Added 05/01/2009: While Opera is currently the fastest browser for Ubuntu Linux, it is not the more complete. It does not support 64 bit Ubuntu. I learned this after I installed kubuntu amd 64, and so I have returned to using Firefox.
Added 04/29/2009: This post comes up among the first few in a search for <a href=”http://ant.com/web/browser%20for%20unbutu””browser for Ubuntu” at Ant.com
I’ve been running Ubuntu 8.10 for a few weeks.
I used hibernate for a while, until I realized that Ubuntu starts up so fast there is no reason to do so. Indeed, a full boot is faster than waking up from hibernation.
I have been using Firefox for years, but I noticed the Ubuntu version was a bit sluggish, so I decided to try the Opera browser a couple of days ago.
I start work by starting two applications: my browser and my favorite editor, Epsilon. so I wrote the following app to start my working day:
echo “Get to work, Dave. Have a Nice Day, and Don’t Forget to Say Hi to the Tuxer’s.”
Hi Tuxer’s! (You can see them to the left as you read this post, and they have asked me to say “Hi!” to you, too:
Tuxers: Hello World!
I have found Opera to be much faster than Firefox. For example, I just did a simple experiment, comparing of the number of elapsed seconds from pressing the power switch to having both Epsilon and the browser ready to go. Here are the results:
- Firefox: 95 seconds
- Opera: 65 seconds
I first learned about Opera over a decade ago, at a Java conference in New York, NY. I had been invited to an award ceremony to represent IBM for an award for Jikes.
One of the other recipients was Opera, and when I later asked the man who accepted the award about Opera, he said he worked for a small company based in Scandanavia that was working on a very fast browser.
I next met an Opera employee at the K12 Open Minds Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, in October 2006. This was the first national conference for educators interested the use of open-source and other open technologies in k12 schools. The conference was organized by Mike Huffman, who then worked for the Indiana State Department of Education, where he had created inAccess, the most successful state-led effort to date in bringing Linux and open-source into the classrom.
I went to the conference on my own time and my own dime. This was the first conference I have attended on my own.
Over two hundred people attended, though only a handful were developer/programmers. One of the keynote speakers was Ben Mako-Hill. He spoke about the XO Laptop. I went up to him after his talk. He graciously offered me a chance to try to XO, and my love affair with that little green cutie-pie began within seconds after I first used it.
Among the other small handful of developers were some folks from Opera.
Opera, though not open-source, is freely available for Ubuntu Linux at no cost.
It is a fabulous piece of software, and I strongly recommend it.