What is XULRunner

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XULRunner is a Mozilla runtime package that can be used to bootstrap XUL+XPCOM applications that are as rich as Firefox and Thunderbird. Its similar to other existing runtime applications such as J2SE Java Runtime Environment (JRE). This runtime package provides a way for installing, upgrading, and uninstalling XULRunner applications. XULRunner will also provide libxul, a solution which allows the embedding of Mozilla technologies in other projects and products. These applications can be written in any supported languages by Mozilla web platform. Some of these languages would be the following:

  • HTML
  • SVG
  • XUL

XULRunner application is an altnerative to avoid the use of Firefox. The following are the trade offs of using a XULRunner application:


  • Runs on its own independent process
  • Does not require Firefox to run


  • Auto-update code would need to be written
  • Installation files are larger tod ownload when including XULRunner binaries (+13MB)

Note: The listed pros and cons are not all the trade offs of using XULRunner. Instead these are the trade offs of using XULRunner application as apose to Firefox.