Pale Moon (web browser)

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Pale Moon
Pale Moon 26 running on Windows 10
Pale Moon 26 running on Windows 10
Developer(s) M.C. Straver[1]
Initial release October 4, 2009 (2009-10-04)
Stable release 27.3.0 (April 27, 2017; 56 days ago (2017-04-27)[2]) [±]
Development status Active
Written in C/C++, CSS, XUL
Operating system Windows, Linux (unofficial build for macOS[3] and contributed builds for various platforms[4])
Engine Goanna
Platform IA-32, x86-64[5]
Available in 12 languages[6]
Type Web browser
News aggregator

Pale Moon is an open-source web browser with an emphasis on customizability; its motto is "Your browser, Your way".[8] There are official releases for both Microsoft Windows and Linux,[8] an unofficial build for macOS,[3] and contributed builds for various platforms.[4]

Pale Moon is a fork of Firefox, with differences including add-ons and user interface. In particular, Pale Moon will continue to support the long-standing XUL and XPCOM add-on infrastructure that Firefox has deprecated and will remove entirely in version 57.[9][10][11] Pale Moon has also retained the fully customizable user interface of the Firefox version 4–28 era,[9] while updating other parts of the browser with newer Firefox code.[12]


Pale Moon 8 running on Windows XP


Pale Moon has diverged from Firefox in a number of ways:

Old platforms[edit]

Version 26.5 was the final version to support Windows XP.[16]

The official releases do not support older processors without the SSE2 instruction set.[5] However, a contributed build for Linux is available that supports some older processors.[17]


Pale Moon's source code is released under the Mozilla Public License 2.0 except for parts relating to branding. To ensure quality, redistribution of officially branded Pale Moon binaries is only permissible under specific circumstances.[7] The name and logo are trademarked and copyrighted by the project founder and cannot be used without his prior permission.[18]


M.C. Straver is the project founder and lead developer.[1] Straver's first official release of Pale Moon was in 2009, which was a rebuild of Firefox 3.5.2 with tweaked compiler settings.[19] Eventually the scope of the project grew, and version 24 became a true fork of Firefox 24 ESR.[19] Starting with version 25, Pale Moon uses a completely independent versioning scheme.[20]

Pale Moon 27.0, released in November 2016,[12] was a major rebase of the core browser code to Firefox 38 ESR, which added HTTP/2, DirectX 11, MSE/DASH, and JavaScript ES6 capabilities.[21] Add-on support remains almost entirely unchanged, with a slight reduction of Jetpack compatibility.[9][22]

Pale Moon for Android is a distinct development effort that is no longer maintained.[23] First released in 2014,[24] Straver announced the following year that it would likely be abandoned due to lack of community involvement.[25] The final release was 25.9.6.[26]


Straver has downplayed the role of benchmark tests, stating that they "can't be used to draw hard (or regularly even any) conclusions. Plain and simple: they are an indication, nothing more. They serve well if you compare closely related siblings (e.g. Firefox and Iceweasel) or different builds of the exact same browser, to get a relative performance difference between the two on the limited subset of what is actually tested, but that's about as far as it goes."[27]

In 2013, Pale Moon was a bit slower than Firefox in the ClubCompy Real-World Benchmark, scoring 8,168 and 9,344 out of 50,000 possible points, respectively.[28] In a 2016 browser comparison test by Ghacks, Pale Moon had the smallest memory footprint after opening 10 different websites in separate tabs.[29] However, in the same report Pale Moon scored the worst in the Mozilla Kraken, Google Octane, 32-bit RoboHornet and second-to-worst 64-bit RoboHornet benchmarks and hung during the JetStream JavaScript benchmark.[29]

Market share[edit]

StatCounter Feb. 2017 desktop share[30]
Google Chrome
Mozilla Firefox
Internet Explorer
Microsoft Edge
Yandex Browser
Cốc Cốc
UC Browser
Sogou Explorer
360 Secure Browser
QQ Browser
Mozilla Suite
Pale Moon

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b M.C. Straver. "About Moonchild Productions". Archived from the original on 2017-03-13. Retrieved 2017-06-06. 
  2. ^ "Pale Moon Release Notes". Pale Moon. 2017-04-27. Retrieved 2017-04-29. 
  3. ^ a b "Mac 27.3.0 build". Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  4. ^ a b "Contributed builds of Pale Moon". Pale Moon. Retrieved 2017-02-12. 
  5. ^ a b "Pale Moon - Technical Details". 
  6. ^ "Pale Moon language packs". Moonchild Productions. Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  7. ^ a b "Pale Moon redistribution", Official website, retrieved 2017-02-10 
  8. ^ a b "The Pale Moon Project homepage". Pale Moon. Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Pale Moon future roadmap". Pale Moon. Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  10. ^ Kev Needham (2015-08-21). "The Future of Developing Firefox Add-ons". Retrieved 2015-09-07. 
  11. ^ Jorge Villalobos (2017-02-16). "The Road to Firefox 57 – Compatibility Milestones". Retrieved 2017-02-17. 
  12. ^ a b "Pale Moon Release Notes". 
  13. ^ "Adblock Latitude". 
  14. ^ "Browser Pale Moon Integrates New Personal Start Page" (Press release). Amsterdam: PRWeb. February 11, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Pale Moon 24.3.0 released! - Pale Moon forum". Retrieved 2017-04-09. 
  16. ^ "End of Windows XP support in Pale Moon". 
  17. ^ "Pale Moon SSE for Linux". 
  18. ^ "Pale Moon branding information". Official website. 
  19. ^ a b "History of the Pale Moon project". Moonchild Productions. Retrieved 2017-02-06. 
  20. ^ "What is Pale Moon's versioning scheme like?". 
  21. ^ "The Future of Pale Moon". 
  22. ^ "Jetpack Style Extensions". Retrieved 2017-02-10. 
  23. ^ "Pale Moon for Android". Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  24. ^ "Pale Moon for Android 24.7.1". August 3, 2014. 
  25. ^ "I may have to let Pale Moon for Android go. :(". April 16, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Pale Moon for Android updated to 25.9.6!". Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  27. ^ "What's the deal with browser benchmarks? - Pale Moon forum". Retrieved 2017-06-22. 
  28. ^ Matt Nawrocki. "Review: Pale Moon web browser for Windows". TechRepublic. Retrieved 2017-02-12. 
  29. ^ a b Martin Brinkmann. "32-bit vs 64-bit browsers: which version has the edge?". GHacks. Retrieved 2017-02-12. 
  30. ^ "Top 5 Desktop browsers on Feb 2017". StatCounter. 

External links[edit]