Ubuntu comes built-in web browser – Mozilla Firefox, but it’s far from perfect. For instance, it can’t run H.265 video codecs so at times you end up with an error on YouTube videos. Secondly, Google Apps like YouTube, StreetView, Gmail are based on deprecated or old APIs which causes it to run slower on non-chromium browsers. So in case, you experience all these errors and you are looking for a browser, here is the list of best browsers for Ubuntu.
Best Browsers For Ubuntu
Brave is the recent addition to the array of browsers for Ubuntu. It is built on top of Chromium so it has all the usual Google Chrome extension-support and Chrome flags available. Apart from these, Brave features an inbuilt ad-blocker, a third-party tracker disabler and fingerprinting protection. But, my favorite feature is the Private Window. Brave automatically switches to the DuckDuckGo search engine when you hit Incognito. Moreover, you also get a Private Window which works on Tor. Just in case, you didn’t know Tor jumps you through 3-different Tor servers so you stay anonymous on the Internet.
- Based on chromium with built-in ad-blocker and hence performs way better
- Private mode with DuckDuckGo search engine
- Alternative Private mode based on Tor servers
- History sync with cross-platform browsers
- Doesn’t require sign-in for the sync to work
- No option to customize the search engine in Private mode
- Password manager stores password in plain text
Vivaldi is quite similar to Brave on a broader level but has multiple distinctions when it comes to settings and features. You can set up quick dials for favorite websites on the sidebar. Moreover, when you point at a tab, it opens a small overview window so you can quickly gaze and make out the web portal opened inside. The most highlighted feature is that you can set up different search engines in both regular and Private mode. Unlike Brave, Vivaldi requires you to sign in for the cross-platform sync to work. My favorite feature is the setting up of the automatic clearing of browser history periodically.
Vivaldi also remembers the tabs last opened when you close the browser. This has saved me multiple times when I accidentally close my entire browsing session. Both the browsers are available for Android and iOS, you can make a better judgment after reading the article on Brave vs Vivaldi.
- A skinned version of chromium with different themes and controls
- Custom search engines for both regular and private window
- Quick overview while hovering over the tab
- History, bookmark sync across multiple devices (sign-in on Vivaldi forum required)
- No inbuilt ad-blocker
- Password manager stores password in plain text
Epiphany is for the minimal users who are not bothered about features like multiple search engines, themes, etc. It is built on the open-source WebKit browsing engine. This is the underlying architecture for most of the iOS and macOS apps like Safari, Mail, App Store, etc. Apart from the basic features, Epiphany lets you save any app as a web-application and it also inherits an application manager wherein you can manage all your installed apps.
- Based on the WebKit browsing engine with a minimal footprint
- Bookmark and history sync works via Mozilla Firefox Account
- Option to convert websites as desktop applications
- No extension support
- No native ad and third-party trackers blocker
Download Epiphany Browser
4. Min Browser
Min Browser, as the name suggests, is a minimal browser for Linux. However, unlike Epiphany, it doesn’t have any additional features like history sync, web apps, etc. It’s built for the readers to provide them a smooth seamless reading experience. You open a webpage in the min browser and hit Ctrl+Shift+R to switch to the reading mode. It removes all the media, ads, pop-ups to provide you a plain-text reading experience.
- Reading and focus mode for a better reading experience
- Inbuilt ad and third-party tracker blocking
- Customizable shortcuts
- Based on older chromium variant so susceptible to old bugs
Falkon is the latest browser edition from the popular KDE suite of apps. The browser is the modern reincarnation of the popular QupZilla browser. The interface feels much better than Konqueror. My most feature is the native password manager. While most of the browsers store passwords in plain text, Falkon provides you the option to save it in an encrypted format. However, the encryption password is not recoverable so be careful with what you choose as a password. By default, the search results in Falkon are provided by DuckDuckGo.
Similar Brave, Falkon comes with an inbuilt adblocker called AdBlock as an extension. However, there are quite a few extensions available for Falkin compared to the Chromium browsers.
