Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

PCLinuxOS Review: This Classic Independent Linux Distribution is Definitely Worth a Look

Filed under
Reviews

Most of the Linux distributions are based on Debian/Ubuntu/Arch. PCLinuxOS is not one of them. Take a look at the classic independent PCLinuxOS distribution.
Read more

Latest PCLinuxOS Package Updates

  • Opera Browser updated to 70.0.3728.154

    Opera is a freeware web browser for Linux operating systems developed by Opera Software. Opera is a Chromium-based browser using the Blink layout engine. It differentiates itself because of a distinct user interface and other features.

  • Signal-desktop updated to 1.35.1

    Signal-desktop is a cross-platform encrypted messaging service developed by the Signal Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC. It uses the Internet to send one-to-one and group messages, which can include files, voice notes, images and videos.

  • Filezilla updated to 3.50.0

    FileZilla is a fast and reliable FTP, FTPS and SFTP client with lots of useful features and an intuitive graphical user interface.

More of the Latest PCLinuxOS Package Updates

  • Goodvibes updated to 0.5.3

    Goodvibes is an Internet radio player for GNU/Linux. It aims to be light, simple, straightforward. It has the ability to add your own radio stations to personalize it to your preferences.

  • Ciano updated to 0.2.4

    Ciano is a audio/video converter application for the Linux Desktop. Be sure to set an output folder in Preferences for best results.

  • Melody updated to 2.2.1

    Melody is a simple music player for the Linux Desktop.

  • Headset updated to 3.2.1

    Headset is a desktop music player powered by YouTube and Reddit. Read the description in the Synaptic Package Manager to get the API key for PCLinuxOS or you can apply for one yourself from google.

Some More of the Latest PCLinuxOS Package Updates

  • Google Chrome updated to 85.0.4183.102

    The web browser from Google. Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier

  • Vivaldi browser updated to 3.3.2022.39

    Vivaldi is a new web browser based on Chromium that is built by an Opera founder. It’s aimed mostly at power users, but it can be used by anyone.

  • Opera browser updated to 70.0.3728.178

    Opera is a Chromium-based browser using the Blink layout engine.
    It differentiates itself because of a distinct user interface and other features.

  • Inkscape updated to 1.0.1

    Inkscape is a SVG based generic vector-drawing program. Inkscape uses W3C SVG as its native file format. It is therefore a very useful tool for web designers and as an interchange format for desktop publishing.

  • Min Browser updated to 1.16.0

    Min is a smarter, faster web browser. It includes features such as:

    Information from DuckDuckGo in the searchbar.
    Built-in ad and tracker blocking
    Fuzzy search
    Full-text search for bookmarks
    Reading list
    Tabs improvements (tabs open to the right, and fade out when inactive).
    

Some More of the Latest PCLinuxOS Package Updates

  • File roller updated to 3.38.0

    File Roller is an archive manager for the Linux desktop. This means that you can:
    create and modify archives
    view the content of an archive
    view a file contained in the archive
    extract files from the archive.

  • Gedit updated to 3.38.0

    gEdit is a small but powerful text editor. It includes such features as split-screen mode, a plugin API, which allows gEdit to be extended to support many features while remaining small at its core, multiple document editing through the use of a ‘tabbed’ notebook and many more functions.

  • Evince updated to 3.38.0

    Evince is a Document viewer application. It supports PDF, PostScript and other formats. To view .dvi files as produced by TeX in evince, install the evince-dvi package.

  • Connections updated to 3.38.0

    Connections is a new app that aims to be a modern remote desktop client for the desktop. The app takes advantage of the VNC (Virtual Network Client) and RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) standards and lets users connect to remote machines.

Some More of the Latest PCLinuxOS Package Updates

  • Shotcut updated to 20.09.13

    Shotcut is a free and open-source cross-platform video editing application. Shotcut supports many video, audio, and image formats via FFmpeg and screen, webcam, and audio capture. It uses a timeline for non-linear video editing of multiple tracks that may be composed of various file formats. Scrubbing and transport control are assisted by OpenGL GPU-based processing and a number of video and audio filters are available.

  • Zoom updated to 5.2.458699.0906

    Zoom, the cloud meeting company, unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, and group messaging into one easy-to-use platform. Our solution offers the best video, audio, and screen-sharing experience across Zoom Rooms, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and H.323/SIP room systems.

