Linux

The 9 Best Browsers for Linux

Christian Cawley 24-02-2020

It’s virtually impossible to use a modern computer without accessing the web. Even if you’re disconnected, it’s not uncommon to come across software that presents its help files in HTML, necessitating the use of a browser.

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In short, a web browser is an absolute must. With Linux, the selection of browsers is considerable.

Whether you’re switching browsers or switching to Linux, you’ll need to know what’s available for browsing the web. Check these are the best Linux browsers to help you make your choice.

1. Firefox

The Linux Firefox browser

While this list is in no particular order, Mozilla Firefox is probably the best option for most Linux users. Why?

  • Firefox is fast, using less RAM than Chrome
  • Multi-process browsing means more tabs
  • Support for thousands of extensions
  • Tracker blocking
  • Tabs and other data synced across devices

Ultimately, Mozilla Firefox is a smooth browsing experience from the team behind the only real alternative to Google Chrome.

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You should be able to find Firefox preinstalled or in your distro’s software repository. If not, visit the Mozilla website to grab a copy.

Download: Mozilla Firefox

2. Chromium

Chromium browser on Linux

You might choose Google Chrome as your Linux browser. However, it isn’t open source, lumbered as it is with Google’s fingerprints. The alternative is the Chromium browser, the open source project that Chrome is built on. Ideal if you’re moving from Windows or simply want a browser that gives you direct access to your Google account.

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Here are some reason to use Chromium:

  • Chromium is the basis for Chrome, so you’re already familiar with it
  • Google account login and syncing supported
  • Thousands of browser add-ons

To install the Chromium browser use:

sudo apt install chromium-browser

3. Midori

Lightweight Midori Linux browser

Many Linux browsers claim to be resource-lite, but few browsers are as lightweight as Midori. This browser is so slim and resource-lite that it appeared on early builds of Raspbian (for Raspberry Pi). Features in Midori include:

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  • Built-in privacy tools
  • Minimalist, beautiful design
  • Fast

Midori can be downloaded in DEB and RPM formats and is also available in the SnapStore and FlatHub.

Download: Midori

To install Midori in the terminal use

sudo apt install midori

4. Epiphany

Linux Epiphany browser

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Also known as GNOME Web, this is the browser you’ll find by default on unaltered GNOME desktops. It features:

  • Built-in privacy tools
  • No extensions supported for improved stability
  • Functional and fast

If you don’t already use a GNOME desktop environment, you can install Epiphany in the command line:

sudo apt install epiphany-browser epiphany-extensions

The epiphany-extensions package is useful as it includes an extensions manager, development tools, and more.

5. Opera

Is Opera a good browser for Linux?

Trumpeted as a revolutionary browser with features unseen elsewhere, Opera boasts an unusual side-bar user interface. While many of its revolutionary features have been borrowed by other browsers (e.g. speed dial, pop-up blocking, private browsing) it remains a reliable alternative to Firefox.

  • Free VPN
  • Laptop battery saver
  • Cryptocurrency wallet
  • WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger integration
  • Data syncing across devices running Opera

DEB, RPM, and Snap packages for Opera can be downloaded from the home page.

Download: Opera

To install the Opera browser in the Linux terminal start by updating sources and adding the key:

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb http://deb.opera.com/opera/ stable non-free" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/opera.list'

sudo sh -c 'wget -O - http://deb.opera.com/archive.key | apt-key add -'

Next, run an update, then install

sudo apt update

sudo apt install opera

Alternatively, if you have Snap installed, use

sudo snap install opera

The Opera browser is currently based on Chromium. However, up to version 12, Opera used the Presto layout engine. This switch has inspired other browsers.

6. Otter

Try the Otter browser on Linux

Conceived to replicate the best aspects of Opera 12.x, Otter is built with Qt5. Visually it resembles Opera and includes several useful special features:

  • Password manager
  • Content blocking
  • Customizable user interface

Download: Otter

You can install manually in the terminal by adding a PPA repository.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otter-browser/release

Press Enter to confirm, wait for the GPG key to be created and at the next prompt update:

sudo apt update

When this completes you can install Otter with

sudo apt install otter-browser

7. Vivaldi

Vivaldi browser in action

Like Otter, Vivaldi has its roots in Opera. Vivaldi is overseen by Opera co-founder Jon von Tetzchner and regarded by many as closer to the old Opera. Features include:

  • Adaptive user interface
  • Granular tab management
  • Built-in tools include a notepad and screenshot app

Vivaldi is available in DEB, RPM, and ARM packages.

