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lightweight web browsersWe’ve had browser wars back when Netscape was still the king. Today, it’s Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera all battling it out to see who’s top dog. There are plenty of different categories where they are being compared, such as speed, memory efficiency, functionality/features, and more.

However, sometimes we forget that there are still some other browsers than the Big 5. Today, we’ll be looking at one of the fastest and most lightweight browsers outside of the Big 5.

About Midori

lightweight web browsers
Midori is a relatively simple browser that currently tries to offer you the most of the web while keeping it simple and clean. In other words, it strives to support all of the Web’s standards such as HTML5 while keeping the browser user interface relatively simple. This results in an easy browsing experience as well as a speedy one. The browser should be available under all Linux distributions, while you can also download a Windows version from Midori’s website (more about that later).


Startup and User Interface

One of the first things you’ll notice about Midori is that it has a quick cold-start time. The browser window loads almost instantaneously, with a fully loaded page around a second later. Once the window appears, you’ll see how uncluttered the user interface really is: there is only one row of buttons and the address bar, with a second hidden one until you open up more than one tab. The buttons themselves are fairly small, making each row relatively smaller when compared to the Big 5.

Rendering Engine

Midori uses WebKit as its rendering engine, the same engine used in Chrome and Safari. WebKit is well-known for being speedy while supporting the latest standards of the Web.

Default Search Engine

You may also notice that Midori’s default search engine is Duck Duck Go!, a privacy-aware search engine who’s main goal is to keep you and your searches as anonymous as possible. If you’d like to know more about Duck Duck Go!, you can read this page.

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lightweight web browsers
If you want to find Midori’s options, they’ll be all the way to the right (similar to Chrome), hidden in the wrench-and-page icon. Midori doesn’t have as many options because of its relative simplicity. However, if you go into Preferences, one of tabs will say Extensions. In here, you can enable a couple of self-made extensions from the developers of Midori to slightly change your browsing experience to your liking. None of the extensions so far will do anything major, but the ad-blocking extension with options to add additional filters will definitely be a plus to many.

Private Browsing

Midori also offers a private browsing feature so that you can do your secret shopping without letting friends or family members know.

Available for Windows

As I mentioned earlier, Midori is also available for Windows, and it works just as well. However, some of the styling is off (because it has Linux dependencies), so it won’t look as nice as it does on Linux. Either way, functionality is not changed because of this.

Final Note

Don’t forget to note, as the site says, that Midori as a whole is still considered alpha software by the project (although it has been stable in my use), so be aware that over time new features may possibly still be broken, and that the browser isn’t even near completion until it gets out of alpha.


Midori is a great browser for those who want to use the Web instead of their browsers (well, you know what I mean). With great speed, ease of use, and helpful small functionality such as ad-blocking, Midori should be a choice for many who want to try something else or have a very low-powered machine. Try it; you just might like it.

What do you think about Midori? Is the browser a good idea? What do you like or don’t like? Let us know in the comments!

  1. Chaosbutterfly
    December 22, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I just tried to use was fast but it also crashed twice in 2 hours, so yeah...not for me, thanks.

    My search for a lightweight, fast, but stable browser continues.

  2. Austin Beatty
    November 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Also, it supports greasemonkey userscripts, which partially makes up for the relative lack of extensions like FF and Chrome (just enable the "user addons" extension, then find "userscripts" in the Tools menu)

  3. Mike Kennedy
    November 11, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    hmm....can't  get flash to install on this. What version should I download?

    • Danny Stieben
      November 18, 2011 at 1:41 am

      Under what operating system and 32/64-bit combination are you trying to get it to work?

  4. Fakeemail
    November 8, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    I have switched entirely to Chromium but now  I am pulling up Midori when I want some speed--it shouldn't be faster, really, but it noticeably is...

    • Danny Stieben
      November 18, 2011 at 1:41 am

      Yes, surprisingly it is faster than even Chrome/Chromium. Apparently this is the raw speed of the WebKit engine...

  5. Robotkoer
    November 1, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    It's like a lightweight version of Firefox...

    Not bad at all, still would like to see Chrome extensions support (or notifications for Facebook, Gmail, Twitter etc.), tabs on top, loading bar color changing and maybe pinned tabs.

    • Danny Stieben
      November 18, 2011 at 1:42 am

      Midori is still far from being "officially" released as a stable build, so any functionality suggestions are more than welcome (or may be implemented eventually anyways).

  6. Bob Hunter
    November 1, 2011 at 5:03 am

    safari and opera are not contenders. Never were, never will be. The battle for top dog is between IE, Firefox, and Chrome. All others are small players. Midori _is_ a nice browser, tho, and I like it.

    • Toan Nguyen
      November 2, 2011 at 12:43 am

      I disagree. I've used all those browsers and still find Opera very speedy and feature-packed. I had stuck with IE and Firefox for years before switching to Opera entirely.

    • Danny Stieben
      November 18, 2011 at 1:40 am

      While I find all five major browsers to be contenders, I still IE, Firefox, and Chrome battle for the top spot. So Safari (and IMO more Opera) are good browsers, but they simply aren't used in mass like the others.

  7. mikia
    October 31, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    in the top

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