In keeping with its new accelerated release schedule, Mozilla released the stable version of Firefox 6.0 to Windows, Mac, and Linux users today, just over seven weeks after the June 21 release of Firefox 5.0. A new version of Firefox for Android was also released.

In addition to the normal stability and security patches, Firefox 6.0 adds a few new features to the browser. First, like Chrome, URLs in the Firefox address bar Awesome Bar now render a site's domain in black and the rest of the URL in a slightly lighter grey.

Highlighted domains

Users of the Panorama tab grouping feature should enjoy some speed increases, since tab groups are only loaded when they're actually selected.

On the developer side of things, the Web Console now features auto-complete and a user-customizable location, and a new Scratchpad utility allows for testing of JavaScript code.

The Scratchpad, accessible from the Web Developer menu

These are the major additions, but for a complete list of features you can see the Firefox 6.0 release notes.

Performance and resource usage are roughly the same as in Firefox 5.0 - if you're looking for notable gains in that area, you'll have to wait for Firefox 7.0, which is making memory usage reduction one of its main goals. Firefox 6.0 is currently available from, and the stable version of Firefox 7.0 is due to be released on September 27.

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  • Mulderism - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Yes I did have a few tabs open but I always rebooted the machine.
  • Dark Legion - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    On an old c2d that stays on 24/7, I regularly have 2 FF windows open, each with at least 30 tabs, and it rarely falls on its face anymore, though it does usually use 800MB-1.2GB of ram. The few times that it does I just have to restart FF, and it works fine with all the tabs back again. Kinda makes me wonder how much FF 7.0 will improve performance/ram that now that I'm hearing about it.
  • bersl2 - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    I am currently using FF7 Linux x86_64 build with Adblock Plus, NoScript, Vimperator, and HTTPS-Everywhere. I currently have open one window with 116 tabs. On this machine, everything up to FF5 would expand to fill all available memory and force heavy use of swap, no matter whether there had been 2GiB, 3GiB, or 4GiB RAM in the system. As of a minute or so ago, it is using "1,311.72 MB" of memory, and the current longest-running Firefox thread has used 59 hours and 18.54 seconds of CPU time.

    At times, I have had many more hundreds of tabs open across two or three windows, though I have not tested that many under this version—I don't think I've needed to go that far yet, but there certainly will come a time for it.
  • bersl2 - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    Whoops. Make that 59 *minutes*. And that was only CPU time. It's been open about 12 hours (and it loaded straight into these hundred-plus tabs), but I'm sure it'll be going much longer. It's only crashed a couple of times, which is great considering that it's a late alpha.
  • bersl2 - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    Oh, and if you're interested, read the journal of this Firefox developer, who appears to have been trying to get the memory problems addressed for a longer time than Mozilla has really acknowledged that there was a problem.
  • InsaneScientist - Thursday, August 18, 2011 - link

    I've currently got 89 tabs open between two tab groups in Aurora and I haven't restarted anything in over a week and things are still rock solid and lightning fast for me.
    Oh, and I'm currently sitting at about 500MB of memory usage, plus another 250MB for the plugin container (which is almost entirely flash's fault, and I'm not particularly inclined to blame Mozilla for that). To be fair, though, a huge number of my tabs (something like 66%) are from only two websites, so a fair number of the resources for those tabs may be shared.

    There's my 2¢ worth.
  • name99 - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    "First, like Chrome, URLs in the Firefox address bar Awesome Bar now render a site's domain in black and the rest of the URL in a slightly lighter grey."

    To be fair, wasn't IE first with this?
    And, on the other team, it's to Apple's shame that they still don't do this (or have a unified URL/search field). Maybe Safari 5.2?
  • Braumin - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Yes it was IE that did this first. Poor IE gets no love at all. Firefox gets a nice big post on the main page, but the study released which shows IE 9 is by far the most secure browser at thwarting Malware doesn't even get mentioned.

    Seems to me that Firefox has just fallen for Google's trap of version numbers meaning nothing.
  • Leonick - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Indeed, while I like that the release updates often (it-departments should just adjust, it can't be that dang hard!) the version numbers are stupid, still I understand them, common users look at the number and think higher is better, so how is Firefox 4 gonna stand a chance against Chrome 13 and IE9? :p
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Actually, if you have news items like that one that you think AT readers would like to read, you can send it to I'll try and get something about the IE9 report up later today.

    As we get this new Pipeline section up and running (and improve our coverage of browser releases, which is one of my personal goals and something that's sort of starting with this post), you guys should feel free to let us know what you'd like to see covered.

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