Firefox 115 Brings Intel GPUs’ Video Decoding to Linux

Hardware video decoding for Intel GPUs on Linux and Tab Manager close buttons are among the new features of the just-released Firefox 115.

In the dynamic world of web browsers, Firefox has been a steadfast choice for millions of users around the globe. Recognized for its commitment to privacy, security, and user-centric features, it continues evolving with each release.

With that said, the just-released Mozilla’s latest browser version, Firefox 115, brings some exciting new features and enhancements to its loyal user base. So without further ado, let’s take a look at them.

What’s New in Firefox 115

Mozilla Firefox 115
Mozilla Firefox 115

Traditionally, video decoding heavily relied on the CPU, which could lead to slower playback, increased system resource usage, and even reduced battery life on laptops and other portable devices.

In this light, one of the standout features of Firefox 115 is the hardware video decoding which is now enabled for Intel Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) on Linux.

With this update, Firefox leveraged the power of Intel GPUs to offload video decoding tasks from the CPU, resulting in improved performance, smooth video playback, and reduced power consumption.

Another notable addition to Firefox 115 is the introduction of close buttons in the Tab Manager.

Tab Manager close buttons.
Tab Manager close buttons.

Previously, users could only quickly navigate between tabs using the Tab Manager. However, with the new close buttons, Firefox simplifies tab management and provides a more intuitive and user-friendly approach.

But the novelties don’t end there. In Firefox 115, the developers have updated and streamlined the user interface for importing data from other browsers. In addition, undo and redo are now available in the Password fields.

Now, back to multimedia capabilities. Users who do not have support for H264 video decoding on its systems can now use Cisco’s OpenH264 plugin for playback.

We’ll wrap up our look at the most significant changes in Firefox 115 with a handy feature for Linux users. Namely, middle-clicking the new tab button will now open the contents of the xclipboard in the new tab. And if the xclipboard content is a URL, it will be automatically loaded into it.

You can find more information about all novelties in the release notes.

Finally, remember that Firefox 115 is the latest version that Windows 7 & 8 users will receive. To continue to get security updates, those users will be automatically migrated to Firefox’s Extended Support Release (ESR) 115.

At the same time, this is also the last major version that will support Apple macOS 10.12, 10.13, and 10.14. Similarly to Windows 7 & 8 users, the browser will be migrated to the ESR 115 on those systems.

Firefox 115 is available to download from the official website, where it’s available for Windows, Linux, and macOS. However, we recommend waiting for the new version to arrive in the repositories of the distro you are using.

However, if you’re an Ubuntu user with Firefox only distributed as a Snap package but want to install it as a traditional DEB application, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how you can do it.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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