Beyond each platform toolkit of course.

How come Firefox UI looks, mmhh well, not that good on Linux, it's pretty decent in Windows and it definitely rocks on OSX?

Is it a single product recompiled for different platforms? Is it coded completely in JavaScript?

Does anyone else have the same perception?


I think a clarification is needed.

I was referring to the performance/ behavior of course, but also to the GUI.

It is quite different on those platforms.


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I don't have a Vista/7 screenshot at hand, that's why I use XP


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  • In what way does it suck on Linux? The only problems I have had have been with misbehaving extensions. The core browser is solid and just as good as the Windows version in my experience using it... Jul 15, 2009 at 9:37
  • I wouldn't go as far as to say FF sucks on Linux, but I do see your point. On windows I love FF, whereas it just isn't quite as brilliant on Linux. It's a little clunky in places sometimes. (Middle click scrolling doesn't work for example - maybe it's just my setup) Jul 15, 2009 at 9:40
  • @Simon P Stevens: I have the same middle-click problem, but I think KDE or something else is to blame. Most apps treat middle-click as paste. Firefox used to open links in a new tab when middle-clicked, but I've disabled it now.
    – Nikhil
    Jul 15, 2009 at 9:50
  • 1
    Anyone else notice that the only version displaying the "how to close a tab" strip along the top of the page is the Windows version? Jul 22, 2009 at 3:57
  • @musicfreak: Sorry, the question is Why FF looks nice on Windows/Mac but look "old-style" in Linux
    – OscarRyz
    Jul 22, 2009 at 15:18

7 Answers 7


Apparently, it's because Linux users want it that way:

The reason Linux isn’t shown above is that all of the feedback we’ve received so far indicates that Linux users would be happier with a theme that uses native GTK icons in the navigation toolbar, which rules out this type of customized visual treatment.

  • This was exactly the answer to my question. ( probably poorly written [ the question of course ] ) I didn't knew why it looks good on other platforms but "old" in linux.
    – OscarRyz
    Jul 22, 2009 at 15:17
  • If Firefox is looking "old" in Linux for you it's because your GTK theme is set to an "old" looking one - and let's be honest the default ones are kind of bland if you're using Gnome. In Linux however you are free to customise your GTK theme, and there are hundreds of ready-made ones available using various engines. These include not only look and feel, colours, gradients, etc but also icons. So not only can you apply a sweet theme to Firefox but in Linux you can apply a sweet theme to your whole system (at least, those apps that use GTK themes). This is why Firefox on Linux follows that. Mar 17, 2010 at 4:36
  • BTW I'm glad Google Chrome did the right thing and looks great on the three platforms and still respects the default l&f
    – OscarRyz
    Jul 11, 2012 at 2:02

Firefox doesn't suck on Linux. It might eat up some resources, indirectly, if you don't use Gnome or GTK and have limited hardware. Or perhaps you've lucked out with a bad build/hardware combination. But from my limited experiences, I don't see a problem.

Edit: Looking at your updated question, I'll say this much: that's different HTML. I get the same image (balloons) every time, so it's not just random. For some reason they chose to have a different background image and layout for each platform; maybe the fonts are slightly different but that's a non-issue.

Or if you're talking about the GUI itself, well, I'm glad it changes per platform. UI integration is always a good thing.

  • What about back/forward, reaload buttons? :)
    – OscarRyz
    Jul 15, 2009 at 10:07
  • What about them? Fairly plain, I suppose, but I'd say they fit in.
    – Nikhil
    Jul 15, 2009 at 10:52
  • "Fairly plain, I suppose" -- Then it fits perfectly with Linux. ;) Jul 22, 2009 at 3:24

It's a single core code base but there are different pieces of code for platform specific features (UI, for instance). No it's not completely Javascript. There's plenty of C++ in it.


Each version uses a different front end. For example on Mac OS X firefox uses a Cocoa UI - which means it can integrate with other Cocoa applications and the system more easily than if it were written with another API.

Depending on what GUI APIs are used on Windows on Linux (I don't know about windows, but I assume Linux is GTK+) you will see different levels and experiences of integration.

  • Linux is GTK+, but I've heard of a Qt version. Nokia created it, but it isn't maintained.
    – KovBal
    Jul 17, 2009 at 8:49
  • GNOME is GTK+ , on the other hand,KDE uses Qt Sep 15, 2009 at 11:29
  • KovBal meant to say that the Linux version of Firefox uses GTK+, not that the entirety of Linux uses GTK+...
    – Jasarien
    Sep 16, 2009 at 13:34

I wouldn't say it rocks on OS X... it's slow, the UI doesn't match the rest of the OS, and so on... I'm using Safari and it works well. I use FF when things don't work (not very often) or when using a download manager to speed up large HTTP downloads.


I was never a huge fan of the icons on Firefox Linux, so I installed the Camifox skin, which is really nice. I'd also suggest reducing the system font size (System > Preferences > Appearance > Fonts). The default on Ubuntu is very large compared to Windows. In that dialog you can also play about with the theme, which Firefox will inherit.

There are loads of other browsers you can install on Linux. Opera is a solid choice, though its default skin is worse than Firefox. Google Chrome v3 is also available - technically in alpha stage but I haven't had any problems with it.

If you really want to you can install IE6 on Linux! Look up ies4linux.


The latest UI of Firefox looks more better than windows or mac version firefox it is completely sexy and looks awesome.. And also there are lots of ways by what we can tweak and modify the look of own browser.. But as I know all the codes are already packed with the package provided by Mozilla.. So, there is no need to write a external code for getting sexy or awesome look.

But even though it has something other look it is my secondary browser.. Because mostly I use Edge as my default browser cause I am in those user who prefer speed than a great UI..

Even though I am not saying firefox is slow browser ofcourse it is not but even though I feel something is slow when I compare it to my Edge Browser...

Well everyone have there own opinion about the thing which exist in the world.

What about you what is your Favorite browser?? Please Reply

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