Download: Vivaldi

8. Falkon

The Falkon browser for Linux

Formerly known as Qupzilla, Falkon is a Linux browser usually found in KDE-based desktop environments, such as Plasma.

  • Lightweight
  • Features a built-in adblocking tool
  • Uses DuckDuckGo as the default search tool

Download: Falkon

Falkon can also be installed using apt in the terminal:

sudo apt install falkon

9. SeaMonkey

Try the SeaMonkey Linux web browser and mail client

A browser inspired by Netscape and Mozilla, SeaMonkey looks much like Firefox. The difference is in what it offers beyond browsing. Highlights include:

  • Chrome-style tab syncing
  • Session restore tool
  • Built-in mail client
  • Newsgroup/Usenet client
  • Web development tools

Having an email and newsgroup client built into your browser can save a lot of time switching between apps. However, this approach isn’t for everyone.

Download: SeaMonkey

More Linux Browsers to Consider

While the Linux browsers above should be considered the best available, many other browsers can be installed on Linux. These fulfil specific needs or are particularly lightweight.

Linux Text Browser: Lynx

Browse the web in the terminal with Lynx

Not all web browsing can be done in a graphic browser. In the early days of the web, text-based command line browsers were essential. One such web browser is still available: Lynx.

To install this Linux command line browser, use:

sudo apt install lynx

To use the browser, open the terminal and enter lynx followed by the URL. So, to view MakeUseOf use:

lynx makeuseof.com

Use the arrow keys to navigate—all commands are displayed in the terminal window.

Qutebrowser

If you’re unable to use a mouse or laptop trackpad, accessing the web can be difficult. That’s where Qutebrowser comes in—a desktop browser that can only be controlled using a keyboard. Shortcuts are assigned to each link on a page, enabling easy mouse-free browsing.

Qutebrowser is only available in the terminal.

sudo apt install qutebrowser

Tor Browser

Browse the web with the Tor browser on Linux

Want to maximise your privacy online? Using Linux is a good start, as is employing a VPN to encrypt your activity. But you can go a step further by installing the Tor browser for Linux.

To install Tor, you’ll need to add a repository and GPG key:

cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/tor.list deb https://deb.torproject.org/torproject.org bionic main deb-src https://deb.torproject.org/torproject.org bionic main EOF

curl https://deb.torproject.org/torproject.org/A3C4F0F979CAA22CDBA8F512EE8CBC9E886DDD89.asc | sudo gpg --import

gpg --export A3C4F0F979CAA22CDBA8F512EE8CBC9E886DDD89 | sudo apt-key add -

With that done, update your repositories and install the Tor Project:

sudo apt update

sudo apt install tor deb.torproject.org-keyring

You can then install the Tor browser on Linux with

sudo apt install torbrowser-launcher

The Best Browsers for Linux

We’ve compiled this list of Linux browsers to help you find the best tools to get your computer online. Each browser has a strength none of the others offer—despite some clear similarities, differences are also there.

The browser you choose is totally up to you. However, we recommend you stick to the tools that give you the best browsing experience.

Need more Linux software? Start off with our list of the best Linux apps The Best Linux Software and Apps Whether you're new to Linux or you're a seasoned user, here are the best Linux software and apps you should be using today. Read More .

Related topics: Chromium, Linux, Mozilla Firefox, Opera Browser, Vivaldi Browser.

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  1. K
    May 13, 2020 at 8:26 pm

    Yandex should be near top for its on-the-fly language translator bringing cultures together. Zen feature nice too. Turbo mode. Great search results in spite of occasional R-woman dating sites. Mobile her Works well behind a antivirus firewall. Very fast. Could use apps. #2 should be Opera/Vivaldi. Both mentioned have back button and good off gen.

  2. Jim
    March 3, 2020 at 11:11 am

    Palemoon, based on an older Firefox engine is a fine Linux browser and has a website with official repositories for installation and updating. It's one flaw at the minute is lack of add-ons after Firefox changed their add-ons. Hopefully developers will change that.

  3. Said Bakr
    February 25, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    Opera is blocked in some countries such as Egypt. To use it you have to get it via snap or running VPN first.

  4. Ghostrider2001
    February 24, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    I'd put Brave ahead of several of the browsers on the list.

    • glen
      February 24, 2020 at 8:26 pm

      yup, Brave is excellent

    • David Pool
      March 6, 2020 at 2:25 pm

      Another vote for Brave...and well above many of those on the list!

    • Dee Rider
      March 7, 2020 at 8:44 pm

      Brave, based on Chromium, is wicked fast and privacy-oriented.