A summary of web browsers currently available for Linux

Why this summary?

One of the best things to have ever happened to Linux was the release of Netscape Navigator. It convinced many people that Linux was a 'real' operating system... ain't life funny?

Despite all of it's features, Navigator/Communicator is not the ideal browser for many people: it's big, the Java implementation is anything but perfect, it chews up memory like it was going out of fashion and it requires X-Windows.

Some of the other nice things about Linux are:

Want a browser that runs Python applets? A browser for your VT-100 terminal? A browser inside your text editor that you can extend with LISP? Or perhaps a simple, stable, no-frills browser that just does the job?

Here is a list of the many browsers currently available for Linux. Hopefully you will find something that suits your needs...

If you want a summary of browsers on other platforms, try BrowserWatch.


  1. Yet to be developed
  2. In alpha development
  3. In beta development
  4. In full release
  5. Other browsers
  6. Acknowledgements

Note 1: Updates, additions and corrections are more than welcome!
Note 2: This list does not include 'dead' projects such as MidasWWW or Dancer.

1. Yet to be developed



Arachne is a DOS-based graphical web browser, and a Linux port has been announced. It will probably be SVGAlib-based.
More information can be found at: http://www.naf.cz/arachne/news_and_events/899736732.html

Internet Explorer

Microsoft has indicated that a port of MSIE for Linux will eventuate (a preview release for Solaris has just been released).

Press releases for the Unix versions can be found at: http://www.microsoft.com/ie/unix/.



The so-called 'Opera Project' is aiming to fund low-cost versions of the Opera browser for MacOS, BeOS, X-Windows and other platforms.
A Linux version of Opera is now in development.



A Unix version of the VOL browser (aka Tiber) is reported to be in development - no news on a Linux-specific version though.

2. In alpha

Chimera v2.0 a15


A simple browser, Chimera 2 supports multiple windows and better HTML support.

Express 0.0.5


Express is a web browser for the GNOME project, is based on the GTK toolkit and aims to be a lightweight browser with plug-in capabilities to extend the browser's functionality.

Gzilla 0.1.5


Also based on GTK, and also in the early alpha stages.



Based on GTK and in the very early stages of development.

3. In beta

Arena v0.3.61


Originally a testbed for W3C (see Amaya below), Arena has been taken over by Yggdrasil who are slowly developing it into a general use web browser
Has CSS support and supports the <MATH> commands, which is very useful for mathematicians and scientists.

Grail v0.4


Python-based, so the performance is noticeably slower than C-based browsers, but you can embed Python applets and easily extend the browser.

mmm v0.41


HTML 2.0-compliant browser, implemented in Objective CAML. Has in-built support for CAML applets.

Netscape Navigator v4.5


A new version of Navigator/Communicator is in beta, offering a number of incremental changes.

PAD++/WebMap v0.9p1


WebMap is the PAD++ (a "zoomable" graphical interface) web browser.
It is available for most Unix platforms as well as Windows 95/NT systems.

tkWWW v0.13


A tcl/tk web browser (similar to Plume) with HTML editing capabilities.

4. In full release

Chimera v1.65


A simple web browser, based on the Athena widget set, that is ideal for small memory systems.
Limited graphics capabilities and no table, frames or Java support.

See http://hasse.mathematik.tu-muenchen.de/~nikl/chimera-1.65p/ for an improved version of 1.65, aka Chimera 1.70.

Cineast v1.4


An extensible web browser, written in OTcl, with HTML 3.2 support of images, tables, forms, etc.
Does not yet support printing.

Emacs-W3 v4.0


The browser for everyone's favourite editor...
Text-based, but supports images under XEmacs; also supports tables, CSS stylesheets and frames.



The KDE file manager, with in-built web browsing support.
Has support for tables and Javascript, but the POST method (for forms) is not yet fully implemented.

Lynx v2.8


Excellent text-based web browser - fast, with partial table and frames support.

mMosaic v3.3.0


Multicasting and Java support are the two major updates on this variant of Mosaic.
Still Motif-based, but will build with lesstif.

NEW! Mozilla v5.0


The free source code release of Netscape Navigator.

NCSA Mosaic v2.7b4


No-frills browser lacking support for frames and Java and has only limited table support.
NCSA Mosaic is no longer being actively developed by the NCSA, but a number of spin-off versions are being developed.

Netscape Navigator & Communicator v4.05


Navigator is the stand-alone web browser, while Communicator includes a number of other applications, including e-mail and news readers.
Need I say more?

QWeb v1.3


Supports SGML & style sheets; uses the Qt toolkit.

Plume/SurfIt v1.01a


A tcl/tk based web browser, Australian developed.

5. Other browsers

Amaya v1.3b


The W3C testbed, complete with an editor (with CSS support).
Similar to Arena in that it was designed for experimentation rather than general web browsing.

HotJava v1.14


Sun are not officially supporting HotJava on Linux, but the Solaris version will run with a small amount of tinkering.
Adequate performance but requires at least 32M of RAM.

Red Baron v3.1


Commercially available through the purchase of the 'official' RedHat 4.2 Intel distribution.
Lacks Java & Javascript support; has support for 1, 8 and 24bpp displays, but not 15/16bpp. Status: No longer being developed?

Viola v3.1


One of the first X-Windows web browsers; Status: Dead?

W3C line browser


The original WWW browser: line-based (rather than screen based) and really only useful for those with teletypes?

6. Thanks to...

Thanks to the following people for their help in compiling this list:

Version 1.30
Compiled by Graeme Cross.
Updated: Monday, 27-Jul-1998 13:07:20 EST