  • Basilisk browser updated to 2020.09.11

    Basilisk is a free and Open Source XUL-based web browser, featuring the well-known Firefox-style interface and operation. It is based on the Goanna layout and rendering engine (a fork of Gecko) and builds on the Unified XUL Platform (UXP), which in turn is a fork of the Mozilla code base without Servo or Rust.

Some More of the Latest PCLinuxOS Package Updates

  • Firefox updated to 81.0

    Mozilla Firefox, or simply Firefox, is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation. Firefox uses the Gecko layout engine to render web pages, which implements current and anticipated web standards.

  • FreeFileSync updated to 11.1

    FreeFileSync is a folder comparison and synchronization tool.

  • Bitwarden updated to 1.22.1

    Bitwarden is an open source, cross platform password manager that sync passwords but also allows accessing passwords offline.

  • gThumb updated to 3.10.1

    gThumb lets you browse your hard disk, showing you thumbnails of image files. It also lets you view single files (including GIF animations), add comments to images, organize images in catalogs, print images, view slideshows, set your desktop background, and more.

Some More of the Latest PCLinuxOS Package Updates

  • Zoom updated to 5.3.465578.0920

    Zoom, the cloud meeting company, unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, and group messaging into one easy-to-use platform. Our solution offers the best video, audio, and screen-sharing experience across Zoom Rooms, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and H.323/SIP room systems.

  • Google Chrome updated to 85.0.4183.121

    Google Chrome is a browser from Google that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.

Some More of the Latest PCLinuxOS Package Updates

  • Calibre updated to 5.0.1

    Calibre is meant to be a complete e-library solution. It includes library management, format conversion, news feeds to ebook conversion as well as e-book reader sync features.

  • Flameshot updated to 0.8.1

    Flameshot is a powerful and simple to use screenshot software with built-in editor with advanced features.

  • Teamviewer updated to 15.10.5

    TeamViewer provides easy, fast and secure remote access and meeting solutions to Linux, Windows PCs, Apple PCs and various other platforms, including Android and iPhone.

  • Blender updated to 2.90.1

    Blender is the essential software solution you need for 3D, from modeling,
    animation, rendering and post-production to interactive creation and playback. Professionals and novices can easily and inexpensively publish stand-alone, secure, multi-platform content to the web, CD-ROMs, and other media.

Some More of the Latest PCLinuxOS Package Updates

  • Stellarium updated to 0.20.3

    Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.

  • Dropbox updated to 106.4.368

    Dropbox is software that syncs your files online and across your computers and also allows one to share files with other dropbox users.

  • Gnucash updated to 4.2

    GnuCash is a personal finance manager. A check-book like register GUI allows you to enter and track bank accounts, stocks, income and even currency trades. The interface is designed to be simple and easy to use, but is backed with double-entry accounting principles to ensure balanced books.

  • Obs-studio updated to 26.0.0

    Open Broadcaster Software is free and open source software for video recording and live streaming.

  • Tor-browser bundle updated to 10.0

    The Tor software protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: It prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked.

New Browsers in PCLinuxOS

  • Vivaldi browser updated to 3.3.2022.47

    Vivaldi browser is a fast, private and secure browser that blocks ads and trackers. It puts you in control with unique features.

  • Opera browser updated to 71.0.3770.198

    Get a faster, better browser. Opera’s free VPN, Ad Blocker, integrated messengers and private mode help you browse securely and smoothly.

  • Palemoon Browser updated to 28.14.1

    Pale Moon is an open-source web browser with an emphasis on customizability; its motto is “Your browser, Your way”. There are official releases for Linux. Pale Moon is a fork of Firefox with substantial divergence.

  • Brave browser updated to 1.14.84

    Brave is a free and open-source web browser developed by Brave Software, Inc. based on the Chromium web browser. It blocks ads and website trackers, and provides a way for users to send cryptocurrency contributions in the form of Basic Attention Tokens to websites and content creators.

More PCLinuxOS Browser Updates

More PCLinuxOS Browser Updates

  • balena-etcher-electron updated to 1.5.99

    Balena Etcher Electron is an application to write ISO files to a USB stick. Flash OS images to SD cards & USB drives, safely and easily.

  • Gimp image editor updated to 2.10.22

    The GIMP is an image manipulation program suitable for photo retouching,
    image composition and image authoring. Many people find it extremely useful in creating logos and other graphics for web pages. The GIMP has many of the tools and filters you would expect to find in similar commercial offerings, and some interesting extras as well.

  • Telegram desktop updated to 2.4.2

    Telegram is an Open Source instant messaging platform for mobile and desktop focused on privacy.

