Mozilla Introduces New “Online Installer” (Stub Installer) for Firefox Web Browser

Many software now-a-days such as Google Chrome, Windows Essentials, etc come with online installer which downloads the required program files at the installation time. Recently Microsoft also introduced the same feature in Office 2013 suite.

Now Mozilla is testing a similar thing with latest Firefox Nightly build which comes with a new stub installer (online installer). The installer comes in a very small size 500+KB and downloads the setup files when you run the installer as shown in following screenshot:


I have noticed recently that Firefox setup size is regularly increasing in Nightly builds, that might be the reason behind moving to an online installer. Please keep in mind that traditional offline installer is also available for download.

So if you want to try the online installer of Firefox Nightly build, you can download it using following link. Its available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions:

Download Online Installer of Firefox Nightly

Just look for EXE file having "stub" word at the end of its name. For example, 32-bit version of Firefox Nightly build will have file name "firefox-xx.0a1.en-US.win32.installer-stub.exe" and 64-bit file name will be "firefox-xx.0a1.en-US.win64-x86_64.installer-stub.exe".

If you don't know about Nightly build, its a testing build of Firefox browser. Mozilla tests new features first in this build and then the features are included in beta and stable releases. You can read more about these builds and channels here.

If you want to know more about Nightly build, you should check out our exclusive Nightly update topic which covers all new updates and new features introduced in Firefox Nightly build:

Mozilla Firefox Nightly Update

If you install the Nightly build and some of your favorite extensions stop working, you can make them compatible again by following simple steps given in following tutorial:

How to Fix Broken Incompatible Extensions in Mozilla Firefox Newer Versions?

Share this article: Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Reddit | Tell a friend

Posted in: Mozilla Firefox

Other similar articles that may interest you


  • Nice. Thanks for the news VG. :)

  • Wow. Thats something unexpected from Mozilla. Thanks for the info. ;)

  • Easy to Install. Thanks for sharing it VG~

  • Does anyone know if the x64 support the same plugins that the x86 version does ? - like WaterFox.

  • Nice UI! Hope they switch to this new installer soon!

  • Also, it would be even cooler if Mozilla introduces a universal online installer, to allow the user to install any Mozilla products within a few clicks.

  • Confused,

    I thing Mozilla has stopped x64 development and I have seen that this nightly goes installed in program files instead of program files (x86).

    as nightly website I still seen x64 so any explanation about x64 build.

  • VG

    ^^ 64-bit versions are always available for Nightly builds.

    Nice idea.

    Yes. Plugins are same for both versions.

  • I dislike this. Firefox is trying to be like Chrome.

  • ^^ kinda agree with you.

  • I really hate this. Just like when one tries to download and install Adobe Flash (which has this STUPID "online downloader" that you HAVE to download BEFORE commensing the actual download (pretty much similar (if not the same) to what now Firefox is trying to do)), now you have a pain-in-the-ass "online" installer JUST to download what-should-be-a-very-easy-to-download [one-time-thing] ".exe" installation-file (aka. an "offline" installer), and THAT'S IT. i WISH Mozilla [Firefox] would STAY to this method, and keep using it, instead of this newfangled "online" installer they now have. Please note Mozilla: I like to click "save target as" or "save file as" when I download something, NOT "open" or "run" --- which makes me have to download THE WHOLE damn file JUST to be able to open it ONLINE (but it doesn't actually get saved onto my computer. Which means I always have to go to the damn website (assuming it's not been moved, taken down, or otherwise changed, modified, and/or deleted in any way, shape, and/or form) so I can view the file again.

    PLEASE, please, *PLEASE*, for the love of God and Humanity, PLEASE *DO NOT* do this "Online 'Download' " crap! O_O

  • Another stupid idea to make computing slower for all. I have more than one computer system. Why should I have to download the same program multiple times to install it on more than one system? Or, if I have to reinstall, why should I have to download everything again. If everyone jumps on this bandwagon, Instead of a re-installation taking a few hours, it now will take several weeks.

  • @CDG's comment "Another stupid idea to make computing slower for all. I have more than one computer system. Why should I have to download the same program multiple times to install it on more than one system? Or, if I have to reinstall, why should I have to download everything again. If everyone jumps on this bandwagon, Instead of a re-installation taking a few hours, it now will take several weeks.":

    I agree with you completely @CDG. Not only that (referring to your comment), but there's also the added fact that, what if the Firefox user DOESN'T have Internet at home? Or for some reason his Internet [connection] is currently down? By making the stupid Firefox change to an "Online"-Installer as opposed to an "Offline"-Installer like it always has been and always should be (for privacy [reasons], safety [reasons], and security reasons) (look at how you always have to download a piece of bundled-CRAP *JUST* to download (or even to be able to download) Adobe Flash) (ie. that "Adobe Downloader" crap), you're pretty much eliminating from the equation (as in, eliminating from being able to use it, let alone download it or install it) users who otherwise don't have Internet on their computers.

    Maybe for example, they will get Internet on their computers (they're in the process of signing up for an Internet Service Provider), but want to have all their computers ready and set-up and everything before the Internet connection finally starts (remember the days of Dial-Up when you had a Internet-browser on your computer BEFORE the Internet-service was available, handy, ready, ready to be used, installed, and/or connected? [That's one example.])

    Maybe they're downloading Firefox from an Internet-Cafe, since they don't have any Internet at home [presently and/or] currently. And maybe they just want to get the Firefox installation file (ie. that ".exe" installation-file thing. ie. What they (Firefox) is now calling the "Offline"-Installer) so they can just bring it home (ie. by saving it into a USB flash-drive) and install Firefox into all the computers that they need to install Firefox on -- WITHOUT having to depend on an active Internet connection [at their home] in order to do it.

    There's lots of reasons why this (ie. the "Online"-Installer crap) is an extremely bad idea, and the ones I mentioned are just a few of the reasons why this is an extremely bad idea.

  • I just wrote a complaint directly to them about this exact problem. I'm on a metered bandwidth connection [cellular service] which means that I'm charged by the gigabyte of bandwidth that I use. I can't afford to keep downloading the same program over and over when I could download it once and copy it to wherever I want. Marketing departments of big software companies invented this foolishness to install bloatware on your PC while you download the program you actually want.

    I had to hack the location of the stub file to get the address to download Firefox 22 without downloading the stub software first. Here it is if you want the direct download link: ft

    Feel free to bookmark the Firefox ftp site for further downloads.

    It's like buying a truck bed liner liner that protects the truck bed liner from getting dirty while the actual liner is protecting the truck bed from getting dirty... lol

    my 2 cents

  • The installer is showing errors:

    File is corrupt.

    on windows xp @ windows 7
    tried online & offline installers
    Please help. Thanks in advance!

  • Sorry I will now stop useing Mozilla firefox because of the online installer goodby firefox.

  • I cannot get the stub to complete the install. I get an error of not trusted site the HTTPS is crossed out. Does anyone know the problem?

Leave a Comment