Alternate Web Browsers For Raspberry Pi: 0.3

For my 0.3 I am releasing more comparison results and two more version of Fennec. I ran into numerous problems while trying to build Fennec for the Raspberry Pi. Originally I tried building Fennec on a Panda Board which had an Arm processor, but I was unsuccessful as I was plagued by numerous errors. And since the Panda Board had a different version of the ARMs processor (ArmV7) then the Raspberry Pi board (ArmV6), I don’t believe my build would work.

Then I tried setting up the environment for building it on the Pi itself. However I was unsuccessful because I was missing many dependencies required and building it on the Pi was not ideal. The most important one being kernel-devel, in which I could not install.

I was working with a fellow student who was building Firefox, and he was almost successful. I learned that he was using a fake kernel module to install the required dependencies. However he had ran into other problems.

After my previous attempts, I moved on to test other browsers on the Pi. The two that I could get working was Midori and Epiphany. I could not get Chromium to work because it did not have a valid repo for the device I was on. I tried creating a repo file with the link in /etc/yum.repos.d, but it was considered an invalid source. And Arora did not work simply because it used up too much resources.

I compared there two browsers against Firefox. The two browsers used slightly less memory then Firefox. But there weren’t any major performance increase. Epiphany did run smoother when in a smaller window size compared to the other 2, but once it was full screen, it was as slow as the others.

Firefox:

Midori:

Epiphany:

I have finished building Fennec on my VMs under XFCE and LXDE environments and have the links for them below. Fennec is inside the directory of objdir/dist/bin after the tar ball is extracted. It can be run from the terminal.

Fennec i686 LXDE

Fennec i686 XFCE

I have also included the Fennec executable standalone, but it will only work if you have all the associated libraries and dependencies.mk_add_options

The Mozconfig I used are as follows:

MOZ_OBJDIR=@TOPSRCDIR@/../objdir
ac_add_options –enable-application=mobile

# For improved compile speeds, all optional.
#mk_add_options MOZ_MAKE_FLAGS=-j4
#export CCACHE_HARDLINK=1
#ac_add_options –with-ccache=ccache

# Make a debug build, optional.
#export MOZ_DEBUG_SYMBOLS=1
ac_add_options –disable-debug
ac_add_options –enable-optimize

# Needed on Win32 to fix problem with Windows Vista SDK
ac_add_options –disable-accessibility
ac_add_options –disable-libjpeg-turbo

The instructions I used to build it were from the Mozilla Wiki web site.

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Mobile/Build/Fennec

Through out my research I had inquired people such as Anthony and Jordan from CDOT for help and they have provided useful guidance. But I still could not overcome the some of the many errors that I have encountered. In the end, I have concluded that you may run several browsers under Raspberry Pi, but non of them offer much increase in performance over Firefox.

 

 

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