Extra Thread for Browser questions. ?.

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  • This topic has 65 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated Feb 20-11:32 am by ModdIt.
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  • #47352

    Hello ModdIt and hello Brian Masinick, hello Xecure, (anybody left behind?)

    To begin with: my following answer may be outdated already, since you have added a dozen new replies while I was writing down the answer to the first ones. Sorry for this, but I can’t write that fast in English language still 🙂 .
    Only glancing over the new postings I point out that the limiting factors for browser choice on my (but I’m sure not only my) machines are: 32 bit and SSE1 (instead of SSE2) hardware support only. And now here is my original reply:

    You are right with all the reservations about firefox, and I have tried some alternatives already. I am fully aware palemoon would be the better choice seeing it in this light. But the main reasons for me to remigrate to firefox (being fully aware of its problematic aspects) were:

    — compatibility to webpages. Even “oficial” pages (at least here in Germany) would not function correctly with less known browsers. This has been true for public-service broadcasting pages and -archives as well as for german governmental or ministerial webpages, even university- and library access pages, official pages from galleries and museums, which most of them would fail to deliver contents, refuse to log in or even refuse to display at all.

    I felt slightly reminded of the early days when microsoft took over the role of dictating web standards from netscape navigator, and everything displayed correctly on MSIE only for long years.

    — compatibility with my hardware.
    Now, after palemoon has had dropped (also inofficial) support of non-SSE2 systems (as my in my eyes really fast Athlon XP) there was apperently no way to maintain security updates for this browser on my systems; no other browser I tried would have started (some of them not even installed) on this computer anymore until the day I met antiX and the esr-Versions of firefox, which made all the problems vanish into thin air. While working on different projects since, I have opened about 36 windows simultanously and it still runs rock stable, seldom with an acceptable delay (astonishingly fast concidering the hardware it has to run on here. But this is mostly coherent to the next aspect I’ll mention). I have tried to install opera, iceweasle, chrome, palemoon (recent versions), with no success. Well, this may have changed with the migration of my systems to antiX, but I had no time to give it a try anew. The basic info I have in head is “there is no SSE1 only support anymore”.

    — The next thing are the add-ons, which in that combination are available (at least at that time I had to decide last about browser choice) only in firefox. To give you an idea what I mean: “decentraleyes”, “ublock origin”, and “First Party isolation” are standard tools I won’t abstain to use. There are some more, which are less important, mostly for accommodativeness. There were error messages when trying to use the important ones in palemoon, since palemoon relies on its own addon structure, which doesnt seem to be compatible to recent firefox anymore. And palemoon doesn’t feature all the add-ons firefox does, as the other browsers do not (maybe this piece of information isn’t up to date).

    And this again is connected somehow to the perceived speed the browser runs. Filtering the scripts and reducing them to the amount of what is actually necessary to deliver and display content, renders the browser and “the internet” as a whole usable on older and weaker hardware again. When looking into source code of webpages today (which I actually try only in case something on a webpage malefunctions I urgently need to access) I don’t comprehend all these ten thousands of code lines transmitted anymore, often delivered for a single piece of information displayed on my screen. And this says somebody who was a few tens of years ago on first name terms with html (but had nothing to do with all this since).

    Think of german/european television mediathek pages (ARTE,3-sat,BR-ALPHA,ARD,ZDF and local stations), they try to playback content within browser (as youtube also does). This renders the webpage nearly unusable without script blockers, since they charge over capacity the CPU (100%) while the GPU sits idle, even on low resolutions. Downloading the content to a suitable video file format on disk temporaryly and displaying it afterwards allows higest resolution displayed without any lapses, even on these old machines with a cpu load of 20-30% average. So it is not the content itself, but the way it gets delivered, tailored for modern hardware only, which is the culprit. Using less wellknown browsers they are not able to display anything except for error messages at all.

    So in my opinion blocking addons for these old machines are not an optional feature merely, they are essential.

    And taking all this into account firefox turned out to be the best choice for now at least for me, whatever one can object against it (and there are intolerable things indeed, I am with you in this point). And I am amendable to any solution which covers the needs the same way, but will not be able to test anything during the next months.


    P.S.: And now I’m going to read your postings staightaway I have been missing while writing this answer 🙂

    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    Following up, https://support.mozilla.org/lt/questions/1300502 indicates that there WAS a problem with about:config – on Android implementations, but not on Linux builds. This was “resolved” in August, according to the article.

