Lightweight yet compatible and up to date browser

Forum Forums General Software Lightweight yet compatible and up to date browser

  • This topic has 41 replies, 14 voices, and was last updated May 13-10:57 am by Brian Masinick.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 42 total)
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  • #32090
    Member
    lubod

      Hello, I am always looking for a browser that meets these requirements:

      1) Lightweight, especially in RAM usage, but if possible hard disk and CPU as well
      2) Compatible with as many pages as possible (so must include Javascript for gmail, etc.)
      3) Up to date, still actively developed and available in the antix repos

      Firefox meets 2 and 3 extremely well, but is an awful pig with number 1, even with no/few plugins!
      I can leave only 2 or 3 tabs open, and in a few hours, it has eaten over 1Gb of RAM and the computer slows to a crawl and/or freezes, requiring a restart. Sometimes I can fix it by going to a virtual terminal (control-alt-F1), logging in, running “top” to see the firefox-esr process, cancel top with control-C, and kill firefox with sudo kill (insert process number from top here) or sudo pkill firefox-esr, which closes the browser but allows me to use the rest of the programs normally, or reboot the right way, from the menus, instead of turning off power, which requires recovering ext4 journals on the next boot.

      My best candidates to meet all 3 criteria at the top of this post so far:
      1) Qupzilla (now renamed Falkon) – sadly the repos for antix 17.4 have an older version 1.8.9. Works pretty good, has Javascript, but the newer Falkon is up to version 3.1, so lots of features/bugfixes are not in Qupzilla, and never will be, only Falkon is updated now. Is it possible to add a Falkon package to antix repos? On the Falkon.org website it recommends “use your distribution repos”, and flatpak and snap, but no other choices. I prefer to skip flatpak and snap, they introduce files that apt/synaptic can’t control, and also use more hard drive and RAM! It links to http://download.kde.org/stable/falkon/3.1/ to download the source, which I will try to compile, but it would help everyone if it was in the antix repos like Qupzilla is.
      2) Netsurf – also good with minor problems. Images are not aligned quite right, and Javascript is experimental, and off by default, and even turned on, still can’t log into gmail. Another post here or another forum mentioned copying the cookies for gmail from a working browser to Netsurf as a solution, but I haven’t managed to do that yet, and it should work without hacks, like in Qupzilla.
      3) Epiphany-browser (aka Web). Another good choice.

      And of course lots of text only or text and graphics browsers like Dillo, Links 2, etc. Though I seem to recall they definitely have no Javascript or ability to use gmail, but work for sites with simpler logins.

      I would make this post a poll, but it seems a poll only allows one question, and I have several.

      Questions:
      1) Any way to limit Firefox RAM usage?
      2) Would the antix developers consider making one of the lighter browsers mentioned above the default choice for antix base? And make a Falkon package in the repos, so it stays more up ta date in the future. Making the package in the repos would be great, even if it is not the default browser, just so it is easier to install.
      3) Any other browser suggestions from other forum members?

      • This topic was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by lubod. Reason: More info about Qupzilla/Falkon
      • This topic was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by lubod.

      Restore older computers to working order.
      Computers everyone else insists are obsolete and useless.

      Current recordholder:
      Generic Pentium III 600 Mhz with 512Mb RAM and 10Gb HD
      Working on Cyrix M2 333 Mhz with 64Mb RAM and OS on IDE to SD card 4Gb

      #32094
      Member
      PPC

        I have 2 suggestions:
        1- Palemoon
        2- Ungoogled-chromium- but this browser is NOT as far as I know on antiX repos, but you don’t have to risk installing it’s Debian 10 .deb file- you can use a .appimage (just download the file, make it executable and then run it, no installation needed) or the “Portable Linux 64-bit” – just download the compressed file, extract the files, run the binary. It’s chromium but a lot lighter!

        As far as I know there’s no way to limit firefox RAM usage (maybe a guru here knows how to do that…) also, a very light browser, but ancient: surf (or better yet surf2 – it’s very minimalist- just a window to view webpages. It uses d-menu to enter a new web address… works with gmail, if it has the correct dependencies, also works with youtube) . You can launch the web page directly from a script or the terminal, like this: surf http://www.antixforum.com)

        P.

        #32102
        Member
        sybok

          Not exactly what was asked but a small comment on

          As far as I know there’s no way to limit firefox RAM usage

          This is not exactly reducing RAM (only) but it will help if the process also consumes a lot of your CPU.
          nice -n <integer value> firefox &
          see e.g. nice and renice

          See the man-page by typing
          man nice
          in your terminal.

          You can create an alias in your
          ~/.bashrc
          file or a shortcut not to have to type the commands all over again (or search in command-line history).

