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linux web browsersLinux desktops offer many of the same web browsers you can use Windows and Mac, with Chrome, Firefox, and Opera all available for Linux. We’ll take a look at the best browsers you can use on a Linux system, including some lesser-known browsers that aren’t available on Windows or Mac.

We’ve covered the best browsers for Windows before Are You Really Using The Best Web Browser For Windows? Are You Really Using The Best Web Browser For Windows? Ask anyone about the best browsers in the web browsing market and you’ll likely get the following list - IE, Chrome, Firefox. Those who are more tech-savvy might list Opera as an alternative. Those are... Read More , and much of comparison holds true on Linux, too. Most of the big-name browsers are here, with only Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Apple’s Safari staying out of the Linux web browser wars.

Chrome, Firefox, and Opera all sync your browser data on Linux, too. If you already use one of these browsers and want to sync your data across platforms, you have an easy choice.

Chrome & Chromium

Google’s Chrome browser has taken much of the power-user web browsing market by storm and now makes up a plurality of the page views on the web. Google Chrome is excellent on Linux, too — it should be, as Google’s Chrome OS 5 Reasons To Give Chrome OS A Second Chance 5 Reasons To Give Chrome OS A Second Chance Google’s launch of Chrome OS was one of 2011’s most disappointing moments. Perhaps the biggest disappointment of Chrome OS was its performance. Since then, Google has been gradually updating Chrome OS. The user experience has... Read More is essentially just the Linux version of Chrome running in a special environment. Google has incentive to make the Linux version of Chrome work well.

The Linux version of Chrome works just like Chrome on Windows, offering all the same Chrome extensions, Google account sync, and multi-process features. Chrome also includes its own Flash plugin. Chrome will be the only way to get a modern, updated Flash for Linux in the future as Adobe ends support for Firefox’s plugin architecture.

Chrome is also very speedy on Linux. A 2009 discussion from Google’s official Chrome development list asked “why is Linux Chrome so fast?” and had a Chrome developer observing that “the Linux version of Chrome feels ridiculously faster than Windows and Mac.” Chrome for Windows and Mac may have caught up in the years since, but the Linux version is still as speedy as ever.

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You can get Chrome from Google’s website. Many Linux distributions also include the Chromium browser in their software repositories. Chromium is the open-source version of Chrome, and it contains most of the same features, although patent-encumbered and closed-source features like H.264 video playback and the integrated PDF viewer This Is Why You Don't Need Adobe Reader This Is Why You Don't Need Adobe Reader Adobe Reader isn’t just unnecessary – it has a history of being an application you wouldn’t want on your system. From being extremely heavy and slow to having a long series of security flaws, Adobe... Read More aren’t present.

linux web browsers


You’ll still find Mozilla Firefox installed by default on most Linux distributions. Firefox for Linux is a solid browser and is just as powerful as Firefox for Windows, offering the most powerful browser extensions you can get. Of course, most users don’t need this level of extension power and would be fine with Chrome.

Let’s be honest: Firefox isn’t as fast as Chrome on Windows. It won’t surprise you to hear that Firefox isn’t as fast as Chrome on Linux, either. Historically, Firefox has had some serious performance problems on Linux. Luckily, Firefox’s performance on Linux is no longer as bad as it was back in the Firefox 3 days. Firefox for Linux is reasonably speedy, but it just can’t catch up to Chrome – if only because of Chrome’s multi-process architecture.

Firefox is a solid browser on Windows, and it’s a solid browser on Linux, too. If you prefer Firefox on Windows, you’ll probably also prefer Firefox on Linux. But if you prefer Chrome on Windows, you’ll prefer Chrome on Linux, too.

web browsers for linux


Opera is a cult favorite Five Irresistable Reasons Why You Should Take Opera 11 For A Serious Spin Five Irresistable Reasons Why You Should Take Opera 11 For A Serious Spin In truth, Opera 11 is an absolutely amazing browser. If you take Opera as a “secondary” browser and only use it now and then, you may just fall in love with it. Here are some... Read More among browsers, and its small user base is often very outspoken and passionate about their choice of browser.

