of Remote Configuration, the proactive loading of intermediate CA certificates was implemented, which reduced the number of error messages when viewing incorrectly configured sites. In the new version, support for the CRLite mechanism has also been brought into a working format, which allows organizing an efficient certificate revocation check against a database hosted on the user's system.

In plugin manager, the ability to grant and revoke additional rights is implemented Optional options required for the implementation of the extended functionality in the plugin, which is enabled through separate settings. Previously, these extended rights were requested dynamically when extended functions were enabled and were not reflected in the about: addons interface.

In addition, the PerformancePaintTiming (Paint Timing) API was implemented, which allows you to track the time of various stages of page rendering. With this API, you can identify bottlenecks in page load and problem times, for example, situations where a visitor is already viewing a link or input form, but due to the fact that JavaScript has not yet been loaded, its drivers are not available.

Also highlighted in this new version of Firefox 84 is the support for Apple systems based on the ARM M1 chip, that powers the newer MacBook Air, Mac Mini, and MacBook Pro. However, on newer systems, there are problems watching videos from Netflix, Hulu, Disney + and Amazon Video Prime, which require the installation of Rosetta.

How to install the new version of Firefox 84 on Linux?

Ubuntu users, Linux Mint or some other derivative of Ubuntu, They can install or update to this new version with the help of the browser's PPA.

This can be added to the system by opening a terminal and executing the following command in it:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-security/ppa -y
sudo apt-get update

Done this now they just have to install with:

sudo apt install firefox

For Arch Linux users and derivatives, just run in a terminal:

sudo pacman -S firefox

Now for those who are Fedora users or any other distribution derived from it:

sudo dnf install firefox

Finally if they are openSUSE usersThey can rely on community repositories, from which they can add Mozilla's to their system.

This can be done with a terminal and in it by typing:

su -
zypper ar -f mozilla
zypper ref
zypper dup --from mozilla

For, all other Linux distributions can download the binary packages from the following link.  

In addition, an update of the Firefox LTS version (long-term support) 78.6.0 has been generated and in addition to that the next branch of Firefox 85 has already entered the testing phase and is scheduled to launch on January 26. .

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