Browsers Linux

What’s the Best Firefox Alternative Browser for Linux?

Bertel King 12-02-2018

You could think of Firefox as Linux’s Internet Explorer or Safari. On Windows and macOS, you have to install Mozilla’s browser yourself. On Linux, Firefox comes pre-installed. That’s not a bad thing. Firefox is one of the best web browsers available Why Firefox Quantum Should Be Your Default Linux Browser Which Linux browser do you use? If you're not using Firefox Quantum already, you should be. Here's why Firefox Quantum should be your default Linux browser. Read More  and, in our opinion, the best browser for Linux The 9 Best Browsers for Linux Looking for a new Linux web browser? We've listed what we think are the best Linux web browsers---with a few surprises thrown in. Read More .


But that doesn’t mean that it’s the best for everyone. Firefox doesn’t integrate well with certain Linux desktop environments Which Linux Desktop Environment Best Suits Your Personality? What kind of computer user are you? Do you leave icons scattered across your desktop? Do you prefer to work in one uncluttered application? Let's find out which Linux desktop environment suits you best. Read More , which is the primary reason why I don’t use it. I don’t like every app to have a consistent look and feel except for the one I use the most.

best alternative browser to firefox for linux

You may have other reasons for wanting to install something else. If that’s the case, what browser should you install on Linux? Many of us have long thought of Firefox itself as an alternative browser. But there comes a point where you want an alternative to the alternative. Here are some good ones to check out.

1. Best All Around Browser: Google Chrome

Let’s address the elephant in the room first. Google Chrome has surpassed Firefox as many people’s go-to browser. They install it regardless of which operating system we’re running. The browser is so good that people are willing to buy Linux-based computers that can only run Chrome.

chrome - best linux browsers

Google Chrome is your best bet on Linux if you want to guarantee that a site will load correctly (unless you’re visiting a page that is still bizarrely designed only for internet Explorer). It comes with Flash and can run Netflix without you having to do any extra work. Chrome is also your best Firefox alternative for extensions and add-ons The Best Chrome Extensions A list of only the best extensions for Google Chrome, including suggestions from our readers. Read More .

The downside? Google Chrome is not an open source browser, which matters to a fair amount of Linux users. The browser also sends user data back to Google. That said, Chrome is based on Chromium, which is open source and a better option if you’re concerned about your online privacy.

Download: Google Chrome
Download: Chromium

2. Another Established Browser: Opera

When it comes to “big name” browsers, Opera is the next most prominent Firefox alternative you will find on Linux. While it never grabs more than a small percentage of total of the total browser market, fans stick around for the quality features that come baked into the browser.

For example, Opera has long been great for people with slow or metered internet connections, thanks to the Turbo feature that compresses webpages before loading them.

opera - best linux browsers

Many old Opera features are now commonplace, such as a New Tab page that displays your most visited sites, the ability to pause and resume downloads, and the ability to retrieve recently closed pages. Opera may not invent all of the functionality it is well-known for, but the team has been quick to embrace new trends. These days, Opera is the first browser to play 360 videos in a VR headset.

Like Chrome, Opera is closed source. That stops Linux distributions from providing it pre-installed, and it stops many people from downloading the browser after the fact. Opera has also frustrated some users by switching from its own Presto layout engine to Chromium’s Blink.

Download: Opera

3. The Best Browser for Power Users: Vivaldi

Vivaldi is targeted at people who think modern web browsers are too simple. The company behind Vivaldi was started by an Opera co-founder, and if you find yourself frustrated by Opera’s current direction, this browser would love to be your new home.

The difference between Vivaldi and other browsers is apparent from the beginning. At first launch, Vivaldi prompts you to select a theme and a position for the tab bar. If you place tabs on either the left or right, thumbnails appear for each site.

vivaldi - best linux browsers

A sidebar provides a place to quickly access your bookmarks, downloads, and history. Less standard is the built-in ability to write and save notes, also available in the sidebar.

