Is Chrome faster than Firefox in Linux?

Also in today's open source roundup: DistroWatch reviews openBSD 6.0, and specs leak for Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL Android phones

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Chrome faster than Firefox in Linux?

The browser wars have been raging for many years now, and Linux users have often been on one side or the other. One Linux redditor recently noted that Chrome was much faster for him than Firefox, and a long discussion ensued with folks sharing their experiences with Chrome and Firefox.

Entanzed started the discussion by sharing his positive Chrome experience:

For me, Chrome is a lot faster than Firefox in Linux.

Firefox in Linux is slower than Firefox in Windows, and if I had to use Firefox in Linux I would be spending more time in Windows.

I actually prefer Mozilla over Google and prefer Firefox. Google’s prevalence online actually makes me a bit uncomfortable. However, the speed difference is so large that I’m not going to use Firefox in Linux. I know I could use Chromium, without the closed source parts that Google adds.

More at Reddit

His fellow redditors shared their own thoughts about Chrome versus Firefox in Linux:

Andurilfromnarsil: “Which version of Firefox have you been using? It seemed to get significantly faster for me with versions 48 and 49.”

Knvngy: “Chrome is faster but also a resource and battery hog. The problem with chrome imo is that Google developers assume that chrome is the only application that you will ever need for everything and anything. I rest my case with chromeOS.”

Entanzed: “Yeah, I definitely see a difference in battery power consumption. Supposedly recent versions of Chrome are improving that, but I haven’t had enough time to make any conclusions.”

Throwaway: “I would even go as far as to say that they don’t assume that, but actually want it that way. Why leave RAM for LibreOffice to work fast when you can instead make Google Docs seem fast? And even just in general, they don’t benefit from people using desktop applications, but they do have their ads+tracking on most internet services.”

Scratsayashi: “I use Firefox on Linux all the time, without issues. Same on Windows. I don’t feel any speed differences, only Chrome takes way more memory and CPU.”

Aoxxt: “I find the opposite. Chromium is faster in Windows and much slower under Linux, whilst Firefox is faster under Linux and uses a third to half the memory of Chrome/Chromium. However Running Opera on both Windows and Linux is faster than both using more memory than Firefox but less then Chrome. ”

Paxton: “I don’t get this. why would anyone use Chrome instead of Chromium?

I’ve never gotten a satisfactory answer, people in fact often tell me that more people use Chrome than Chromium why would you do this? what is the reason?

Chromium is in every distribution’s repo. apt install chromium-browser or something like that and you have it, for Chrome you have to go to some site to get it and get their deb of a proprietary project and download it and then feed it to dpkg -i manually, why?

Like I get why on Windows because Windows in general does not come with a build environment out of the box and has no ‘distribution’ that does the compiling for you, and since google only releases source, not binaries for Chromium, Windows users have to go to the trouble of setting up a build environment and build it themselves, but here? I don’t get this. Is there like any reason to use Chrome on Ubuntu?

And please don’t give me ‘Netflix’, you can easily install the widevine DRM lib from a PPA.”

Djb1034: “I was having the same experience as you a few months ago, and in a last ditch attempt before switching to Chrome, I tried out Firefox nightly. It made such a huge difference in speed and general responsiveness that I ended up sticking with Firefox. I’ve actually found it to be more stable (in terms of crashing) than the “stable” release, though I’m sure that will vary according to your OS and hardware.

It worth a shot if you have a workflow tied to Firefox or it’s addons (note that some addons have a development channel, which may work better with nightly), plus I personally would alway rather use free software if possible, so I’d try it before going to Chrome.”

Iikelxdefightme: “In my experience, it varies depending on the website, the extensions I use, and the number of tabs. I notice Firefox starts to get slow as the number of tabs grow and when I’m running heavy extensions like Privacy Badger. Now I use Pale Moon instead, since it’s lighter than FF and Chrome combined.”

MidnightSkyFlower: “Yes, Chromium is much faster than Firefox, on both Linux and Windows. Sadly, that doesn’t matter for anything seeing as Chrome/Chromium are completely unusable for privacy reasons.

(Firefox runs faster on Linux than it does on Windows for me, but still slower than Chromium.)”

More at Reddit

DistroWatch reviews openBSD 6.0

openBSD has long been known for its solid security and thorough documentation. Now version 6.0 of openBSD has been released and DistroWatch has a full review.

Jesse Smith reports for DistroWatch:

OpenBSD is a project I think is great for firewalls and, in many situations, servers. However, I have been reluctant in the past to recommend (or even use) OpenBSD as a desktop operating system. OpenBSD is, out of the box, fairly minimal and, like do-it-yourself Linux distributions such as Arch Linux, it can take some time to get OpenBSD set up the way I want it. Desktop environments and most graphical applications are added to the system post-installation and even the package manager needs to be pointed at the proper mirror; it doesn’t work without being configured.

…there are several aspects of OpenBSD which can make it an appealing desktop system. The initial installation of OpenBSD happens very quickly, taking just a few minutes, and most of my set up time this week was spent just downloading third-party applications. OpenBSD defaults to secure configurations, locking things down. As an example, my regular user account was not able to shutdown the system while logged into Lumina with the default settings. Access to perform most tasks must be explicitly granted. This may be inconvenient at times, especially on a single-user system, but it does mean OpenBSD protects us with its default settings, so a user really needs to go out of their way to break things.

What I really like about OpenBSD though is its performance. The system is very light, runs on older equipment and on a wide range of architectures. The system requires relatively little disk space (the base system, Lumina and my applications totalled about 2GB in size) and only a few hundred megabytes of memory. This makes OpenBSD quite appealing for people running older equipment.

OpenBSD can be intimating with its do-it-yourself approach, but once one becomes familiar with the system, the user is rewarded with a very simple, consistent and well documented working environment.

More at DistroWatch

Specs leak for Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL phones

Android users have been looking forward to Google’s announcement about the Pixel and Pixel XL phones. Unfortunately for the company, the specs for both phones have already been leaked by retailers.

Bogdan Petrovan reports for Android Authority:

The most revealing leak comes from Carphone Warehouse. The British retailer put up, and quickly removed, product listings for the Pixel and Pixel XL. The listings confirm much of what we were anticipating thanks to older leaks, and add a handful of new details. A mirror of the Pixel XL is available here, thanks to Reddit user krackers.

Google Pixel specs

Dimensions: 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.6 mm, 143 grams
Display: 5-inch Full HD AMOLED, 441 ppi, Gorilla Glass 4
Processor: 2.15GHz Snapdragon 821 (quad-core, 64-bit)
Storage: 32GB or 128GB
Camera: Rear – 12.3MP, f/2.0, 1.55um, OIS. Front – 8MP
Battery: 2,770 mAh, fast charging
Other features: fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C, NFC, 3.5 mm headphone jack
OS: Android 7.1

Google Pixel XL specs

Dimensions: 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6 mm, 168 grams
Display: 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED, 534 ppi, Gorilla Glass 4
Processor: 2.15GHz Snapdragon 821 (quad-core, 64-bit)
Storage: 32GB or 128GB
Camera: Rear – 12.3MP, f/2.0, 1.55um, OIS. Front – 8MP
Battery: 3,450 mAh, fast charging
Other features: fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C, NFC, 3.5 mm headphone jack
OS: Android 7.1

More at Android Authority

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