While Google Chrome is the star of the Chromebook show, you may install other browsers on it. You have access to the whole spectrum of Linux browsers, whether you’re a web developer evaluating a site across numerous browsers or simply want something new.
Why Use Different Browsers?
One reason for installing several browsers is because you work as a web developer. Different browsers may display webpages in unexpected ways. Many web developers have numerous browsers installed to evaluate the functionality of their websites.
Others may like to experiment with alternative browsers on a Chromebook. You may be concerned about Google’s domination in the browser industry, or you may just wonder whether there is anything better out there.
Fortunately, installing various browsers on a Chromebook using Linux is simple. Almost all new Chromebooks provide the ability to install the Linux environment. After installing the normal Debian environment, you can simply use the APT package manager to install the browsers you desire.
To install a browser, use the apt command:
sudo apt install browser
…where browser is the name of the package containing the internet browser you wish to install.
After installing alternative browsers on your Chromebook, they will appear in the launcher among other programs.
Related:How to Install Linux on a Chromebook
Install Chromium on Chromebook
The Chromium browser is where the primary Chrome browser, including the Chromebook, is developed. It’s essentially Chrome’s open-source counterpart.
Chromium serves as the foundation for many of the other browsers on this list. Try Chromium if you want to see what future versions of Chrome will bring.
One major difference between Chrome and Chromium is that Google has disabled their synchronizing functions on the latter, so if you depend on these features, you should remain with Chrome.
To install it, type:
sudo apt install chromium
How toInstallFirefox in Chrome OS
While Chrome is the most frequently used desktop browser, Firefox remains a popular “alternative” browser. While both Chromium and Firefox are open-source, Firefox is developed by the Mozilla Foundation on an expressly non-profit basis.
The charity is well-known for its support of privacy. Firefox by default prevents trackers and may inform you if any data breaches involve your email address. In contrast to Chromium, its optional synchronization functions are completely functional.
Chrome OS’s default Debian distribution is the Extended Support Release, or ESR. To install it, you must first get the firefox-esr package:
sudo apt install firefox-esr
Installing Midori on Chromebook
Midori, like Chrome, is a privacy-focused browser with a simple appearance. Its functionality is quite modest. There are no plugins, and the only browser options are forward, back, bookmarking, seeing the page source, searching inside a page, and printing the current page. It does, like other recent browsers, provide tabbed surfing.
The Astian Foundation created Midori, which has moved its rendering engine from WebKitGTK to Electron.
To install it, download the midori package using APT:
sudo apt install midori
How to Install Brave Browser
Brave, like many of Chrome’s rivals, promotes its pro-privacy position. It, like Firefox, automatically disables trackers. According to Brave, this allows the browser to perform up to three times quicker than Chrome while consuming less power. You can even be paid in cryptocurrencies if you use it. Brave also automatically filters most advertising without the need to install a third-party plugin.
One intriguing characteristic of Brave is that its private mode automatically activates Tor, while incognito mode does not. Chrome’s incognito mode continues to broadcast data over the public internet.
Brave also works with IPFS, the Interplanetary File System protocol, natively. This is a distributed peer-to-peer filesystem that, like BitTorrent, enables users to exchange and download data. When you go to an IPFS URL, the browser will offer to activate this capability.
Brave may be installed on Debian using the brave-browser package:
sudo apt install brave-browser
Text-based browsers: Lynx and Links
While the previous browsers were graphical, Linux on a Chromebook allows you to utilize text-based apps in the terminal. This also applies to web browsers.
Why would you use a text-based browser when graphical browsers such as Chrome are the norm? There are various causes for this.
People would dial in through modems using a communications software to distant sites that only provided text browsers when the internet initially became accessible to the general public since personal computers in the early 1990s often did not have TCP/IP installed.
Related:6 Fast Ways to Browse the Web Without a Mouse
When creating a web page, you should test it on all browsers, even text-based ones. If you want to improve your SEO abilities, you should look at how a web crawler like Google’s could analyze your website.
Blind or visually impaired people often utilize text-based browsers with screen readers. There’s little use in running a graphical browser if you can’t view graphics, even if they do function with screen readers.
Some individuals are opposed to advertising and monitoring. Ads are not visible with a text-based browser, and trackers do not function. These browsers will also ask you whether you wish to store cookies.
Lynx and Links are the two most popular text-based browsers. The names are indeed similar. Lynx was created in 1992 and feels like it. Lynx, being a text-based application, may be clumsy at times. To install Lynx, use the command:
sudo apt install lynx
To use Lynx, launch it from the terminal and enter the URL you wish to visit:
Links is newer and aims to be more “user-friendly,” functioning more like a current browser. It may be installed via the links2 package:
sudo apt install links2
Running it is similar to Lynx:
You Can Use Different Browsers, Even on a Chromebook
Simply because you have a Chromebook does not imply that you must only use Chrome. A variety of browsers are available if you are ready to utilize the Linux command line.
Whether you’re testing your web app for compatibility or just want something else, you may quickly open your terminal and look for alternatives. This is only a tiny sample of what Linux on a Chromebook can achieve.
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