While cool, Vivaldi is also a proprietary browser. If this upsets you, know that it’s the last one on this list.

Download: Vivaldi

4. The Best Linux Exclusive: GNOME Web

The downside to many web browsers is that they can look out of place on some prominent desktop environments. This is particularly the case on GNOME GNOME Explained: A Look at One of Linux's Most Popular Desktops You're interested in Linux, and you've come across "GNOME", an acronym for GNU Network Object Model Environment. GNOME is one of the most popular open source interfaces, but what does that mean? Read More .

Fortunately, there are browsers made specifically for Linux, and GNOME Web is the most mature of the bunch. As part of the GNOME project, Web offers the best integration. It looks and feels like a program intended to run on Linux.

gnome web - best linux browsers

On the other hand, one of the browser’s best strengths is also its biggest weakness — it’s simple. Web is easy to figure out if you’ve ever used a web browser, but it also lacks the kind of extensions you see on Chrome and Firefox (though ad-block does come built-in). Web is a tool to get you online and viewing sites without much fuss, which is enough for me to use it as my go-to browser. If you want more than that, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Download: GNOME Web

5. The Best New Browser: Eolie

Eolie is another browser built specifically for GNOME. If you consider Web too basic, this may be more your speed. Eolie not only provides you with a few more features, such as the option to disable your history entirely and the ability to view recently closed tabs, but it comes with many less conventional design elements. A sidebar to the left displays your open tabs. The URL bar shows a site’s title rather than the web address.

eolie - best linux browsers

Eolie is a very young project, as in it has only been around for a few months. Yet despite its youth, Eolie is already remarkably stable and usable. Still, don’t be surprised if you come across a few quirks here or there.

Download: Eolie

6. The Best Lightweight Browser: Qupzilla

GNOME is hardly the only desktop environment in town. The KDE Plasma desktop is one of the more established alternatives KDE Explained: A Look at Linux's Most Configurable Desktop Interface What does Linux look like? Sometimes, Unity; other times, GNOME. Oftentimes, though, Linux runs KDE. If you're not using the erstwhile K Desktop Environment on your Linux PC, now is the time to change! Read More .

If you want a browser that feels at home with KDE software, check out Qupzilla. Though, as a QT-based browser, this one actually integrates well with other Linux desktops, and you can install it on Windows.

qupzilla - best linux browsers

Qupzilla is lightweight. It uses fewer system resources than many other browsers, even if it isn’t necessarily as stable. It’s usable, and the essentials are covered, but don’t come here if you need a bunch of extensions.

Download: Qupzilla [No Longer Available]

7. The Best Browser for Speed: Slimjet

If what you want from a browser is sheer raw performance, check out Slimjet. This Chromium-based browser is designed with you in mind. The idea is to use less RAM and CPU while also increasing browsing speed.

Part of the benefits come from the built-in ad and pop-up blockers. You also get a download manager that utilizes multiple connections to increase download speeds. The developers claim to have baked in anti-tracking measures as well.

That said, the website to download Slimjet looks pretty sketchy. In my opinion, so does the browser itself. The version I downloaded came with a bookmarks toolbar filled with what appear to be affiliate links.

slimjet - best linux browsers

Nonetheless, Slimjet has its fans. Give it a go if other browsers simply don’t feel fast enough. Or you could check out the next and last option on this list.

Download: Slimjet

8. The Best Terminal Browser: Lynx

This is Linux we’re talking about, so you know at least one option is intended for use in the terminal. That’s right, some of us prefer to do our browsing in the command line.

lynx - best linux browsers

Lynx, which has been around since 1992, is the oldest web browser still in active development. It is also the fastest way to browse the web, since, as a terminal application, all you get is text. No images. No videos. And yes, that also means you don’t see most ads. If you do want to view this type of content, Lynx can open the relevant application.

You have to love the terminal to use Lynx. It isn’t the easiest way to view sites, as most are not designed with this type of browser in mind. Here’s a taste of what using Lynx is like.

