Ubuntu 11.04 (code named as Natty Narwhal) is the latest version (Released few months ago) from the Canonical. This post is aimed to choose the best browser among the current web browsers available for Ubuntu 11.04. Ubuntu users typically use – Firefox (It’s installed by default on all versions of Ubuntu), Google Chrome, Opera, Chromium (almost similar to Chrome) for their common tasks such as – surfing, web Apps, web development etc.
So I’m going to help you in finding the best web browser for you (of course on Ubuntu platform it may vary on other Operating systems such as Windows or Mac OS X), based on your tasks and the way use it. The one simple truth is that – what is best for you? depends on a lot of other factors rather than few generic factors (that we will discuss here) so you can only decide the actual best stuffs for you and it’s not only with the browser but anything in your Life.
Best Web Browser for Surfing : Google Chrome
Google Chrome (Latest stable version is Chrome 12 ) is the best web browser but why ? Ok.. here are some points which makes Chrome a great web browser for internet surfers.
Why Google Chrome is Best for web surfing ?
Chrome is the fastest web browser on Ubuntu.
You can enjoy heavy surfing with a bunch of tab/windows open simultaneously (If you will do the same thing in other browser such as Firefox – then you will be pissed off).
Chrome is the most stable browser on Ubuntu.
It’s secure, in fact security has been the first preference in Google Chrome.
It has a lot of useful and innovative features e.g Sync will store all your bookmarks in Google Cloud, you can access (go to Google Docs) and synchronize (just enter the Google Account login details) bookmarks, Themes, Password, Extensions, Apps etc. anywhere from this planet (I mean Earth, got it?).
It supports modern web (web 2.0) standards and technology (such as HTML 5, CSS 3, OpenGL … ), so we can enjoy the next generation features and sites easily with Chrome.
Best Web Browser for Web Development : Mozilla Firefox
Firefox comes by default on Linux based distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora etc and Firefox is a very popular web browser but it has having hard time on Linux platform. Firefox rocks on Windows but if we compare the same version on Ubuntu, you might say that – it’s horrible. Despite of providing poor performance on GNU/Linux, Firefox is very extensible. A lot of exclusive plugins available for Firefox users makes it very popular among web developers. The latest version Firefox 5 is available now for Ubuntu 10.10/11.04 users.
Opera is one of the most popular web browser on this planet. The mobile version is prbably the best browser for small devices such as Mobile Phones and desktop version is also popular due to some exciting features such as Live Speed Dialing. Opera seems to be optimized for faster web browsing with next generation browsing experience. The latest version of opera i.e 11.5 has released (today).
Opera 11.50 or swordfish (code name) is available for Windows, Mac and Linux distributions such as Linux Mint or Fedora or Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal)/10.10 (Maverick Meerkat)/10.04 (Lucid Lynx), it’s a cross-platform browser.
You just need to download the correct package if you want to try Opera on your system , Debian package (*.deb) is available for Ubuntu. Then install it either from command line (using dpkg) or just open it with Ubuntu Software Center. (See below, detailed explaination is given, follow whatever suite best to you – I always recommend Command).
New/Exciting/Cool Features in Opera 11.50
Live Speed Dialing allows you to get updates from your favorite blogs in easier way, right from the speed dial in a new tab.
synchronization of passwords is easy using ‘Sync’
easy to install new plugins
improvements in support with latest web standards and technology
#2 : Install it by ‘Right Click -> Open with Ubuntu Software Center’, then a new window will appear, click on install button to proceed (you may have to authenticate using your Ubuntu login password). or open terminal (CTRL+ALT+T or you can find it in Application->Accessories->Terminal) and just type the following commands (first one may changes depending upon the location where you have downloaded the debian file) –
sudo dpkg -i opera_11.50.1074_i386.deb
#3 : That’s all..Have a lot of Fun, browsing with Opera 11.5.
Note :It’s is a very old article comparing the two popular browser Firefox and Chrome. Lots of things have changed since and Now, I may not agree with my past self. And, I recommend Mozilla Firefox, for an open Web. It’s the browser that respects user’s privacy and freedom.
Mozilla Firefox vs 5.0 is the latest version released on 21th of this month. Google has also released (on 7th of this month) the newer version of Google Chrome i.e chrome vs 12.0 (beta version of chrome 13.0 is available but stable will be released later). Both of the browsers now uses rapid development cycle so we will get fresher version within next two to three months. In the end of this post, I’ve attached a poll for your opinion, so don’t forget to get your opinion counted, select the browser that you think is the best one.
As you know, Firefox and Chrome, both are free and open source web browsers. Google has developed chrome from another open source project – ‘chromium’ while Firefox has evolved from the earliest graphical web browser – Netscape Navigator. Both of the browsers are dominating the browser market, both are good and supports a number of features; despite of that, this post aims to compare some innovative features of both from different point of view such as – features, performance, stability, security, speed etc. After all, these are just my opinion, if you think something is wrong or you don’t except it, feel free to express it through comment(s).
Firefox 5.0 versus Chrome 12.0 – which is better ?
#1 Features :
Firefox 5 has arrived with lot of changes and features such as ‘Do not track’, which allows users to control – how their behavior and data are being tracked or used on the internet. Firefox 5.0 has focused on adding social and useful features (such as PDF Viewer, Sync etc,) related to common desktop users that was already available in its competitor web browsers such as Chrome. Features can be easily added by means of plugins – and Firefox has a number of useful plugins available free to use.
