5 best Qt and webkit based lightweight web browsers

There are many web browsers around here for GNU/Linux, from few Kilobytes to few several hundred Megabytes, including two big brothers, Firefox and Chrome.

So what’s special here ? We are talking about lightweight web browsers for UNIX like systems, built with Webkit rendering engine and Qt toolkit for the GUI.

Why webkit ? It’s the most widely used, most widely deployed and easy to integrate web content rendering engine. Even the chrome’s blink rendering engine is webkit based. It’s open source too!

Why Qt ? The Qt toolkit is open source, versatile and easy to integrate in almost any GUI application. Qt widget style is highly configurable and pleasant looking too. Or merely could be personal choice, some people like GTK+ some like Qt.

Let’s start, the main focus is being lightweight, but it should provide the basic features of a web browser.


1. Qupzilla

Qupzilla started just as a research project, initially coded in Python PyQt now available in both Qt 4 and Qt 5 . It’s a fully featured browser with fast browsing and lots of settings to play with around.

Qupzilla is capable of loading some extensions too, most notably a built in Ad blocker and GreaseMonkey to run user defined javascripts. Probably the next qupzilla 2.x.x serease will be based on QtWebEngine, which is based on chrome’s blink rendering engine. official website www.qupzilla.com .



2. Otter Browser

Otter browser is the complete Qt 5 rewrite of classic opera browser. Otter browser aims to be user friendly and respects user privacy. It can import opera session, opera bookmarks and opera notes. It offers fast browsing experience and starts amazingly fast. Official website otter-browser.org .



3. Arora

That’s another Qt 4 based cross platform browser with advanced features like user agent switcher, integrated Ad blocker, export web pages as PDF, page source analyzer etc. etc.

At present arora development is somewhat stalled, available only in qt 4, still arora is usable enough, specially if you build it from source. Precompiled binary packages are available in most GNU/Linux distribution’s software repository. Official website github.com/arora/arora .



4. Slimboat

Slimboat is a cross platform freeware web browser, not an open source software, available as precompiled binaries. It’s based on Qt 4 and Webkit with small memory usage. Now It’s outdated, the project updated to slimjet, which is based on blink rendering engine.slimboat.png

Official website http://slimboat.com .


5. WCGBrowser

This is a browser is written in python and PyQtWebkit, written by Alan D Mmoore to be used as a kiosk browser. It is gighly configurable and very lightweight on system resources. It’s simply amazing, download it and find more about it here.



You could use those lightweight webkit based browsers as simple HTML viewer, all of them also supports mhtml web archive. Another distinct advantage is they starts very fast compared to other browsers like Chromium or Firefox.

Facing  problem to change Qt5 application style, icon theme, font style ? Here is how to change Qt5 application style with qt5ct .

This is a very comprehensive list, there are other Qt and webkit based browsers are around, some of them may be even better than those listed above. Suggestions are always welcome, please let us know about your thoughts on those browsers. Don’t forget to share this with your friends !

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