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Web browsers

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Personal needs and viewing preferences vary wildly, so one should ideally test several major Web browsers before making a decision. No one choice is going to be perfect for everyone.

Major Web Browsers

Free Software

Mozilla Firefox

This browser is one of the two usually recommended on /g/ for general use.

Firefox is a free and open-source Web browser descended from the Netscape Communicator. It is known for its championing of the open Web during Internet Explorer's reign of terror and its extensive customisability via add-ons and settings. Although many other browsers have adopted the practise of allowing third-party extensions in the browser, Firefox's add-ons still tend to be a cut above the rest.

Chromium

This browser is one of the two usually recommended on /g/ for general use.

Chromium is a free and open-source Web browser known for its extremely fast JavaScript execution and multiprocess security model. Upon its initial release, Chromium was ahead of the competition by leaps and bounds in terms of raw performance. In the years that followed though, Firefox and Opera largely equalled and in some cases surpassed its performance advantage. [Citation needed] Chromium still tends to maintain a slight edge in UI responsiveness and JavaScript execution.

Non-Free Software

Google Chrome

See our entry on Questionable_Software#Google_Chrome.

Google Chrome is a proprietary fork of the free and open source Chromium project. It integrates Google's 'Pepper' Flash plug-in, a Foxit-based PDF reader, and controversial user-tracking capabilities in addition to the usual Chromium feature set. If you value your privacy or reputation on /g/ it is best to avoid this one.

Opera

Opera is one of the oldest Web browsers that is still under active development. For most of its existence, Opera has been characterised by its customisability, innovation, broad out-of-the-box feature set, and respect for Web standards. Several now ubiquitous features like tabbed browsing and speed dial made their débuts in Opera. Until recently, it was based upon Opera Software ASA's own Presto layout engine and offered to its users as an Internet suite, complete with Email, IRC, and FTP support. The last stable release of the traditional Opera browser was version 12.16.

With the release of version 15, Opera development departed radically from that of previous versions. Opera's email client was re-released as standalone software, support for GNU/Linux was suspended, native 64-bit builds were suspended, and many other features were simply removed. Even the Presto layout engine itself was discontinued permanently in favour of Google's new Blink layout engine, a Webkit fork. The result of these changes is a browser that resembles Chromium in most respects with a few popular features from old Opera like speed dial. It is fully compatible with Chrome extensions.

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer or IE is the default Web browser in Microsoft's Windows series of operating systems. It is based on Microsoft's Trident layout engine. Before version 9, Internet Explorer was infamous for its myriad security vulnerabilities, poor performance, disregard for Web standards, and perversion of the few Web standards that it bothered to acknowledge. Since version 9, Microsoft has been actively developing Internet Explorer into something resembling an actual Web browser in an attempt to check Google's rise in the browser market.

Safari

Safari is the default Web browser in Apple's Mac OS X. It is based on Apple's Webkit layout engine, a KHTML fork. Compared to Chromium and Firefox, Safari has a slow development cycle and is lacking in features.

Other Browsers by Layout Engine

Gecko

  • K-Meleon is a free and open-source Web browser for Windows. The original goal of the project was to produce a Firefox-like browser with a truly Windows-native UI. It is old and unmaintained, but it could potentially be useful to users of older Windows operating systems.
  • Seamonkey is a continuation of the Mozilla suite. Unlike most modern Web browsers, it is an Internet suite, complete with bundled programs for Email, IRC, and Web design. It is compatible with most Firefox add-ons.

WebKit

  • Midori is a lightweight Web browser with a GTK+ interface. It is a component of the XFCE Goodies package.
  • rekonq is a lightweight Web browser with a Qt interface. It is a core component of the K desktop environment.
  • Otter Browser is a project that aims to recreate and improve upon the features of classic Opera using the Qt5 tool-kit. It is in the early stages of development at the time of this writing, and is thus unsuited for general use.
  • Luakit is a minimalistic GTK+ Web browser targeted at users who desire fine-grained control over their browser's behaviour and interface.
  • Dwb is a keyboard-driven GTK+ Web browser inspired by Firefox's Vimperator add-on.

KHTML

  • Konqueror is a Web browser and file manager that was once a core component of the K desktop environment. Webkit and Blink are both descendants of its KHTML layout engine.

Terminal

  • Links is a text-based browser that can display images.
  • w3m is another text-based browser that can display images.
  • ELinks is a text-based based web browser that runs from the terminal.
  • Lynx is the oldest Web browser still under active development.

Common Plug-Ins

  • Adobe Flash Player is required to play the flash video incorporated into many modern Web pages. It is infamous for being bloated, slow, and exploitable. While it is being phased out in favour of HTML 5 video, Flash is unfortunately still required in many cases. Flash should not be used on GNU/Linux systems, due to the fact that it is no longer being updated for that platform.
  • The Silverlight Plug-In is required to play Silverlight content. Silverlight was essentially Microsoft's answer to Flash, but it failed to gain any significant market share. Like Flash, it is being phased out in favour of HTML 5. Unlike Flash, it is not common enough to justify its use.

Recommended User Scripts

  • MayhemYDG's 4Chan-X is the official [citation needed] continuation of Aeosynth's popular 4chan X script.
    • Appchan X is Zixaphir's fork of 4chan X. It combines the features of 4chan X with the rice of the discontinued Appchan and OneeChan style scripts.
    • Seaweedchan's 4chan X was a popular fork of 4chan X offered several controversial features over Mayhem's. Due to its author's decision to leave 4chan, its development has ceased.
    • OneeChan was another of Seaweedchan's abandoned projects. Unlike Appchan X, it packaged no 4chan X features.
    • Spittie's 4chan X is another fork of 4chan X that is still in development.
  • 4Chan Linkify changes plain-text links on 4chan into hyper-links. It is redundant if either 4chan X or the official extension are used.


  • YouTube Center seamlessly integrates many features like video downloading directly into YouTube.
  • ViewTube forces HTML5 to be preferred over flash on a variety of popular video sites.