          E.g. my keys file in Fluxbox ~/.fluxbox/keys contains the following line:
          Control Mod1 f :ExecCommand /usr/bin/nice /usr/bin/firefox --private-window
          which means pressing Ctrl+Alt+f launches firefox with a bit altered scheduling.

          Hope that helps at least a bit.

          Of course, restricting the resources may result in poor performance of the process.

          • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by sybok.
          • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by sybok.
          #32107
          Member
          lubod

            @PPC: Thanks for your suggestions. I knew about Palemoon, and will give it a shot, especially since it has a non-SSE2 version in the repos, I am trying to restore some Pentium 3 systems, which have no SSE2. Will also try Chromium which I also know, but while it is lighter than Chrome (and less privacy invading!) it may still be heavier than the other alternatives. Will definitely try Surf2, I thought I knew most of the alt. browsers, that one is new to me. Using gmail is a must, I don’t want to use two browsers for email and everything else, the goal is for one browser to rule them all, webpages and bookmarks and downloads.

            Does your username choice indicate you are a Mac user? I still have a Snow iBook G3. 🙂 There is a Linux distro being developed (it’s not finished yet, but making good progress, that officially supports PowerPC still, and will as long as it exists: Adelie Linux.

            I have 2 suggestions:
            1- Palemoon
            2- Ungoogled-chromium- but this browser is NOT as far as I know on antiX repos, but you don’t have to risk installing it’s Debian 10 .deb file- you can use a .appimage (just download the file, make it executable and then run it, no installation needed) or the “Portable Linux 64-bit” – just download the compressed file, extract the files, run the binary. It’s chromium but a lot lighter!

            As far as I know there’s no way to limit firefox RAM usage (maybe a guru here knows how to do that…) also, a very light browser, but ancient: surf (or better yet surf2 – it’s very minimalist- just a window to view webpages. It uses d-menu to enter a new web address… works with gmail, if it has the correct dependencies, also works with youtube) . You can launch the web page directly from a script or the terminal, like this: surf https://www.antixforum.com)

            P.

            Restore older computers to working order.
            Computers everyone else insists are obsolete and useless.

            Current recordholder:
            Generic Pentium III 600 Mhz with 512Mb RAM and 10Gb HD
            Working on Cyrix M2 333 Mhz with 64Mb RAM and OS on IDE to SD card 4Gb

            #32108
            Member
            lubod

              @sybok: Thanks for the suggestions, this is handy to know, even if it doesn’t limit RAM, or works slower, it is good to know the exact steps to re-nice it, and how to activate it via keyboard shortcuts.

              Not exactly what was asked but a small comment on

              As far as I know there’s no way to limit firefox RAM usage

              This is not exactly reducing RAM (only) but it will help if the process also consumes a lot of your CPU.
              nice -n <integer value> firefox &
              see e.g. nice and renice

              See the man-page by typing
              man nice
              in your terminal.

              You can create an alias in your
              ~/.bashrc
              file or a shortcut not to have to type the commands all over again (or search in command-line history).

              E.g. my keys file in Fluxbox ~/.fluxbox/keys contains the following line:
              Control Mod1 f :ExecCommand /usr/bin/nice /usr/bin/firefox --private-window
              which means pressing Ctrl+Alt+f launches firefox with a bit altered scheduling.

              Hope that helps at least a bit.

              Of course, restricting the resources may result in poor performance of the process.

              Restore older computers to working order.
              Computers everyone else insists are obsolete and useless.

              Current recordholder:
              Generic Pentium III 600 Mhz with 512Mb RAM and 10Gb HD
              Working on Cyrix M2 333 Mhz with 64Mb RAM and OS on IDE to SD card 4Gb

              #32113
              Member
              seaken64

                Hi lubod,

                we had a discussion on here about the default browser, probably a couple of years ago. Try a search.

                You have already mentioned most of the browsers and I have tried most of them. I have had some success with three browsers on my old Pentium-III’s or Celeron-M. Slimjet, Palemoon non-sse2, and SeaMonkey. I have decided to use SeaMonkey as my main browser on these machines. I set it up with NoScript and it runs pretty well, as long as I am careful and stay off of heavy sites and limit the number of tabs.

                I think we are going to find it more and more difficult to find an “up-to-date” browser, and equally difficult to find one that is compatible.

                With these old systems we have to be able to find a compromise. The Web is going in a completely different direction. To hope for a browser that runs on these old computers to support Google Apps, or cloud apps, is asking for a lot. If a user is very skilled they may be able to get this stuff to work. But most developers are not going to spend their time on making stuff work for such old computers. But there may be some – maybe you. Anyway, in my experience it is better to be willing to “settle” for what we can get.

