Web browsers have taken over the desktop. For many people, the browser is the most used application, which is why it’s so important to choose a stable browser that suits all your needs. Linux users can pick from a dozen web browsers of different kinds – from lightweight and command-line to cross-platform and extremely extensible ones.

All browsers on this list are free to download, install and use, and they earned their place on this list because they’re reliable in everyday use and/or actively developed.

Here is the list of 10 best browsers for Linux

1. Firefox

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Firefox is the third most popular browser in the world, and likely the most popular Linux browser, since it ships with many Linux distributions by default. Its initial release in 2002 marked the rebirth of Netscape Navigator, though it wasn’t until 2004 that it became known as “Firefox”, having previously been known as first “Phoenix” and then “Firebird”. It’s one of the most customizable browsers, and the ocean of user add-ons and themes created for it will likely never be surpassed by other projects. It also performs well – tests show Firefox is the most memory-efficient of the mainstream browsers, in addition to having the best Javascript performance.

However, Mozilla has a history of making things difficult for add-on developers and users by introducing backwards-incompatible changes, one of which was a complete revamp of the UI. The new interface called Australis left many users unhappy and incurred a loss of market share. It wouldn’t be unfair to say Mozilla went through a direction crisis, and time will tell if the direction they’ve chosen will serve them well.

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2. Chrome

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Chrome is Google’s answer to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox. Chrome took everyone by surprise, offering a lightweight, responsive experience, and a fast Javascript engine. This affected all other browsers, as everyone had to scramble to catch up. Today, it’s the most popular browser, holding just over half the market share.

On Linux, you’re more likely to see Chromium, which is the open source project that Chrome is based on. However, Chromium still lacks a few potentially useful features, such as H.264 support and Google’s version of the Flash plugin. On the other side, it doesn’t feature Google’s tracking software. Following its main competitors, Chrome ships with only the most basic functionality, but it’s very extensible, and the number of add-ons has risen dramatically over the years.

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3. Opera

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Opera has never had much market share, despite being one of the more innovative browsers – it was the first browser that had the Speed Dial feature. In recent times, they’ve abandoned their proprietary layout engine, Presto, in favor of Google’s fork of WebKit, Blink. This essentially means Opera is now a version of Chromium, a move which disappointed some old users, as some of the customization options have been lost in the transition. However, it retains much of the look and feel of the older versions, and offers mouse gestures, a download manager, extensions, Private Browsing and Turbo Mode. If you still can’t get over this change, try Vivaldi – a revival of Opera 12 with many new, exciting features.

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4. Konqueror

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Konqueror is KDE’s one-stop solution for both file and web browsing. By default it uses the KHTML rendering engine, but it also supports KHTML’s progeny, WebKit. In somewhat typical KDE fashion, it’s an application that does a great deal many things. It features most of the amenities you’d expect in a modern browser, such as tabs, pop-up blocking, ad filtering, bookmark management, and mouseless browsing. Those are just a part of its functionality, though: with KDE’s KIO plugins, it’s possible to use it for FTP, SAMBA and IMAP browsing, or even as a ISO image viewer. Konqueror is without a doubt the most advanced file / web browser combo application on any platform.

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5. Web

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The official browser of the GNOME project, Web was previously known as Epiphany. It’s a WebKit-based browser which adheres to the design tenets of the GNOME project, offering a clean, simple interface and tight integration with the desktop environment. More recent versions have dropped support for user extensions, but a number of the most popular add-ons have become a core part of the browser. These include ad filtering, Greasemonkey support and mouse gestures.

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6. Conkeror

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Conkeror is a representative of the wave of minimalist, keyboard-driven GUI browsers. Vimperator was an attempt to transform Firefox into a Vim-like environment. Conkeror, on the other hand, is inspired by the Emacs approach. This is reflected not only in keyboard shortcuts, but also the inherent extensibility. Many Firefox extensions work with Conkeror, and you can customize its appearance with simple CSS scripts. It’s a great browser for programmers and fans of mouse-less browsing. Conkeror is not related to Konqueror; it’s based on Mozilla’s technologies.

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7. Pale Moon

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Pale Moon started out as an optimized Firefox build for Windows, but has since expanded onto other platforms, and has moved away from Firefox in a number of ways. The most obvious is the decision to retain the classic Firefox UI instead of switching to Australis. This makes Pale Moon a desirable alternative for dissatisfied Firefox users, but there are a few caveats. Its Windows-centric legacy shows in a number of places, notably in the fact that the profile migration tool is not available for Linux. Pale Moon also isn’t fully compatible with Firefox add-ons, and some of the more popular extensions don’t work with it. If that’s not an obstacle for you, Pale Moon is an easy recommendation for anyone tired of Mozilla’s antics.

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8. Midori

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Midori is a lightweight alternative browser for GTK-based desktop environments, such as GNOME or Xfce. It supports both GTK+ 2 and GTK+ 3, and it’s based on WebKit. Due to its fast startup time and responsiveness, it has become the default browser for a number of Linux distributions. Like many browsers on this list, it follows the Opera rather than Firefox approach to providing features out-of-the-box: it comes with support for user scripts and styles, smart bookmarks, ad blocking, mouse gestures, and a speed dial, among other things.

