Build Firefox Faster with Artifact Builds

By  on  

Working on Firefox DevTools has always been a dream of mine, mostly because it feels like the ultimate way to give back to the development community and those that helped me become a success.  And when I explain who Mozilla is and people ask "Oh, so you work on Firefox?!", I can finally say "yes"!

Of course working on Firefox DevTools isn't without its problems, the biggest being that Firefox takes forever to build.  And its effect on a MacBook Pro's CPU?  Well...here's a recent photo of me building Firefox:

Build Firefox

Thankfully there's a faster way to build Firefox for local developer:  artifact builds.  Artifact builds allow you to use pre-built binaries to build Firefox for debugging DevTools (and other features) much more quickly.

Start by creating a mozconfig with the following contents:

# Automatically download and use compiled C++ components:
ac_add_options --enable-artifact-builds

# Write build artifacts to:
mk_add_options MOZ_OBJDIR=./objdir-frontend

The trigger a build using mach:

./mach clobber && ./mach build

# Use `./mach build faster` in the future

Firefox builds go from an hour (and potentially a call to the Fire Department) to just a few minutes.  If you're looking to help develop DevTools, Firefox, or simply have your own custom build of Firefox, jump on artifact builds -- these mozconfig directives are worth the time!

Recent Features

Incredible Demos

  • By
    MooTools CountDown Plugin

    There are numerous websites around the internet, RapidShare for example, that make you wait an allotted amount of time before presenting you with your reward. Using MooTools, I've created a CountDown plugin that allows you to easily implement a similar system. The MooTools JavaScript The CountDown class...

  • By
    Implementing Basic and Fancy Show/Hide in MooTools 1.2

    One of the great parts of MooTools is that the library itself allows for maximum flexibility within its provided classes. You can see evidence of this in the "Class" class' implement method. Using the implement method, you can add your own methods to...

Discussion

    Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!