There’s not a lot to say about Opera for Linux – it works just like Opera for Windows. If you want speed, stick with Chrome. If you want the most powerful browser add-ons, stick with Firefox. But if you want a browser where many of the features that require extensions are already integrated into the browser – Opera includes integrated BitTorrent BitTorrent & Magnets: How Do They Work? [Technology Explained] BitTorrent & Magnets: How Do They Work? [Technology Explained] As we recently reported, The Pirate Bay has switched from using .torrent file downloads to magnet links with no opt-out policy. The tracker has offered magnet downloads for a good while now, but this is... Read More , email, RSS, and even IRC features – Opera may be the browser for you.

Opera is the only closed-source browser on this list (although, to be fair, a few small parts of Google’s Chrome are also closed-source). You can download Opera for Linux from Opera’s website.

web browsers for linux

Epiphany – GNOME’s Browser

Epiphany is the GNOME desktop’s default browser Try Out GNOME's Upcoming Browser Right Now [Linux] Try Out GNOME's Upcoming Browser Right Now [Linux] If you've ever been a little more curious, you may have noticed that the GNOME desktop environment has its own browser. No, it's not Firefox, which is the replacement of the said browser by the... Read More . It renders websites with WebKit, which is the same rendering engine Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari browsers use.

The most striking thing about Epiphany is its extreme minimalism. If Chrome has a minimal interface, Epiphany has almost no interface at all. It’s a minimal portal to the web, keeping with the GNOME desktop’s appetite for minimalism everywhere. It does support extensions, but only a handful of Epiphany browser extensions are available.

Most people will want a more powerful browser interface, particularly one with a wider variety of extensions and sync features. But, if you really want a minimal interface that gets out of your way as much as possible, Epiphany may be the browser for you.

Midori is another browser that’s fairly similar to Epiphany, offering a lightweight, minimal interface that’s also written in GNOME’s GTK interface toolkit. Both are available in most Linux distributions’ software repositories.

web browsers for linux

Rekonq Or Konqueror – KDE’s Browser

Konqueror is the KDE desktop’s default browser, but Kubuntu and other KDE Linux distributions are choosing to include the newer Rekonq as their default browser.

If you use the KDE desktop environment Enjoy A Clean, Improved Desktop With KDE 4.7 [Linux] Enjoy A Clean, Improved Desktop With KDE 4.7 [Linux] One of Linux's most popular desktop environments, KDE, released their latest series (version 4.7) at the end of July. This version improves on work done in previous releases by adding new features while improving performance... Read More on Kubuntu or another Linux distribution, either of these browsers may be worth a look. They’re both written in QT and use the same technologies as the other programs that come with KDE. Each is more integrated with the KDE desktop than the other browsers here, if that matters to you.

Konqueror still uses the KHTML rendering engine by default. Apple started with the open-source KHTML engine and used it to create WebKit, which is now used by Chrome, Safari 4 Reasons I'll Be Switching To Safari 6 [OSX Mountain Lion] 4 Reasons I'll Be Switching To Safari 6 [OSX Mountain Lion] Until now I’ve put Safari firmly in the same box of horrible things as Internet Explorer - a sluggish, default browser that’s only purpose in life is to download other shinier and faster browsers. Safari... Read More , and most mobile browsers. Rekonq chooses to use WebKit by default, leaving behind the older KHTML engine.

