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I need some clarification on Mozilla's bug fixing policies.

For example, if I have Firefox N installed (not an Extended Support Release version), and Mozilla releases Firefox N+1 but later on security problems are discovered, are patches released for Firefox N or do I have to upgrade to Firefox N+1 to benefit from the fixes?

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The current version and current ES release is the current policy. –  Ramhound May 15 '12 at 18:17

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Since version 4 the policy is: No more patches for older versions when newer versions are released. So always upgrade to latest version (or use Extended Support Releases). See https://www.mozilla.org/security/known-vulnerabilities/firefox.html

Note that the newer versions nearly always contain security patches as well. So you even should not wait until security problems are found in the current version to update your previous version.

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As of Firefox 10, there's going to be an Extended Support version of Firefox, aimed at enterprises and businesses that can't update every few weeks. The ESR versions will get 2 releases worth of features, and 9 releases of bugfixes and security patches. The information is located here: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Enterprise/Firefox/ExtendedSupport:Proposal

Otherwise, if you have a version of Firefox that isn't ESR (every 7 versions starting at 10), you get nothing unless you upgrade.

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