View as Slideshow: Best Linux Browsers
Midori – I like to call Midori the lightweight Chrome alternative. Like Google's browser(s), Midori offers a minimalist experience with its "hamburger menu," which is nice as it takes up less browser space. Not only do you get a solid browsing experience without the usual browser politics found elsewhere, Midori is also quite fast.
The good: Midori is fast, lightweight and feels familiar out of the box. I'm also happy to report that it renders pages correctly and works great with sites like YouTube. The best part, in my opinion, is the built-in functionality for creating browser profiles and actual launchable links for Web apps. For example, you can easily create a web app on your desktop for Gmail or Facebook. You can also setup user specific browser profiles as well, without creating new Linux user accounts.
The bad: Despite mentioning user extensions for this browser, the selection available is less than impressive. Also, the browser layout takes a bit of getting used to. A trash can for previously visited websites – seriously?
Opera – Opera has long been one of the misunderstood browsers out there. Very early on, Opera provided Linux support despite being dismissed by the overall Linux community. In addition to being a compatible, fast web browser that has been nothing but good to Linux users, it's also a full of configurable options.
The good: It's fast and it's full of user controllable settings. You can import and export everything from RSS feeds to email, and skin Opera with easy access to breathtaking themes. Plus, Opera offers an extensive library of extensions to choose from. Not to mention the ability to read RSS feeds and email, from your browser! Relive the days of the Mozilla Suite by using Opera's extended suite functionality. And perhaps best of all, Opera Turbo – super-charge your browser speed with selective compression to provide a faster experience.
The bad: A nag for the Terms of Service on its first run. Also, Opera Turbo can slightly alter your browsing experience – YouTube for example, may not show a video's thumbnail. Opera also provides so many options that it can feel a bit overwhelming to the casual user. And lastly, it's a closed source browser that hasn't been well recognized for desktop use. Most folks think of Opera as a mobile browser only these days.
Which browser is right for you?
With so many great choices, it can be a tough call to say which browser is right for you. Speaking for myself, I've found that I rely heavily on Firefox and Chromium due to specific extensions I put to work each day. For someone with a lower end system or netbook, my suggestion is to try Midori first and if that's not a fit, fallback to Qupzilla.
So what about other web browsers for Linux? Such as the Epiphany browser or Konqueror? Browsers like these are great, but I feel strongly about the browsers I've shared above specifically. Each of the options listed above are browsers I use often and have found to be something I feel good about recommending to friends and family.
That said, by all means, share any browsers you're passionate about in the Comments below so others can benefit from your preferred method of browsing the Web.
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