Web Browser is a software that provides an interface to surf the web. With an introduction in around 1991, their development and advancement have advanced many folds till the current stage which we see today.
Earlier there used to be mostly text-based sites with few having images and graphical content, hence only text-based browsers sufficed with some of the early browsers being: Lynx, w3m, and eww.
But, with the advancement of technology to support audio, video, images and even flash content, browsers also need to be that advanced to support such content. This has pushed the advancement of browsers to what we see today.
A modern browser requires the support of many software which include: web browser engines like Geeko, Trident, WebKit, KHTML, etc, Rendering engine to render the web site content and display in a proper format.
Linux being an open-source community gives freedom to developers across the globe to experiment with features they expect from an ideal browser.
Some Web Browsers in Linux
Below are listed some best web browsers which are just perfect to be listed here. Usually, the features which distinguish a normal to a good browser are – Ability to support all types of data including audio, video, flash and HTML and HTML5, fast performance, memory friendly to adjust to old and new systems completely, ability to support maximum architectures like Intel, AMD and operating systems like: Windows, Mac, Unix-like, BSD to name a few.
1. Google Chrome
Accounted as the most popular web browser in smartphones and PC’s with more than half usage share of web browsers, Google Chrome is a freeware developed by Google. It forked from Chromium whose code is modified with certain add-ons to structure it. It uses the WebKit layout engine till version 27 and Blink thereafter. Written mostly in C++, it is available for many Operating Systems including Android, iOS, OS X, Windows, and Linux.
Features provided by Chrome include – bookmarking and synchronization, enhanced security, malware blocking, and addition of external plugins like AdBlock, etc available in Google Web Store which is provided as a default extension in Chrome. Also, it supports user tracking feature which can be enabled if required.
It is fast because of the inbuilt mechanism it uses, also is very stable with tabbed browsing, speed dials and incognito (private browsing ) mode, provides custom themes that can be installed as an extension from the web store. It is widely accepted as one of default browser which can be found in almost all systems, with mostly positive reviews.
Install Google Chrome on Ubuntu & Linux Mint
$ wget https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb $ sudo dpkg -i google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb
Install Google Chrome on Fedora
$ sudo dnf install fedora-workstation-repositories $ sudo dnf config-manager --set-enabled google-chrome $ sudo dnf install google-chrome-stable -y
Install Google Chrome on CentOS/RHEL
# cat << EOF > /etc/yum.repos.d/google-chrome.repo [google-chrome] name=google-chrome baseurl=http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/rpm/stable/x86_64 enabled=1 gpgcheck=1 gpgkey=https://dl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub EOF # yum install google-chrome-stable
Since its introduction, it has been praised for its speed and security add ons and even is often termed as the spiritual successor of Netscape Navigator. It uses the Gecko web engine in all the supported platforms leaving the latest one on iOS which doesn’t use Gecko.
Features supported by Firefox include: tabbed browsing, spell checking, incremental find, live bookmarking, private browsing, add-on support which allows easy integration of many features. Apart from these, it supports many standards including: HTML4, XML, XHTML, SVG and APNG etc. It has been one of the popular web browsers in many Asian and African countries with more than a billion users around the world.
Install Firefox on Ubuntu & Linux Mint
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-next $ sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade $ sudo apt install firefox
Install Firefox on Fedora
$ sudo dnf install snapd $ sudo ln -s /var/lib/snapd/snap /snap $ sudo snap install firefox
Install Firefox on CentOS/RHEL
$ cd /opt $ sudo wget https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/72.0/linux-x86_64/en-US/firefox-72.0.tar.bz2 $ sudo tar xfj firefox-72.0.tar.bz2 $ /opt/firefox/firefox
Another popular web browser, Opera is one of the earliest ones we have to date, with the initial version released in 1995, 25 years ago. It is written in C++ with availability marked for all Operating Systems including Windows, OS, Linux, OS X, Symbian and Mobile phones including Android, iOS. It uses the Blink web engine, whereas earlier versions used Presto.
Features of this browser include: speed-dial for quick search, tabbed browsing, downloads manager, Page Zooming which allows Flash, Java, and SVG to be increased or decreased as per user requirements, deletion of HTTP cookies, browsing history and other data on click of a button. Despite its criticism for compatibility, and other UI related issues, it has been one of the favorite browsers with a total of around 2.28% usage shares in mid of 2019.
