Firefox Alternative. HELP!

So I noticed this topic slightly get touched on here and there in the forum, but I decided to make a dedicated thread about it.

So the premsie is that I'm looking for a Firefox alternative as I'm fed up with their stuff.

Firefox was one of the first majorly adopted web browsers and even for a short period was the most used web browser. But their market share has dwindled ever since, losing users to rivals.
Before going down the rabbit hole, I'd like to mention the rendering engines the modern browsers use because it is a very big deal.
I'd say that there are 3 primary rendering engines that 95% or more of the browsers use. Chromium, Gecko, and Webkit. Most of the famous browsers use Chromium (i.e. Chrome, Edge, Brave, Opera, etc.) which is developed by Google. Gecko is primarily used in Firefox and some Firefox forks like Waterfox. Webkit is primarily used in Safari. The key detail here is that last time I checked, more than 90% (a figure between 90 to 95%) of the Web browsers use chromium as their rendering engine.
This makes these browsers more or less the same thing. Seriously, there is no difference between Edge and Chrome except from some minor visual differences. I won't go into detail as why this is such a bad thing and how Google has used and is using this to essentially dissolve competitors like Firefox, but if you are interested, look it up. It is very interesting.
I've been using Firefox because honestly, I didn't find a better option. I hate Mozilla and their ethics. They are not trustworthy. Yet, I'm stuck with them.
I want to move away from Firefox, but I haven't been able to find a good or even on-par alternative to it. Before going over the alternatives I'd like to mention that for me, all of these web browsers fall into one of these two categories.

  1. Open-source, free, and privacy-respecting software
  2. Closed-source, Non-free, privacy-invading, or shady practices, etc.

So let me go over some of the alternatives in no particular order:

  1. Brave (and every other chromium browser)
    I see this browser being used a lot but they are not a company to be trusted. Allegedly, they are involved in a lot of shady stuff. Brave uses Chromium. That's a big no no. This applies to every chromium web browser. Chromium is a Google product and if you use it, be it in Brave, Ungoogled chromium, Edge, etc. you are helping to improve Chromium and subsequently, Chrome and Google themselves. It is a direct endorsement of Google Products. All chromium browsers are more or less the same thing... just slightly different visuals. Also, browsers who claim to be 100% privacy respecting and protecting and are using chromium are kind of lying. I don't say, it is an intentional or even conscious lie. But the point is that the Chromium code-base is so incredibly huge that no developer would want to go over all that code and to review all of it. What most Chromium based Web browser developers do is that they just Fork Chromium (Which is open-source) and just 'Configure' it in a different way and they just ship it. That is no bueno!

  2. Epiphany/Gnome Web
    This was a browser that I originally wanted to get into as it ticked all the boxes for me but it is very poorly developed. Bad UI, Bad and incorrect rendering of websites, a lot of visual bugs, and I gave up on it. It is just physically unable to compete with the Modern Browsers.

  3. Other GTK Based, Miscellaneous Browsers
    I looked at a few, they mostly suffered from all the problems that Epiphany suffered from (primarily poor rendering).

So this lengthy post brings me to a point. What is an actually good browser alternative nowadays? From what I've seen there are NONE. That's why I've come to the forum to also hear other people's thought on this subject and hopefully someone could recommend a good browser alternative. I'd really like to hear other people's opinions on this topic.

Vivaldi for one.
Their Android version is also excellent.

Not only Vivaldi is Closed source, but it also uses Chromium. I also remember they have a terrible record of dealing with private user data.

Vivaldi is a Chrome fork. The app version also totally went sideways on my phone - and their support forum was no help. I removed it from my phone with gusto.
I really liked the Customizaility and features of Vivaldi. But then it began filling my processes with vivaldi-bin - All processes. It would slow the entire computer, then crash.
Even though plenty of other threads existed of the same problem - the Vivaldi support forum acted like they never heard of it.
The final straw was when it Broke Zorin OS in some incomprehensible way and I had to wipe and reload.
I kicked Vivaldi to the curb and they are staying there.

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I thought that issue was for Opera.

Then your only option is elinks

ELinks is a feature-rich program for browsing the web in text mode. It is
like enhanced Lynx and Links. The most noteworthy features of ELinks are:

  • Lots of protocols (local files, finger, HTTP(S), FTP, IPv4/6 etc.)
  • Internationalized domain names
  • Persistent cookies, HTTP authentication and proxy authentication
  • Tabbed browsing, good looking menus and dialogs, and key-binding manager
  • History browsing and typeahead searches
  • Forms history and completion, and history in commonly used input dialogs
  • CSS support and support for browser scripting (Perl, Lua, Guile etc.)
  • Tables and frames rendering, and configurable color support
  • Compressed and background (non-blocking) downloads, and download resuming

But that's not even a browser :smiley:
I can't check my mail with it, I can't even post to this forum with it. Maybe 35 years ago, I would've dared to look in to xD but nowadays it just doesn't cut it.

Elinks looking sharp :smiley:

Cannot read that with a straight face :laughing:

There you go. You can now mark the thread solved. :partying_face:


wait, do not forget this one!

and this:

Hahaha they can't be serious,
This is the first thing written on their website. They can't be serious xD

1 Like

On a serious note; what about ungoogle-chromium. ? I saw it as a flatpak, I don't know if there's a .deb

It's Chromium... that's the problem! But yeah there are .deb, .appImage, and other formats available.

MS Edge is also chromium?

Yep. Always has been :smiley: (jk Firstly, it wasn't)

Well, the netsurf one at the very least has a GUI, I'll look more into it.

1 Like

Yes, since MS abandoned their own engine.

A shame, competition would have been good.


You made me laugh so much. I almost choked on my coffee. :rofl:

Indeed any GUI is better than no GUI.

Just to add, I was using NetSerf when I was running RISC OS on RaspberryPi. It worked quite well on the very limited resources - 1GB RAM.