Web browsers

Personal needs and viewing preferences vary wildly, so one should ideally test several major web browsers before making a decision. No one choice is going to be perfect for everyone.

Free web browsers

Mozilla Firefox and friends

Good ole Firefox
Best Firefox fork [Citation needed]

Mozilla Firefox is a free and open source web browser descended from the Netscape Communicator. It is known for its championing of the open web during Internet Explorer's reign of terror and its extensive customisability via add-ons and settings. Nowadays, Mozilla spends more effort on combating fake news and funding antifa than maintaining the browser. Firefox's recent move to WebExtensions has deprecated many legacy add-ons, but remains more customizable than most other browsers.

Numerous forks and spin-offs of Firefox exist and are a common sight on /g/ and /tech/ given Firefox's perceived transition into a Chrome-imitating memory whore, for example Pale Moon and Waterfox. The most "free" fork would be GNU Icecat, a fully free, libre, open-source (FLOSS) fork of Firefox without its built-in DRM support and Firefox Hello. Icecat comes with LibreJS, an add-on which blocks out any non-free javascript on webpages.

SeaMonkey is a closely related descendant of Netscape Navigator - a more classic "internet suite" with mail and chat clients built-in. Based on Firefox ESR, SeaMonkey continues to support legacy add-ons.


Google, de-botneted (a lie)

Chromium is a free and open-source web browser botnet known for its extremely fast JavaScript execution and multiprocess security model. Upon release, Chromium was ahead of the competition by leaps and bounds in terms of raw performance. In the years that followed though, Firefox and Opera largely equalled and in some cases surpassed its performance advantage, although Chromium still tends to maintain a slight edge in UI responsiveness and JavaScript execution. While usually recommended for use, many users stay away from this browser as it has not been audited as much as Firefox has, and in protest of its (easy to disable) tracking features.

If you're thinking of switching to Chromium (Google's open source version of Chrome) instead, think again. For some time, Chromium snuck in a binary blob for voice recognition whenever you started it up. This has been removed by the project maintainers, but it should raise some concern over what else could be lurking in the code.

The Brave browser is a privacy-focused open source browser based on Chromium created by Brendan Eich, punished Mozilla CEO.

Iridium is a FLOSS fork of Chromium stripped of as many botnet features as possible. It used to phone home to Iridium's servers for development purposes, but it no longer does that. This is not where it ends, though. If you go to their homepage, and read what they have to say about the privacy of their browser, it reads: "Chromium (which Iridium is based on) is a very secure browser, yes. But it does call home to Google. And we did even more to enhance security to the maximum extent possible.". Smells like botnet.

Non-free web browsers

Superior waifu browser not available on Freedomâ„¢ systems

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is a botnet proprietary fork of the free and open source Chromium project. While effectively offering the same browsing experience as Chromium, it integrates Google's "Pepper" Flash plugin, a Foxit-based PDF reader and controversial user-tracking capabilities. If you value your privacy or reputation on /g/ and /tech/, it's best to avoid this one.


Opera is one of the oldest web browsers that is still under active development. Up to version 12.16, Opera was based on its in-house Presto layout engine and characterised by its customisability, innovation, broad out-of-the-box feature set (including a torrent client, email, IRC and FTP support) and respect for web standards. Several now ubiquitous features like tabbed browsing and speed dial made their débuts in Opera.

With the release of version 15, Opera development radically changed direction. Presto was discontinued in favour of Chromium's Blink layout engine and numerous features were excised, with the email client becoming a standalone program and GNU/Linux support and native 64-bit builds both being suspended (although the former has made a recent comeback). As a result, "Chropera" is often derided as a shadow of its former self, and a small minority of /g/ and /tech/ users fervently stick to the archaic old version.

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer is the default web browser in Microsoft's Windows operating systems, and is based on Microsoft's Trident layout engine. Before version 9, Internet Explorer was infamous for its myriad security vulnerabilities, poor performance, disregard for most web standards and perversion of the few that it bothered to acknowledge. Since then, however, Microsoft has been actively developing Internet Explorer into a tolerable web browser, and has even discontinued the brand name to distance themselves from its notoriety.


Basically, it's Internet Explorer version 12. Has a new user interface somewhat optimized for tablets. Tons of new features were promised before Windows 10 was released, most were not implemented. Currently even Internet Explorer is better and has more features. It is the first browser to implement the very promising Chakra JavaScript engine.


Safari is the default web browser in Apple's Mac OS X. It is based on Apple's Webkit layout engine, a KHTML fork. Compared to Chromium and Firefox, Safari has a slow development cycle and is lacking in features.


A new browser that is being developed targeting former users of Opera who became disgruntled with the change in direction in Opera's development. It aims to bring back the feel and features of Opera 12.

Obscure hipster browsers





Common Plug-Ins

For a proper alternative to flash on browsers that don't support the Pepper Plugin API (PPAPI) like Firefox, look into freshplayerplugin, a ppapi2npapi compatibility layer that allows you to use Chrome's pepperflashplayer.



This article is issued from Installgentoo. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.