Best of Linux

Small Footprint Web Browsers for Linux

Almost every one of us uses popular web browsers such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Safari, or Mozilla Firefox. Every one of them is unique in their own ways and fulfill our browsing needs excellently. Mozilla Firefox is the default web browser in Linux, and it comes pre-installed with many Linux distros out-of-the-box.

But most of these web browsers are very demanding in terms of storage space and hardware acceleration required to function smoothly. So, if you have an old machine or low-end hardware on your computer, you might struggle to use these browsers efficiently. In addition to all this, privacy is a significant concern in today’s tech-savvy world that relies on the internet. Hence you need reliable lightweight browsers that fulfill your browsing requirements without causing you a privacy concern.

This article will introduce you to lightweight web browsers for Linux that leave small footprints behind and work smoothly on older computers.

1. Brave

Brave is a free and open-source web browser based on Chromium web browser developed and published by Brave Software Inc. It is a fast web browser that loads content faster and uses less power to operate. It is a lightweight browser that runs smoothly even on old computers.

It is also a privacy-friendly web browser that blocks data-grabbing ads and trackers, resulting in faster browsing. Brave offers Tor, a private browsing tab that helps you hide browsing history and your location from the websites you visit.

They will soon add the Brave Search feature to the browser, a secure and privacy-friendly search engine. User experience is not compromised even a bit in this browser; it has a clean and beautiful user interface.

Download Brave Here

2. Midori

Midori web browser is a free and open-source browser for Linux and its distros. It is a lightweight yet fast and reliable web browser; it uses a WebKit rendering engine: browser sports minimalist design and simple user interface.

Midori ships pre-installed in various Linux distributions such as Manjaro, Elementary OS, and Bodhi Linux. It comes with seamless support for HTML 5 and sports all the standard features you would expect in a web browser.

Google is not its default search engine; instead, it has DuckDuckGo as the browser’s default search engine. You can install it on any Linux distro using the following snap command in Terminal.

$ sudo snap install midori

3. Qutebrowser

Qutebrowser is a keyboard-focused browser based on Python and PyQt5. It is a lightweight browser with a minimal graphical user interface. It works smoothly on older machines and doesn’t require a large number of hardware resources.

To install this browser on Linux and its distros, you must have packages like Python 3.6.1 installed on your system. Many would find this browser difficult to use, but you will be surprised by its efficiency once you get used to it.

Get QuteBrowser Here

4. Falkon

Developed on Qt WebEngine, Falkon is a free and open-source web browser for Linux and its distros. It was previously known as QupZilla, which was first released back in December 2010.

Intending to be a lightweight web browser across various operating system platforms, it has grown into a feature-rich web browser. Falkon is a KDE project, and this browser comes pre-installed with OpenManDriva Lx, a Linux distribution forked from Mandriva Linux.

$ sudo snap install falkon

5. Palemoon

Palemoon is an open-source web browser for various operating system platforms. It is a lightweight yet highly customizable web browser and has a matching tagline, “Your Browser, Your Way.”

Palemoon is a fork of Mozilla Firefox web browser available for operating system platforms such as Microsoft Windows and Linux. It is an efficient web browser with a minimal and beautiful-looking user interface. Hardware requirements are also low for this web browser, so it works effortlessly even on low-end computers.

Get Palemoon Here

6. Dillo

Dillo is a cross-platform web browser written in C and C++. This web browser is lightweight, fast, and portable. The user interface is clean and straightforward; even new users will find this web browser very easy to use.

Dillo follows an evolving software model, which means every software update you get is better than the previous one. All releases are stable releases for a better end-user experience.

Get Dillo Here

So, these are the best small footprint web browsers for Linux and its distros as of 2021. Many other small footprint web browsers are also there, but those listed here are best in terms of reliability and overall user experience.

About the author

Swapnil Tirthakar

A Software Engineer who loves football and passionate about traveling. I often spend my free time playing with gadgets and exploring new possibilities in tech world. I am Linux enthusiast and have about 6 years of experience in web development. I have good command on Python, Java, SQL and system security.