I’m not sure what it is about Linux. Some things are simple and straight forward… Some just aren’t. One of these is Web Browsers. Ubuntu 20.04 didn’t just help with making Chromium so difficult to install.
A lot of people who use Linux want their system to “just work”, including me. This is normally not a problem, but when it comes to web browsers in Linux, developers seem to have forgotten the definition of the word “simple”.
Try Firefox? It’s okay, but try watching YouTube on a stock installation of it. Distro’s like Linux Mint contain patches that fix Firefox out-of-the-box, but good luck getting it working from a fresh installation.
How about Chromium then? Well, thank Ubuntu for that one… Lot’s of distro’s are based on Ubuntu 20.04 already, and Chromium isn’t available on them thanks to their parent distribution. (Unless you don’t care about the whole Snap Store thing)
So how about chromium-based browsers? Opera, Vivaldi, etc… Well in my experience, they are usually re-skins of Chromium with their own sync system added and an ad-blocker usually. They even come with most of Chromium’s flaws like website’s live-update content not showing properly. The only real exception I’ve found is Opera’s GX browser which isn’t even available for Linux.
Why not try Brave then? Well you certainly could… I’ve never tried it myself because it’s got it’s own pseudo-cryptocurrency which I think is just inviting all kinds of trouble. But people have spoken highly of it, so I don’t think it’d be a bad choice as such.
That brings us nicely onto the devil itself… Google Chrome. Chrome, for the resource-intensive mess that it is on Windows, isn’t quite as bad on Linux, but it’s certainly not perfect, either.
However, Chrome has one thing that no other Linux browser I’ve tried does. Whether it be Windows or Linux, you just install & go. Netflix works right away (unlike Opera), as does YouTube, and playback is smooth without needing to faff with config, install & re-install things and give yourself a migraine (unlike Firefox). Chrome just works out-of-the-box, supports sync & bookmarks between Windows, Linux & your phone.
As much as I’ve scoffed at Chrome for a good chunk of my life, I’m finally starting to understand why it’s as popular as it is.
Thanks for reading today! Check back soon!