10 Best lightweight browsers for Linux or Ubuntu

Opensource lightweight browser for Ubuntu Linux to browse different websites on average or low hardware configuration Linux systems. Lightweight browser Alternatives to Chrome and Mozilla for Linux.

Web Browsers, the day when they started making our lives easier by allowing us to crawl the internet to today’s world; they have been gone through numerous technological advancements. Browsers are quite advance to handle high-end graphics, online videos, apps and more without the help of third-party software. But this also has made them heavy in terms of consuming hardware resources, means more RAM and storage space. Such kind of browsers works well on good system configuration machines, however, Linux operating systems those are running on old PC or laptops or low configuration systems require light browsers with a minimal approach to work fast.

Mainstream browser or shall I say the dominated one: Google Chrome that Linux users refrain themselves from instaling it on their machines is rather resourced consuming browser. This is the main reason why most of the Linux OS like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Centos and more come with Firefox Mozilla but somewhere it still not that much lightweight as we need it to be. So, I have done some research and gathered some lightweight Linux browsers.

Here we are giving a list of Best Ubuntu Linux lightweight web browsers that allowed you help to choose the fastest and lightest one. 

Trivia: These browsers are available not only for Ubuntu but also for other Linux operating systems such as Linux  Mint, Debian, CentOS, PuppyLinux, Fedora and more… (Subject to availability by developers).

10 Lightweight browsers for Linux/Windows/MacOS

Midori browser lightweight Linux browser

Midori is a free and open source lightweight browser for Linux operating systems. It initially released on 16 December 2007 and has faced up and down in terms of developments. However, in the last year 2018,  the latest version of the Midori 8.0, an overhauled one launched with additional features such as adblocker.

So, if you are looking for a lightweight alternative web browser for Linux’ s default one then try Midori. It is not only lightweight but also has some mainstream features that are really needed by the users. Such as support to HTML5, Bookmark management, Configurable web search, Private browsing, Tabs, windows & session management and more…

Midori browser lightweight Linux browser

Midori, which is a Japnese name for green, integrated with GTK+ 2 and GTK+ 3 support, working on WebKit rendering engine plus also supports user scripts and user styles.

Its default search engine is DuckDuck GO and comes with few extension support: Adblock, Form history, Mouse gestures, Cookie management, and RSS Feed Panel. Furthermore, its Cross-browser extensions are compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Vivaldi.

The best part of this lightweight browser is it doesn’t consume RAM like Chrome and that’s why it can use easily on low configuration machines.

Not only Linux platform, but the Midori is also available for Android, BSD and MacOS. The Windows version of the Midori is not active in development.

The Acid3 score of Midori is 100/100 while the HTML5 score is 325/555.

You can download the Midori from GitHub.


Falkon (formerly QupZilla)

Falkon which formerly QupZilla is a free and open-source web browser developed by KDE, written in C++ and built on the QtWebEngine rendering engine. Basically, it is a wrapper for the Chromium browser core which is meant to provide a lightweight web browser for all major platforms. Primarily, it was developed only for educational purposes but later started growing as a feature-rich browser and partaken the consortium of lightweight browsers.

Linux lightwieght browser Falkon_3.0.0

Falkon contains all common functions that available and required by the browser to give a productive environment to users. It features bookmarks, history, tab browsing, blocking ads with a built-in AdBlock plugin.

Falkon light browser is available for Windows and Linux both. Test Score Acid3 –100/100 and HTML5- 497/550

Download Falkon


Otter Browser

Otter Browser another free & open-source lightweight browser available for Linux, Windows and MacOS. This cross-platform uses the Qt framework.

Otter Browser open source light wieght browser for Linux windows and MacoS

Like Falkon, the Otter browser also uses Qt WebEngine, a wrapper around the Chromium browser core. It features, Passwords manager, Addon manager, Content blocking, Spells checking, Customisable GUI, URL completion, Speed dial, Bookmarks and various related features, Mouse gestures and User style sheets.

Download Otter browser


GNOME Web (formally Epiphany)

GNOME Web is a free and open-source lightweight web browser earlier known as Epiphany. This browser is available to install from software repositories of most Linux operating systems. It is developed by GNOME for Linux and Unix-like systems.

GNOME Web (formally Epiphany)

The Gnome web uses the WebKit engine and offers a sleek, clean and beautiful user interface while keeping the lightness of the browser in mind. It comes out of the box in the GNOME and elementary OS desktops.


qutebrowser

qutebrowser is another extremely lightweight open-source browser for Linux, Windows and MacOS operating systems. This so-called “cute browser” has a minimal graphical user interface to make it as light it can be by the developers. It is a keyboard-focused browser based on Python and PyQt5. It was inspired by other browsers/add-ons like dwb and Vimperator/Pentadactyl.

