Free Browser suggestions?

I'm looking for a fast, lightweight browser that
- is Free Software
- has a good (free) Ad Blocker (or Plugin Interface to install one)
- runs on Debian
- is not a derivative of Firefox

Any suggestions?

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Chromium. But not super lightweight though.

At this point there really are just 2 (well, 3) browsers.

  • Firefox and derivates (Gecko Engine)
  • Chromium and derivates (WebKit engine and currently its fork Blink engine)
  • Edge/IE (Trident Engine)
  • ok technically there's a fourth group which uses KHTML, but honestly I have no idea how their HTML5 feature support is these days since WebKit is a fork from KHTML

Since you don't want Firefox or any derivates of it and Edge/IE is not available on Linux (well, technically it is through Wine, but really... no), there's really only one choice left.
All the Chromium based browsers are equal in HTML support, most of them have an extension API enabled too and run on debian.

My favorite is Vivaldi from the original Opera team, which is Chromium and therefore Blink based.

The problem with Chromium is really still the underlying engine. WebKit was never meant to be for a tabbed browser when it started out and even though it has gotten better over the years, it's still nowhere near as efficient with resources as one that was meant for tabbed browsing from the start. Edge is a pretty good example in that regard, it's rather fast and resource efficient, even though I know a lot of people like to hate on it just because it's Microsoft, but it's a really nice browser with all the basics one would need for regular browsing.

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You've not defined your requirements very well. whats lightweight? Whats fast? why is gecko out of the question?

Your options are pretty much:

Chromium (Blink)
Epiphany/GNOME Web (Webkit)


This is great for when you only want to read content and see the picture that goes with an article but nothing else.
At one one one of my fav news sites had so many ads on each page 3 or 4 tabs would bring everything to a screeching halt.
This fixed that.

I can really only recommend Firefox for regular desktop usage, as I don't agree with Google's Chromium tracking (although there are forks that try to remove it).

I found that I couldn't use Firefox very well on my RPi when I was building a small system for my friends nephew and found that Midori ran perfectly on it. Highly recommended.


Don't confuse Chrome with Chromium. The tracking shit is only in Chrome as far as I know.

Also it's not like Firefox doesn't have user tracking, you can just disable that. Then again you can disable it on Chrome too.

For lightweight i would say Midori is a great choice. Not many plugins but all the basic stuff and blocker you will find no issue...

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You are misinformed. Chromium still has analytics and tracking built into it, although it has less of a grip than Chrome itself. There's a project called Iron (SWare Iron) that tries to mitigate this by ripping it out.

Yes and no...The main analytics and trackers are not part of Chromium. And since the whole the code can be reviewed the browser also does not send any browsing data. But Chromium does phone home meaning that your IP is sent to google the moment you open the application making it easier to identify you if you are using any google services (like the search). The same is done with other browsers when using google services with the difference than the browser does not directly send your IP to google.

Additionally google has tried to push analytics to chromium and was stopped by the community backlash (they claimed it was a mistake). Meaning they cannot be trusted not to try that again on a more covert way.

if you want extremely fast, but no:
plugins of any kind
and text only

then lynx or elinks (mouse and frame support) are for you. these are console browsers.

slightly more advanced is the aforementioned links2 and offbyone (via wine) as they have picture support.

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Graphical + full featured-ish:

Ugly/lacking a few comforts but will haul ass even on a toaster:

I personally like Opera, just throwing in my 2 cents

Opera is not Free Software. Unless something changed and i am not aware of it.

Depends how you define free I guess.

The OP is asking for Free as in Freedom not free beer. ¨Free Software¨ is a very specific term.

I guess you're referring to "Open Source" then, and no, he did not specifically say that, only "free". And that exactly is what I was saying.

He said ¨Free Software¨. It is a term just like ¨open source¨ and it is not exactly the same. Look it up..

That's what I'm saying o_O and Opera is free, just not open source.

You are trolling now right?