    Another link @ https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1540065 actually preceded the discussion – around two years ago.

    From what I can tell, in the first link a relatively recent (past six months) modification to use a modified rendering approach for Android appeared to introduce the regression; I’ve never seen it in a Firefox Linux build, but I temporarily added some Firefox builds on my Android phone, replicated the issue on the released version and found it fixed in the current Nightly build, so I’d suggest using a recent Android build and it should solve the issue.

    Let me know if you still see a problem.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Brian Masinick. Reason: Updated details

    Brian Masinick

    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    As far as Web browser alternatives, we have plenty of them to choose from. I’ve cited quite a few different Web browsers that are available on antiX, either in our Package Installer, the antiX and/or Debian repositories, and many more can be found using any popular search engine.

    I follow and use quite a few Web browsers; if you have any recent or different ones than the ones we have already discussed, feel free to mention any questions or comments on Web browsers here.

    Brian Masinick


    hello Moddit
    (also as an appimage. vieb on the [https://appimage.github.io/categories/Network] list today before viper_browser, wexond browser, theWeb browser)




    Thank you all. I looked a bit into Palemoon and Waterfox. Most reviews kinda slammed them for secuirty flaw for being based on outdated ff. I do always take into consideration paid media reviews opinions with a grain of salt. Good to head user opinions. Lots of posts, hard to quote. I do very much agree with the posts about tor and firefox. As much as I’ve watched firefox opt out/pricacy choices change over the years; Tor, Whonix, and Tails, all collectively still live off at the least the base firefox code. I assume they privacy tweak scripts beyond my understanding, but their unofficial endorsement does give confidence to us less educated on the details.
    A 2nd endorsement for Badwolf, I take into deeper consideration.

    As far as OG hardware, I can keep maybe 8 tabs open on firefox with intel atom and 2G ram netbook, so it worked as expected there performance-wise.

    With about config only on Trunk as someone mentioned? was that referring to android specific? I still have about config on ESR,regular, and trunk this week on debian, but I don’t look at phone much. …?

    Probably a pointless opinion, but, my hardware can’t run Qubes yet. I do however love the concept. In present time, since I don’t really fully trust any browser, I just compartmentalize among most of them. If I use ff,fftrunk,chromium,tor,whonix,lynx,links2, etc randomly, clear cookies, fully remove, rotate, etc. None are good, but juggling can separate what I wish to separate from a corporate cloud… When 60% of my ads are not in my countries native langues, I consider that a small win.

    To the comment about Huwawei ban, I offer a different opinion. In America, pyramid schemes are highly illegal. If you look at how the capitalist pyramid structure works, or the Catholic Empire for another example. Personally I felt pyramids were so harshly punished here worse than lesser crimes, is because they drew light to how our society is structured as a whole. On “the way we do things round here” lol, I’d assume the US banned Huawei because their intrusive android spying might point out our own google intrusive android spying. To me, China is dictatorship in the name of communism, same as the US is rotating dictatorship in the name of democracy. If it’s not Libre Source, then greed loves to spy.

    Human persistence fails me, the second before I would have answered my own question. Again, often, mostways.


    In Packet installer there is a 32 Bit Non SSE2 Palemoon for older computers
    Steve Pusser is still building a 32 bit Palemoon.
    Packages here –https://software.opensuse.org/download.html?project=home%3Astevenpusser&package=palemoon

    SR Ware iron is a chrome based Browser offering both 32 and 64 bit Linux support

    Downloads für Debian-basierte Distributionen (Debian, Ubuntu, Mint etc.):
    1/http://www.srware.net/downloads/iron.deb (32-Bit).
    2/http://www.srware.net/downloads/iron64.deb (64-Bit).

    For 64 Bit, Otter browser looks quite nice but the present ready to use version has SSL certificate issues.
    It is pretty much like vivaldi of old. See if I can get the latest code to compile, hoping issue is now fixed
    or I can get the setup pointing to the right directory for certs.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by ModdIt. Reason: Added palemoon info
    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    I know that the majority of people are either unable to, or unwilling to, compile their own programs.

    People who use distros like Linux From Scratch, Gentoo Linux, or are developers and testers are the most common exceptions to this, but for anyone else who is leery of a particular Web browser, what about examining the source code, add security updates and pull out “features” that you don’t want and add what you need and want. Alas, compared to the number of people who freely use them, a small fraction of people code, test, submit defect reports and fixes, financially contribute to the work and therefore it is what it is.

