The 6 Best Graphical Linux Browsers to Install with WSLg

Windows subsystem for Linux is useful for development especially web development. Part of web development is testing your website on different browsers.


With the ability to run graphical Linux apps with Windows Subsystem for Linux 2, you can test your websites in Linux browsers without having to set up a separate Linux desktop or virtual machine.

Here are some of the best web browsers you can install with WSL 2.


1. Firefox

Despite being adopted by Google Chrome, Firefox is still very popular in the Linux world due to the pro-privacy stance of its developer, the Mozilla Foundation. While the Windows version is easy to download, you can also install the Linux version in Ubuntu.

To install Firefox on Debian-based distributions, run:

sudo apt install firefox

2. Google Chrome/Chromium

Google Chrome is still the world’s most popular browser, according to stat counter. It’s not even an exciting race between Chrome and the second most popular browser, Apple’s Safari.

Chrome runs at a whopping 62 percent on all devices, compared to 19 percent on Safari. On the desktop alone, Chrome almost scores 65 percent worldwide.

Chrome’s popularity means that if you’re designing a web app, it’s your primary market. While you should build an app that works in as many browsers as possible, the vast majority of your users will probably view it through Chrome. That goes for Linux users too, so it’s worth testing through WSL.

There are two ways you can install the Linux version of Chrome on your Windows computer. You can download the standard version of Chrome from Google’s website, or you can install the open source version, Chromium, from the package manager.

To install Chrome, go to the website and download it. By default, the Windows version is suggested, but you can download an alternative version. Make sure to download the DEB package when prompted.

To download: Google Chrome for Linux

To install Chrome, use the cd command to navigate to the folder where you downloaded it. This is on the Windows side, so you are in the /mnt/c/ hierarchy.

Once there, use dpkg to install it:

sudo dpkg -i google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb

The other way to install the Linux Chrome browser is through Chromium. This is where open-source development takes place for Chrome. To install it in WSL Ubuntu, type:

sudo apt install chromium-browser

3.Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is notorious for the way its parent company tries to make it the browser of choice over Google’s much more popular offerings. Microsoft has even claimed that Chrome is outdated, despite the two browsers being very similar under the hood in that they share a rendering engine. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they also support a Linux version.

Jokes aside, Microsoft would have seemed impossible to release a browser for Linux a few years ago. For all Edge users developing a web app or extension for Microsoft Edge, please install it on your system for testing.

It may seem strange to install a Linux version of a browser that comes standard with the host OS, but it’s easy too. You just go to the website and download the DEB file and use dpkg, similar to installing Chrome.

sudo dpkg -i microsoft-edge-stable_*.deb

To download: Microsoft Edge

4. Dillo

Modern browsers like Firefox, Chrome and Edge are complete behemoths. Dillo takes a different approach and strives for a minimal footprint. It’s just a browser and nothing more. There is no way to install plugins that extend functionality. This can be a drawback if you need access to more advanced features.

The advantage of this approach is that you know what your browser is doing. There is no native Windows version of this browser available, so you will have to use the Linux version unless you want to compile it yourself.

You can install it with this command:

sudo apt install dillo

Related: The Best Lightweight Web Browsers for Linux

5. Opera

Going from minimal to fully equipped again, there is Opera. Compared to the relative newcomers of Chrome and Edge, Opera is a long runner, with its first version released in 1995. With a browser pushing 30, it must be doing something right.

Opera’s continued cult following is due to its cross-platform support. Aside from PCs, everything from mobile phones (the pre-smartphones variant) to game consoles supports Opera. And yes, there is a Linux version.

It’s not exactly the same browser it was in the 90s, after it switched to the Chromium engine used by Chrome and Edge in 2013. It has some interesting features that make it worth checking out.

The developers have made privacy a focus of Opera, with built-in access to a VPN, as well as built-in ad and tracker blockers.

For those yearning for the days of ChatZilla in Firefox, there is a built-in chat client that supports Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, VKontakte, and Telegram. You can also share files between devices running Opera. There is also a built-in cryptocurrency wallet.

Installing Opera is similar to installing Chrome and Edge. You just go to the website and download the DEB file, navigate to the folder you downloaded it to and then run dpkg.

sudo dpkg -i opera-stable_*.deb

6. Brave

Brave is another browser that wants to compete with the major browsers. Like Dillo, it claims to be smaller and faster than Chrome.

Like Opera, Brave advertises itself as a pro-privacy browser, with its own ad and tracker blocker enabled by default. As an alternative to targeted advertising, you can earn a cryptocurrency, the Basic Attention Token, based on Ethereum, by enabling Brave’s own ads in your browser.

You can install the Linux version on WSL by going to the Linux download page and pasting in some code that Brave provided to install some packages, and adding the repository to APT.

Run the following commands one by one to download the GPG keys:

sudo apt install apt-transport-https curl
sudo curl -fsSLo /usr/share/keyrings/brave-browser-archive-keyring.gpg https:
echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/brave-browser-archive-keyring.gpg arch=amd64] https:

After you’ve done that, make sure your packages are up to date and install Brave:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install brave-browser

Many browsers to try WSLg

Whether you’re trying to build a web app or debug a new extension, WSL with Windows 11 gives you options when testing on Linux browsers.

You don’t need to install a VM or dig up a desktop computer to install Linux. Running graphics apps on WSL ensures that users get the best out of the Linux environment installed in Windows.

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