Alternate Web Browsers For Raspberry Pi: 0.1

I have tested a number of different web browsers for fedora versions 13 and 14. I could not fully test these browsers on Fedora 15 yet because of Gnome 3’s incompatibility with Visualization. The browsers that I have successfully installed and running include Arora, Epiphany, Chromium, and Midori.

Arora is a cross platform web browser that is lightweight, but is unsupported since the creator quite developing it. Epiphany is part of the GNOME project, so its a exclusively browser for the gnome desktop environment. Chromium is the open source browser in which Google Chrome is getting the source code from. Midori is a web browser that aims to be fast and efficient, and it is being used as the default browser for Bodhi Linux Distribution.

The main performance measure that I am focusing on is memory usage. And the utilities that I used includes gnome-system-monitor and various commands. The system monitor tool provided a GUI for the process and resource usage of the browsers. And the commands that I used were able to provide more real time data.

To test the browsers, I first checked the number of processes that the browser was running. The command I used was simply:

ps -ef | grep browsername

Then I would monitor it using the system monitor gui or the top command.

I used the top -p command to monitor specifically the browser processes.

After testing out the different browsers I was able to get a feel of how they compare in terms of resource usage.

Chromium:


Epiphany:


Arora:


Midori:


Firefox:

In terms of browsing experience, both Firefox and Chromium were very smooth and fast, while the others felt sluggish at times especially on sites that have a lot of ads or moving components. Though they are also the browsers with multiple processes. Midori used the least resource in general since it only ran with one process and used less memory than the others.

These results are based on going to the same site with multiple browsers. But the browsers are not tuned yet for performance.

I have also tried to limit the amount of RAM for the OS. However, everything was not at a functional speed when I reduced the RAM to 256 mb. The speed seemed to increase when I disabled some unused services, but the browsers were still struggling when running.

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