Some More of the Latest PCLinuxOS Package Updates

  • Freetube updated to 0.8.0

    Freetube is an opensource standalone application for viewing YouTube videos with privacy in mind.

  • Mozilla Thunderbird updated to 78.3.2

    Thunderbird is a standalone mail and newsgroup client from Mozilla. If you haven’t moved to web based email then this application is for you.

  • Calibre updated to 5.2.0

    Calibre is meant to be a complete e-library solution. It includes library management, format conversion, news feeds to ebook conversion as well as e-book reader sync features.

Some More of the Latest PCLinuxOS Package Updates

  • Firefox browser updated to 81.0.2

    Mozilla Firefox is a free and open source web browser descended
    from the Mozilla Application Suite and managed by Mozilla Corporation.

  • Zoom updated to 5.3.472687.1012

    Zoom, the cloud meeting company, unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, and group messaging into one easy-to-use platform.

Web Browser updates - PCLinuxOS

  • Web Browser updates » PCLinuxOS

    opera-stable-71.0.3770.271-1pclos2020.x86_64.rpm
    google-chrome-stable-86.0.4240.75-1pclos2020.x86_64.rpm
    brave-1.15.75-1pclos2020.x86_64.rpm
    vivaldi-stable-3.4.2066.76-1pclos2020.x86_64.rpm

Mozilla Thunderbird and Mozilla Firefox updated in PCLOS

  • Mozilla Thunderbird updated to 78.3.3 » PCLinuxOS

    Mozilla Thunderbird is a powerful email client for Linux desktop computers. If you have not switched to using web based email then this is the email client to use on Linux.

  • Mozilla Firefox updated to 82.0 » PCLinuxOS

    Mozilla Firefox is simply the best Web Browser for Linux Desktop Computers. Firefox, is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation. Firefox uses the Gecko layout engine to render web pages, which implements current and anticipated web standards.

Extra! Extra! KDE Plasma updated to 5.20.1

  • Extra! Extra! KDE Plasma updated to 5.20.1

    KDE Plasma has been updated to 5.20.1 which is a bug fix update for the recently released 5.20.0. This update should arrive shortly in the software repository for those using the KDE Plasma desktop. Enjoy!

Mozilla Firefox updated to 82.0.1

  • Mozilla Firefox updated to 82.0.1 » PCLinuxOS

    The Mozilla Firefox web browser has been updated to 82.0.1 which is a security and bug fix update. This package will appear as an update in your Synaptic Package Manager if you have Firefox installed.

Palemoon Browser (and KDE) updated to 28.15.0 in PCLOS

Kodi media player updated to 18.9

  • Kodi media player updated to 18.9 » PCLinuxOS

    Kodi is a free and open-source media player software application developed by the XBMC Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium. Kodi is available for multiple operating systems and hardware platforms, with a software 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls.

Latest updates

  • Zoom updated to 5.4.53350.1027 » PCLinuxOS

    Zoom, the cloud meeting company, unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, and group messaging into one easy-to-use platform. Our solution offers the best video, audio, and screen-sharing experience across Zoom Rooms, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and H.323/SIP room systems.

  • Opera Browser updated to 72.0.3815.186 » PCLinuxOS

    Opera is a multi-platform web browser for Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, and Linux operating systems developed by Opera Software. Opera is a Chromium-based browser using the Blink layout engine. It distinguishes itself from other browsers through its user interface and other features.

  • Calibre updated to 5.4.1 » PCLinuxOS

    Calibre is a cross-platform open-source suite of e-book software. Calibre supports organizing existing e-books into virtual libraries, displaying, editing, creating and converting e-books, as well as syncing e-books with a variety of e-readers. Editing books is supported for EPUB and AZW3 formats.

Vivaldi and Flashpeak

  • Vivaldi browser updated to 3.4.2066.90 » PCLinuxOS

    Vivaldi is a new web browser based on Chromium that is built by an Opera founder. It’s aimed mostly at power users, but it can be used by anyone.

  • Flashpeak Slimjet browser updated to 28.0.2.0 » PCLinuxOS

    Slimjet is built on top of the Chromium open-source project on which Google Chrome is also based. It enjoys the same speed and reliablity provided by the underlying blink engine as Google Chrome. However, many additional features and options have been added in Slimjet to make it more powerful, intelligent and customizable than Chrome. In addition to that, Slimjet DOES NOT send any usage statistics back to Google’s server like Google Chrome, which is a growing concern for many Chrome users due to the ubiquitous presence and reach of the advertising empire.