                For now, SeaMonkey is a good compromise for me. But for how long? It’s already legacy software. And for YouTube I use SMTube or the command line apps provided in antiX-17 and antiX-19. For music I use mpc or Cantata, or Audacious. I don’t use these computers as daily drivers any more, so no printing, scanning, cameras, etc.

                Seaken64

                #32114
                Member
                seaken64

                  FWIW, I have used SeaMonkey to log in to my G-Mail. It works, and you should use the “Basic HTML” option. But I do not generally use this old computer on the Google Apps G-Suite.

                  Seaken64

                  #32117
                  Moderator
                  Brian Masinick

                    I may be wrong about this, but I thought that I recently saw the Brave Web Browser included in the MX Community repos, the ones that Stevo and others manage. If my memory is accurate, then I recommend it. Brave is now past the V1 release. Previously it was a challenge to get it installed, but if the MX or antiX team builds and supports it then it will be easy to get and use.

                    --
                    Brian Masinick

                    #32124
                    Member
                    lubod

                      @seaken64

                      Replying to both you posts with one of my own. You are absolutely correct that it will always be a compromise between new features (heavy or impossible) and lightweight code that old computers can still run. And that most (almost all?) programmers have little/no interest in developing for said computers. And that things like Youtube are best handled with SMTube or similar where possible. Even so, I prefer actively developed, when possible. Which is why I hope Falkon will be added to the antix repo, like it’s precursor Qupzilla was. Using Qupzilla happily, but want to stay up to date in the future.

                      Thanks for the info about slimjet, palemoon-nonsse2, and seamonkey. I’ll likely try them all, at least long enough to see if they work with pages I want to view. Nice to know Seamonkey does Gmail, that is one of the heavier pages that is must have for me, and as noted in my original post, even some otherwise useful browsers like Netsurf can’t login! I can live without G-Suite, but if I can find a browser that does that as well, so much the better. And since you have at least one such older computer, the tips before yours are useful too!

                      FWIW, I have used SeaMonkey to log in to my G-Mail. It works, and you should use the “Basic HTML” option. But I do not generally use this old computer on the Google Apps G-Suite.

                      Seaken64

                      Restore older computers to working order.
                      Computers everyone else insists are obsolete and useless.

                      Current recordholder:
                      Generic Pentium III 600 Mhz with 512Mb RAM and 10Gb HD
                      Working on Cyrix M2 333 Mhz with 64Mb RAM and OS on IDE to SD card 4Gb

                      #32125
                      Forum Admin
                      anticapitalista

                        If you use antiX-19 you will see that Falkon (3.0 version) is available via Package installer.

                        Philosophers have interpreted the world in many ways; the point is to change it.

                        antiX with runit - leaner and meaner.

                        #32126
                        Member
                        lubod

                          @masinick

                          Again, good to know, will look into it. Willing to try any browser that meets (within reason) my 3 requirements in the original post of this thread. Even willing to compile from source, to see if it works, provided I can get some help with compiation errors (if any), and with packaging (so it is in repos for all to use). Quoting my reply to @seaken64:

                          > I hope Falkon will be added to the antix repo, like it’s precursor Qupzilla was. Using Qupzilla happily, but want to stay up to date in the future.

                          I may be wrong about this, but I thought that I recently saw the Brave Web Browser included in the MX Community repos, the ones that Stevo and others manage. If my memory is accurate, then I recommend it. Brave is now past the V1 release. Previously it was a challenge to get it installed, but if the MX or antiX team builds and supports it then it will be easy to get and use.

                          Restore older computers to working order.
                          Computers everyone else insists are obsolete and useless.

                          Current recordholder:
                          Generic Pentium III 600 Mhz with 512Mb RAM and 10Gb HD
                          Working on Cyrix M2 333 Mhz with 64Mb RAM and OS on IDE to SD card 4Gb

                          #32128
                          Forum Admin
                          anticapitalista

                            Falkon uses a later version of qt which will not work on antiX-17 and earlier. Only antiX-19 supports falkon.

                            Philosophers have interpreted the world in many ways; the point is to change it.

                            antiX with runit - leaner and meaner.

                            #32129
                            Forum Admin
                            anticapitalista

                              BTW This is what happens if you try to install falkon on antiX-19. A load of kde (junk) gets installed. Not good.