Neither browser has as many extensions as you’ll find in Chrome or Firefox, nor do they have any syncing features. But if you really want a browser integrated with the KDE desktop, they may be worth a try. These browsers may be preinstalled if you’re already using the KDE desktop, but can be installed from most Linux distributions’ software repositories.

best linux web browser

Other Browsers

These aren’t the only browsers for Linux. Some users may also be interested in Dillo, an extremely lightweight browser for very low-power computers, but it supports few modern web features. You can even use a browser like lynx or w3m to browse the web straight from the Linux terminal An A-Z of Linux - 40 Essential Commands You Should Know An A-Z of Linux - 40 Essential Commands You Should Know Linux is the oft-ignored third wheel to Windows and Mac. Yes, over the past decade, the open source operating system has gained a lot of traction, but it’s still a far cry from being considered... Read More – no graphical desktop required.

linux web browsers

Which browser do you prefer on Linux, and why is it the best for you? Leave a comment and share your insight!

  1. Marcel de Korte
    April 18, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Very wel Junior :) Slimboat is also my favorite webbrowser. By the way: I am 58 and from the Netherlands

  2. jr
    February 9, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    i have been using linux since it first come out. my main browser is firefox. however, i do use other browsers such as opera, maxthon and slimboat. opera is fun, maxthon is really great, slimboat is the fastest of all. my os of choice is linux mint 17. ubuntu was great once but not anymore. i changed to linux mint last year and find it to be much better than ubuntu. after all is said and done, it seems that every browser works differently on each individual operating systems. chrome/chromium will not work on mint 17. i have tried many times to use both but to no avail. i am an 82 year old guy and love my laptop. how many old farts can say this. thanks jr

    • Bilal
      January 30, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      Thank you soo much for this information more of a experience sir,

  3. Charles Pratt
    December 19, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    I simply don't trust google... The world is becomming more and more centralized and I believe that google's goal is to index everything from everyone. Once google can touch it it becomes part of the public domain whenever the right people want it to be... Google which is simply a front end for a US government intelligence program called prophecy will ultimatley become the keeper of all knowledge because you wanted the next piece of cheese....
    Google is in a position to cripple other browsers because of their integration with most web sites. You the stupid are being nudged toward your own dependence. First they nudge the masses then they come for the outlyers calling them extreme or some such nonsense, that's how the game works. In DC they call it "Chioce Architecture".

  4. thing
    June 16, 2013 at 4:08 am

    Don't use Google Chrome, Iron, Android or even their search engine.

    use slackware linux (not Ubuntu, Compromised)

    Don't use Firefox or Seamonkey (Compromised; in bed with Google).

    What's it going to take to realize that Google's up to no good?

    Get yourself an ad blocker and check the results. Every site you're on has hidden Google trackers.

    They got fined 22 million dollars for hiding their spyware in Apple's Safari Browser.

    Now they're even sending balloons into the sky to spy on your internet (you believe all that 'free Wi-Fi' baloney?). Google does things only to benefit Google; including being spies for the NSA.

    They are trying (probably succeeding) to seduce Mozilla. It's interesting that Firefox has a massive memory leak they won't get rid of. WHY NOT? They've had it since version 5.0 and it's now on version 17 and they've had mountains of complaints about it. No matter how much memory you have Firefox eats it. What for?

    Freedom and Privacy.
    Protect it or lose it.

    "if you sacrifice freedom for security you will end up with none and deserve neither" - paris hilton ;)

    • Dejan
      July 7, 2013 at 12:27 am

      +1 for thing`s comment

    • ben
      September 1, 2016 at 12:27 am

      that quote is like this: "those who give up freedom for security shall have neither freedom nor security" - benjamin franklin

  5. Donte Greene
    June 11, 2013 at 1:54 am

    HOW do you forget Midori, it is the 3rd best browser for linux behind FF and Chrome

    • bashcommando
      January 13, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      Tell me about it

  6. David Moreira
    May 11, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Always used Chrome here. :)

  7. samsher
    April 9, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    firefox is not as bad as described here. i used to use chrome but nowadays i am finding myself using firefox as my default browser. the latest firefox 20 is awesome. the most liked feature in firefox for me is we can start it in private browsing mode by default just changing one setting, i hope chrome will also include this feature one day. and then i can think to start using chrome again.