Chrome Browser updated to 86.0.4240.183

Mozilla Thunderbird updated to 78.4.1

Seamonkey Browser Suite updated to 2.53.5

  • Seamonkey Browser Suite updated to 2.53.5

    SeaMonkey is an all-in-one Internet application suite. It includes a browser, mail/news client, IRC client, JavaScript debugger, and a tool to inspect the DOM for web pages. It is derived from the application formerly known as Mozilla Application Suite.

PCLinuxOS upgrades Calibre and Freetube

  • Calibre updated to 5.5.0 » PCLinuxOS

    Calibre is primarily a ebook cataloging program. It manages your ebook collection for you. It is designed around the concept of the logical book, i.e. a single entry in the database that may correspond to ebooks in several formats. It also supports conversion to and from a dozen different ebook formats.

  • Freetube updated to 0.9.2 » PCLinuxOS

    Freetube is a native youtube client for using youtube with privacy in mind.

Google Chrome Browser updated to 87.0.4280.66

PCLinuxOS Gets Latest Thunderbird and Brave Browser

Chromium and Sigil Editor

A couple more updates

  • Rust updated to 1.48.0 » PCLinuxOS

    Rust is a multi-paradigm programming language designed for performance and safety, especially safe concurrency. Rust is syntactically similar to C++, but can guarantee memory safety by using a borrow checker to validate references

  • Zoom Meeting updated to 5.4.54779.1115 » PCLinuxOS

    Zoom, the cloud meeting company, unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, and group messaging into one easy-to-use platform. Our solution offers the best video, audio, and screen-sharing experience across Zoom Rooms, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and H.323/SIP room systems.

Latest updates

  • Ardour updated to 6.5.0 » PCLinuxOS

    Ardour is a digital audio workstation. You can use it to record, edit and mix multi-track audio. You can produce your own CDs, mix video sound tracks, or just experiment with new ideas about music and sound.

  • Ardour updated to 6.5.0 » PCLinuxOS

    Calibre is meant to be a complete e-library solution. It includes library management, format conversion, news feeds to ebook conversion as well as e-book reader sync features.

  • Calibre updated to 5.6.0 » PCLinuxOS

    Songkong is an intelligent music tagger app designed to make the task of managing, organizing and cleaning up your digital music collection easy. Lite version is free. Professional version requires purchase of a license.

  • Songkong updated to 6.11 » PCLinuxOS

    ClipGrab is a multi-platform software package for downloading videos from various websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion or Facebook. It has been praised for its user-friendliness.

Latest updates in PCLinuxOS

  • Basilisk brower updated to 2020.11.25 » PCLinuxOS

    Basilisk is a free and Open Source XUL-based web browser, featuring the well-known Firefox-style interface and operation. It is based on the Goanna layout and rendering engine (a fork of Gecko) and builds on the Unified XUL Platform (UXP), which in turn is a fork of the Mozilla code base without Servo or Rust.

  • Dropbox updated to 110.4.458 » PCLinuxOS

    Dropbox is software that syncs your files online and across your computers
    and also allows one to share files with other dropbox users.

  • Interlink Mail client updated to 52.9.7634 » PCLinuxOS

    Interlink Mail & News is a free e-mail client based on open source community code built on the Unified XUL Platform. The client focuses on efficiency with carefully selected features and optimizations to improve stability and user experience, while offering full customization and a growing collection of extensions and themes to make the client truly your own.

Thunderbird email updated to 78.5.1

  • Thunderbird email updated to 78.5.1 » PCLinuxOS

    The Mozilla Thunderbird email client has been updated to 78.5.1 which is a minor bug fix update and will appear as an update through the Synaptic Package Manager if you have Thunderbird installed.

PCLinuxOS updates proprietary blobs

Mozilla Thunderbird and Firefox updated in PCLinuxOS

Brave Browser and Min Browser in PCLinuxOS

Bluemail email client updated to 1.1.54

  • Bluemail email client updated to 1.1.54

    BlueMail by Blix a free, beautifully designed, universal email app, capable of managing an unlimited number of mail accounts from various providers, allowing for smart push notifications and group emailing while enabling personalization across multiple email accounts. The BlueMail app connects directly to your mail server and is the perfect replacement for your stock email app.

Latest in PCLOS

Calibre updated to 5.9.0 in PCLinuxOS

  • Calibre updated to 5.9.0

    Calibre is primarily a ebook cataloging program. It manages your ebook collection for you. It is designed around the concept of the logical book, i.e. a single entry in the database that may correspond to ebooks in several formats. It also supports conversion to and from a dozen different ebook formats.