Install Opera on Ubuntu & Linux Mint
$ sudo add-apt-repository 'deb https://deb.opera.com/opera-stable/ stable non-free' $ wget -qO - https://deb.opera.com/archive.key | sudo apt-key add - $ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get install opera-stable
Install Opera on Fedora, CentOS, and RHEL
$ sudo rpm --import https://rpm.opera.com/rpmrepo.key $ sudo tee /etc/yum.repos.d/opera.repo <<RPMREPO [opera] name=Opera packages type=rpm-md baseurl=https://rpm.opera.com/rpm gpgcheck=1 gpgkey=https://rpm.opera.com/rpmrepo.key enabled=1 RPMREPO $ sudo yum -y install opera-stable
Vivaldi is a new feature-rich cross-platform, freeware web browser that incorporates an Opera-like interface with a Chromium open-source platform, which was first officially launched on April 6, 2016, by Vivaldi Technologies and it is developed on web technologies such as HTML5, Node.js, React.js, and various NPM modules. As of March 2019, Vivaldi has 1.2 million active monthly users.
Vivaldi offers a minimalistic user interface with simple icons and fonts, and a color pattern that alters based on the background and design of the web sites being visited. It also enables users to customize the interface elements such as the overall theme, the address bar, start pages, and tab positioning.
Install Vivaldi on Debian, Ubuntu & Linux Mint
$ wget -qO- https://repo.vivaldi.com/archive/linux_signing_key.pub | sudo apt-key add - $ sudo add-apt-repository 'deb https://repo.vivaldi.com/archive/deb/ stable main' $ sudo apt update && sudo apt install vivaldi-stable
Install Vivaldi on Fedora, CentOS, and RHEL
$ sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo https://repo.vivaldi.com/archive/vivaldi-fedora.repo $ sudo dnf install vivaldi-stable
Widely known web browser, which forms the base from where Google Chrome takes its source code, Chromium is another Open Source web browser available for Linux, Windows, OS X, and Android Operating Systems. It is mainly written in C++ with the latest release being in December 2016. It is designed with a minimalistic user interface so as to make it lightweight and fast.
Features of Chromium include a tabbed window manager, support for Vorbis, Theora, WebM codecs for HTML5 Audio and Video, Bookmark and History and Session management. Apart from Google Chrome, Chromium also forms a base for a large number of other Web Browsers some of which are still active while others have been discontinued. Some of them are Opera, Dartium, Epic Browser, Vivaldi, Yandex Browser, Flock (discontinued), Rockmelt (discontinued) and many more.
Install Chromium on Debian, Ubuntu & Linux Mint
$ sudo apt-get install chromium-browser
Install Chromium on Fedora
$ sudo dnf install chromium
Midori is an open-source web browser developed In Vala and C with WebKit engine and GTK+ 2 and GTK+ 3 interface. With an initial stable release in 2007 and the latest stable release being in July 2019.
Midori is currently the default browser in many Linux distros including Manjaro Linux, elementary OS, SliTaz Linux, Bodhi Linux, Trisqel Mini, SystemRescue CD, old versions of Raspbian.
Major Features provided by it include HTML5 Support, Bookmark Management, Private Browsing, Windows, Tabs and Sessions management, Speed Dial, Easy integration of extensions which can be written in C and Vala, Unity Support. Midori has been mentioned as one of the alternative web browsers for Linux by LifeHacker and many other sites including TechRadar, ComputerWorld, and Gigaom.
Install Midori on Linux
$ sudo dnf install snapd $ sudo ln -s /var/lib/snapd/snap /snap $ sudo snap install midori
Falkon (previously known as QupZilla) is another new web browser which started merely as a Research Project with the first release in December 2010 written in Python, and later releases being in C++ with a goal to develop a portable web browser. It is licensed under GPLv3 and available for Linux, Windows, OS X, FreeBSD.
QupZilla uses WebKit engine with QtWebKit to be in sync with modern web standards. It provides all the functions of a modern web browser including Speed Dial, built-in Ad Block feature, bookmark management, etc. Additional features that would make you opt this browser include Performance Optimization with memory consumption lower than most famous web browsers including Firefox and Google Chrome.
Install Falkon on Linux
$ sudo dnf install snapd $ sudo ln -s /var/lib/snapd/snap /snap $ sudo snap install falkon
Another multi-purpose Web Browser and File Manager, Konqueror is another one in the list. Developed in C++(Qt) and available for Operating Systems including Linux and Windows and licensed under GPLv2. As the name shows, Konqueror (starting with ‘K’) is the default browser for the KDE Desktop environment, replacing the then known KFM.
