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Minefield – A 64-bit Firefox

If you’re running a 64-bit OS like Windows Server 2008 x64, Vista x64, or any others you might see some performance improvements by your applications also being 64-bit. One such application would be Mozilla Firefox. The 64-bit version is not built by Mozilla, but uses the same code and is compiled for 64-bit operating systems. It received the name Minefield.

minefield Minefield   A 64 bit Firefox

It keeps up with the latest versions, as you can tell by the screenshot. I’m running version 3.0.6 which is the latest version. There are also 64-bit builds of the beta Firefox 3.1 available as well. The site posts metrics comparing the performance of the x64 version as you can see for yourself. All the changes are made in the back-end, so the user-interface is identical to the official 32-bit release (except the renaming and a different icon).

The thing that sets Firefox apart: its extensions. Extensions are platform independent and work across different OSes, including 64-bit ones. All of my extensions are working just fine after installing Minefield. Plug-ins, however, are a different story. Plug-ins like Java and Flash will need to be re-installed with their 64-bit counterparts.

You can download 64-bit Java Runtime-Environment.

Unfortunately, a 64-bit Flash player doesn’t exist yet. You can read more about that with this Adobe Knowledge Base article. Flash works on a 64-bit operating system, but not with a 64-bit browser.

You can download Minefield, the 64-bit version of Firefox, from Mozilla x86-64.

You can also download Shredder, the 64-bit of Thunderbird. This is based off of the Thunderbird 3.0 beta.