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Operating systems, game consoles, and web browsers remain pretty polarizing. Users benefit from tons of choice with browsers, from Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Opera to Firefox. With the release of its 57th version, dubbed Firefox Quantum, comes a major overhaul.
Although Linux features an array of browser options, Firefox Quantum is the best option to use. Find out why Firefox Quantum should be your default Linux browser.
What Is Firefox Quantum?
Firefox Quantum is the 57th release version of Mozilla Firefox’s hugely popular web browser. It’s a direct response to Google Chrome. Among Quantum’s enhancements, you’ll find decreased RAM usage, increased speed, and a more streamlined user interface. Considering its plentiful refreshes, Firefox Quantum truly challenges Google Chrome.
Which Web Browsers Are Available for Linux?
Linux notably boasts several solid web browsers aside from Firefox Quantum. Most obviously, there’s Google Chrome. In its comparison of web browsers for Linux, Lifewire praised Chrome’s excellent web page rendering. Plus, its user interface is incredibly streamlined. The prevalence of Google Docs and Gmail further solidifies Google Chrome as a fantastic Linux browser. Likewise, in our analysis of Linux web browsers, we awarded Google Chrome the top slot with Mozilla as a close second. Yet with Quantum out, that completely changes.
Similarly, there’s the open-source Chromium browser. While certain Linux operating systems come pre-loaded with Firefox, still others include Chromium. Rendering mimics that of Google Chrome, so there’s amazing compatibility. However, Chromium lacks certain add-ons found in Chrome for additional usability. For instance, Chromium doesn’t include MP3 support or HTML5 video codecs. Moreover, there’s no Flash plugin. Still, it’s possible to add Flash to Chromium in Ubuntu.
Another alternative to Firefox, Chrome, and Chromium is Iceweasel. Essentially, Iceweasel is a similar to Firefox, but is a version of the Extended Support Release. Although Iceweasel sees security updates, it won’t gain all updates until they’ve been comprehensively tested. Therefore, it’s arguably more stable but not completely up to date. If you value stability, consider Weasel.
A niche Linux web browser is Konqueror. It’s only for KDE distributions. Features such as split windows and tabbed bookmarks make Konqueror a best pick for KDE operatig systems. But in its testing, Lifewire discovered that rendering of popular sites including Yahoo, BBC, and Sky failed.
Thus, it’s not the best Linux browser option.
Why Firefox Quantum Should Be Your Linux Browser
There are many reasons to opt for Firefox Quantum as your preferred Linux web browser.
According to Mozilla, Firefox Quantum is twice as quick as the previous Firefox from six months earlier. Speed is the main improvement with Quantum. With web browsing, that’s a major factor. It’s largely because of this that Mozilla calls Quantum its most substantial release since Firefox 1.0 debuted.
It Requires Fewer Resources
Since Firefox Quantum is faster, it uses more system resources, right? Contrary to how it may seem, Quantum actually employs fewer system resources while doubling its speed. Mozilla accomplishes this through allowing Firefox Quantum to use multiple CPU cores. Moreover, a new Rust-based CSS engine instead of its previous C++ lets Quantum operate more efficiently while using fewer resources. Doubling the power with up to 30 percent less power consumption is an impressive feat.
It Has a New Interface
The first difference you’ll notice when switching to Firefox Quantum is that its desktop icon has changed. The modernized logo is increasingly streamlined. This permeates the rest of the browser experience. With Quantum, the New Tab page features top sites, and recommended pages. Plus, there’s a revamped add-ons page which is tailored to an updated web experience.
Where formerly Firefox allowed both legacy add-ons and web extensions to run side-by-side, Quantum now only utilizes web extensions. For some users, this might be a downside, but overall it lends Firefox a modern web direction. You can view all of the add-ons for Firefox Quantum in the add-ons index, where over 8,000 add-ons are available.
It Has More Customizations
Into customization? Quantum is for you. Three simple tweaks you can make to personalize your Firefox Quantum experience are: setting the space for your address bar, adding new buttons, and picking updated themes.
With Quantum, you’ll find white boxes on the side of the browser which allow you to add items like customized icons. Plus, you can remove elements such as Pocket or even the bookmark this page icon. Among the new buttons for Firefox Quantum, there’s a nifty Forget button that removes your recent browsing history with a simple click. That way, if you forget to switch into an Incognito browser, you can clean up any unwanted history on your local machine. There’s an Email Link button too, and a button shortcut for the Options menu.
New themes allow even further customization of your Firefox Quantum browser. Here, you can change your browser to display flowers, cityscapes, abstract art, and more.
It Integrates Mobile and Desktop
One of Quantum’s best features is its “send to device” option. If you’re browsing a web page on your phone and wish to continue reading on your desktop or laptop, simply click “send to device” and that web page will open on your PC in the background. As a poweruser with tons of gadgets including two Android tablets, an Android phone, and two laptops, this is a super useful feature. Often I’ll begin perusing an article on one device, but wish to change to another.
The Downsides of Firefox Quantum
While Quantum is easily the best browser for Linux, surpassing Chrome, it’s not perfect. As with its recent releases, Firefox Quantum still maintains Pocket which is essentially a snazzy bookmarking tool. However, you can remove it from your user interface, and even disable it completely.
Whereas that’s a minor quibble, the major change for some users is undoubtedly the migration to web extensions from legacy add-ons. Long-time Firefox aficionados will find that certain legacy add-ons don’t have updated web extensions. Thus, it’s necessary to find an alternative.
Firefox Quantum: The Definitive Linux Web Browser
Where earlier Google Chrome reigned supreme as the top Linux browser, Firefox now takes the crown. It’s faster while boosting efficiency. Moreover, Quantum presents ample opportunity for customizing its layout, and features a bevy of add-ons. With its many enhancements, Quantum is undoubtedly the browser to pick if you’re a Linux user.
Firefox Quantum has been so revolutionary, that shortly after its release it was heralded as the best current browser, regardless of operating system. Ultimately, Quantum isn’t merely the best browser on Linux, it’s the top web browser for Windows and macOS as well.
Which Linux web browser do you prefer?