14 Best Web Browsers I Discovered for Linux in 2020

Web Browser is a software that provides an interface to surf the web. With an introduction in around 1991, there 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.

Google Chrome Browser for Linux

Google Chrome Browser for Linux

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

2. Firefox

One of the popular Web Browsers, Firefox is also Open Source and available for major operating systems including OS X, Linux, Solaris, Linux, Windows, Android, etc. It is written majorly in C++, Javascript, C, CSS, XUL, XBL and released under MPL2.0 License.

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.

Firefox Browser for Linux

Firefox Browser for Linux

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

3. Opera

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.

Opera Browser for Linux

Opera Browser for Linux

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

4. Vivaldi

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.

Vivaldi Browser for Linux

Vivaldi Browser for Linux

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

5. Chromium

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.

Chromium Browser for Linux

Chromium Browser for Linux

Install Chromium on Debian, Ubuntu & Linux Mint

$ sudo apt-get install chromium-browser

Install Chromium on Fedora

$ sudo dnf install chromium

6. Midori

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.

Midori Browser for Linux

Midori Browser for Linux

Install Midori on Linux

$ sudo dnf install snapd
$ sudo ln -s /var/lib/snapd/snap /snap
$ sudo snap install midori

7. Falkon

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.

Falkon Browser for Linux

Falkon Browser for Linux

Install Falkon on Linux

$ sudo dnf install snapd
$ sudo ln -s /var/lib/snapd/snap /snap
$ sudo snap install falkon

8. Konqueror

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.

As a web browser, it uses KTML derived web rendering engine and also supports JavaScript, Java applets, CSS, Jquery. Its rendering abilities are unquestionable and better than most web browsers which highlight its performance optimization.

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.

Konqueror Browser for Linux

Konqueror Browser for Linux

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.

Gnome Web Epiphany Browser for Linux

Gnome Web Epiphany Browser for Linux

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.

Pale Moon Browser for Linux

Pale Moon Browser for Linux

11. Brave

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.

Brave Web Browser

Brave Web Browser

12. Waterfox

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.

Waterfox features with an option to customize the browser interface like grouping similar tabs, choose a theme and extend it the way you want to. It also allows you to modify the internal CSS and Javascript.

Waterfox Browser

Waterfox Browser

13. Slimjet

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.

Slimjet Web Browser

Slimjet Web Browser

14. Links

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.

This is an ideal browser for those who want to experience GUI elements in a text-only environment. Links 2 being the latest version was released in September 2015 and it is an advanced version of Links that supports JavaScript which results in a much fast web browser.

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.

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Best Command Line Web Browsers for Linux

Links Browser

Links Browser

Conclusion

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.

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Gunjit Khera

Currently a Computer Science student and a geek when it comes to Operating System and its concepts. Have 1+ years of experience in Linux and currently doing a research on its internals along with developing applications for Linux on python and C.

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43 Responses

  1. Richard Gionfriddo says:

    Cyberfox has been discontinued, to this former user’s dismay. Pale Moon is a security nightmare if you really think about it. Flashpeak Slimjet is missing from this list.

    Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge browser has been announced to have Linux support on the roadmap. As much as I love Vivaldi and Brave and Slimjet, and as much as I’ve grown fond of KDE Plasma as of late, everything is based on either Blink, WebKit, or khtml and their collective family of browser backends these days.

    I can’t be the only one who sees this as a potential singular point of failure, in the case of a particularly nasty security bug rearing its ugly head at some point in time? And with the only other real option being Firefox/Waterfox, that, too, has a similar flaw on singular failure. Linux is known for being “fragmented” so let’s fragment the web browser game, in the name of competition and security, eh?

  2. david paige says:

    Strangely, there is no mention of Brave.

  3. TimeLess says:

    Maybe the opera programmers team better go to sing (a false song) at the OPERA.

    The new version did not let the user disable History. annoying

  4. dragonmouth says:

    “only text-based browsers sufficed with some of the early browsers being: Lynx, Netscape, and Opera.”

    Netscape and Opera were never text-based. Right from the beginning, they were fully graphical.

    “Some Open Source Browsers in Linux”
    As has been pointed out many times since this article was first published in 2016, Chrome, Opera and Vivaldi ARE NOT open source and never were.

    There are also Waterfox, Cyberfox, Arora and dillo web browsers.

  5. clem says:

    “11 best open source web browsers”
    1 – Google chrome

    fail !

  6. Carlos says:

    My friend, I believe maybe you dont know the difference between: freeware, opensocurce software and free software. Chrome isnt opensource since we dont have access to the full source code.

  7. dhfghnfn says:

    google chrome is not an open source browser, neither is opera.

  8. Muhammad Rio says:

    Some items in this list are not open source.

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