Pale Moon
Developer(s)M.C. Straver[1]
Moonchild Productions[2]
Initial release4 October 2009; 14 years ago (2009-10-04)
Stable release
33.0.2[3] Edit this on Wikidata / 26 March 2024; 36 days ago (26 March 2024)
Written inC, C++, JavaScript, XML User Interface Language
EnginesGoanna, SpiderMonkey
Operating systemWindows 7 or later
FreeBSD 13.0 or later
OS X 10.7 or later
Contributed builds for various platforms[4]
PlatformIA-32, x86-64, ARM64[5]
Available in37 languages[6]
List of languages
Arabic (ar), Bulgarian (bg), Traditional Chinese (zh-TW), Simplified Chinese (zh-CN), Croatian (hr), Czech (cs), Danish (da), Dutch (nl), American English (en-US), British English (en-GB), Filipino (tl), Finnish (fi), French (fr), Galician (gl), Greek (el), Hungarian (hu), Indonesian (id), Italian (it), Icelandic (is), Japanese (ja), Korean (ko), Polish (pl), Brazilian Portuguese (pt-BR), European Portuguese (pt-PT), Romanian (ro), Russian (ru) Argentine Spanish (es-AR), Mexican Spanish (es-M), Serbian [cyrillic] (sr), Castilian Spanish (es-ES), Slovak (sk), Slovenian (sl), Swedish (sv-SE), Thai (th), Turkish (tr), Ukrainian (uk)
TypeWeb browser
News aggregator
License Edit this on Wikidata

[8]Pale Moon is a free and open-source web browser licensed under the MPL-2.0 with an emphasis on customization. Its motto is "Your browser, Your way." There are official releases for Microsoft Windows, FreeBSD, macOS, and Linux.

Pale Moon originated as a fork of Firefox, but has subsequently diverged. The main differences are the user interface, add-on support, and running in single-process mode. Pale Moon retains the user interface of Firefox from versions 4 to 28 and supports legacy Firefox add-ons.


Pale Moon's default user interface is the one that was used by Firefox from versions 4 to 28, known as Strata.[9] It always runs in single process mode and uses a rendering engine known as Goanna.[8] The browser has its own set of extensions[10] and supports legacy Firefox add-ons built with XUL and XPCOM,[11][12] which Firefox dropped support for.[13] NPAPI plugins are also supported. The browser's entire user interface can be customized by complete themes and lightweight themes are also available.[14] Pale Moon's default search engine is DuckDuckGo and it uses the IP-API service instead of Google for geolocation.[15] The browser is known to be lightweight on resource usage.[16][17]

Pale Moon has no telemetry or data collection.[10][8]

Unified XUL Platform (UXP)

Pale Moon is built upon the Unified XUL Platform (UXP), a cross-platform, multimedia application base that was forked from Mozilla code prior to the introduction of Firefox Quantum.[18][19] UXP is a fork of the Firefox 52 ESR platform that was created in 2017 due to XUL/XPCOM support being removed from the Firefox codebase.[20] It includes the Goanna layout and rendering engine, a fork of Mozilla's Gecko engine.[21] Moonchild Productions develops UXP independently alongside Pale Moon.[22]

Pale Moon running on Ubuntu Linux, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7

Supported platforms

Windows 7 SP1 and above are supported, along with any modern Linux distribution as long as the processors support SSE2 and there is at least 1 GB of RAM.[10] macOS on Intel and ARM processors is supported.[23] FreeBSD is also supported.

Previously, Windows XP and Vista were supported, but were dropped in versions 25 and 28, respectively.[24][25]

An Android build was developed in 2014[26] but was cancelled by the developer due to lack of community involvement a year later.[27]


Pale Moon was created and is primarily maintained by one developer, M.C. Straver.[28] Prior to version 26, Pale Moon used the same rendering engine as Firefox, known as Gecko. With version 26 in 2016, Pale Moon switched to using the Goanna rendering engine, a fork of Gecko.[21][29] In 2017, the Pale Moon team began the Unified XUL Platform due to upcoming changes in the Mozilla codebase. The Basilisk web browser was developed to serve as a "reference application" for development before Pale Moon switched over to using it.[19]

In 2022, a change in direction for Pale Moon was announced to improve website and add-on capability.[30] This resulted in version 30, which used the Firefox GUID to improve compatibility with legacy Firefox extensions and started increased development of UXP and Goanna.[31] A few days later, version 30 had to be recalled due to one of the developers causing issues before exiting the project, such as messing up the add-ons server. Version 31 was issued in response to fix these issues.[32]

Pale Moon 8

Data breach

On 10 July 2019, a data breach was reported involving the Pale Moon archive server. This breach was discovered on the previous day, though it occurred on 27 December 2017.[33] The archived releases of Pale Moon 27.6.2 and older were infected with malware targeting cryptocurrency users. Basilisk and then-current Pale Moon releases were not affected.[34][35] Straver switched the Pale Moon downloads and archives to a new host in response to the incident.[36]

Notable forks

MyPal was formerly a fork of Pale Moon that supported Windows XP, but after issues with the lead developer of Pale Moon regarding licensing, it was rebased on Firefox Quantum.[37][38] Versions of MyPal afterwards are a fork of the Firefox 68 codebase.[39]

