How to Remove Firefox Snap from Ubuntu (21.10 +)

Ubuntu 21.10 Impish Indri makes Firefox Snap as a default browser. If you don’t like Snap, this is how you can remove it and use the stock version.

There is always a debate whether Snap is a better alternative of apt. And many users prefer it for their system, and some hates snap to its core. Ubuntu and Canonical considers it as one of the best installation repositories and package management tools for Linux. The primary reason of Snap being hated is its slow startup time. However, that argument for another article.

Remove Firefox Snap version from Ubuntu

So, if you haven’t heard the story, Ubuntu 21.10 ships Firefox as a Snap package by default. So, when you install Ubuntu 21.10, the default left-dock shortcut is a snap version of Firefox. And you can verify it using various methods below.

snap list – Firefox
Firefox snap desktop shortcut

If you don’t like Snap due to its performance, storage issues, you can remove it via following commands.

  • Close all the Firefox instances if open.
  • Open a terminal. Then run below command.
sudo snap remove firefox
  • Wait for the command to complete. This will remove the snap executables from your system and disconnect Firefox from various system services. But the home snap directory will still be there. You can manually remove that using the below command.
cd ~/snap
rm -r firefox

Install Firefox Alternative Methods

Now, as you removed Firefox, you have the following options to use this browser.

  • Ubuntu 21.10 also ships an apt version of Firefox as well. That is located in /usr/lib/firefox/firefox. You can continue using that (you can get the shortcut in GNOME Application menu). It will get all the updates. But not sure whether, Ubuntu will keep this apt version in 22.04 LTS release onwards.
Apt version of a Firefox still shipped
  • At anytime, you can download the compressed Firefox executable for Ubuntu and other Linux from official website (link below). Then extract it, and double click to run the firefox executable. This is the safest approach. You can still get the updates if you use this method.
flatpak install flathub org.mozilla.firefox
  • There is a BETA release PPA available for Firefox, maintained by its development team. However, being a BETA package repo, it might be unstable. So I would not recommend using it. Following is the PPA details.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-next
sudo apt-get update

Closing Notes

So, this is the step to remove firefox snap version from Ubuntu 21.10 onwards. And some alternatives. I am really curious to find out what step Linux Mint takes, as they don’t go well with Snap. Also, those distros depends on Ubuntu upstream repo for Firefox, It’s interesting to see what they are going to do. Debian maintains their own repo, but it’s mostly ESR version. I really hope Mozilla maintains an official PPA for Firefox.