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5 best lightweight browsers for Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a lightweight computer. It is not designed for resource-heavy programs like modern web browsers. Instead, if users want to browse the internet on the Raspberry Pi, they’ll need something much more lightweight. In this list, we’ll go over some of the best lightweight browsers to use on the Raspberry Pi.

1. Midori

Midori is a WebKit based web browser for the Linux platform that uses significantly fewer system resources than that of many other browsers available. Despite being a lightweight browser, it still has some excellent features to offer, such as RSS feed support, tabbed browsing, built-in advertisement blocking, and more.

If you’re looking for a lightweight web browser for the Raspberry Pi that still manages to be modern support things like advertisement blocking, customization, and extensions, Midori is your best bet.

Notable features

  • Midori has a built-in advertisement blocker which will save CPU and RAM resources by preventing, resource-hungry ads from loading.
  • Midori has a speed-dial feature that lets users bookmark their favorite websites on the new tab page for easy access.
  • Midori supports private browsing, which allows users to keep their privacy while browsing certain websites.
  • Midori has excellent RSS feed integrations.

Download – Midori

Midori is available on Raspbian via the terminal. To install the Midori application on your Raspberry Pi, open up a terminal window. Then, once the terminal window is open and ready to go, use the apt-get command below.

sudo apt-get install midori

If you have trouble getting the Midori web browser working on the Raspberry Pi, check out our guide on how to install Midori.

2. Epiphany

Epiphany is the default web browser for the Gnome Shell desktop environment. The browser’s claim to fame is offering up a modern web browser with advanced features like bookmark sync, password management but in a slim, light package.

On traditional Linux systems, Epiphany more than delivers on the promise of lightweight modernity. And, thanks to the ARM port, Epiphany can bring this same promise to the Raspberry Pi. So, if you’re looking for a modern but lightweight browser for your Pi, do check out Epiphany.

Notable features

  • Epiphany allows users to add their Mozilla Firefox bookmarks, history and passwords. With this feature, it’s incredibly easy to keep your Raspberry Pi and other computers running Firefox in sync.
  • Epiphany has a built-in advertisement blocker. It can also block web trackers, pop-ups, and dangerous websites.
  • Epiphany follow’s Gnome Shell’s design philosophy, and everything is clean and easy to navigate.
  • Users can take any website and create “web apps” with the Epiphany browser.

Download – Epiphany

Epiphany is available on Raspbian, the most popular Raspberry Pi Linux operating system, via its software repositories. If you’d like to get the browser up and running, open up a terminal window and enter the apt-get command below.

sudo apt-get install epiphany

Need to get Epiphany working on another Raspberry Pi operating system? Open up a terminal window and search for “epiphany.” Then, install it the way you typically install programs.

3. GNU IceCat

IceCat is a fork of the Firefox web browser that takes out absolutely everything proprietary so that users can experience true open-source software. Since a lot of closed-source code is taken out of IceCat, it runs much lighter than Firefox and is excellent on the Pi.

The IceCat browser isn’t the lightest on this list. However, if you’re accustomed to Firefox and need something lighter on your Raspberry Pi, it’s a great choice.

Notable features

  • IceCat comes with Https-Everywhere pre-installed. This extension forces every website you visit to use the more private HTTPS protocol over HTTP.
  • IceCat uses LibreJS, which blocks the execution of non-free JavaScript code. This feature can make the web much safer, as a lot of dangerous JavaScript is not open-source.
  • IceCat’s “SpyBlock” feature blocks out web trackers looking to follow you around on the internet.
  • IceCat uses Firefox’s code-base, so many extensions you can install in Mozilla Firefox are compatible.

Download – IceCat

To install the IceCat web browser on Raspbian, you will need to compile the code from scratch. Head over to the GitHub page here to learn how to build it.

4. Kweb

Kweb is a minimal, kiosk-style web browser for Linux. It is not a modern browser (like Firefox or Chrome, for example). Still, it offers users basic features expected from a web browser, such as bookmarking websites, and advanced web technologies like Javascript, HTML5, etc.

It’s hard to recommend Kweb to those looking for a full-featured browser experience. However, if you’re not worried about bells and whistles, it’s one of the best.

Notable features

  • Kweb’s “kiosk” style of web browsing is perfect for those setting up a Raspberry Pi as an appliance for public or family use, rather than a personal computer.
  • Kweb can play video files inside of the browser with OXMplayer.
  • Kweb uses the Webkit rendering engine, so it is compatible with modern websites. It also supports Javascript and the HTML 5 standard.

Download – Kweb

To install the Kweb browser on your Raspberry Pi, launch a terminal window. Then, with the terminal window open, use the commands below to install it.

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

5. Lynx

Lynx is a command-line only, text-based web browser used primarily by Linux Admins over SSH. However, it also makes for a handy, fast internet browser on the Raspberry Pi due to how few system resources it uses.

As Lynx is text-based, it’s very uncomfortable to use it for browsing on a day-to-day basis. That said, If you don’t use your Raspberry Pi for much and need to find something online, Lynx is excellent.

Notable features

  • Lynx can run on anything because it needs very little RAM and as a result, it’s very snappy when it runs.
  • The Lynx browser works over SSH so, if you use your Raspberry Pi as a server and need a browser quick, it will work just fine.
  • Lynx is scriptable and can be used with Bash scripting.

Download – Lynx

The Lynx web browser is readily available to install on the Raspbian operating system. If you’d like to set it up, launch a terminal and use the following Apt-get command.

sudo apt-get install lynx

Conclusion

In this list, we went over some of the best lightweight browsers to use on the Raspberry Pi. What is your favorite lightweight web browser to use on it? Tell us in the comment section below!

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