Other features include: Customizable search services (even custom search shortcut is also included which can be added), ability to show multimedia content within web pages due to integrated Kpart, Ability to open PDF, Open Document and other specific file types, integrates I/O plugin system which allows several protocols including HTTP, FTP, WebDAV, SMB, etc, ability to browse through local file system of user. Konqueror Embedded is another embedded version of Konqueror which is also available.
Install Konqueror on Linux
$ sudo apt install konqueror [On Debian/Ubuntu/Mint] $ sudo dnf install konqueror [On Fedora]
9. Web (Epiphany) – GNOME Web
GNOME Web originally named Epiphany is another we browser which deserves a mention in the list. Written in C (GTK+) it was originally a fork of Galeon and since then has been part of the GNOME project and complies with GNOME’s guidelines at each stage of its development.
Initially, it used the Geeko engine but with version 2.20, it started using the WebKitGTK+ engine. The web provides support for Linux and BSD Operating Systems with source code available under GPLv2.
Features include HTML4, CSS1 and XHTML support including support for HTML5 and CSS3, inbuilt plugins of Adobe Flash and IcedTea, bookmark and “smart bookmark” feature which allows easy search in find-in-as-you-type manner, full integration with GNOME features including GNOME Network Manager, GNOME printer, etc, and other features supported by most browsers. While it has received mixed reviews, one capability for which it is praised by many is its fast launching and page-load capability.
Install Epiphany on Linux
$ sudo dnf install snapd $ sudo ln -s /var/lib/snapd/snap /snap $ sudo snap install epiphany
10. Pale Moon
Another browser based on Mozilla Firefox, Pale Moon is a replacement for Firefox on Linux, Windows, and Android. It is developed in C/C++ with Source Code available under MPL2.0 License. It retains the user interface seen in previous versions of Firefox, focusing only on web browsing abilities. Its latest version will use Gonna, which is a fork of Geeko, a web browser engine of Firefox.
Pale Moon focuses on speed optimization features and utilizes Microsoft C Compiler’s speed optimization, auto-parallelization features. Also, it removes unnecessary add on features that are not required i.e. crash reporter, accessibility hardware features, and targets Windows Vista and later OS due to which it may fail on older hardware. Other features include the DuckDuckGo default search engine, IP-API geolocation service, functional status bar, and enhanced customization.
The Brave is an open source and free web browser based on Chromium, that provides fast and secure private web browsing exprience for PC, Mac and mobile.
It offers ad-blocking, website tracking and provides a mode for users to send cryptocurrency donations in the form of Basic Attention Tokens to websites and content creators.
Waterfox is an open-source web browser based on Mozilla Firefox source code and is specially built for a 64-bit operating system. It intends to be fast and focus on power users.
Slimjet is a fastest web browser that is powered by industry-leading Blink engine and is created on top of the Chromium project, that comes with an added functionality and customization options that enables you to fine-tune your browser preferences that best suits your own specific needs.
Slimjet comes with numerous powerful and convenient features to guide you in maximizing your online productivity, which includes ad blocker, download manager, quick form filler, customizable toolbar, Facebook integration, Instagram photo upload, youtube video downloader, weather forecast, web page translation and many more.
14. Min – A Fast, Minimal Browser
Min is a fast, minimal smarter web browser that safeguard your privacy. It includes an user-friendly interface designed to decrease distractions, and comes with the following notable features such as:
- Get quick information from DuckDuckGo in the search bar.
- Full-text search for visited pages.
- Automatic ad and tracker blocking.
- Reader view
- Tasks (tab groups)
- Dark theme
The Dissenter is an open source web browser that blocks advertisements and trackers by default and improve your browsing experience faster and more secure. Dissenter also offers a feature called Comment Badge, that enables users to comment on all web sites, view comments posted by other users and have conversation with other users in real time.
Links is an Open source text and a graphical web browser that is written in C and available for Windows, Linux, OS X, and OS/2, Open VMS and DOS systems. It is released under GPLv2+ License. It is one of those browsers which has many forks based upon it including Elinks (Experimental/Enhanced Links), Hacked Links, etc.
The main highlight feature of Links is that it can run in graphics mode even for those systems which do not have X Server because of its support for Graphic drivers for X Server, Linux Framebuffer, svgalib, OS/2 PMShell, and Atheos GUI.
Best Command Line Web Browsers for Linux
These were some of the Open Source Browsers available on Linux. If you have some personal favorites, do mention them in your comments and we would include them in our list too.