I'm on Debian Jessie / testing. It currently has Iceweasel 17, but I would rather like to use a more recent release (Mozilla "Release" or "Firefox" 'channel' - currently Iceweasel 25).

http://mozilla.debian.net/ recommends:

You need to add the following entry in /etc/apt/sources.list or a new file in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/:

deb http://cdn.debian.net/debian unstable main

You can install it with the following commands:

   $ apt-get update
   $ apt-get install -t unstable iceweasel

That would at least give me Iceweasel 24, but then next time I run apt-get dist-upgrade I would update to Debian unstable and I don't want to do that. I only want a newer version of Iceweasel (latest version blessed "stable" by Mozilla, not ESR).

So I could remove the unstable repository after installing Iceweasel, but then I wouldn't get security updates anymore and would have to manually stay on top of the latest security updates, and each time there is a security update I would have to:

  • re-add the unstable repository
  • upgrade iceweasel
  • remove unstable repository.

That can't doesn't seem like it should be done like that? Seems inefficient and tedious.

I could also install the unbranded "real" Firefox directly from Mozilla but then I also would have to manually update which is equally inconvenient.

Seems like I'm looking for an apt repository maintaining Firefox or Iceweasel for Debian Jessie / testing? Does that exist? Other ideas?

  • 1
    If it's in sid, it should migrate to jesse in 10 days, unless there are release critical bugs.
    – jordanm
    Nov 2, 2013 at 18:40
  • @jordanm sid currently has 24, but OP wants to stay on 21.
    – derobert
    Nov 2, 2013 at 19:36
  • No, I don't necessarily want to stay on 21. I want to use what Mozilla recommends for most users (because that gives best add-on support). Not what Debian recommends for most users. Seems I failed to express myself. Maybe my question can be improved.
    – adrelanos
    Nov 2, 2013 at 22:23
  • If it's in sid, it should migrate to jessie in 10 days, unless there are release critical bugs. - I doubt that in case of iceweasel. Because things in testing become one day stable. And as I understand it, Debian wants to have ESR releases in stable so they can provide it with security patches for a longer time. Therefore I don't think anything from the Mozilla release channel (non-ESR) will enter testing.
    – adrelanos
    Nov 5, 2013 at 11:09

3 Answers 3


You can use /etc/apt/preferences to specify which versions you want on a per-package basis.

To have the latest iceweasel version, use (at your own risk) the following configuration files:


Package: iceweasel
Pin: release a=experimental
Pin-Priority: 1000

Package: *
Pin: release a=testing
Pin-Priority: 500

Package: *
Pin: release a=unstable
Pin-Priority: 400

Package: *
Pin: release a=experimental
Pin-Priority: 300


deb http://http.debian.net/debian testing         main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/   testing/updates main
deb http://http.debian.net/debian unstable        main contrib non-free
deb http://http.debian.net/debian experimental    main contrib

But beware the the apt_preferences(5) manpage warns

Packages included in a specific release aren't tested in (and therefore don't always work as expected in) older or newer releases, or together with other packages from different releases. You have been warned.

  • to reduce the risk: only include those repositories in /etc/apt/source.list, which are recommended after choosing the version at mozilla.debian.net
    – PythoNic
    Mar 24, 2015 at 12:00

Firefox 21 is not an extended support release, so there are no security updates for it. Mozilla moved on to Firefox 22 (well, up to 25 now), and doesn't release any updates for 21 anymore.

Firefox 24 is an ESR, so it will have long-term security support. The previous ESR release was 17. Before that was Firefox 10, but its old enough to have run out of extended support.

You could stay at Firefox 21 by grabbing one from snapshot.debian.org, but you won't get any security updates—because there aren't any.

  • I updated my question. Sorry for not being clear in the first place.
    – adrelanos
    Nov 5, 2013 at 11:09
  • @adrelanos oh, you need to using pinning then. I'll write up another answer when I get a chance later today (if no one else does it first.)
    – derobert
    Nov 5, 2013 at 11:18

It seems that mozilla.debian.net has it own repository, I was having trouble because you can't access it via browser.

However all you have to do is select wheezy (I'm in jessie too) and the version you want:

deb http://mozilla.debian.net/ wheezy-backports iceweasel-release

I've just added this to my sources.list and there it was Iceweasel 25 with necessary dependencies without all the clutter from a dist upgrade.

Actually I'll use iceweasel-esr (instead of release), to have a more stable with only security updates version, and less risk of scrambled dependencies too.

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