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All About Firefox Forks — Waterfox, Pale Moon and Basilisk

Since Mozilla Firefox is associate degree ASCII text file browser, you’ll realize its code on the net and alter it but you wish, effectively cathartic a replacement browser — or a Firefox fork.

There are many Firefox forks obtainable, all with their variations and with their specificities. Some forks will very be helpful for a few varieties of users, however in most cases there’s no reason why an everyday user would desire a Firefox fork rather than regular Firefox.

In any case, there’s no hurt in knowing regarding a number of the many Firefox forks — and why they may not be a good plan.

The most used Firefox forks are arguably Waterfox, Pale Moon and Basilisk. they may appear higher than plain Firefox, however, during this article we’re visiting tell you why you shouldn’t use them.


From all net browsers supported Firefox’s code, Waterfox is that the hottest one. It’s quality is because of the actual fact that Waterfox offered a 64-bit browser once Mozilla solely offered a 32-bit one. today that doesn’t very matter — Mozilla Firefox is currently 64-bit, considering you’re employing a 64-bit Windows version.

These days, Waterfox takes when Firefox ESR (or Extended Support Release). Firefox ESR is associate degree “updated” version of Firefox fifty two, that supports XUL Firefox add-ons and NPAPI plugins — and which stopped being supported in Gregorian calendar month of 2018.

Due to being supported Firefox ESR, Waterfox additionally supports XUL extensions and NPAPI plugins. However, why would you turn to Waterfox once Firefox ESR offers it as well?

Waterfox chooses to try and do things that you simply will go for yourself in Firefox, which aren’t continuously that helpful. for instance, Waterfox disables Firefox Pocket — one thing you’ll disable in Firefox yourself. It additionally disables measurement knowledge causing to Mozilla — once more, one thing you’ll disable in regular Firefox.

Pale Moon

If you utilize Waterfox with its default settings, you won’t even be ready to watch videos on Netflix. Waterfox disables Encrypted Media Extensions by default — and if you wished to, you’ll disable them in regular Firefox yourself.

The main downside with Waterfox is that victimisation it’s the identical as using Firefox ESR, however with a giant difference: Firefox ESR gets security updates method quicker. Whenever a security update is free for Firefox, Waterfox developers must patch Waterfox and unleash the remake to their users — Firefox ESR simply updates.

Let’s jump straight into it — Pale Moon is predicated on recent Firefox code. four years recent code, to be actual. Pale Moon is predicated on Firefox thirty eight ESR, that was free back in 2015. If you’re assured a few future update, simply understand that the previous version of Pale Moon was supported Firefox twenty four ESR — Firefox 24 was free in 2013.

As you’ll see per the screenshot, because of being supported ancient code, Pale Moon still uses the recent Firefox interface, before Australis themes were a issue.

At least Waterfox is predicated on newer versions of Firefox. Pale Moon doesn’t have any of the new Firefox options, nor performance enhancements. There are bound varieties of videos (the ones with DRM) {that you|that you simply|that you simply} just won’t be ready to watch on Pale Moon.

Pale Moon is predicated on Goanna rendering engine. Goanna is associate degree ASCII text file browser engine, and a lizard fork. lizard is Mozilla’s proprietary rendering engine, and what most Firefox forks use. There are not any benefits to it explicit rendering engine fork.

Even though Pale Moon has constant security updates, mend security holes is far tougher for his or her developers. They are, after all, operating with recent, superannuated and now not supported code. We’re examination a team of thousands of staff (Mozilla) to a single operating crew (Pale Moon).

Pale Moon performs worse than different Firefox forks in many browser benchmarks, although Pale Moon’s developer disagrees with such tools. we have a tendency to can’t very be shocked with such a foothold when reviewing the results.

Bottom line, there’s no reason why you’d need to use Pale Moon.


Pale Moon’s creator created another browser, supported newer code. we will solely theorise as for the why. Basilisk may be a fork of newer Firefox code, however stripped from the new Servo and Rust codes, that build Firefox Quantum thus quick.

In the future, Pale Moon also will be based mostly during this code, but, so far, Basilisk is taken into account by its developer as associate degree unstable platform.

Due to the actual fact that it’s developed by the identical developer of Pale Moon, Basilisk is reasonably during a weird spot. Pale Moon was supported Firefox twenty four ESR, however when a long time its creator had to change to a additional fashionable Firefox thirty eight ESR. Basilisk looks to be heading within the same direction, rejection new, helpful options simply to most likely incorporate them at a later date.

The reasons why you shouldn’t use Basilisk are just about the identical as for why you shouldn’t use Pale Moon — with the further undeniable fact that Basilisk is taken into account as associate degree unstable development platform.


There are many viable Firefox forks — far more than those we’ve coated here. However, you shouldn’t ever transfer them simply because. you have got to understand specifically what you’re trying to find and why may be a Firefox fork one thing that may be helpful to you.

There’s an opportunity that you simply may well be ready to do what you’re meaning to do with a Firefox fork on regular Firefox itself, and simply by dynamical some settings.

Regular Firefox has additional options and, usually, higher security patches. debate before deciding that you simply want a Firefox fork.

If you have got any doubts relating to Firefox forks, or if you’d prefer to see America cowl the other Firefox fork, allow us to understand within the comments below. we might additionally prefer to understand if you utilize a Firefox fork and why — we might be shocked with some use cases.

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