New Moon is another fork of Pale Moon which supports Windows XP.[38]

See also


  1. ^ M.C. Straver. "About Moonchild Productions". Archived from the original on 13 March 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  2. ^ M.C. Straver. "About Moonchild Productions". Archived from the original on 9 April 2020. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Release Notes". Retrieved 26 March 2024.
  4. ^ "Contributed builds of Pale Moon". Pale Moon. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Pale Moon - Technical Details".
  6. ^ "Pale Moon language packs". Moonchild Productions. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  7. ^ "Pale Moon redistribution", Official website, retrieved 10 February 2017
  8. ^ a b c Ganguly, Suparna (24 March 2022). "5 Lesser-Known Open Source Web Browsers for Linux in 2022 | Linux Journal". Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  9. ^ Proven, Liam. "Waterfox: A Firefox fork that could teach Mozilla a lesson". The Register. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  10. ^ a b c "Review: Is Pale Moon a viable privacy browser?". Avoid the Hack (avoidthehack!). 19 September 2021. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  11. ^ Sanchez-Rola, Iskander; Santos, Igor; Balzarotti, Davide (16 August 2017), "Extension Breakdown: Security Analysis of Browsers Extension Resources Control Policies", USENIX Security Symposium (26): 680–682, ISBN 978-1-931971-40-9
  12. ^ "Avoid The Hack: 6 Best Privacy Browser Picks for Windows | Avoid the Hack (avoidthehack!)". avoidthehack!. 1 June 2023. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  13. ^ Vaughan-Nichols, Steven (21 September 2015). "Mozilla drops XUL, changes Firefox APIs; developers unhappy". ZDNET. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  14. ^ Serea, Razvan (21 September 2023). "Pale Moon". Neowin. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  15. ^ Brinkmann, Martin (11 August 2016). "Pale Moon to remove Google Search completely - gHacks Tech News". gHacks Technology News. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  16. ^ Abdul, Shan (13 November 2023). "7 Lightweight Windows Browsers Tested for RAM Usage: Which Is the Best?". MUO. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  17. ^ Siyal, Gaurav (8 February 2022). "The 7 Best Lightweight Web Browsers for Linux". MUO. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  18. ^ Richardson, John (2018). Introductory XUL (7th ed.). p. 4. ISBN 978-1-304-60870-3.
  19. ^ a b Larabel, Michael (17 November 2017). "Pale Moon Project Rolls Out The Basilisk Browser Project". Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  20. ^ Meiert, Jens (7 April 2020). The Web Development Glossary. Frontend Dogma.
  21. ^ a b Brinkmann, Martin (22 June 2015). "Pale Moon to switch from Gecko to Goanna rendering engine - gHacks Tech News". gHacks Technology News. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  22. ^ Abdul, Shan (13 November 2023). "7 Lightweight Windows Browsers Tested for RAM Usage: Which Is the Best?". MUO. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  23. ^ Brinkmann, Martin (22 March 2023). "Pale Moon 32.1.0 launches with major web compatibility improvements - gHacks Tech News". gHacks Technology News. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  24. ^ "End of Windows XP support in Pale Moon". Archived from the original on 25 November 2016.
  25. ^ "Pale Moon 28.0.0 released!". 16 August 2018. Archived from the original on 2 July 2019.
  26. ^ Kondrat, Tomek (22 July 2014). "Pale Moon Browser Ported to Android". XDA Developers. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  27. ^ "I may have to let Pale Moon for Android go. :(". 16 April 2015.
  28. ^ Hoffman, Chris (22 February 2018). "Why You Shouldn't Use Firefox Forks Like Waterfox, Pale Moon, or Basilisk". How-To Geek. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  29. ^ Peers, Nick (26 January 2016). "Pale Moon adopts new Goanna browser engine, fine-tunes interface". BetaNews. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  30. ^ Brinkmann, Martin (17 December 2021). "Pale Moon Project announces change of direction - gHacks Tech News". gHacks Technology News. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  31. ^ Brinkmann, Martin (18 March 2022). "Pale Moon 30.0 out with important changes - gHacks Tech News". gHacks Technology News. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  32. ^ Brinkmann, Martin (10 May 2022). "Pale Moon 31 is out now - gHacks Tech News". gHacks Technology News. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  33. ^ Cimpanu, Catalin (19 July 2019). "Pale Moon says hackers added malware to older browser versions". ZDNET. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  34. ^ Gatlan, Sergiu (10 July 2019). "Hackers Infect Pale Moon Archive Server With a Malware Dropper". Bleeping Computer. Bleeping Computer LLC. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  35. ^ Kovacs, Eduard (11 July 2019). "Archive Server of Pale Moon Open Source Browser Hacked". Retrieved 5 April 2024.
  36. ^ "Moonchild" (M.C. Straver) (10 July 2019). "Data breach post-mortem". Pale Moon forum. Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  37. ^ Pardo, Lisandro (2022). "MyPal: Un navegador para Windows XP en 2022 – NeoTeo". (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  38. ^ a b Bolaji, Ola-Hassan (7 February 2023). "10 Best Browsers for Windows XP That Still Work in 2024". Windows Report. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  39. ^ Proven, Liam (24 July 2023). "Want to live dangerously? Try running Windows XP in 2023". Retrieved 6 April 2024.