Download: Lynx

Love Firefox, Just Not All of It?

That’s fair. In that case, you may prefer to use a browser based on Firefox. Waterfox is Firefox for people who dislike some of the that browser’s non-free components and other parts that could be considered bloat Don't Like Pocket for Firefox? Try These 5 Alternatives Pocket's new social approach is not everyone's cup of tea, so if you've already started looking for less intrusive Pocket alternatives, this article is for you. Read More . Pale Moon is another option that forked Mozilla’s code years ago to create a more efficient and customizable browser.

Download: Waterfox
Download: Pale Moon

Are There Others?

Sure. There’s Brave browser, which blocks ads and offers an alternate way to pay websites for content Brave Is a Faster, Safer, Non-Google Web Browser Made for Today’s Internet Brave is a new browser known to be faster and safer than Google Chrome. How? Let us show you its unique features and their impact. Read More . There’s also Konqueror, the browser that long served as KDE’s default. You may also like Midori, a browser that prides itself on being lightweight and fast.

But these options are unstable or underdeveloped. With so many other pickings, I wouldn’t put these on the list of considerations.

Explore more about: Chromium, Linux, Mozilla Firefox, Opera Browser.

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  1. Paul
    May 31, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    Google Chrome right out of the gate! Your credibility just went down the toilet.

  2. Tralfaz
    May 31, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    SeaMonkey is a good one and I've been using it for about a decade I guess. Best password manager there is in a browser.

    Qupzilla, Konqueror, Lynx, Waterfox and opera are also extremely good browsers. The rest on this list are crap, especially Google.

  3. JudyJudyJudy
    March 16, 2018 at 5:56 am

    Thanks for this post. I downloaded Pale Moon onto my Win 10 laptop & my Win 7 Home P.C. Am loving it! Most importantly, many of the old Firefox extensions work with it. So glad to have Tab Mix back.

  4. chris
    February 13, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    sure, turn yourself into a walking google money maker. I lived through IE monopoly and I am not contributing to a google monopoly in anyway.

  5. Jim
    February 13, 2018 at 11:54 am

    I used Slimjet (for some sites) for a time, but eventually went back to Chromium. Why? Until Slimjet comes up with a repository or self installer and updater like Palemoon, it is a pain to keep downloading and installing the latest version.
    I agree with Dragonmouth on data harvesting, I will never use Google Chrome. One thing I like about Firefox is add-ons (like Google Disconnect) that try at least to limit Google's data mining. Still Palemoon is my main browser. It has an updater and installer and a repository for some Distros, that make it much easier to keep up to date. Most, (but not all) of Firefox's add-ons work on Palemoon too.

  6. Linux_run
    February 12, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    As a heavy business user I cannot live without Firefox' Bookmark Manager. I rely on it daily business operations. It makes my life easier with tagging and offers many additional information.
    Firefox' Bookmark Manager just keeps me stuck.

    • bookmarker
      May 31, 2018 at 9:01 pm

      Firefox is one of the only browsers I've used that does have a decent built-in bookmark manager, but it could use lots of improvement.

  7. dragonmouth
    February 12, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    I will not get into the "best" discussion because "best" like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. "Best" is what works for YOU, not somebody else.

    "1. Best All Around Browser: Google Chrome"
    The one big problem with Chrome is that Google uses it as data harvester.

    "2. Another Established Browser: Opera"
    Basically a re-branded Chrome.

    "4. The Best Linux Exclusive: GNOME Web"
    Only if one is using GNOME desktop. Firefox, Waterfox, Pale Moon, Opera are self-contained and can be installed on almost any desktop, without installing tons of DE related dependencies. If I'm using KDE, XFCE, Budgie, etc and want to use Web, how many meg of GNOME dependencies will I have to install?

    "Are There Others?"
    There is also Arora.

    • likefunbutnot
      February 12, 2018 at 8:18 pm


      Man, I was just about to write most of these same things. Verbatim, in the case of your comments about Chrome and Opera.