Today, Tuesday, Mozilla officially releases Firefox 94 and Firefox ESR 91.3 at the same time. As usual, the new versions have been on the servers since yesterday . Linux users can look forward to more speed in WebGL rendering and less energy consumption, because the OpenGL API is also changing from GLX to its modern successor EGL under X11 , as Mozilla developer Martin Stransky reports in his blog .
EGL takes over
This API, which is relatively new in comparison to GLX and represents an interface between OpenGL and the window system, was originally designed for Wayland, but now also works under X11, provided that at least Mesa 21 is installed. The new backend works with Intel and AMD, but users of Nvidia’s proprietary drivers have to wait a little longer because the driver lacks the EGL extension that NVIDIA 495 is supposed to come with. At Mozilla there are still 2 bugs open in this regard .
If you still have problems with EGL with Firefox 94, you can
about:configswitch back to GLX. This requires the switch
truebe set. The move to EGL is a relief for the developers, as more code can be shared with Wayland and the Android app that has already been converted to EGL, which in turn leads to fewer bugs, as the developers write in the Mozilla Gfx Team Blog .
Unloading tab also for Linux
Firefox 93 reactivated the previously tested tab unloading for Windows users. The point is that tabs are automatically unloaded when the system detects that the free memory is running out due to too many open tabs or other memory-hungry applications. Users then have to click on the unloaded tab or tabs to reload them.
With Firefox 94, this functionality will now also be reactivated for Linux. A new page under shows
about:unloadshow Firefox prioritizes the tabs and which tab is unloaded when the function is triggered and also allows individual tabs to be unloaded manually, but only in the specified order.
An energy-saving mode borrowed from Apple helps Firefox users under macOS to have longer battery runtimes when playing full-screen videos on YouTube and Twitch. The release notes are still very limited about other innovations ; these will be released for the stable version during the course of the day.