The Lightweight Browser Rundown

The Terminally Incoherent blog has posted a rundown of lightweight web browsers.

Most of modern browsers tend to eating up to tons of your memory, and think nothing of it. So here are some browsers designed for fast action, and minimal operating footprint. These are perfect for your old decrepit little computer that you have raised from the dead using some lightweight linux distro.

The post covers all of the major text and graphical browsers, plus a few graphical browsers that you probably don’t know about. My favorite text web browser is w3m, but mostly just because it comes installed by default on most Linux systems. Installing the w3m-img package adds images to w3m, I got it working in xterm but GNOME-Terminal refused to show the graphics.

Links2 offers both text and X11 graphical modes. I found both to work well, and both support mouse control which makes Links2 very simple to use. Links2 in graphical mode consumes about 8MB of RAM.


Install it in Debian or Ubuntu with this command:

sudo apt-get install links2

Run text mode like this:


Or run graphical mode like this:

links2 -g

When I want to do some browsing on a slow machine, or need to look something up from the terminal, I will be using Links2 from now on. Read more about Links2 on its features page.

Archived Comments


Links2 is cool. And one can even write comments with it. :)


I also recommend Dillo. It is the browser that ships with Puppy Linux and is very fast while still supporting most sites.




And for a slight step up, you can try hv3 or NetSurf, which have CSS support.


This isn’t a rundown, it mentions a single possible browser…


Give Arora browser a try. It has a GUI and uses QtWebKit—cross-platform.

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