Thunderbird [in PCLinuxOS] updated [to] 78.6.1

Zoom updated to 5.4.57862.0110

  • Zoom updated to 5.4.57862.0110 » PCLinuxOS

    Zoom, the cloud meeting company, unifies cloud video conferencing,
    simple online meetings, and group messaging into one easy-to-use platform.
    Our solution offers the best video, audio, and screen-sharing experience
    across Zoom Rooms, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and H.323/SIP room systems.

Librewolf and Inkscape updated in PCLinuxOS

  • Librewolf updated to 84.0.2 » PCLinuxOS

    LibreWolf browser is designed to minimize data collection and telemetry as much as possible. This is achieved through hundreds of privacy/security/performance settings and patches. Intrusive integrated addons including updater, crashreporter, and pocket are removed too. LibreWolf is NOT associated with Mozilla or its products.

  • Inkscape updated to 1.0.2 » PCLinuxOS

    Inkscape is a SVG based generic vector-drawing program. Inkscape uses W3C SVG as its native file format. It is therefore a very useful tool for web designers and as an interchange format for desktop publishing.

Flashpeak Slimjet in PCLinuxOS

  • Flashpeak Slimjet browser updated to 29.0.1.0 » PCLinuxOS

    Slimjet is built on top of the Chromium open-source project on which Google Chrome is also based. It enjoys the same speed and reliablity provided by the underlying blink engine as Google Chrome. However, many additional features and options have been added in Slimjet to make it more powerful, intelligent and customizable than Chrome. In addition to that, Slimjet DOES NOT send any usage statistics back to Google’s server like Google Chrome, which is a growing concern for many Chrome users due to the ubiquitous presence and reach of the advertising empire.

PCLinuxOS Latest

  • Seamonkey updated to 2.53.6

    SeaMonkey is an all-in-one Internet application suite. It includes a browser, mail/news client, IRC client, JavaScript debugger, and a tool to inspect the DOM for web pages. It is derived from the application formerly known as Mozilla Application Suite.

  • Google Chrome updated to 88.0.4324.96

    Google Chrome Browser is a cross-platform web browser developed by Google. It was first released in 2008 for Microsoft Windows, and was later ported to Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android where it is the default browser built into the OS.

  • Calibre updated to 5.10.0

    Calibre is meant to be a complete e-library solution. It includes library management, format conversion, news feeds to ebook conversion as well as e-book reader sync features.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Graphics: OpenGL, Intel and Zink

  • More OpenGL Threading Improvements Land For Mesa 21.1 - Phoronix

    Even in 2021 longtime open-source AMD Mesa driver developer Marek Olšák isn't done optimizing OpenGL for delivering the best possible performance with the Radeon graphics driver. Marek's latest work includes more OpenGL threading enhancements and other work seemingly targeted at SPECViewPerf workloads. Marek has spent the past several weeks working to remove the last OpenGL threading synchronization stalls that happen with SPECViewPerf 13. As part of this latest pull request he added support to glthread for executing display lists asynchronously. Plus there are some other OpenGL code improvements too.

  • More Intel Graphics Work In Linux 5.12: Gen7 Improvements, Faster Suspend/Resume

    New feature material for Linux 5.12 continues getting ready ahead of the merge window opening in February to formally kick off the cycle. On top of the prior Intel graphics driver improvements queued up in recent weeks to DRM-Next, another batch of Intel updates were sent out this week.

  • Zink OpenGL On Vulkan Now Supports OpenGL 4.2 With Mesa 21.1

    Going back to last summer there have been patches experimentally taking Zink as far as OpenGL 4.6 albeit it's been a lengthy process getting all of the relevant patches upstreamed. Additionally, some patches have required reworking or proper adjustments after going through the conformance test suite to ensure they are up to scratch for merging. Thanks to that ongoing effort by Mike Blumenkrantz working under contract for Valve and the work by Collabora developers, it was a quick jump this month from seeing OpenGL 4.1 to OpenGL 4.2 in mainline.

  • Mike Blumenkrantz: Itshappening.gif

    I meant to blog a couple times this week, but I kept getting sidetracked by various matters. Here’s a very brief recap on what’s happened in zinkland over the past week.

