Web Browser Guide for Linux

Lesser-known web browsers

One of the best things about Linux is the wide range of choice users have with just about every aspect of the operating system. That level of choice extends from the kernel all the way to end-user applications. For those who depend upon a web browser to either be productive or entertained, Linux has plenty of options. Let’s take a look at five of the lesser-known choices found on your favorite Linux distribution. Some of the browsers listed are open source and some are not. No matter the license, each browser does an outstanding job.

01
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Brave

Brave web browser
What We Like
  • Outstanding ad and tracker blocking.

  • Fast page rendering.

  • Clean and modern interface.

What We Don't Like
  • Not available in standard repositories.

The Brave web browser is based on the Chromium blink engine. Its primary focus is to block ad trackers, a task at which it excels. Every time you open a new website, Brave blocks ads and keeps track of the totals blocked. Over time you can see not only how many ads and trackers were blocked, but how many times HTTP traffic was redirected to HTTPS and how many seconds you saved not viewing ads. Brave does a fine job of rendering sites and working with most modern websites. The one caveat to using Brave on Linux is that it's best installed as a Snap package.

02
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Vivaldi

The Vivaldi web browser running on Linux
What We Like
  • Account Sync.

  • Incredible speeds.

  • Outstanding page rendering.

  • High level of security.

What We Don't Like
  • There might be too many bells and whistles for some users.

Vivaldi was born when a few developers left the Opera project to create their own browser. What they brought to light was, even from the start, highly impressive. Now Vivaldi exceeds what Opera has done and has become one of the finest lesser-known browsers on the market. Best of all, there’s a version of Vivaldi for Linux. It features everything you need in a modern browser: Account sync, tabbed browsing, themes, privacy (including Do Not Track, private windows, blocking third-party services, and more), Speed Dial (for quick access to your most-used sites), Web Panels (for even quicker access to your most-used sites, a Mail app, a Calendar, an RSS feed reader, and so much more. It also brings a level of speed unmatched by most of the competition.

03
of 05

Falkon

Falkon web browser
What We Like
  • Outstanding desktop integration.

  • Solid page rendering.

  • Plenty of available options.

What We Don't Like
  • The UI can seem a bit unstable

  • Installation requires some KDE bits (on a non-KDE desktop).

Falkon is the continuation of a browser that had a rather odd name: QupZilla. Although this QtWebEngine browser is actually a KDE-specific application, it does a great job of looking like a built-in application, regardless of what Linux distribution or desktop you're using. Combine that with outstanding page rendering, and you have a web browser that's sure to please a lot of users. Falcon does include a number of features found on modern browsers, such as ad-blocking, themes, tabs, password management, Do Not Track, seamless notification integration, extensions, spell check, and more.

04
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Pale Moon

Pale Moon web browser
What We Like
  • Familiar interface.

  • Solid page rendering.

  • Plenty of security-centric options.

What We Don't Like
  • Out of date UI.

  • Not available in standard repositories.

  • New Tab page isn’t configurable (without a third-party extension).

Pale Moon is an open-source Goanna-based browser and can work with some of the many Firefox extensions (some being the operative word). Although it was forked off Firefox, the fork happened a number of years ago, so after a long period of development, the browser stands on its own.

Pale Moon features user-selectable security level, fully customizable interface, themes, fast page rendering, Pale Moon-specific extensions, stability, and much more. It does very much resemble Firefox of old, so if you're a fan of the early 2000s iterations of that particular open-source browser, chances are you’ll enjoy Pale Moon.

05
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Midori

The Midori web browser running on Linux
What We Like
  • Lightweight.

  • Fast page rendering.

  • Simplistic interface.

What We Don't Like
  • Some websites don't function as expected.

Midori is an open-source browser that's all about being lightweight. Where it lacks in features, it makes up in speed and a small footprint. But while it might not have all the bells and whistles of, say, Firefox or Chrome, Midori does include built-in ad blocking, private browsing, cookie and script management, web app creation, customized side panels, user scripts and styles, web developer tools, bookmarks, tabbed browsing, and more. It uses a GTK interface and is powered by WebKit rendering engine (the same engine used by Apple’s Safari web browser.)

As of June 2021, the Midori browser website was inaccessible due to ongoing maintenance.

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