5 Linux Browsers You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

While you might be fine sticking with the default browser for your Linux distribution, very often one browser isn’t enough. The default browser might be crashing all the time, or you simply might need more. For such cases you’d better know what the alternatives are.

For instance, I always have dozens, if not hundreds, of tabs open – for my own projects, for clients’ projects, personal research, etc., and all this in one browser becomes way too much. Also, when I upload files, the browser (usually) remembers the last directory used and opens it directly. This way the next time I upload files from the same directory, I don’t have to search for the directory. All this makes it comfortable to use multiple browsers with different tabs in each of them.

There are probably a dozen or more browsers for Linux. As you can expect, not all of them are equal. Some of them can’t open properly even a moderately complex site, but they are still useful for simpler sites. In addition to Opera, ELinks and Midori that you already know about, here are five more Linux browsers that deserve attention.

Chromium is the open-source alternative of Google’s Chrome. It’s a fast and lightweight browser with lots of extensions. There are a few differences between Chromium and Chrome, the most important being that (supposedly) there is no trackware in Chromium.

Linux-browsers-Chromium

Chromium is one of my favorites. My personal experience shows that Chromium is way better than Firefox – there is almost no site it can’t open. Many sites Firefox struggles with will open without a problem in Chromium, and it’s much faster and kinder on memory use than Firefox. In other words, Chromium is not an alternative but an outright replacement of Firefox.

QupZilla is the second browser I like. This isn’t surprising because it uses the same Web engine (QtWebEngine) as Chromium. It’s fast and with a minimal interface. It’s not an exact clone of Chromium, though, because as my experience shows, it can’t open all sites Chromium does. It struggles especially with sites heavy on JavaScript, but still it’s a neat browser I use quite frequently.

Linux-browsers-QupZilla

A very recent addition to the family of Linux browsers – their initial release was in April 2016 – that deserves attention is the Vivaldi browser. It’s not completely open-source, but if this isn’t an issue for you, you might enjoy it. Its developers are former Opera developers who didn’t like the new direction the browser took and started their own opera theme-named project.

Linux-browsers-Vivaldi

Vivaldi is pretty fast. It uses the Blink layout engine and the V8 JavaScript engine from the Chromium project. On top of these there is HTML5 and node.js functionality, which isn’t very common among other browsers. One of Vivaldi’s unique features is “Quick Commands.” With Quick Commands, you can control your browser with text commands.

Web (formerly known as Epiphany) is one of the veterans among Linux browsers. It’s the official web browser of the GNOME desktop. Web is a WebKit-based browser, and what I like about it is its speed and simplicity. It’s been around since 2002, and unlike many other browsers of its generation, it still rocks. I use it to open sites QupZilla and Konqueror struggle with, and I am quite pleased with its abilities.

Linux-browsers-Web

Konqueror is the KDE equivalent of Web. I personally use it mostly as a file browser and rarely as a Web browser because it has problems with some of the sites I use on a daily basis. The default rendering engine for Konqueror is the KHTML rendering engine, but it also supports WebKit. Konqueror is an advanced and feature-rich Web/file browser, but this is at the expense of speed and occasionally stability why it’s not a top favorite browser of mine.

Linux-browsers-Konqueror

In addition to these, there are quite a lot of other browsers, such as NetSurf, Arora, Pale Moon, SlimJet (Chromium-optimized for performance), or the text browsers Links and Lynx. For me personally, they aren’t as good as the five I reviewed in detail, but this doesn’t mean you won’t like them more, so feel free to try them.

You might be wondering why I didn’t mention Firefox. The reason is simple – for many distros it’s the default browser. Chances are you already have it. Depending on your distro, not all browsers will be available. You can check in your package manager (Synaptic, Software Center, or their equivalent for your distro) to see what’s available and install it from there. You can get what isn’t available from the browser’s official site.

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