5 Free and Open Source Web Browsers That You May Have Never Heard Of

For web browsing, most of us would prefer Firefox or Opera because of their speed, security, stability, and overall features. While a handful of people may like surfing the web with some of those terminal-based browsers.

For a change, why not try some web browsers that would perhaps cater to a few of your specific needs and would serve as an alternative to your existing browser. Why not try some of these Free and Open Source web browsers that you may have never heard of:


Named after a Japanese short story, Kazehakase supports Unix-like operating systems that use GTK+ libraries. Kazehakase embeds the Gecko layout engine as well as GTK+ WebKit with plans to add the ability to switch between additional different rendering engines (e.g. GtkHTML, Dillo, w3m). Some of its main features are:

* Tabbed browsing
* Remote bookmark (e.g. RSS) in menu or sidebar
* Variable UI (menus, toolbar etc.) on user level
* Customizable mouse gestures
* Customizable key accelerator


NetSurf is a light-weight and easy-to-use web browser that is capable of handling most of your basic online tasks. Originally written for low-end computer hardware, it can run on ARM 6 computer with just 16MB of RAM. NetSurf is written primarily in ANSI C, and implements most of the HTML 4 and CSS 2.1 specifications using a bespoke layout engine. Aside from rendering GIF, JPEG, PNG and BMP images, the browser also supports formats native to RISC OS, including Sprite, Draw and ArtWorks files. Unfortunately, NetSurf still has no support for JavaScript.


Arora is a minimalist QtWebKit-based web browser whose feature list includes things like tab management, simple history, a bookmarks system and global user CSS. The original codebase was written for Trolltech by Benjamin C Meyer ("icefox"), a Qt developer. It was released as the Qt Demo Browser as part of Qt 4.4.0, demonstrating the capabilities of the then-new Qt-WebKit integration. After the release, Meyer forked the code and continued working on it independently, under the name Arora.

SRWare Iron

SRWare Iron is based on the Chromium-source but eliminates usage tracking and other privacy violating functionality that Chrome includes. In contrast to Chrome, it implements the latest version of the WebKit rendering engine, and includes a built-in ad blocker. SRWare Iron is fast and with an interface similar to that of Google Chrome.


Midori web browser is known for its lightning speed. It uses the WebKit rendering engine and the GTK+ 2 interface, and is part of the Xfce desktop environment's Goodies component. Some of Midori's main features are:

* Tabs, windows and session management
* Supports Netscape Extensions
* Flexibly configurable Web Search
* User scripts and user styles support
* Straightforward bookmark management
* toggle full image zoom
* Speed Dial


  1. AnonymousJune 27, 2009

    Conkeror is a nice one too, very lovely

  2. AnonymousJune 27, 2009

    Nice... I'm actively using Kazehakaze (on desktop) and Midori (on Openmoko Freerunner).

    NOTE: I cannot use Cursor keys (arrows) in this "comments box". It's very annoying. Can you please try to solve that? thanks a lot

  3. @Mmlosh

    Good to hear that. I also use Midori from time to time on Ubuntu, but it's still a bit buggy. Does it run well on Openmoko?

    *Comment box works fine on Firefox. I will be testing it on other browsers. Thanks :-)

  4. Arora and Iron are the only ones that support Windows, correct?

  5. AnonymousJune 28, 2009


    ad openmoko

    well.. it's minimalistic version, unable to do such essential things like donwloads and "save page as".

    Also there's nothing like "address bar", you have to do "Go->location" and type without mistakes.

    ad site

    This comment is from Kazehakase, the former one was from Firefox 3.0.11 + noscript, both with same problem (no response to cursor keys, CTRL+C, CTRL+X, CTRL+V)

    note1: kazekase displays icon "not completely loaded", there's one-pixel line instead of full circle.

    note2: I'm connecting over IPv6

    bonus: I've 2 browsers on each device (one faster, one regular.
    desktop: Firefox, Kazehakase
    Freerunner: Midori, Dillo (excellent, no need to scroll left-rigt-left-rigt--- when reading text collumns

  6. AnonymousJune 28, 2009

    one more note:

    I'm using DNS resolver that participats in "Google over IPv6"

    My resolver is not so fast and it causes serious lag when resolving your large list of sites with third-party code and JavaScripts.

  7. Hmm... Midori is nice except it always crashes when I open GMail....

  8. You should include UZBL

  9. So which of these are open source? I need to see some source code (for education).

  10. @Anonymous.... Obviously they are all open source... just read the name of the article... :P