Mozilla is gearing up for the launch of its Firefox OS. Naturally, the mobile community seems very curious to see just what this all new OS will bring to the table. Developers are also working hard on apps for the new OS, and Dev devices like the Keon and Peak are already in their hands. Here you’ll find a simple way to get your own hands-on demo of the upcoming mobile OS before it makes it to the commercial space. So read on to find out how you can get a glimpse of the OS from the comfort of your Firefox web browser. 

Developer phones equipped with the new FireFox OS

Developer phones equipped with the new Firefox OS

Firefox OS is a Linux-based operating system for smartphones and tablets and is being developed by Mozilla since a few years now. It is designed to allow HTML5 applications to integrate directly with the device’s hardware using JavaScript and it has been tested on Android-compatible smartphones and Raspberry Pi. Presently, you cannot install it on your phone, but the only way you can get a feel of it is by using a simulator on your desktop PC. The operating system is based on three major software layers within—Gonk (the Linux kernel), Gecko (the application runtime) and Gaia (the user interface). The operating system is still in its test phase until the launch date and the desktop build is code-named Boot2Gecko (B2G). It is available for testing on all platforms, namely, Windows, Mac and Linux. To cut short the encyclopedia about the OS and get to the simulator part, read on ahead.

What you need to get the Firefox OS running on your desktop PC is just the Firefox browser extension and, of course, the browser itself. The procedure is similar to all operating system platforms. Let’s get started.

Step 1: Download and install Mozilla Firefox if you don’t already have it on your PC. The present version is 19.0 for Windows and you can download it by clicking this link.

Download and install Firefox on your PC

Download and install Firefox on your PC

Step 2: Next, you will need the simulator extension. Click on this link and download the appropriate file for your operating system. The file is around 67 MB and will be downloaded with the extension name .XPI.

Download the emulator for Firefox OS

Download the emulator for Firefox OS

Step 3: Download the file and save it to your desktop. Start Firefox and click on “Tools” and then on “Add-ons”. On the newly opened tab, click on the settings icon on the top right side located before the search bar. Next, click on “Install Add-on from File”. Browse the desktop, select the .xpi file you just downloaded and click on “Open”. In the next dialogue box, click on the “Install” button; the Extension will be added in a few seconds. You can install add-ons using the drag-n-drop method too. Simply open Firefox, drag the .xpi file into the browser window and Firefox will automatically install it. Restart Firefox if asked to.

Add the add-on into Firefox for PC

Add the add-on into Firefox for PC

Install the add-on

Install the add-on

Launch the emulator

Launch the simulator

Start the Firefox emulator

Start the Firefox simulator

Step 4: You are ready to check out the new smartphone operating system on the simulator from Firefox. Click on “Tools”, then on “Web Developer” and finally on “Firefox OS Simulator”. A new tab opens up indicating the simulator button on the left column and highlighting that it is stopped. Click on the icon to start it and a new floating window will pop up with the smartphone operating system. 

Check out the user interface and settings on Firefox OS

Check out the user interface and settings in Firefox OS

Play around with a few apps, install apps from the market

Play around with a few apps, install apps from the market

Have fun checking out the new OS and see what is new. Check out the settings and install new apps by downloading them from the Market Place. The OS, as we mentioned, is still in development phase. It is an experimental prototype of the actual version and is a bit buggy. 

Publish date: February 26, 2013 2:32 pm| Modified date: December 19, 2013 9:02 am

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