ADVERTISEMENTS
Raspberry Pi

10 Best Web Browsers You Can Install on Your Raspberry Pi

Best Web Browsers for Raspberry Pi
Written by Martins Okoi
ADVERTISEMENTS

The Raspberry Pi is a line of single-board computers created by the Raspberry Pi Foundation in the UK mainly for the purpose of teaching computer science in schools as well as making computer science education to people in less-privileged circumstances.

No computer is complete without an Internet browser in this day and age but since all the popular browsers are made for more heavy-duty computation, what can the Pi users do?

Today, we have compiled a list of the best browsers that you can install on your Raspberry Pi computer. They are all modern, resource-friendly, listed in alphabetic order, and last but definitely not the least, free of charge.

1. Chromium

Chromium is an open-source browser built by Google to provide a safer, faster, and stable method for Internet users to access the world wide web as part of the Chromium projects (the other being Chromium OS). It is one of the most popular browsers among Linux users and it has shipped preinstalled with Raspbian since the last quarter of 2016.

ADVERTISEMENTS

Chromium has been optimized for Raspberry Pi users and is capable of delivering an almost similar experience to browsing in an environment with more computing power. It suffices to say that Chromium needs no introduction.

Features in Chromium

  • Free and open-source
  • Customizable user interface
  • Supports all modern browser features

Install Chromium on Raspberry Pi via the terminal with the commands:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
$ sudo apt-get install -y rpi-chromium-mods
$ sudo apt-get install -y python-sense-emu python3-sense-emu

2. Dillo

Dillo is a free and open-source multi-platform web browser written in C and C++ to be lightweight and friendly with users, especially developers, given its focus on speed and small footprint. As a project, its main objectives include providing high software efficiency, personal security and privacy on the Internet, and the democratization of information online.

Features in Dillo

  • Free and open-source
  • Security and privacy-centric
  • Available on BSD, Linux, OS X, and FreeDOS
  • Doesn’t follow CSS rules
  • Small footprint
  • Does not support Adobe Flash, Java, or JavaScript

Install Dillo on Raspberry Pi 3 via the terminal with the command:

$ sudo apt install dillo

Dillo is preinstalled on Raspbian but it isn’t listed in the Internet menu (I wonder why) so if you’re already running that distro then all you need to do is launch Dillo from your terminal with the command.

$ dillo

3. GNOME Web

GNOME Web (codename: Epiphany) is a clean, lightweight, and beautiful browser that ships with the GNOME desktop environment as the default browsing application so it adheres to the Gnome shell’s design philosophy.

Despite its simplicity, it features the ability to enable users to create web apps out of any website coupled with other features such as synchronizing bookmarks, passwords, and browsing history with Firefox.

Features in Epiphany

  • Free and open-source
  • Remember previous tabs on startup
  • Block pop-up windows
  • Try to block dangerous websites
  • Try to block web trackers
  • JavaScript and Adobe Flash
  • Sync bookmarks, history, and passwords from Firefox

Install GNOME Web on Raspberry Pi 3 via the terminal with the command:

$ sudo apt install epiphany

4. GNU IceCat

GNU IceCat (formerly GNU IceWeasel) is a free and open-source version of the popular Firefox browser with the aim of encouraging the use of free software. It is philosophized to be the GNU version of Firefox while GNUzillia is the GNU version of the Mozilla suite so the app runs its own plugin finder service while the dev team maintains a list of free add-ons.

  20 Best Operating Systems You Can Run on Raspberry Pi in 2020

And because building binary packages for the macOS and Windows platforms requires non-free software, they do not distribute binary releases for them.

Be that as it may, GNU IceCat is loved for its default handling of privacy issues by using LibreJS to address the JavaScript problem as described by Richard Stallman, the Https-Everywhere to force websites to use secure protocols; SpyBlock for blocking privacy trackers; and its fingerprinting countermeasures that prevent the collection of client data which users cannot opt-out of e.g. fonts installed on their machine.

Features in GNU IceCat

  • Free and open-source
  • Freeware enthusiast
  • Https-Everywhere
  • SpyBlock
  • LibreJS
  • AboutIceCat
  • Fingerprinting countermeasures

Unlike the other browser app choices in this list, you will have to set up GNU IceCat yourself using the arm hf cross-compile scripts published on GitHub here.

5. Kweb

Kweb or Kiosk Browser is a minimal WebKit-based browser developed for a speedy Internet surfing experience on Raspbian.

with support for playing audio and video files and using omxplayer to stream video content on YouTube and on other websites supported by HTML5 video and youtube-dl.