                              apt install falkon 
                              Reading package lists... Done
                              Building dependency tree       
                              Reading state information... Done
                              The following additional packages will be installed:
                                libaribb24-0 libbasicusageenvironment1 libdbusmenu-qt5-2 libdca0 libdvbpsi10 libebml4v5 libfam0 libgroupsock8 libixml10 libkate1 libkf5archive5 libkf5auth-data
                                libkf5auth5 libkf5codecs-data libkf5codecs5 libkf5config-data libkf5configcore5 libkf5configgui5 libkf5configwidgets-data libkf5configwidgets5 libkf5coreaddons-data
                                libkf5coreaddons5 libkf5crash5 libkf5dbusaddons-data libkf5dbusaddons5 libkf5guiaddons5 libkf5i18n-data libkf5i18n5 libkf5iconthemes-data libkf5iconthemes5
                                libkf5itemviews-data libkf5itemviews5 libkf5notifications-data libkf5notifications5 libkf5service-bin libkf5service-data libkf5service5 libkf5wallet-bin
                                libkf5wallet-data libkf5wallet5 libkf5widgetsaddons-data libkf5widgetsaddons5 libkf5windowsystem-data libkf5windowsystem5 libkwalletbackend5-5 liblirc-client0
                                liblivemedia64 libmatroska6v5 libmicrodns0 libnfs12 libopenmpt-modplug1 libphonon4qt5-4 libplacebo7 libpolkit-qt5-1-1 libprotobuf-lite17 libqt5texttospeech5
                                libqt5webengine-data libqt5webenginecore5 libqt5webenginewidgets5 libre2-5 libsdl-image1.2 libspatialaudio0 libspeexdsp1 libupnp13 libusageenvironment3 libvlc5
                                libvlccore9 libwebpdemux2 libxcb-xv0 phonon4qt5 phonon4qt5-backend-vlc vlc-data vlc-plugin-base vlc-plugin-video-output
                              Suggested packages:
                                fam lirc phonon4qt5-backend-gstreamer libdvdcss2
                              Recommended packages:
                                libkf5config-bin libkf5dbusaddons-bin libkf5iconthemes-bin kwayland-integration qtwayland5 libvlc-bin libproxy-tools
                              The following NEW packages will be installed:
                                falkon libaribb24-0 libbasicusageenvironment1 libdbusmenu-qt5-2 libdca0 libdvbpsi10 libebml4v5 libfam0 libgroupsock8 libixml10 libkate1 libkf5archive5 libkf5auth-data
                                libkf5auth5 libkf5codecs-data libkf5codecs5 libkf5config-data libkf5configcore5 libkf5configgui5 libkf5configwidgets-data libkf5configwidgets5 libkf5coreaddons-data
                                libkf5coreaddons5 libkf5crash5 libkf5dbusaddons-data libkf5dbusaddons5 libkf5guiaddons5 libkf5i18n-data libkf5i18n5 libkf5iconthemes-data libkf5iconthemes5
                                libkf5itemviews-data libkf5itemviews5 libkf5notifications-data libkf5notifications5 libkf5service-bin libkf5service-data libkf5service5 libkf5wallet-bin
                                libkf5wallet-data libkf5wallet5 libkf5widgetsaddons-data libkf5widgetsaddons5 libkf5windowsystem-data libkf5windowsystem5 libkwalletbackend5-5 liblirc-client0
                                liblivemedia64 libmatroska6v5 libmicrodns0 libnfs12 libopenmpt-modplug1 libphonon4qt5-4 libplacebo7 libpolkit-qt5-1-1 libprotobuf-lite17 libqt5texttospeech5
                                libqt5webengine-data libqt5webenginecore5 libqt5webenginewidgets5 libre2-5 libsdl-image1.2 libspatialaudio0 libspeexdsp1 libupnp13 libusageenvironment3 libvlc5
                                libvlccore9 libwebpdemux2 libxcb-xv0 phonon4qt5 phonon4qt5-backend-vlc vlc-data vlc-plugin-base vlc-plugin-video-output
                              0 upgraded, 75 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
                              Need to get 49.4 MB of archives.
                              After this operation, 203 MB of additional disk space will be used.
                              Do you want to continue? [Y/n] 

                              Philosophers have interpreted the world in many ways; the point is to change it.

                              antiX with runit - leaner and meaner.

                              #32130
                              Moderator
                              Brian Masinick

                                Brave is in Package Installer

                                --
                                Brian Masinick

                                #32132
                                Moderator
                                Brian Masinick

                                  Running from:
                                  inxi -Fz
                                  System:
                                  Host: antix Kernel: 5.4.7-antix.1-amd64-smp x86_64 bits: 64
                                  Desktop: IceWM 1.6.3+git20191202
                                  Distro: antiX-19-runit_x64-base Marielle Franco 9 December 2019
                                  Machine:
                                  Type: Laptop System: Dell product: Inspiron 5558 v: 01 serial: <filter>
                                  Mobo: Dell model: 086DKN v: A00 serial: <filter> UEFI [Legacy]: Dell
                                  v: A04 date: 08/06/2015 …

                                  I just confirmed that Brave is available in our package installer.
                                  Should be available from other antiX builds too.

                                  --
                                  Brian Masinick

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