Chad Perrin perrin at
Wed Jan 4 17:21:08 UTC 2012

On Wed, Jan 04, 2012 at 07:17:47AM -0500, Daniel Lewis wrote:
> Im running Free BSD 8.2 and was wondering whats a good web browser for
> version 8.2?
> Where and how would we install it? ( Im really new to unix)

There are at least as many answers to this as there are browsers, and
probably quite a few more answers than that.

For minimalist browsers in the X Window System environment, I quite like

For its incredibly rich extension system, I use Firefox (and extensions
such as Pentadactyl, Perspectives, HTTPS Everywhere, and Scrapbook).

For a combination of excellent GUI design, smooth built-in features, and
stability (relative to Firefox), Chromium is a good choice (that's the
open source project behind Google Chrome).

For a relatively lightweight, modular design that offers an interesting
alternative interface for people who prefer keyboard navigation rather
than mouse navigation, there's Uzbl (though the Pentadactyl extension for
Firefox offers some of the same benefits).

For the most complete feature set of any console-based browser I've used
(which means I don't necessarily need a running X Window System session
to use it), there's w3m.

Some OpenBSD people have started working on the xxxterm project, which
looks quite promising to me, and I intend to give it a serious look very

There are others as well.  Others have already mentioned Epiphany,
Midori, and Opera.  Lynx and Links are a couple more console-based
browsers.  In addition to Firefox, the Mozilla guys also offer SeaMonkey.
Konqueror is the canonical choice amongst KDE users, I think, and Flock
has a small but dedicated following.  Conkeror, despite the similarity of
its name to Konqueror, is not a KDE browser; instead, it appears to be a
Firefox variant specifically designed for keyboard navigation (with a
less vi-like set of default keybindings than Pentadactyl provides).  I
think NetSurf is a popular browser for the Haiku OS, but has been ported
to other OSes such as FreeBSD.

I don't have a favorite.  All browsers I have encountered disappoint me
in some way (though I hold hope for xxxterm when I get around to giving
it a try).  Each of the browsers I mentioned in their own paragraphs are
browsers that I use at least occasionally, except for xxxterm -- which
gets its own mention basically because it looks promising.  For the

Surf - It's so feature-minimal that I would need to build a bunch of
custom scripts to interact with it and give me the functionality I need.
I have not tried yet.

Firefox - It's getting huge, bloated, and unstable for my purposes, and
its recent rapid iteration model regularly breaks the very things that
keep me using it at all: the extensions.

Chromium - The extension system is (intentionally) brain-dead.

Uzbl - It's a bit of a pain in the butt to configure to my preferences,
and the extension "system" is very, very ad-hoc.  I like some of the
principles of the underlying architecture, but in practice I do not think
it is as well executed as it should have been.

w3m - I find its keyboard navigation capabilities somewhat less than
convenient and, as a console-based browser, that's kind of a fatal flaw.
It's still better than any other console-based browser I've used though.
Then, of course, there's the fact that it lacks the conveniences of the
major GUI browsers (plugin support, for instance).

xxxterm - It's not in FreeBSD's ports system (yet), and I don't need a
new custom software installation project this week.  Beyond that, I don't
know what I may or may not dislike about it.

the stuff in the paragraph listing a bunch of browsers - I like all of
these less than any of the browsers I mentioned before this paragraph,
for a variety of reasons.

I hope that helps, in conjunction with the advice others provide.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: ]

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