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Is there any program on your system that’s more frequently used than the web browser? For most of us, the answer is a resounding no. It’s our window to the rest of the world. Without it, we feel isolated and depressed 5 Ways Technology Might Be Feeding Your Depression 5 Ways Technology Might Be Feeding Your Depression Technology can worsen depression. With tech enveloping our lives, we should be more aware of technology's potential impact on us. There are some things you can do to lessen the burden. Read More .

And when there’s a program that you rely on day in and day out How to Recognize and Overcome Your Tech Addiction How to Recognize and Overcome Your Tech Addiction Overcoming tech addiction doesn't mean ending your use of that technology, it just means using technology to improve the quality of your life. This guide shows you how to manage your online cravings. Read More , doesn’t it make sense to make sure you’re using the one that’s best suited for your personal needs and habits?

Using the “wrong” browser can lead to a lot of unnecessary headaches, wasted productivity, and even lost data. So which browser is the best one for you right now Which Browser Is Best? Edge vs. Chrome vs. Opera vs. Firefox Which Browser Is Best? Edge vs. Chrome vs. Opera vs. Firefox The browser you're using right now may not be the best one for you. The browser arena changes so frequently that your conclusions from comparisons made last year may be completely wrong this year. Read More ? Let’s find out.

1. Chrome

There are valid reasons to hate Chrome It's Time To Break Up With Google Chrome It's Time To Break Up With Google Chrome As a big fan of Google Chrome for a long time, I finally decided it was time for us to break up. It came down to overall performance, customization, and extensions. Read More , but as far as practicality goes, it’s hard to deny that Chrome is very good. It’s packed with interesting features, it has the best variety of extensions, and it offers the fastest performance.

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It’s also the only major browser that can run Netflix natively on Linux How to Watch Netflix Natively on Linux - the Easy Way How to Watch Netflix Natively on Linux - the Easy Way Using Netflix on Linux has been simplified considerably in the past few months. With the right browser, you can enjoy your favorite shows and movies from the popular streaming subscription service on your Linux device. Read More . Indeed, you’ll occasionally run into websites that only work in Chrome, so even if you don’t use it as your main browser, you’ll want to keep it installed as a backup I Hate Google Chrome But I'm Trapped In It. Here's Why I Hate Google Chrome But I'm Trapped In It. Here's Why In the Chrome vs. Firefox war, I'm siding with the Google users. But I don't want to. Chrome is my browser of choice because it has features that I can't live without. Read More .

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The biggest downside is that Chrome sends user data back to Google, which is a breach of privacy. If you’re privacy-conscious, then you should instead consider using Chromium or one of the alternative browsers below.

2. Firefox

For a long time, Firefox was the preferred haven for privacy-conscious folks who fled from Chrome. And while Firefox is certainly better than Chrome in some ways Chrome vs. Firefox in 2016: Which Browser Is Right For You? Chrome vs. Firefox in 2016: Which Browser Is Right For You? I want to explore why people might prefer one over the other, and hopefully those reasons will shed some light on features and aspects that you may not have considered before. Read More , the browser does leave a lot to be desired.

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The performance is a bit clunky, the extension landscape just isn’t as good, and it seems as if the Mozilla Foundation doesn’t have a strong vision for what it wants the browser to be. Firefox is good, but it isn’t great.

Still, a lot of users love it, and there’s a reason why it’s the default browser on most major Linux distros. If you’re an ex-Chrome fan, check out our post on making Firefox feel more like Chrome Switching From Chrome: How to Make Firefox Feel Like Home Switching From Chrome: How to Make Firefox Feel Like Home So, you have decided that Firefox is the better browser for you. Is there anything you can do to make Firefox less of a foreign environment? Yes! Read More .

3. Opera

Opera has several noteworthy features 4 Cool Features That Make Opera A Browser Worth Checking Out 4 Cool Features That Make Opera A Browser Worth Checking Out Though it's probably known best for it's presence in the mobile space, Opera's desktop browser has always had a good feel to it. It's very fast, responsive, renders well, and is packed with so many... Read More , including tab stacking, Opera Turbo, the Speed Dial, and the built-in unlimited VPN that was recently added Get Free Unlimited VPN on the New Opera Desktop Browser Get Free Unlimited VPN on the New Opera Desktop Browser Opera is doing a lot to lure users back, and its latest feature is a doozy. Opera now comes with unlimited, free VPN for life! Read More . It’s built on the same foundation as Chrome, so you also get great performance.

