How to Install LibreWolf Browser on Linux

LibreWolf (fork of Firefox) promises to protect your privacy, security, and freedom on the Internet by removing unnecessary tracking and fingerprinting technologies from the Firefox browser without breaking stuff.

You must be wondering why not to remove all unnecessary tracking elements from Firefox manually. It’s true, Firefox is a highly customizable browser and gives you a bunch of options to modify it in different ways.

Initially, it feels good, but doing repetitive tasks every time you install Firefox becomes very boring. Also, you must be aware of the next release to know the changes and modifications in the settings. Otherwise, you might break your browser.

So, what’s wrong with having another browser that removes all the telemetry, data collection, and annoyances, as well as disables anti-independence features like digital rights management (DRM).

Features Removed from LibreWolf to Maintain User Integrity

Below is the list of things LibreWolf removes from Firefox to protect your privacy, security, and freedom on the Internet.

  • Firefox cloud sync is removed
  • Add to Pocket” button is removed
  • Removes telemetry and fingerprinting technologies
  • uBlock Origin included blocking scripts and advertisements
  • Firefox recommended and sponsored shortcuts were removed from the home screen
  • Private search engines are provided like DuckDuckGo (default), Searx, and Qwant
  • The website scheme is disabled (LibreWolf will force web content to display in a light theme)
  • The digital rights management (DRM) feature is disabled
  • Enhanced Tracking Protection is set to “Strict” mode by default
  • Auto delete cookies and site data when LibreWolf is closed
  • It will not ask you to save logins and passwords for websites
  • Enable HTTPS-Only Mode in all windows by default

For more details, read the full feature list.

How to Install LibreWolf Browser on Linux

Sadly, LibreWolf is not available in the Ubuntu, RHEL, or Arch-based distribution repositories. However, it provides its own repository which can be linked to, and it also comes in the form of AppImage and Flatpak packages.

And the best part is that you will learn both methods. So, open your terminal using the Ctrl+Alt+t or Ctrl+Shift+t keyboard shortcuts and follow the below steps depending upon your distribution.

For Debian, Ubuntu, Pop!_OS, Linux Mint, etc.

Whenever you download a package from the distribution’s default repositories, the source is verified by the GPG key that is stored at /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/ path.

Since LibreWolf is not available by default in the default system repositories, you need to add the LibreWolf-provided source repository, including its GPG key.

Execute the below commands to add its source repository.

$ distro=$(if echo " bullseye focal impish jammy uma una " | grep -q " $(lsb_release -sc) "; then echo $(lsb_release -sc); else echo focal; fi)
$ echo "deb [arch=amd64] http://deb.librewolf.net $distro main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/librewolf.list

Below is the output of the above command.

Adding LibreWolf repositories in Debian/Ubuntu
Adding LibreWolf repositories in Debian/Ubuntu

LibreWolf repository is added to your system. Now, execute the below command to add the GPG key and then update your source list.

$ sudo wget https://deb.librewolf.net/keyring.gpg -O /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/librewolf.gpg
$ sudo apt update

Below is the output of the above command.

Adding GPG key in Debian/Ubuntu
Adding GPG key in Debian/Ubuntu

Finally, you can execute the below command to install LibreWolf on your Debian-based distributions such as Ubuntu, Pop!_OS, Linux Mint, etc.

$ sudo apt install librewolf -y

Below is the output of the above command.

Installing LibreWolf on Debian-based distributions such as Ubuntu, Pop!_OS, Linux Mint, etc
Installing LibreWolf on Debian-based distributions such as Ubuntu, Pop!_OS, Linux Mint, etc

Congratulations!!! LibreWolf browser is successfully installed on your system.

For RHEL, Fedora, AlmaLinux, CentOS, etc.

To install LibreWolf on RHEL-based distributions, you need to first add its repository using the dnf config-manager command, as shown below.

$ sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo https://rpm.librewolf.net

Below is the output of the above command.

Adding LibreWolf repository in RHEL
Adding LibreWolf repository in RHEL

Now it’s time to add the PGP key which will be used to verify the source package using the following command.

$ sudo rpm --import https://keys.openpgp.org/vks/v1/by-fingerprint/034F7776EF5E0C613D2F7934D29FBD5F93C0CFC3

Below is the output of the above command.

Adding GPG key in RHEL
Adding GPG key in RHEL

Finally, you need to execute the below command to install the LibreWolf browser on your RHEL-based distributions such as Fedora, AlmaLinux, CentOS, etc.

$ sudo dnf install --refresh librewolf

Below is the output of the above command.

Installing LibreWolf on RHEL-based distributions such as Fedora, AlmaLinux, CentOS, etc
Installing LibreWolf on RHEL-based distributions such as Fedora, AlmaLinux, CentOS, etc

LibreWolf will install on your system and will appear in the search menu.