With default DuckDuckGo as the default search engine, it is available in the native repository of Linux distributions such as Fedora and Arch Linux. As said it is keyboard driven browser, so one needs to use the keyboard for different operations or browsing websites with commands just like VIM editor (no need of mouse).

qutebrowser command based lightweight browser for linux

It is available for On Debian / Ubuntu, Fedora, Archlinux, Gentoo, Void Linux, NixOS, openSUSE,  Slackware, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, Windows and macOS. The Acid3 test score is 100/100 and HTML5 is 385/555.

 Download from Github


Surf-  minimalist web browser

Surf is another keyboard based browser with a minimalist interface with no graphics controls. Just like the qutebrowser, the user needs to use the keyboard shortcuts or external tools to control the web browser.

Surf-  minimalist web browser

Because of the minimal graphical user interface, it is not simply possible to do common browser tasks such as tabbed browsing, bookmarks or ad filtering, however, the user can be done it by implementing patches, scripts or external programs. All the instruction on how to operating the surf is available on its official website. Its Acid3 score is 100/100 and 385/500 for HTML5.

Download Surf


NetSurf

NetSurf is a lightweight free, open-source web browser developed in C language. It is just 6MB web browser which is capable to handle standard web tasks for today’s world. It complies with web standards HTTP, HTML and CSS, however, it doesn’t support Javascript completely and that’s why it disabled by the developers right now but planned to give full support to it in the near future.

NetSurf open source ligthwieght browser for Linux windows

NetSurf is available to download for RISC OS, Linux and other Unix-likes, Haiku & BeOS, AmigaOS, Windows, Atari and Mac OS X including its source code. This browser is useful for embedded Linux or old operating systems those work on very low RAM like 256MB.

Download NetSurf


Lynx text-only web browsing

Lynx is a text browser for the World Wide Web without graphical user interface and all the websites and other operations have to handle using the keyboard and commands directly from the command terminal. As you can see in the given screenshot, the Google search had been opened and it appeared without any graphical elements. This allows the user those are working on the Linux servers or Windows XP to visit different websites without going through mainstream GUI browser. And this is why it is one of the lightest browsers in this list. It can be used almost on all Linux systems.

Lynx text only web browsing

Lynx currently supports SSL and many HTML features including Tables formatting and frames. However, elements such as JavaScript, Adobe Flash, images and video cannot be opened by it but has the capability to launch external programs like image viewer and video player to handle them.

Other benefits of Lynx-like text-based browsers are easy to use on low bandwidth internet connections and older computer hardware where the rendering of heavy images is quite slow.

Below screenshot juxtaposes of Wikipedia web page rendering on Lynx text browser and Mozilla Firefox. If you are looking for Ubuntu web browser command line based then try this one.

lynx text base browser screenshot

Download Lynx text base browser


Ubuntu Web Browser

ubuntu Web Browser

Ubuntu Web Browser is a lightweight web browser meant and customized for Ubuntu operating systems. It is based on the Oxide browser engine and using the Ubuntu UI components. It is also included by default in the recent Ubuntu desktop releases.


K-Meleon lightweight browser for Windows

K-Meleon is the lightweight browser developed for Windows 32 but systems for low configuration hardware. It is based on the Gecko layout engine developed by Mozilla for Firefox.

K-Meleon lightweight browser for Windows

K-Meleon is Free, Open Source software uses the native Windows application programming interface (API). However, while writing this article the last stable version of the K-Meleon was released on 2015-09-19 which is quite old. Still, it is here just for knowledge if someone would like to try it.

Here is the website link for K-Meleon


 A quick comparison table of lightweight browsers for Linux, Windows and MacOS.

 Browsers  Linux  Windows  MacOS Javascript support  Frame support
Midori browser  Yes  Inactive  Yes Yes  Yes
Falkon (formerly QupZilla)  Yes  Yes  No  Yes  Yes
Otter Browser  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes
qutebrowser  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes
Surf  Yes  NO  NO  Yes  Yes
NetSurf  Yes  Yes  Yes  No  Yes
Lynx  Yes  Yes  Yes  NO  Partial
K-Meleon  No  Yes  No  Yes  Yes
GNOME Web  Yes  No  No  Yes  Yes

GNOME Web

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One Response

  1. Sol Li August 18, 2019

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