- Multiple theming options to make the interface look like Chrome, Linux, Windows, or Mac
- Local Password manager with encryption
- Native ad blocker via browser extensions
- Flash media support enabled by default
- A limited number of extensions available for the browser
Any browser list wouldn’t be complete without the Tor browser. Tor has unique functionality and has always been the flag bearer of private browsing. The Tor browser functions on top of a community-driven Tor network. So unlike a normal web browser, when you hit a web search on a Tor browser, it bounces the search via 3 different Tor servers. This keeps your location, IP totally anonymous from your ISP and the Internet. By default, Tor always opens up in private mode and your searches disappear as soon as you close the browser.
The only caveat is that since Tor bounces the connection via 3 different servers, it hampers the speed. I wouldn’t recommend Tor for media streaming or real-time activity.
- Keeps you anonymous across the Internet by bouncing your search via the Tor network
- Always opens in private mode
- Automatic history deletion as soon as you close the browser
- Poor performance while media streaming, webRTC, etc
Opera is another Chromium and blink engine based browser but still stands different due to the barrage of features provided within. Foremost, it offers a free built-in VPN with no data limit. Secondly, it features an inbuilt ad-blocker and even disables third-party trackers. The most outstanding feature is the integration of a cryptocurrency wallet. You just have to download the Opera Android or iOS app and next link your crypto wallet. Further, when you link it with the desktop app, it lets you purchase and sell cryptocurrencies directly. Currently, Opera only supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, and TRON tokens.
- Inbuilt ad and third-party tracker blocker
- Inbuilt VPN
- Native cryptocurrency wallet for purchasing and buying cryptocurrencies
- PIP built-in for all media streaming sites
- Battery saver mode to extend browsing time
- Quick side tiles to access favorite websites
- VPN is inherently proxy-based rather than actual VPN
Download Opera Browser
Firefox is the default browser and comes built-in with Ubuntu. While there might be reasons to jump ships but Firefox is still one of the best browsers available apart from Google Chrome. For privacy, Firefox provides a lot of features like disabling third-party trackers, fingerprinting-protection, crypto mining protection, etc. With the release of Firefox 70.0, Mozilla has further strengthened privacy by introducing enhanced tracking protection.
Firefox has a lot of add-ons or extension support. However, I have always faced problems with media streaming due to poor video codec support.
- A privacy-focused web browsing experience with Firefox lifefocus
- Inbuilt third-party tracker blocking and fingerprinting protection
- Huge add-ons support
- Sync history, bookmarks across multiple devices and platforms
- doesn’t support hardware media keys
- cannot playback H.265 videos
- cannot set different search engine for Incognito
Download Mozilla Firefox
9. Qute Browser
Qute Browser is a minimal terminal-based browser written in Python and PyQT5. It is the ideal browser for people who need minimal overload for testing web apps. With the simplest of commands, you can open the browser in a vim-like interface.
It can handle video and HTML5 content. You can also view the page source which comes in handy while debugging or troubleshooting the interface. Apart from these, you can also check out other terminal-based browsers like Vimb and Surf.
- Terminal-based web browser to test web apps and portals
- VIM based interface with the ability to view page source
- Can render videos and HTML5 content
- Built-in ad-blocker
- Not enough debugging tools
Download Qute Browser
Just like Qute, Next is also a terminal-based web browser. However, it also has a full-fledged UI and is built for more keyboard-oriented power users. The keyboard controls are somewhat relatable if you have used Emacs or VI text editor. The shortcuts are fully configurable and extensible in LISP. Unlike Qute, Next supports multiple tabs within one window. You can quickly do a Ctrl+B or Ctrl+F to jump between tabs.
- Both terminal and GUI based browser controls
- Quick shortcuts to browse entirely via the keyboard or add bookmarks
- Fuzzy search to easily open previously visited sites
- Multiple input commands to perform operations on multiple tabs at once
- History is represented in white text over white background rendering it invisible
After all teasers and sneak peek, Microsoft declared that they would be coming up with a Linux-based Edge Chromium. The launch date is, however, tentative but nonetheless, it’s good to see Microsoft apps coming to Linux. Back in Windows, I used a lot of Microsoft apps like To-Do, One Note, Sticky Notes, Mail, etc and I miss those apps on Ubuntu. Edge Chromium could just be the start of all these apps entering Linux.
Best Browsers For Ubuntu
For more issues or queries, let me know in the comments below.