10 Alternative Web Browsers for Ubuntu Linux

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While Firefox is currently the default web browser for Ubuntu 16.04, there are many alternative and special-purpose browsers available to install on Linux. 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 or Chrome on Ubuntu, you can install these browsers by clicking on the "Install Now" button after each summary.

Chromium or Google Chrome

Chromium Browser Logo 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 Ubuntu 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.

Chromium Browser

Developed By: Google and the Chromium Project

License: Chromium: Multiple Open Source Licenses
License: Chrome: Proprietary with open-source components

Initial Release: September 2008

Layout Engine: Blink

Website: Chromium.org and google.com/chrome

Install Chromium Now Download Chrome

Vivaldi

Vivaldi Browser Logo Vivaldi is one of the most talked about new browsers available for Linux. Started by frustrated former Opera developers, Vivaldi aims to create a fast and flexible modern web browser. Like so many other modern browsers, it uses the Blink layout engine and the V8 JavaScript engine from the Chromium project. Unlike other browsers, Vivaldi developers are using web technologies like HTML5 and node.js to build their browser on top of the Blink and V8 foundation.

Some unique features of Vivaldi include Quick Commands that let you control the browser with text commands, built-in notes feature with sync, advanced tab management, and mouse gestures.

Vivaldi is not available in the default Ubuntu repositories, but you can download an Ubuntu compatible DEB package from vivaldi.com.

Vivaldi Browser

Developed By: Vivaldi Technologies

License: Proprietary with open-source components

Initial Release: April 2016

Layout Engine: Blink

Website: vivaldi.com

Download Vivaldi

Opera

Opera Web Browser LogoThis popular closed-source browser debuted in 1995. Until recently, Opera used proprietary HTML layout and Javascript engines. Since 2013, Opera has used the Blink layout engine and the V8 Javascript engine from the Chromium browser. Many people consider Opera to be 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.

Opera has several unique features like an integrated VPN service, built-in ad blocking, innovative tab cycling, and Opera Turbo for faster page loading. You can download an Ubuntu compatible version directly from opera.com.

Opera Web Browser on Ubuntu 16.04

Developed By: Opera Software

License: Proprietary

Initial Release: April 1995

Layout Engine: Blink

Website: opera.com

Download Opera

Web (Epiphany)

Epiphany Browser LogoWeb (formerly Epiphany) is the official web browser of the GNOME desktop. It's an easy to use Webkit based browser with a simplistic and speedy 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 performant and polished, offering more features with each release. Web makes a great simple alternative to Firefox and Chrome.

Epiphany Web Browser on Ubuntu 16.04

Developed By: The GNOME Web Browser Developers

License: GPL 2

Initial Release: December 2002

Layout Engine: WebKitGTK+

Website: wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Web

Install Web (Epiphany) Now

Midori

Midori Browser LogoMidori is a cross-platform GTK browser based on Webkit. 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.

Midori Web Browser on Ubuntu 16.04

Developed By: Christian Dywan

License: GPL 2.1+

Initial Release: December 2007

Layout Engine: WebKit

Website: midori-browser.org

Install Midori Now

Ubuntu Web Browser

Ubuntu Web Browser Logo One alternative to Firefox as the default browser is already installed on most 16.04 systems. As part of their move towards mobile and "convergence", Canonical has developed their own slimmed-down browser that works on phones, tablets, and desktops. While Ubuntu Web Browser may lack many features that desktop users are accustomed to, it sometimes comes in handy when you need a second browser session and you need something that launches and renders pages quickly.

Ubuntu Web Browser

Developed By: Ubuntu Phablet Team

License: GPL 3

Website: launchpad.net/webbrowser-app

Install Ubuntu Web Browser Now

Brave

Brave Browser Logo Brave is a new entry into the browser market by Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich. The main focus of this new browser is a controversial system called Brave Ledger that strips ads and trackers from websites and replaces them with ads sold directly by Brave. Eventually, websites should, theoretically, be able to get paid for the ads Brave shows on their site. While this mostly seems like a convoluted attempt to insert themselves into the online advertising space, some of the technology being used by Brave is quite interesting. It uses Electron, Node.js, and libchromeiumcontent to take advantage of Chromium's Blink and V8 engines.

While it's possible that the company's plan to disrupt online advertising may not work in the long run, it is good to see more innovation in the open source market and more browsers that support Linux. Installation instructions are available on brave.com.

Brave Browser on Ubuntu 16.04

Developed By: Brave Software Inc.

License: Mozilla Public License Version 2.0

Announced: January 2016

Layout Engine: Blink

Website: brave.com

Download Brave

QupZilla

QupZilla Browser Logo QupZilla is a fast Qt based browser that is available for pretty much every operating system. QupZilla uses QtWebEngine, a new web engine based on Chromium. 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.

QupZilla Browser on Ubuntu 16.04

Developed By: David Rosca

License: GPL 3

Initial Release: December 2010

Layout Engine: QtWebEngine

Website: qupzilla.com

Install QupZilla Now

Links 2

Links 2 is a text based browser with basic image and javascript support. It's kind of like using the web in the Mosaic days. I'm not quite sure when Links would be useful, but if you're looking for a text-based browser that supports images, Links is for you.

Links 2 Browser on Ubuntu 16.04

Developed By: Mikulas Patocka, Karel Kulhavy, Petr Kulhavy, and Martin Pergel

License: GPL 2+

Initial Release: 1999

Website: links.twibright.com

Install Links 2 Now

Yandex Browser

Yandex Browser Logo Russian search and online services giant Yandex have released their Yandex Browser for Linux and it runs quite well on Ubuntu systems. Yandex Browser is based on Chromium but replaces Google services like search, sync, and security checks with Yandex services and virus scanning with Kaspersky antivirus. The browser also has nicely integrated translation features using Lingvo translation engine. Recently, Yandex Browser started offering Opera Turbo to speed up websites on slow connections.

While Yandex Browser mostly offers advantages for those living in Russia, it is good to see that they, and many others who are basing their browsers off of Chromium, are supporting Linux.

Yandex Browser on Ubuntu 16.04

Developed By: Yandex

License: Proprietary with open-source components

Announced: October 2012 (Linux version in October 2014)

Layout Engine: Blink

Website: browser.yandex.com

Download Yandex Browser

Bonus Videos

The guys over at Ubuntu Made Simple have made a series of videos to show off each of these alternative browsers and posted them on youtube!

Even more alternatives

Here are even more browsers you might want to check out for use on Ubuntu!

What is your favorite Linux web browser? Leave your comments below!

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