    I’m now retired and my contribution is decreasing but I share what I can here and in a few other places.

    I have compiled code, I do test software, I actively promote software freedom and in the past I have financially contributed many times to several efforts.

    I test Firefox, Chrome and a few utilities and I have reported multiple defects over the years and as a result the features that I use almost always work. If they don’t, I examine my work to make sure that the error is in the code and not in my usage or my hardware.

    If still defective I make a careful defect report, sharing what I did to generate the problem and my hardware and software configuration.

    I know that we have a variety of skills and not everyone understands what to do. All the more reason for those of us who have any knowledge, even limited, to share with others in the interest of continued freedom of choice for software and quality.

    Brian Masinick

    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    Firefox 85.0 has been released. It should be available now. If not, it will be available as soon as each mirror repository site is refreshed with the latest software.

    Brian Masinick

    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    Firefox Beta is now @ 86.0b1.
    Firefox Nightly is now @ 87.0a1.

    Brian Masinick


    Hello Moddit and everyone
    browser discussions rare mention of Basilisk browser. release is current this month and it works for us.
    basilisk on the palemoon discussion board.
    seamonkey fresh release four days ago 2.53.6

    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    @ile: Yes, the 2021.01.05 (64-bit) release of Basilisk is available.

    Brian Masinick


    “Limiting Private API availability in Chromium
    Friday, January 15, 2021
    During a recent audit, we discovered that some third-party Chromium based browsers were able to integrate Google features, such as Chrome sync and Click to Call, that are only intended for Google’s use. This meant that a small fraction of users could sign into their Google Account and store their personal Chrome sync data, such as bookmarks, not just with Google Chrome, but also with some third-party Chromium based browsers. We are limiting access to our private Chrome APIs starting on March 15, 2021.”


    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    “Limiting Private API availability in Chromium
    Friday, January 15, 2021
    During a recent audit, we discovered that some third-party Chromium based browsers were able to integrate Google features, such as Chrome sync and Click to Call, that are only intended for Google’s use. This meant that a small fraction of users could sign into their Google Account and store their personal Chrome sync data, such as bookmarks, not just with Google Chrome, but also with some third-party Chromium based browsers. We are limiting access to our private Chrome APIs starting on March 15, 2021.”


    That is an interesting “twist” to say the least! So Google wants to get information about people’s login and browser usage to use for their own purpose, but they do not want to share that information with others in the future
    I’d say “grab that code”, get a copy of it and find a place to build it and point that information elsewhere, maybe into the “bit bucket”! Do it BEFORE March 15 if you want to cut out their API and put in your own logic anyway! Remember though that there are tens, if not hundreds of thousands of lines of code, application interfaces, etc. It may take a LONG time to figure it out and a LOT of time, space and power to work on it!

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Brian Masinick.

    Brian Masinick


    Thanks ile,
    Basilisk is way lighter than the published requirements suggest, will play with it for a while
    and see how it fares against my other choices.
    Going through about:config I did feel the need to change some settings. Beacon, device sensors,
    geolocation amd some urls to mozilla, does look much cleaner than FF on first look though.

    Google announced We are limiting access to our private Chrome APIs starting on March 15, 2021

    Alphabet must have found new more effective ways to grab user data so no need to offer the chrome
    api anymore. After 7 years! of offering usage. Nuts.


    “Limiting Private API availability in Chromium
    Friday, January 15, 2021

    Not a chrome-y fan, but I’ve followed discussions in the wake of that Jan15 announcement.
    fingerscrossed, hopefully this will spur increased developer interest toward “our own” browsers, e.g. midori, falkon…

    600+ comments here:

    390+ comments here:

    180+ comments here:

    (only) 58 comments here:


    different subject, but related:

    50+ comments:

    ^—- drama, and misunderstanding(s).
    As one commentor (someone who apparently “bothered to actually read” the linked article) noted:
    “They are not disabling “PWA”s (websites running as apps on mobile devices),
    but SSBs (run a website in a web browser but in a seperate profile with full-screen mode, probably for desktops).”

    From my perspective, a trend away from SSBs (single site browsers) would be happy news.
    Desktop linux, it’s not a phone ~~ don’t want to see users forced/steered into installing a damned “app” in order to interact with a given website. Oooooh, it’s not justa website, it’s an “experience”?

    When requesting help, pasting the output from inxi -Fzr command will provide important relevant details:
    antiX version//edition ~~ stable vs testing repos ~~ live vs installed vs virtualbox ~~ hardware specs

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