Run Firefox 4 on a PowerPC Mac with TenFourFox

May 10, 2011 - 6 Comments

Run Firefox 4 on PowerPC Macs

TenFourFox is an essential web browser for any Mac OS X user that is still using a PowerPC machine. It’s a fork of Mozilla that is practically identical to Firefox 4, the only difference is that it includes support for PowerPC chips, meaning you’ll get all the CSS3 and HTML5 support that Firefox 4 comes with, and perhaps more importantly, most Firefox add-ons are supported.

The developers have a pretty funny attitude about the project, here’s part of their explanation as to why TenFourFox was created:

…we were horrified when Mozilla delivered the one-two punch of dropping both support for Tiger and our beloved Power Macs from Firefox 4. A quad 2.5GHz G5 isn’t worth using to surf the web? Really? And you guys still support Windows XP?

Sure sounds ridiculous when they put it like that, doesn’t it?

You can download TenFourFox directly from the developers site, it’s completely free and has builds optimized for PowerPC G3, G4, and G5 architecture.

System requirements to run TenFourFox are a PowerPC G3, Mac OS X 10.4.11 or Mac OS X 10.5.8, 100 MB of disk space, and 256MB of RAM. Performance is apparently really fast, although they do caution that video playback will be poor on PowerPC Macs that are slower than 1.2GHz.

What are you waiting for? Breathe new life into that old Mac. Long live PowerPC!

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

6 Comments

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  1. Moving to Linuxville says:

    And in a year or two, someone will be writing TenSevenFox to get Firefox 6 to work on the abandoned Intel architecture after Apple moves to ARM… say it ain’t so!

  2. Zedd says:

    You can get the genuine firefox 4 optimized for PPC here: http://firefoxmac.furbism.com/

  3. joshua says:

    i’ve been using tenfourfox exclusively for about 6 months now on my soon to be extinct PPC mac pro box. love it. all the extensions and scripts i use all work flawlessly with it. i was using the builds in the link zedd posted prior to that…but tenfourfox has always seemed more stable for me. they also just recently implemented an update available notification too. much less of a headache than dealing with those beta builds and all that junk.

  4. Donut says:

    not sure if im the only one thats gotten poor performance out of TenFourFox. been using it for several months and always updating it.

    but it lags so much that its almost unusable. i tried using a PPC build of Camino, and that runs great. its fast and pages render quickly. though of course it lacks extension support.

  5. PandaJ says:

    The problem is that TenFourFox is designed for the author’s own personal use and is therefore made to run on 10.4 without newer 10.5 features, namely hardware acceleration. In other words, it will run like crap on newer (10.5 capable) PPC Macs (or ones upgraded to that status; I have ATI Radeon 9800 Pro and 1.8GHz 7448 G4 here) that support hardware acceleration and Core Animation. The “Furb” builds keep acceleration intact and should feel much faster overall, although TenFour has a finished Javascript JIT compiler working and so it will do Javascript much faster (over 2x faster).

    I understand the author sent the finished JIT compiler back to the Firefox team (which solves 1 of their 2 given reasons why they can’t be bothered to support PPC) and they apparently don’t care since it was all just a bunch of BS excuses to save them some work. They’ll continue to support WinXP, though (from 2001 era).

    I put most of the blame on Apple, though. They didn’t have to remove PPC support from XCode (which effectively makes it a nightmare for newer software to easily include PPC support) and thus Apple shows its contempt for users of old machines, proving they only care about making more money trying to force you to upgrade your hardware even if it works fine for your needs. Apple has no soul anymore and Steve Jobs only cares about smart phones these days.

    The latter can be shown the lack of progress in OSX (Lion) proper such as no OpenGL 4.x, still no resolution independent display despite support being announced clear back in Tiger, ancient graphic drivers that never get updated and therefore run games available on both platforms at 1/2 to 1/3 the speed of same hardware in Windows (not updating OpenGL doesn’t help either), etc. Instead, iOS is being integrated back into OSX (App store added, so they can get their 30% of gross profits of ALL developers for the OSX platform), LaunchPad is slowly going to replace the Finder for a more ‘iOS’ feel to OSX (and one day will probably mean App store only for software thus removing all competition to Apple brand software; no Firefox at all, for example) and turning the Mac into a giant turd once again like it was in the OS9 days. Maybe they can go back to cooperative multi-tasking (iOS’s piddly multitasking isn’t much better) and bring Apple networking back and every other thing they seem to like to do to isolate the Mac from real computers (e.g. no USB3 and Thunderbolt on Mini-Display Port connector that no one else will use, etc.)

  6. […] those PPC Macs running older versions of Mac OS X, don’t miss TenFourFox, a modern FireFox port for older pre-intel Macs running 10.4. […]

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