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The biggest downside is the crippled availability of extensions Opera Has Good Features, so What’s the Problem? Opera Has Good Features, so What’s the Problem? There is something holding you back from clicking that "Make Opera My Default Browser" button. What is it? Read More , and while you can get around that by using an extension to install Chrome extensions on Opera, it’s just not the same.

Very rarely you might come across a website that doesn’t work properly, but I can count the number of times that’s happened on one hand. All in all, I consider Opera to be a top-tier browser.

4. Slimjet

Slimjet is a newcomer to the field of web browsers, but it’s quickly turning heads because of how good it is. It’s basically a Chromium reskin — like most browsers today — but with a main focus on performance.

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In other words, it’s just as smooth and snappy as Chrome but uses less RAM and less CPU, plus it doesn’t send your private information to Google or anywhere else. Actually, Slimjet comes with built-in anti-tracking features.

What’s even better is that Slimjet is compatible with most Chrome extensions. There’s a lot to love, and the only drawback so far is that nobody uses it so the support community is a bit bare.

5. Vivaldi

The Vivaldi browser is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it’s new and exciting, it’s usable enough to set as your main browser, and it’s actively developed with frequent releases. It certainly feels good to use.

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On the other hand, it’s unstable and unoptimized. You can definitely tell that it has a lot of potential, but it’s a bit buggy in parts and you’ll run into glitches from time to time.

If you need a breath of fresh air from the Chrome/Firefox/Opera triangle, Vivaldi is a good pick, especially because it natively supports Chrome extensions. If you need something stable and tested, wait another year or two.

6. Qupzilla

Of all the lightweight browsers available on Linux, Qupzilla is easily the best. Midori is a close second, but I’ve tried it on-and-off over the years and it’s always been prone to crashes. Qupzilla, on the other hand, is stable.

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Not just stable, but light on resources. It uses far less RAM and CPU than other browsers, making it the best choice for older hardware (especially laptops that are several years old 5 Ways To Give An Old Laptop A New Life 5 Ways To Give An Old Laptop A New Life Computers seem to become slower as they age. Operating systems tend to become more resource-hungry over time, hardware ages, and the exuberance felt during the first months of laptop ownership fades. This is why some... Read More ). It can even be used in portable form on USB drives Are USB Flash Drives Still Worth It In 2015? Are USB Flash Drives Still Worth It In 2015? USB flash drives are great for storage, but they have so many other uses. Here's how they're worth their weight in gold. Read More .

Unfortunately, Qupzilla doesn’t have extension support. It’s a full-featured browser that isn’t missing any important functionality, but for extension-heavy users, that will be a huge drawback.

7. Qutebrowser

Qutebrowser is nothing like these other browsers. It’s basically what you’d get if you crossed a lightweight browser with Vim — simple interface, lightweight minimalism, and the ability to do anything and everything using only your keyboard.

linux-web-browser-qutebrowser

Several Vim-like browsers have come and gone over the years, but Qutebrowser stands out because it has been in active development for over two years. Other Vim-like browsers died within months of their debuts.

If you love Vim, then you’ll love Qutebrowser. Start with the Quick Start Guide, because the learning curve is a bit steep.

Which Browser Will You Use?

Wondering why Konqueror and Epiphany weren’t included? Because both have desktop environments as dependencies (KDE and Gnome, respectively) and that’s a bit overkill just to use a browser. Feel free to check them out yourself though.

In the end, there is no such thing as “the best browser”. Different users prefer different browsers, and you should pick the one that best fits you. Only you can decide what you need and what you’re willing to give up for it.

For me, that means Opera.

Which browser do you prefer to use on Linux? What are the main things you look for in a browser? And which popular features are you willing to sacrifice? Let us know in the comments!

  1. Avir
    November 2, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    In other words, it’s just as smooth and snappy as Chrome but uses less RAM and less CPU, plus it doesn’t send your private information to Google or anywhere else. Actually, Slimjet comes with built-in anti-tracking features.

    plus built-in -----> screenshot, record video, ad blocker, shrink photo, automatically optimize ram, send to facebook and much more
    Slimjet is simple the best espesially for older machines

  2. Graham Franklin
    July 3, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    I have been quite enjoying Palemoon

    • Joel Lee
      July 13, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      Is Palemoon still relevant? For some reason I thought it fell by the wayside a year or two ago, but if it's still around and worth using, maybe I ought to check it out again. Thanks Graham!

