10 Alternative Web Browsers for Ubuntu Linux
While Firefox is currently the most popular Linux web browser, there are many alternative and special-purpose browsers available for Ubuntu. In fact, the Linux browser market has never been more full of competition. If you’re looking for a break from Firefox or need a browser to accomplish a special task, there’s probably an alternative browser out there for you.
Here are 10 alternative browsers that you may find useful or interesting. This is not a comprehensive list of Linux web browsers, just 10 that I found interesting. If you’re using Firefox on Ubuntu, you can install these browsers by clicking on the “Install Now” button after each summary.
Chromium (Google Chrome)
Since its release in late 2008, Google’s Chrome browser and its open source brother Chromium have quickly become the most popular replacement for Firefox on Linux systems. Chromium is included in the Ubuntu repositories or you can download Chrome directly from Google. Chromium has been considered by Canonical as a replacement for Firefox as the default browser in Ubuntu, but so far, Firefox is holding its ground. Install Now
Konqueror is the original WebKit browser. Long before Apple released Safari, there was Konqueror and the KHTML rendering engine. Apple liked what they saw in KHTML and used it for Safari, later starting the WebKit project. Konqueror is much more than just a web browser, including all kinds functionality; it was KDE 3’s file and network browser. Installing it on Ubuntu is not recommended for all users as it requires a lot of KDE libraries to also be installed, but for those die-hard Konqueror users, and anyone interested in the history of web browsers, Konqueror is a must. Install Now
Midori is a cross-platform GTK browser based on Webkit. It tracks the latest Webkit very closely, so you always have a fresh version. Midori is very lightweight and fast, but still has a lot of features. Midori is amazingly quick and can be useful for sites like Facebook which tend to slow down Firefox. Users concerned about privacy will be interested to know that Midori features Duck Duck Go as the default search engine, offers built-in ad blocking and good cookie control. An old version (0.4.3) is currently included with Ubuntu 13.10, so it is recommended that you install from the Midori PPA. Install Now
The most popular closed-source browser in our lineup is Opera. This is one of the most controversial browsers available for Linux. Many people think it’s the best browser on any platform, while others would never install a browser that isn’t open source. Opera is a very mature and full featured browser that works great on Ubuntu. Currently, the latest version of Opera is not available for Ubuntu, but the company promises that it is coming soon. Visit the Opera website to download and install.
The SlimBoat browser is a rather odd beast, and quite honestly, I was surprised to find it in the Ubuntu Software Center. SlimBoat is a closed source proprietary browser for Windows, Linux and Mac. It is advertised as being super fast, easy-to-use and secure, but I can’t say it is any of the above. Performance wise, it noticeably slower than Firefox and Chrome, its preferences are confusing, and it looks like it would be more at home on Windows 95 than Ubuntu. In a post-Snowden world, I can’t imagine why anyone would trust a closed source browser from a relatively unknown company. Personally, I’ll be staying clear of SlimBoat, but if you want to give it a try, you can “buy” it for free in the Ubuntu Software Center. Install Now
QupZilla is a fast Qt and Webkit based browser that is available for multiple operating systems. It features a reasonably simple interface that will seem familiar to new users. The browser is packed with options, but really offers nothing new or unique when compared to Firefox or Chromium. The QupZilla team has put together a really solid browser, but without offering something unique, I find myself asking “what’s the point?” Install Now
Web (formerly Epiphany) is the official web browser of the GNOME desktop. It is a very easy to use Webkit based browser with a simplistic user interface. In fact, Web is like the granddaddy of simple web browsers, delivering a simple user interface years before Chrome came on the scene. The browser is very speedy and polished, offering more features with each release. Web makes a great simple alternative to Firefox and Chrome. Install Now
What is your favorite Linux web browser? Leave your comments below!comments powered by Disqus