Selecting a good browser for your Linux machine depends on your needs but nowadays most of us require to use browsers for surfing the Internet without some special work like development or so on. Most of us use browsers for social networking, watching lectures for hours and playing games in the browser. So here I’m reviewing Top 4 Linux web Browsers with mentioning some good and bad that I’ve faced.
I’ve used many Linux web browsers and I bet there are tons of more to try and use. Well, I think I don’t need to try every one of them because I don’t have time and so do you. This article is written to help you select the right one if you have not chosen already. If you have chosen already then comment below the article and tell us what your favorite browser is.
1. Chrome Or Chromium
Let’s start with one of the most popular and used browsers on Linux, Chrome and its open source brother Chromium. Both browsers are similar and most of the features are the same as well. Chrome is not only used by a large number of regular users but advanced user too, for example, developers. With the sleek design, Chrome attracts many new users.
Where Chromium is an open source brother of Chrome and mostly similar to Chrome. Chromium is a good alternative for Linux. It is already available in most of the Linux distributions repository, so installing Chromium is very easy. Where Chrome can be downloaded from the Chrome website.
- Chrome version for Linux is the same as Windows version with same support of extensions.
- No question on speed! Chrome is the fastest ever known web browser. It loads website faster than any other web browser.
- Sync feature of Chrome is the best feature available in the market. It syncs all your browser’s data very quickly as you sign into the browser. You can select what data to sync when you sign into your browser. You can also watch data Chrome has synced and can stop and clear sync data such as history, bookmarks, apps, extensions, etc. whenever you need.
- Chrome consumes more memory that makes a little trouble for less memory computers. It starts slowing down computer when you create many tabs and keep them open for long, sometimes your clicks work after some time.
- Chrome sometimes does not render page correctly. You may find some buttons missing from the web page.
Firefox is one of the most popular web browsers on Linux and Windows as well. It is famous for tons of plugins that make approx every feature available in the web browser itself. Mozilla is by default installed on most Linux Distributions so making it easy to use Firefox on Linux. If it is not available in the repository, then you can download setup file specific to your distribution from the official website.
- Firefox is full of features and often sees security updates like Chrome. Firefox plugins make it more productive and relevant for users.
- To display web pages, Firefox uses the Gecko layout engine, which implements most current web standards. So unlike Chrome approx every site opens perfectly fine on Firefox.
- Firefox is not faster than Chrome & other browsers on Linux. Chrome makes surfing faster but I don’t know what is wrong with Firefox or maybe there is something better in Chrome.
Firefox crashes sometimes on Linux.
If you were using Opera on Windows in the past, you can also use it on Linux. Opera is a closed source web browser. It has recently released stable version for Linux that has taken Opera back into the competition. The recent stable release came with some new features. Opera is a good browser when it comes to integrated features. No need for extensions or plugins for some very interesting features (features mention below) although Opera now has large numbers of add-ons in their add-on store.
Opera is not available in Linux distros repository like Chromium & Firefox, so you need to download from Opera download page.
- Opera has many built-in features that in other browsers we install plugins for. Opera has integrated BitTorrent, email, RSS, and even IRC features.
- Opera often sees beta releases with some new features and security fixes and their beta releases are also pretty stable.
- Opera 27 also actively moving users across to the Pepper API Adobe Flash plugin and the first time a page containing Flash content is accessed, users will be prompted to install it, something Opera strongly recommends.
- Sync feature is now available in Opera.
- Opera is not faster than Chrome although just good in terms of speed.
- Sometimes you may face compatibility issue with some websites.
You will want to use Opera if you like built-in features and the rapid development that increases hope to have something new in Opera.
At the time of writing this article, Vivaldi beta version was available. Now the stable version is available and any notice or warning regarding the beta version in this article does not apply. So you can enjoy all the Vivaldi features without any problem.
I guess that you are surprised seeing Vivaldi in this series. Well, there can be many that you may think here on number 4 but Vivaldi is here for some specialties.
Although Vivaldi is not in the stable version , there is Technical Preview 2 available. Well, I am going to mention why Vivaldi is here specifically on number 4. Notice: Vivaldi is in Technical Preview 2 so there can be some issues, so enjoy it on your own risk. Vivaldi has just come up and developed by the former CEO of Opera. He says –
In 1994, two programmers started working on a web browser. Our idea was to make a really fast browser, capable of running on limited hardware, keeping in mind that users are individuals with their own requirements and wishes. Opera was born. Our little piece of software gained traction, our group grew and a community was created. We stayed close to our users and to our roots. We kept improving our software, based on our users’ feedback, as well as our own ideas on how to make a great browser. We innovated and we strove for excellence.
Fast forward to 2015, the browser we once loved has changed its direction. Sadly, it is no longer serving its community of users and contributors who helped build the browser in the first place.
SO WE CAME TO A NATURAL CONCLUSION:
We must make a new browser. A browser for ourselves and a browser for our friends. A browser that is fast, but also a browser that is rich in functionality, highly flexible and puts the user first. A browser that is made for you.
Vivaldi is actually very similar to most of the competing web browsers. It’s built on the Chromium platform that powers Chrome, so uses the same rendering engine. So the speed is pretty good. Also, Vivaldi is for advanced users who think more than just simplicity.
The default layout is also very familiar. You’ve got tabs running along with the top navigation clustered in the top left and the URL box top dead center.
Vivaldi many features are on hold. We’ll have to wait for some good features like Mail, Sync and many more than a common user needs…
Update – All the above features plus many more are now available in Vivaldi stable release.
If you want to start off with a browser that cares the users’ demands, then you can select Vivaldi hoping it’s bright and feature-rich future.
Talking about positives and negatives so there is not much to say. All we have till now is a good browser that has some basic feature with a nice interface. Vivaldi interface color gets changed depending on the primary color of the website you are currently opening.
Finally, I will say above-mentioned browsers are good for any user. If you want speed then use Chrome, if you want to enjoy tons of plugins then keep on using Firefox and if you want to enjoy interesting integrated features then select Opera.
Vivaldi is the last in the list and seems to be going fast in the right way. You might be using any other Linux web browser for your needs that I did not talk about. Feel free to mention them below in the comment and mention what extraordinary features your browser(s) have.