Latest Firefox 3 beta offers exciting features

Firefox 3 is in testing, with the latest build, beta 4, released Monday. Mozilla is aiming for a final release of its flagship product before the end of the first quarter of 2008. Let's take a look at the changes coming down the pike.

You can grab a copy of the latest Firefox 3 beta from mozilla.com. Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X Universal Binaries are provided in more than 40 languages. The Linux version is a bzip2-compressed tar archive. You can unpack into any location on your system.

Before running the beta, you must close all running instances of earlier versions Firefox. You should read the release notes before running the program, as there are some known issues. Since this is prerelease software, it is also a good idea to make a backup copy of your Firefox profile by executing cp ~/.mozilla ~/.mozilla-backup. Doing so will preserve all of your bookmarks, passwords, and other personal settings, as well as any extensions and plugins installed locally.