  3. winnemucca
    June 8, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    The biggest downside to Chrome, old darlin', is that it's very well engineered but ignores its users, surprise, surprise. Really, Google has done exactly what Bill Gates did when he gave us the execrable "CUA" keyboard with the function keys on top. Where is the damn left-side bookmark panel in Chrome? Are you serious? I have 1000+ bookmarks, and accessing them in Google's Chrome tech playpen is a Chore. I may play vids in Chrome, but for everything else it's FF all the way.

    • Joel Lee
      June 9, 2016 at 12:34 am

      I agree with you about Chrome not listening to users, winnemucca, but from what I've heard, Mozilla has been even worse in that regard. They keep moving Firefox to be more like Chrome instead of sticking to the core values that made users switch in the first place.

      I'm not sure there's a browser out there that TRULY focuses on the user, and that's a shame. Would love to be proven wrong on that though!

  4. Michael Weldon
    June 4, 2016 at 9:39 am

    I've been a Chrome user, ever since it was in beta.....long time ago! I run mostly several flavours of Puppy Linux; one of our forum members recently started developing SlimJet packages for Puppy. So I thought I'd give it a try...

    It's a revelation, really. Just as good as Chrome.....but better, more configurable; very privacy-orientated, and extremely snappy. It's only downside is that you can't use it to watch NetFlix. A bunch of us ran an experiment a while ago to see which of the various Chrome-based browsers you could get NetFlix running in. We tracked the culprits down to the 'libwidevinecdm.so' & 'libwidevinecdmadapter.so' modules, of course; so far, we've been able to get NetFlix running in Chromium, from version 49 onwards.....but SlimJet, currently, is still a no-go in that respect. There's something FlashPeak have altered in the coding. So I still keep a copy of Chrome around for that purpose.....but in all other respects, SlimJet has replaced Chrome for me on a day-to-day basis.

    It's THAT good!!

    • Joel Lee
      June 9, 2016 at 12:32 am

      Nice! It's a shame that SlimJet is still so unknown, even though its two predecessors (SlimBoat and SlimBrowser) were around for a long time before it. Too bad it can't handle Netflix right now, but if it ever gets to that point, maybe it will explode in popularity. Thanks for sharing your experience, Michael!

  5. fcd76218
    May 30, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    "There are valid reasons to hate Chrome, but as far as practicality goes, it’s hard to deny that Chrome is very good."
    As long as those "valid reasons to hate Chrome" exist, it is very easy to deny that Chrome is very good. No amount of great features and/or extensions can override the fact that Chrome is a data harvesting tool. Why are IE and Edge excoriated for spying but Chrome is praised as being very good? Yeah, it very good at collecting data on its users.

    • Joel Lee
      June 1, 2016 at 11:22 pm

      I just mean if you consider everything else OTHER than that part of Chrome, it's quite good.

      • fcd76218
        June 2, 2016 at 12:27 am

        That is funny, Joel. If you consider every thing else OTHER than tar and nicotine, cigarettes are quite good. :-)

  6. Evgeny
    May 29, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Chrome stopped existing for me when its developers refused to implement MRU (most recently used) tab switching and prevented extension writers from doing so by not making the Ctrl-Tab key available.

    • Joel Lee
      June 1, 2016 at 11:21 pm

      That's never bothered me as I hate MRU but wow, I didn't know that Chrome devs actively prevented modifying the Ctrl+Tab shortcut. Sorry to hear that. :(

  7. fcd76218
    May 27, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    What about Arora?

    • Gilbert J.
      May 27, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      Arora is a nice little browser which loads really quickly, but it's my understanding that the original developer has largely abandoned Arora and it isn't getting much in the way of updates.

    • Joel Lee
      June 1, 2016 at 11:20 pm

      I did come across Arora but saw that it hadn't received any updates since 2015 so I figured it was no longer being actively developed. Do you use Arora? You like it?

  8. Michael Tobias
    May 27, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    I use Palemoon on Xubuntu. I will try Slim-jet, but right now, Palemoon exceeds Chromium in both memory usage and speed.

    • Joel Lee
      June 1, 2016 at 11:20 pm

      Ah, it's been a while since I've used Palemoon. Any particular reason why you choose it over Firefox?

      • k_w_a
        June 17, 2016 at 9:58 pm

        I use Palemoon on Zorin as default browser, and i've found it's less resourse-consuming than Firefox. It's Goana-based (Gecko fork) browser, so it supports most of Firefox extensions. Smooth and speedy. Sometimes it makes the work done where Firefox freezes

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