Pale Moon is an open source Goanna-based internet web Browser available for Microsoft Windows and Linux (with other operating systems in development), focusing on efficiency and ease of use. Make sure to get the most out of your browser! It provides support for almost all Firefox extensions and themes but some features bundled in Firefox are disabled in Pale Moon in order to boost the speed of browsing and decrease resource consumption, namely Accessibility and Parental Controls.
When running for the first time, the tool lets you import Options, Bookmarks, History, Passwords and other details from Internet Explorer or Chrome.
Pale Moon’s interface resembles the one adopted by Firefox before the major facelift brought by Australis. It retains the same familiar elements and may prove to be a safe alternative for those users who can’t get along with the completely redesigned interface implemented by Firefox with Australis version 29.
You are given the freedom to hide or reveal the Menu Bar, Navigation Toolbar, Bookmarks Toolbar, and Status Bar, or conceal all of them for a cleaner browsing experience. Plus, you can add or remove items by dragging them to or from the toolbars.
The web browser enables you to work with multiple tabs, pin your favorite ones, as well as customize the status bar. The tab bar remains included in the UI just below the other toolbars, a design aspect not retained by Firefox and Chrome.
Key features Pale Moon:
Several powerful features are included in the package for delivering a pleasant and secure browsing experience. You may navigate on the Internet using the private mode which automatically deletes all traces left behind when you close the current session.
Pale Moon Browser Features:
- Optimized for modern processors
- Based on our own optimized layout engine (Goanna)
- Safe: forked from mature Mozilla code and regularly updated
- Secure: Additional security features and security-aware development
- Supported by a friendly, active community of users
- Familiar, efficient, fully customizable interface
- Support for full themes: total freedom over any element’s design
- Support for easily-created lightweight themes (skins)
- Smooth and speedy page drawing and script processing
- Increased stability: experience fewer browser crashes
- Support for many Firefox extensions
- Support for a growing number of Pale Moon exclusive extensions
- Extensive and growing support for HTML5 and CSS3
- Many customization and configuration options
How different is this browser from Mozilla products?
The differences are increasingly significant as time passes. Pale Moon should be considered a “true fork” and a totally independent product.
- Pale Moon is based on a derivative of the Gecko rendering engine (Goanna) and builds on a hard fork of the Mozilla code (Mozilla-central) called UXP, a XUL-focused platform that provides the underpinnings of several XUL applications including Pale Moon. This means that the core rendering functions for Pale Moon and Firefox (and rebuilds) will be a relatively close match and that functionality in the Gecko core code, will, as a ballpark estimate, also exist in this browser. Where specific core functions have been changed, it has been done carefully and with due consideration to provide better performance and efficiency while not endangering the security of the browser, and to focus on better standards compatibility and/or more sane behavior.
- It comes with a number of different default configuration settings than Firefox and may behave differently when certain advanced configuration preferences are changed.
Note that “internet speed boosters” and general “tweak guides” written for Firefox can actually harm Pale Moon’s speed as the configuration defaults are made with in-depth knowledge of the browser back-end and “a higher number” or “bigger buffer” isn’t always better. You are strongly advised to always use defaults as supplied in web browser.
- Changes were made to the user interface and feature set, to incorporate functionality and visual elements in different locations than what was chosen by the Mozilla team, as well as retaining or re-introducing useful elements that were removed in Firefox, and either removing or disabling (by default) components that would not be used by the average user. In addition, some other user interface changes were made to provide an as consistent and intuitive interface as possible while still staying close to what Firefox’s goals have always been. This means the “Australis” interface will never be used in the web browser.
- This browser offers more configurability for features, like additional tab preferences, preferences for image loading or tab positions, and full control over smooth scrolling, to name a few.
- It uses a different “Sync” client and its own server to synchronize data between different instances of the browser. This is not compatible with Firefox Sync as used in Firefox 29 or later. Mozilla’s change to “Firefox Accounts” is a different and less secure approach to synchronizing data and focuses more on future commercial endeavors of the Mozilla Corporation and, after careful consideration, has been rejected for use in the browser (for quite the list of reasons, to be fair).
It supports and will continue to support the following features/technologies:
- Full UI customization
- Full theming (complete themes) and lightweight theming (personas)
- XUL and XBL to build interfaces and applications (including the ability to launch independent XUL-apps from the browser binaries).
- Full support for NPAPI plug-ins
- Overlay and bootstrapped (restartless) extensions
- Access to low-level APIs from extensions, allowing them to truly extend browser functionality, and not just manipulate web content
- Pale Moon Sync (in the secure, time-tested Weave fashion); it will be able to use any Weave Sync 1.1 compatible server, including some FOSS cloud solutions.
Lasts but not least, you can clear your recent history, remove individual cookies, sync data so you can access your history, bookmarks, passwords and open tabs across all your devices, as well as work with a download manager.
It proves to be a reliable web browser that removes several unnecessary features from Firefox for delivering fast browsing speed and implements a user-friendly interface, which retains several traditional design concepts removed from Firefox’s new UI.