Desktop users can’t help but agree that modern browsers are quite resource-intensive. The confluence of different technologies and file types causes browsers to consume extensive system resources, degrading your web experience.
But what if you had a list of browsers that not only offer versatile performance on Linux systems, but also have generous lightweight requirements?
If you’re struggling to keep your browser going and are happy to switch to a lighter browser version, here’s a list of the best lightweight web browsers for Linux.
Pale Moon is a free browser for 32-bit and 64-bit Linux systems. The browser is modeled after the proven Mozilla Firefox source code and the Unified XUL Platform (UXP). It offers infinite support for conventional web standards to alleviate browser problems for the end users.
You’ll find support for HTML, CSS3, SVG, Canvas, and WebGL in Pale Moon, along with some common Firefox extensions. You can bring your favorite extensions, themes, personas, and plugins (such as Silverlight, Flash, and Java) without compromising speed, memory performance, and time.
Pale Moon is compatible with the current generation of processors. The open-source Goanna layout and rendering engine smoothly optimize graphics and color transitions. The result is a fast loading time of pages and timelines for processing scripts.
The browser trades telemetry settings in favor of user privacy, but makes up for it with a strict privacy-conscious ad and spyware intolerance. There are also several Pale Moon-exclusive extensions to further innovate your web experience.
To download: faint moon
Midori is a GTK and Web3 engine based browser tailored for Linux systems. The browser is written in C and Vala and gives you a clear and user-friendly interface. This HTML5-ready browser offers privacy-focused features for a secure, ad-free browsing experience.
Midori comes with a built-in spell checker and quickly handles multimedia-heavy pages, which is quite useful when browsing social media. It takes care of your data privacy and never documents or stores user data.
Midori is a part of XFCE based distros (elementary OS, Bodhi Linux, etc.) software sources. This open-source browser offers frequent updates, keeping it stable. The latest version helps to surf the web with better error handling than its predecessors.
To download: Midori
Otter is an open-source browser that offers a blazing fast browsing experience with relatively low memory consumption, especially when compared to other popular browsers such as Firefox and Google Chrome. Otter runs the Qt WebEngine under the hood, enabling it to deliver more with fewer resources.
As a lightweight browser, Otter allows you to use the web the way you want to: with bookmarks, RSS feeds, sticky notes, cookie management and your personalized download library at your fingertips. The browser has a handy content blocking feature that allows you to filter safe content for younger users.
Otter will serve you with fast page boot and load times, even on multimedia-heavy pages. With its impressive layout, you can quickly navigate the web with Otter, which is very reminiscent of Opera.
The browser offers cross-platform support and is very stable across operating systems, building beyond your standard Linux desktop.
To download: Otter
Netsurf is a standard, compatible, multi-platform browser suitable for Unix, Linux, Mac and Windows users. Its easy-to-use interface is customizable so you can better tailor it to your internet usage and activities.
Netsurf’s user interface is based on layouts, all of which are inspired by RISC OS software. The browser is designed to serve desktop-specific Internet needs. This is reflected in the resourceful tree structure that neatly summarizes your browsing history – a feature that is unusual in modern browsers.
Netsurf gives you the best surfing speed on the internet, especially under Linux. It offers a stable, secure and smooth browsing experience with blazing fast speeds that you would expect from a reliable network service.
The browser is exceptionally responsive due to its low hardware requirements. The manufacturability of Netsurf’s source code allows developers and the dedicated support community to expand compatibility with new platform builds with each release.
To download: net surf
You will hardly find browsers as resourceful and worthy as Vivaldi for your Linux system. Vivaldi welcomes you with a built-in mail, calendar, adblocker and translation function; you should generally get each of these features from an extension store in other browsers.
Vivaldi’s low memory and minimal resource consumption make it an ideal browser for net-savvy Linux users. It performs surprisingly well, even if you’re scrolling through countless multimedia-rich pages at the same time.
The browser immediately grabs your attention with its productivity-oriented interface. The dual tab queue rolls up to open web pages for easy accessibility. The efficient memory usage ensures that users can do all this responsively, without browser crashes.
To download: Vivaldic
After enjoying its heyday among Windows customers, Opera is now extending its highly extensible, stable and secure browser services to Linux. Use the popular closed-source browser, complete with the same extensions and plugin library commonly available on non-Linux platforms.
Opera’s integrated RSS and IRC support are no secret. Did you know that the browser doubles as your torrent and email client? The Opera store has other add-ons (malware blocker, VPN, Internet radio, etc.) that allow you to turn the browser into a central hub for any kind of web activity.
Opera’s handy sync feature allows you to unify your browsing activity across all platforms with your login credentials. In addition, the browser has made available the Pepper API Flash plugin to make your browsing easier.
To download: Opera
GNOME Web is a browser built to run natively on the GNOME desktop, although you can use it just fine on other Linux desktops as well. The browser uniquely tackles web security by removing the concept of manually entering URLs on the fly.
You need to create web apps and then launch them to visit a particular page. This creates a sandbox style environment, preventing your system’s browsing history and activity archive from getting messed up.
GNOME Web provides a clean user interface that gives you all possible navigation aids without overloading the browser viewport. It’s more progressive than its competition given its multiple account maintenance for web apps.
To download: GNOME Web
Choosing a minimal Linux browser for yourself
If you want an easy-to-use, lightweight browser for browsing the web, you don’t want to settle for just any browser. Instead, you should choose from a list of top options available in the market to make your Linux journey enjoyable and delightful.
The options listed above are the best and each version is updated regularly so you can be sure to get the latest features for your browsers. Which browser do you choose today?