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9. QupZilla

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QupZilla could be viewed as Midori’s Qt counterpart in the context of this list. Although the name sounds similar, it has no relation to Mozilla. It offers a lightweight yet feature-packed alternative to its better-known competitors. QupZilla is based on WebKit, and comes with with its own ad blocker and speed dial. It also offers an interesting approach to viewing bookmarks, history and RSS feeds – it unifies them all in a single window. Another distinguishing feature is that QupZilla tries to seamlessly integrate with the user’s environment.

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10. Lynx

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Lynx is a text-based browser – it runs in the terminal. In case you’re wondering why would anyone bother, there are a few situations where it might come in handy: maybe X has crashed and you need to Google how to fix it, or perhaps the documentation for some other console application is in HTML, and it’s a lot more elegant to just open in it in another tab. Lynx is the oldest such project still around, dating all the way back from 1992. Lynx doesn’t do much: it renders text from web pages. It has no support for images or video or Javascript. Consequently, it’s blazing fast, and fairly secure.

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What’s your favorite web browser for Linux? Do you know of any other browsers worth mentioning? Tell us about them in the comments.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Is there a web browser that is completely independent from GOOGLE? I am trying to keep my computer and my information as far away from google as possible. Is there a browser like that??

        • You need to change some of your habits, as some things won’t work exactly as you are used to.

          Use Tor Browser

          Tor does not protect all of your computer’s Internet traffic when you run it. Tor only protects your applications that are properly configured to send their Internet traffic through Tor. To avoid problems with Tor configuration, we strongly recommend you use the Tor Browser. It is pre-configured to protect your privacy and anonymity on the web as long as you’re browsing with Tor Browser itself. Almost any other web browser configuration is likely to be unsafe to use with Tor.
          Don’t torrent over Tor

          Torrent file-sharing applications have been observed to ignore proxy settings and make direct connections even when they are told to use Tor. Even if your torrent application connects only through Tor, you will often send out your real IP address in the tracker GET request, because that’s how torrents work. Not only do you deanonymize your torrent traffic and your other simultaneous Tor web traffic this way, you also slow down the entire Tor network for everyone else.
          Don’t enable or install browser plugins

          Tor Browser will block browser plugins such as Flash, RealPlayer, Quicktime, and others: they can be manipulated into revealing your IP address. Similarly, we do not recommend installing additional addons or plugins into Tor Browser, as these may bypass Tor or otherwise harm your anonymity and privacy.
          Use HTTPS versions of websites

          Tor will encrypt your traffic to and within the Tor network, but the encryption of your traffic to the final destination website depends upon on that website. To help ensure private encryption to websites, Tor Browser includes HTTPS Everywhere to force the use of HTTPS encryption with major websites that support it. However, you should still watch the browser URL bar to ensure that websites you provide sensitive information to display a blue or green URL bar button, include https:// in the URL, and display the proper expected name for the website. Also see EFF’s interactive page explaining how Tor and HTTPS relate.
          Don’t open documents downloaded through Tor while online

          Tor Browser will warn you before automatically opening documents that are handled by external applications. DO NOT IGNORE THIS WARNING. You should be very careful when downloading documents via Tor (especially DOC and PDF files, unless you use the PDF viewer that’s built into Tor Browser) as these documents can contain Internet resources that will be downloaded outside of Tor by the application that opens them. This will reveal your non-Tor IP address. If you must work with DOC and/or PDF files, we strongly recommend either using a disconnected computer, downloading the free VirtualBox and using it with a virtual machine image with networking disabled, or using Tails. Under no circumstances is it safe to use BitTorrent and Tor together, however.
          Use bridges and/or find company

          Tor tries to prevent attackers from learning what destination websites you connect to. However, by default, it does not prevent somebody watching your Internet traffic from learning that you’re using Tor. If this matters to you, you can reduce this risk by configuring Tor to use a Tor bridge relay rather than connecting directly to the public Tor network. Ultimately the best protection is a social approach: the more Tor users there are near you and the more diverse their interests, the less dangerous it will be that you are one of them. Convince other people to use Tor, too!

  2. I have been using Vivaldi lately and it is very impressive. Handles the extensions I need, is fast and good at keeping tracking etc to a minimum.

  3. The best browser for a given job is that which best does the job, and that varies from job to job.

    I use Midori and Lynx for the web and docs, respectively, Konqueror occasionally, and when I absolutely, positively have no choice in the matter Chrome or Firefox. The two latter are ridiculously slow and inefficient, max the CPU and thrash the drive array like it fell asleep on duty, and if I’vce an alternative then I do not touch them with a ten foot cliché.

  4. I use flashpeak slimjet /Infinity New Tab on Linux mint 18 cinnamon desktop and Ubuntu 16,04 both have cairo dock too and works great, however I have chrome and mozilla firefox 53 which I like how it runs

    • I used midori a little bit it is cool but simple,i changed linux again,and im going to test another browser,midori is really good option but i dont know if he has dark theme ‘-‘

  5. Hi there! Lynx is my choice when it comes to surfing through web in searching for informations. In matter of fact I’m using Lynx in this very moment.

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