    • Mike
      September 4, 2013 at 8:15 am

      The problem with FF in Linux is no hardware acceleration.

  8. Mohan
    April 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I am a big Firefox fan, through thick and thin. I have been very happy with Firefox since Mozilla started the rapid release state, and 20 is by far the best version. I like how I can keep it in-sync across multiple platforms.

  9. Noman Fayez
    April 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    chrome is better than firefox everywhere....however I used IE10 on w7-Pro 64bit machine most of the time.... sometimes Chrome...........

  10. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    April 7, 2013 at 7:31 am

    So Google's browser is the fastest browser in Linux.
    Am I the only one to find this ironic? (no offense)

    • Florin Ardelian
      April 7, 2013 at 2:59 pm

      What's ironic about this?

      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        April 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm

        I know people who say a lot of things about Google being a closed dictator, move to Linux, and find that the best browser is Google's

        • Florin Ardelian
          April 7, 2013 at 3:29 pm

          Google is the most open company of the three giants (Microsoft, Google, and Apple). They have a lot of open-source software and even Chrome is based off Chromium which is open-source.

  11. ashutosh raj
    April 6, 2013 at 11:04 am

    chrome works fine but also use w3m when login from terminal

  12. ashutosh raj
    April 6, 2013 at 11:04 am

    chrome works fine but also use w3m when login from terminal

  13. Chris Marcoe
    April 6, 2013 at 4:00 am

    What about Ice Dragon by Comodo? I've been using it off and on. Seems to look almost exactly l;like Firefox, but, it seems like you can lock it down a little better. make your browsing a little more secure.

    Not really sure how to test the quickness of different browsers, though, so can't really tell whether it is faster or slower.

    • Titanv
      May 17, 2013 at 6:59 am

      Unfortunately Ice Dragon only seems to be available for Windows.

      • Chris Marcoe
        May 17, 2013 at 2:51 pm

        I use it on my Raspberry Pi. And that runs a Debian build.

        • Titanv
          May 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm

          That's not Iceweasel or IceCat that you're using for Debian?

  14. Brandon Ragoo
    April 6, 2013 at 12:07 am

    Chrome for the win !!!!!!!

  15. Austin
    April 5, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Right now, I usually use Firefox, but am not hesitant to fire up Chrome when I need to (sometimes Flash can be unstable on Firefox, but sometimes it works better in FF than Chrome. Flash is an inconsistent, buggy mess.), but they are both great browsers. The recent versions of Firefox have been very stable (other than Flash) and quite speedy (although the same can be said about Chrome), and I'm happy to use it.

  16. dragonmouth
    April 5, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    I started using Firefox when it was stilled called Phoenix. Stayed with it through all its iterations. I am too used to it by now to switch.

    Couple of other WebKit based browsers for Linux are Midori and Arora. They may not be as feature rich as Chrome but they could give it a run for its money in speed.

  17. Rafael
    April 5, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    When you speak about Opera you never really say the awesome goodies it has.
    Take a look at how many different features there is:

    • Mike
      September 4, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Opera is switching to a chromium based browser now. Only time will tell if Opera adopts all the same features that has kept it around for so long.

    • Rafael
      September 4, 2013 at 8:31 am

      It's true but the major features are still there. It's still my browser of choice and continually getting better again, I use Opera 15+ on my computer and on my Android phone.

  18. Zhong J
    April 5, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    I used firefox on my windows system but that has changed and since Chrome 26 have stopped supporting Debian 6 due to GCC/GTK version, I'm going to wait for Wheezy which has more recent versions. However, IceWeasel or IceCat is the rebranded version for firefox but isn't more recent.

    The obvious choice is Google Chrome since they hold the top cup of web standards and performance, with memory an issue which firefox have improved upon. I'm voting for firefox to take number 1, I don't have much hope for IE though.

  19. Danijel C
    April 5, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Started with chrome, back in its early days, after like a month uninstalled FF, chrome is just lighting fast and faster than anything else...

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