For Arch, Manjaro, EndeavourOS, etc.

Arch users do not have to worry about adding a repository and GPG key. You guys can easily install it using the AUR package manager like yay, as shown below.

$ yay -S librewolf

Below is the output of the above command.

Installing LibreWolf on Arch, Manjaro, EndeavourOS, etc.
Installing LibreWolf on Arch, Manjaro, EndeavourOS, etc

If yay is not installed on your system, then you can easily compile and install LibreWolf on your system using the following command.

$ git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/librewolf-bin.git librewolf
$ cd librewolf
$ makepkg -si

Below is the output of the above command.

Compile and install LibreWolf on your system
Compile and install LibreWolf on your system

While installation, if a PGP signature verification error occurs as shown below.

==> Verifying source file signatures with gpg...
    librewolf-102.0.1-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.zst ... FAILED (unknown public key 2954CC8585E27A3F)
==> ERROR: One or more PGP signatures could not be verified!

Below is the output of the above command.

PGP signatures verification
PGP signatures verification

Then you need to add a PGP signature for verification using the following command.

$ gpg --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 2954CC8585E27A3

Below is the output of the above command.

Add PGP signature for verification
Add PGP signature for verification

Lastly, re-execute the makepkg -si command to start the installation process.

LibreWolf Flatpak

I would mostly prefer you to install LibreWolf as a flatpak package. It does not require adding a custom repository and GPG/PGP keys.

If you have Flatpak installed on your Linux system, then execute the below command to install the LibreWolf browser.

$ flatpak install flathub io.gitlab.librewolf-community

Below is the output of the above command.

Installing LibreWolf browser using Flatpak
Installing LibreWolf browser using Flatpak

Execute the below command to launch the LibreWolf browser after the installation is complete.

$ flatpak run io.gitlab.librewolf-community

Below is the output of the above command.

Launching LibreWolf browser installed from Flatpak
Launching LibreWolf browser installed from Flatpak

LibreWolf AppImage

LibreWolf AppImage is a portable way to install LibreWolf on any Linux system. However, when LibreWolf next release comes, you’ll need to manually download the AppImage to use the latest version.

If you are happy with AppImage, then you can execute the below command to download the current latest release (v102.0.1) of LibreWolf AppImage using the wget command.

$ wget https://gitlab.com/api/v4/projects/24386000/packages/generic/librewolf/102.0.1-1/LibreWolf.x86_64.AppImage

Below is the output of the above command.

Downloading LibreWolf AppImage
Downloading LibreWolf AppImage

Then apply executable permission using the chmod command and run the application using the following command.

$ chmod +x LibreWolf.x86_64.AppImage
$ ./LibreWolf.x86_64.AppImage

Below is the output of the above command.

Applying permission and executing the LibreWolf application
Applying for permission and executing the LibreWolf application

How to Run the LibreWolf Browser on Linux

After the LibreWolf browser is successfully installed on your system, you can launch it by executing the below command into the terminal.

$ librewolf

Below is the output of the above command.

Start LibreWolf from terminal
Start LibreWolf from terminal

Or, go to the application launcher and search for LibreWolf. Click on it to run, as shown below.

Start LibreWolf from menu
Start LibreWolf from the menu

How to Uninstall LibreWolf Browser on Linux

For any reason, if you want to remove the LibreWolf browser from your system. Then follow the below method depending upon the type of installation you have used.

For Debian, Ubuntu, Pop!_OS, Linux Mint, etc.

Execute the below command to remove the LibreWolf browser from your Debian-based distribution system.

$ sudo apt remove librewolf -y

Then execute the below command to remove its repository and update your source list.

$ sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/librewolf.list
$ sudo apt update

For RHEL, Fedora, AlmaLinux, CentOS, etc.

Execute the below command to remove the LibreWolf browser from your RHEL-based distribution system.

$ sudo dnf remove librewolf

For Arch, Manjaro, EndeavourOS, etc.

Execute the below command to remove the LibreWolf browser from your Arch-based distribution system.

$ yay -Rs librewolf

LibreWolf Flatpak

Execute the below command to remove the LibreWolf browser installed from Flatpak package manager.

$ flatpak uninstall flathub io.gitlab.librewolf-community

Also read: Looking for VSCode without telemetry? Then you should install VSCodium.

Wrap Up

Although LibreWolf is a perfect browser for privacy-oriented users. However, you may find it unfriendly while doing some tasks.

For me, syncing bookmarks from one system to another is required. Due to the removal of Firefox sync, I’ve had to install the xBrowserSync extension on my browser.

Overall, it’s a good browser, and I use it daily as my default browser. Let us know your opinion in the comment section.

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