  • Zink OpenGL-On-Vulkan vs. RadeonSI OpenGL Performance As Of January 2021 - Phoronix

    With the Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan implementation within Mesa on a nice upward trajectory with most recently now having the backing of a Valve contract developer and a focus on getting the backlog of patches to this Gallium3D code upstreamed, here are some fresh benchmarks looking at where the performance currently stands when using Zink atop the RADV Vulkan driver compared to using the native RadeonSI driver with this round of testing from a Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card.

Android Leftovers

Zink OpenGL-On-Vulkan vs. RadeonSI OpenGL Performance As Of January 2021

With the Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan implementation within Mesa on a nice upward trajectory with most recently now having the backing of a Valve contract developer and a focus on getting the backlog of patches to this Gallium3D code upstreamed, here are some fresh benchmarks looking at where the performance currently stands when using Zink atop the RADV Vulkan driver compared to using the native RadeonSI driver with this round of testing from a Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card. Read more

Mozilla Leftovers

  • Karl Dubost: Site interventions and automated testing

    We follow a strict release process tied to the release cycle of Firefox. You can discover our CSS interventions and JavaScript Interventions. The calendar for the upcoming releases is defined in advance. Before each release cycle for site interventions, the Softvision Webcompat team (Oana and Cipri) makes sure to test the site without the patch to discover if the site intervention is still necessary. This takes time and requires a lot of manual work. Time that could be used for more introspective work. To activate deactivate site interventions, you can play with extensions.webcompat.perform_injections in about:config.

  • Firefox UX: Who Gets to Define Success? Listening to Stories of How People Value Firefox to Redefine Metrics

    Firefox Monthly Active Users (MAU): Measures the number of Firefox Desktop clients active in the past 28 days. (Source: Firefox Public Data Report) With over 200 million people using our web browser every month, Firefox has arguably achieved classic definitions of scale. However, as researchers, we also know that the reasons behind product choice and usage are often more complex than numbers alone can illustrate. In early 2019, our Data Science team began to review our current in-product metrics in an effort to better understand how to interpret our usage numbers and expose any gaps. Firefox User Researcher Jennifer Davidson (and co-author) consulted on that project, which ultimately found that we had very limited qualitative understanding of Firefox usage numbers. Around the same time, a cross-functional team, including Firefox User Researcher Gemma Petrie (and co-author), began an internal research project to gain a top-down view of value by asking our senior leaders how they would define the value of our products. Perhaps unsurprisingly in such a large organization, there were a wide variety of responses. In late 2019, Gemma and Jennifer proposed a study to align these efforts and explore the gaps we were observing. We knew it was time to get an “outside in” perspective to inform our internal narrative, and ultimately help our organization make better product decisions. At the heart of this research was a fundamental question: How do people describe the value they get out of Firefox? We hypothesized that by better understanding how people describe the value they get out of Firefox, we would be able to better inform how to measure our success as a company and encourage our leaders to complement traditional measures of scale with more human-centered metrics. Some of you may be thinking, “That is a very fundamental question for such an established product! Why don’t you already know the answer to it?” There are two primary reasons why this is a difficult question for our Firefox researchers to study. First, commonplace products like a web browser present unique challenges. The role of a web browser is almost akin to a utility–it is so deeply domesticated into people’s lives, that they may use Firefox every day without thinking much about it (Haddon 2006). A second unique challenge for Mozilla is that the usage data to understand how people use Firefox is often nonexistent. Mozilla practices very limited data collection. Our data practices are aligned with our mission and we do not collect information about the content people visit on the web (Mozilla 2020b, Mozilla 2020c, Mozilla 2020d). Often, user research is the only opportunity our organization has to understand the content people seek out and their workflows within the browser.

  • Mike Taylor: The Mike Taylor method™ of naming git branches

    I started doing this about 10 years ago when I worked at Opera. I don’t know if it was a widely used convention, or I just copied it off someone, but it’s pretty good, IMHO.

  • Tor Browser: Anonymity and Beyond

    There are three types of web: the surface web, the deep web, and the dark web. All that you can access using your Google browser is known as the surface web - it is visible to one and all. The deep web is all information that is under lock and key. In other words, we don’t have access to it. The dark web, on the other hand, is a creepy and secret underworld where access is denied using normal browsers. But with special tools handy and ready, users can buy almost anything - from guns to atom bombs - with total anonymity. In order to access the dark web, we need a special browser capable of opening and displaying dot onion links. This is where the Tor browser comes in. Typically, when we surf the web, we leave digital footprints everywhere in the form of our IP address. We allow ourselves to be tracked and monitored by everyone out there. This is because our typical browsers allow it. Tor, on the other hand, does not allow tracking. It is a specialized browser whose first priority is anonymity.