Features in Kweb

  • Free and open-source
  • mupdf or xpdf for opening PDF files in the browser
  • Buil-in wget for downloading files
  • m3u playlist streaming support
  • HTML5 video
  • omxplayerGUI for playing audio and video media files

Run these commands in your terminal to install Kweb:

$ wget http://steinerdatenbank.de/software/kweb-1.7.9.8.tar.gz
$ tar -xzf kweb-1.7.9.8.tar.gz
$ cd kweb-1.7.9.8
$ ./debinstall

6. Luakit

Luakit is a speed-centric, customizable, and extensible free and open-source browser based on the GTK+ toolkit and the Webkit web content engine. Its development is aimed at developers, power users, and Internet surfers who enjoy the ability to fine-tune their browser’s interface and behavior.

One of the things you might like about Luakit is its different approach to certain browser app aspects most noticeably, the address bar at the bottom of its app window instead of the top and a minimalist chrome on the window borders. It also works with keyboard commands instead of with a mouse. So, for example, tapping O opens a new page, Shift+H and Shift+L cycle back and forth through your browsing history respectively.

Features in Luakit

  • Free and open-source
  • Uses keyboard commands
  • Available on Windows, BSD, and Linux
  • Extensible functionality
  • Customizable user interface

Install Luakit via the terminal with the command:

$ sudo apt install Luakit

7. Lynx

Lynx is a text-based web browser for command-line lovers and holds the record for the oldest browser still in active development. It is extremely memory friendly especially given its lack of support for neither Adobe Flash nor JavaScript (look at it as a feature) and is mostly used by Linux administrators over SSH.

You work it by using the arrow keys to select links and tapping the letter G to enter a URL; its configurable keyboard commands are listed across the bottom of the terminal window with header text repeated at the top of the screen as you scroll.

Features in Lynx

  • Free and open-source
  • Command-line based
  • Configurable keyboard commands using the config file
  • No support for Adobe Flash or JavaScript
  How to Clear Browser Cache in All Web Browsers

Install Lynx with the command:

$ sudo apt install lynx

Launch Lynx with the command:

$ lynx

8. Midori

Midori is a lightweight, fast, free, and open-source web browser with several advanced features such as RSS feed, an extension library, a built-in ad blocker, a speed dial, and private browsing. It takes the privacy and anonymity of its users seriously and thus comes with a free Midori Virtual Network service (thanks to its alliance with Dongee) that works to protect users’ information by giving them full control over it.

Features in Midori

  • Free and open-source
  • Private browsing
  • Uses a WebKit engine for lightning-fast speed
  • Private browsing
  • Extension support
  • RSS feed integration

Install Midori via the terminal with the command:

$ sudo apt install midori

9. Netsurf

Netsurf is a free and open-source multi-platform browser built for UNIX-like platforms and RISC OS. It is designed to be portable and lightweight and to use a custom layout engine. Whether you want to check emails, RSS feeds, contribute to forums, or stream content, Netsurf is continually developed to provide users with efficiency and portability without comprising its standard.

It is important to keep in mind that Netsurf uses its own rendering engine and so many websites don’t appear the same way they do in more popular browsers like Firefox and Vivaldi. However, if you’re in need of an extremely resource-friendly browser with reliability and speed, then go right ahead.

Features in Netsurf

  • Free and open-source
  • Multi-platform
  • Standards compliant
  • Portable
  • Resource friendly e.g. runs on a 30MHz ARM 6 computer with 16MB of RAM

Install Netsurf via the terminal with the command:

$ sudo apt install netsurf

Launch Netsurf with the command:

$ netsurf

10. Vivaldi

Vivaldi is a free, cross-platform, and modern browser application developed by a co-founder of Opera Software and 2 other cool guys. It is probably the most popular web browser in this list and although it was first released in 2016, it was made available to Raspberry Pi users in the final quarter of 2017.

Given that it is a modern browser, Vivaldi has a ton of features but remember that you’ll be running it on your Raspberry Pi so certain features such as mouse gestures and browser shortcuts are turned off by default. Of course, you can configure them but why might you want to overload your Pi device with those (unnecessary) functionalities?

Features in Vivaldi

  • Proprietary but free
  • Advanced web browsing features e.g. private browsing, multiple tabs, synchronization, speed dial, RSS feed integration, start page, etc.
  • Customizable UI e.g. themes, appearance: light and dark modes, etc.
  • Disabled website tracking by default

Install Vivaldi via the terminal with the command:

$ wget https://downloads.vivaldi.com/stable/vivaldi-stable_3.1.1929.34-1_armhf.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i vivaldi-stable_3.1.1929.34-1_armhf.deb
$ sudo apt-get install -f

So, you now have more browser choices to pick from and I trust that you will select the one that’s best for your operations. Almost all of them are available to install from within your favorite software manager but the terminal commands are listed just in case you prefer that route.

Have you got any questions to ask or suggestions to make? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

ADVERTISEMENTS

About the author

Martins Okoi

Martins Divine Okoi is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for Linux and Open Source software. He is studying again for an MSc in Cybersecurity but still makes time to write about the best software the market has to offer.