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Developer(s) Mozilla Foundation and community
Initial release February 2006
Stable release
41.0.2 / October 15, 2015; 2 years ago (2015-10-15)
Preview release
41.0b9 / October 14, 2015; 2 years ago (2015-10-14)
Written in C++, XUL, XBL, JavaScript
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Runtime environment
License MPL
Website developer.mozilla.org/en/XULRunner

XULRunner is a packaged version of the Mozilla platform to enable standalone desktop application development. A browser isn't required to run these applications, as they have their own executable file. The application is written in XUL (XML User Interface Language) developed by Mozilla. It replaced the Gecko Runtime Environment, a stalled project with a similar purpose.[1] The first stable developer preview of XULRunner was released in February 2006, based on the Mozilla 1.8 code base.

XULRunner is a "technology experiment", not a shipped product,[2] meaning there are no "official" XULRunner releases, only stable builds based on the same code as a corresponding Firefox release.

Mozilla stopped supporting the development of XULrunner in July 2015.[3][4]

Software architecture[edit]

XULRunner is a runtime that can be used to bootstrap multiple XUL + XPCOM applications that are equal in capabilities to Firefox and Thunderbird.

XULRunner stores a variety of configuration data (bookmarks, cookies, contacts etc.) in internally managed SQLite databases, and even offer an add-on to manage SQLite databases.


All XUL-based applications like Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, Nightingale, Songbird, Flickr Uploadr, SeaMonkey, Conkeror, Sunbird, Miro, Joost, and TomTom Home 2.0 run on XULRunner. Starting with version 3.0, Mozilla Firefox uses a "private" XULRunner,[5] meaning the framework is installed locally in the application directory.

Kiwix, an offline browser for Wikipedia (now extended to Project Gutenberg etc.) uses XULRunner.

The fourth version of the video game series Simon the Sorcerer, Simon the Sorcerer 4: Chaos Happens, uses XULRunner.

The eMusic website has a download application called eMusic Remote that uses XULRunner.

The Google AdWords Editor uses XULRunner,[6] as does the Evergreen ILS, an open-source library automation system.

In addition, the XULRunner package provides access to ActiveX Control functionality previously found in a (now defunct) third-party ActiveX Control built off the Mozilla source code. Applications using this application programming interface (API) may function with XULRunner installed and registered.

Starting with Lotus Notes version 8.5.1, IBM deployed XULRunner to provide Notes client support for XPages applications.


In January 2014, dropping XULRunner support was discussed by Mozilla developers.[7] In July 2015, Mozilla stopped supporting the development of XULrunner,[3][4] and the community page has been taken down.[8] As of the beginning of 2016, it had been dropped from the package database of most Linux distributions, including Gentoo,[9] Debian,[10][11] and Ubuntu.[12][13]

XULRunner can still be installed separately, and many XULRunner-dependent applications can be switched over fairly easily.[14] However, its disappearance has caused some dependent packages to be removed from package databases.[15]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]