Important features of Firefox 5.0
Do not Track
social sharing options
small home icon
colored search (engine) bars
improved sync feature
multiple account login
On the other hand Google chrome has also added a lot of new and exciting features in vs 12.0. It has already most of the features implemented, what Firefox got now, Google has continuously trying to add cutting edge – innovative features to chrome. eg HTML 5 performance/support, hardware accelerated 3D CSS (which allow developers to create better animation effects in the browser, e.g in browser based games) etc. Plugins are available but the number is very less and it’s not so useful as compare to Firefox, despite of having better plugin architecture than Firefox. Firefox Wins in this case.
Some important features include –
malicious file download protection
hardware accelerated 3D css support
improved screen reader support
#2 Performance :
Firefox performs well in Windows and Mac based OS but it sucks when it comes to Linux based operating system, After the major release of Firefox (I mean after version 4.0), we expected better performance on Linux distros such as Ubuntu or Fedora, but things got bad, surely it’s not better than before. If you will use any plugin, then the performance is extremely bad.
On the other hand, Google Chrome rocks on Linux based OS as well as on Windows and Mac. The performance is quite well as compared to Firefox, on Ubuntu or other Linux based operating system. Chrome Wins!
#3 Stability :
Firefox often hangs if a number of tabs is open (specially on GNU/Linux) wile Chrome is stable. So Google Chrome is far stable than Firefox. Chrome wins in this case.
#4 Security :
Both are secure but chrome had added some special features to protect users from downloading malwares or other infected files. Firefox seems better!
#5 Speed :
Firefox has improved speed a lot, because speed is the most dominant factor while choosing the browser for common purposes. Firefox supports HTTP pipelining which can improve the browsers speed a lot but it may cause instability, while chrome doesn’t support this. Google Chrome is fast from the beginning! Google chrome has added some advanced functionality such as Pre DNS fetching (The links pointed (from the current page) to other domain names are resolved before the user clicks on that link), Loading pages before the completion of URL in address bar etc, to improve the surfing speed. Chrome Wins!
Mozilla Firefox (One of the most popular open source web browser) has just (yesterday!) released its next stable version – Firefox 5 with some new features and improvements. The version 5.0 is available for Linux, Mac , Windows and Android operating system. Now, Firefox has very high release frequency, probably due to the fact that – they want to deliver all the innovative features quickly to the users, new version has arrived with a of performance tweaks and enhancements.
If you are using Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), you got version 4.0 installed by default; now it’s time to either update it or install a fresh version of Firefox 5, on the other hand if you are using older version of Ubuntu (The most appropriate reason would be the ‘critical bugs of Ubuntu 11.04’) such as Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) or Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) then also the procedure would be same.
The major feature which is included in this release is “Do Not Track on Multiple platform feature” which provides more control to users about how their data or behavior is used or tacked on the web.
Upgrading Firefox to Latest version in Ubuntu
If you have installed Firefox from PPA or Synaptic Package Manager, then it will be updated along with the system update. Move to System -> Administration -> Update Manager and click on Check to update the cache (About the current Packages). If you are using the Firefox version installed by default (it’s most likely the case if you are using Ubuntu 11.04, but within few days it must be available under official repository of Ubuntu 11.04) then the latest version may not show up in the update manager, then first add this PPA (Personal Package Archive) address to Synaptic Package Manager ->Settings -> Repositories.
Now, search for Firefox 5 for in Synaptic Package Manager, right click and select Upgrade option. it will hardly take a couple of minutes.
Alternative way of installing Firefox on Ubuntu
Run the following commands ( then update your browser using Update Manage Manager if you don’t want to update other packages, in this case execute only first 2 commands at terminal).
Google Chrome 11 – stable/final version is out!, you can download and install it on your Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) or Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), in a couple clicks. Google Chrome is one of the most popular web browser on this planet. Googlechrome is fast, it’s simple and easy to use, with minimal designed graphical user interface.
You will notice a lot of changes and features in the new version of Google Chrome, but the most notable feature is ” speech input through HTML” (Voice to text conversion along with Speech Recognition capabilities). Now, the gaming/animation experience has improved due to the Accelerated 3D effects in CSS (Cascading Style Sheet), If you haven’t installed the Google Chrome yet, then you must try it, just download the correct package (for Ubuntu, debian package (*.deb) is recommended) and open it with Ubuntu Software Center to install it.
Installing Google Chrome 11 on Ubuntu 10.10/10.04/11.04
#1 : Download Google Chrome vs 11 stable/final from it’s official website.
#2 : Then install it either by opening with Ubuntu Software Center (Right Click -> Open with USC ) Or use dpkg to install the package. To install the package from command line – type the following command(s) at the terminal (followed by your user login password).
#3 : Relax and wait for the installation procedure to complete. Then access it from the main menu either by searching (in later version 11.04) or direct selection (older version like 10.04 or 10.10 ). Have Fun surfing with Google Chrome!
Upgrade Google Chrome to 11 on Ubuntu
Upgrading Google Chrome on Ubuntu is very simple almost similar to installation. In the above procedure; If you have already installed the previous version of Google Chrome (e.g 10 ), then instead of install button, there will be an upgrade button , just click on that – everything else is self explanatory. You can also upgrade chrome from Update Manager. Start update manager and click on update button. You might have to restart the computer after the completion (because it may update some system packages along with the apps packages).