Back up Browser

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Back up Browser

Postby viking777 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:04 pm

I use Firefox most of the time now, I used to use Crome/Chromium as well but I have had so many problems with it over the years I have given up on it for the forseeable future, so I was looking around for a new backup browser. I wanted something fairly lightweight but with a decent feature set. I tried several options, and every one of them had some problem or other (a lot of which revolved around Flash not working). Then I had a look at this one: http://www.slimboat.com/en .

A strange name, and not one I had heard of before, but very impressive for a lightweight, fast alternative to one of the majors. Look at this feature set (I haven't tried them all yet but most of the major ones work):

Ad Blocker built in
Pop up blocker built in (with whitelist)
Flash works
Cookie Controls built in (with whitelist)
Download manager
Form Filler
User Agent switcher
Private browsing mode
Proxy support
Tabs
Groups
Speeddial
Share to Facebook/Twitter yada yada
Language translation built in
Video downloader built in

The only problem I have had is that I can't get my favoured search engine to work with it (Startpage). It opens the search page well enough but doesn't load the search term. This probably won't bother most people because it has all the usual search engines built in or downloadable and they all work properly.

I suppose if I had to criticize it at all, it does resemble Internet Explorer in its looks, but it is one hell of a sight faster than that is!

If you are looking for a backup browser it is well worth a try, in fact so far it is so impressive it could turn out to be more than just a backup.
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Re: Back up Browser

Postby tdockery97 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:27 pm

Must be a YMMV thing, but I tried it in comparison to Google Chrome, and for my use it just didn't measure up at all. Glad you like it though, viking777.
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Re: Back up Browser

Postby Flemur on Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:36 pm

I'm not sure what a "backup browser" means, but I use firefox with two profiles, one with plenty of addons and one without any:

$ firefox -P profilename -new-instance

Edit: FWIW, I just tried "slimboat" (.deb install), run from a terminal, and "ps -ef | grep slimb" showed 16,043 instances running, none with a GUI.

Edit2: "sh /opt/slimboat/slimboat.sh" started something with a GUI.
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Re: Back up Browser

Postby eanfrid on Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:52 pm

I am currently using Midori as a backup webkit-based browser aside with Iceweasel/Firefox. Slimboat is not open-source and I don't know how security issues are really handled so I would be cautious using it ;)
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Re: Back up Browser

Postby viking777 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:28 am

@ Flemur The same code for me gives three instances of 'slimb' and one of those is grep itself. Looked at in 'nethogs' it just has one process accessing the net and I would say that for a browser that is pretty much an essential.

@eanfrid - I was using Midori before I found Slimboat and although it is good it had a couple of faults for me. It only runs flash on youtube, everywhere else it fails (I have tried all the 'so-called' solutions btw and none of them work for me). The other problem is that its adblocker blocks all images from imageshack! No such problems with this one. You are right about it being an unknown quantity with regards to security though, I can't argue with that. You are also right about it not being open source although that has never bothered me too much.
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Re: Back up Browser

Postby Dyfi on Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:13 am

Just for interest, I run the Extended Support Release of Firefox from an external USB HD and as backup I can always use the distro installed version.

The ESR can then be used on any distro you have installed without having to modify settings, add-ons etc.
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Re: Back up Browser

Postby zerozero on Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:06 am

i'm primarily a FF user (or iceweasel if FF is not available in the distro's repo)

this back-up browser option doesn't need to be a lightweight, strip-down browser does it?
i see it more as a full replacement if/when the main browser is broken.
if so i've looking lately at rekonq viewtopic.php?f=197&t=114273 (ok it's a webkit browser and depends on kdelibs so it might not be the best option for everybody)
unfortunately rekonq is not "there yet" for my usage;
until then there's always the eternal underdog: opera
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Re: Back up Browser

Postby viking777 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:25 am

I heard reconq was good too, but I didn't try it because of the kde deps. Opera is another good choice apart from the fact that it never works on my bank's website, so not much use to me. Slimboat does all of these things and well.

My backup browser doesn't have to be lightweight I suppose (it used to be FF with Chrome as the main one and neither of those can be called lightweight) but if it is then so much the better.

BTW I just learned that you don't actually need to install Slimboat to try it, if you download the tarball instead of the deb file, all you need to do is to unpack it. You can then run it with the supplied shell script slimboat.sh. You can make a menu entry for this manually if you want to.
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Re: Back up Browser

Postby Dyfi on Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:30 am

That is a similar setup to FF Extended Support Release - no actual install required and run it from where ever you like.
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Re: Back up Browser

Postby sunewbie on Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:24 am

If privacy is a concern, then try Iron browser.

i had tried it a year ago.

Also I have noticed that portable / self extracting version tend to be faster than installed version. I have both chrome and chromium in win XP. chrome is installed but chromium is available as a dev pack. Just unzip and use it, no need to install.

I use duplicate tab / clone tab function quite often and I have not figured out if FF has that feature. I have almost shifted to Chromium with opera as my backup browser.

EDIT:

I tried portable version on windows XP, as I ma in office. I did not find it faster than chromium.
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Re: Back up Browser

Postby viking777 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:46 am

sunewbie wrote:If privacy is a concern, then try Iron browser.

i had tried it a year ago.

Also I have noticed that portable / self extracting version tend to be faster than installed version. I have both chrome and chromium in win XP. chrome is installed but chromium is available as a dev pack. Just unzip and use it, no need to install.

I use duplicate tab / clone tab function quite often and I have not figured out if FF has that feature. I have almost shifted to Chromium with opera as my backup browser.

EDIT:

I tried portable version on windows XP, as I ma in office. I did not find it faster than chromium.


I haven't seen iron browser before, I might have a look at it.

I use the duplicate tab function sometimes as well. It does work in FF, though slightly differently, you just hold down the Ctl key and drag the existing tab onto the new tab button and it is duplicated.

I don't think privacy is a downside to Slimboat, although I did notice a small problem recently - it doesn't have a spell checker. Not a big deal when it is only a backup browser though.
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Re: Back up Browser

Postby viking777 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:10 am



That is interesting isn't it. Actually the very fact that it is based on Chromium is enough to put me off. As I said in my opening post, I have had so many problems over such a long period of time on so many different machines with both Chrome and Chromium that I have given up on both of them. FF may not be as fast but at least it doesn't freeze all the time like Chrome does on every machine I have ever used it on.
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Re: Back up Browser

Postby sunewbie on Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:40 am

viking777 wrote:


That is interesting isn't it. Actually the very fact that it is based on Chromium is enough to put me off. As I said in my opening post, I have had so many problems over such a long period of time on so many different machines with both Chrome and Chromium that I have given up on both of them. FF may not be as fast but at least it doesn't freeze all the time like Chrome does on every machine I have ever used it on.


Slimboat is also based on webkit toolkit, so it will have similar rendering as that of chromium, but may have a different base.

Another browser that I tried is Lunascape with many toolkits or engines, geoko, webkit, etc. It was intended to be of help to web designers for rendering issues, so that they do not have to download multiple browsers

you also have one tab running webkit and another running geiko. this was of help to me when gmail did not have multiple sign-in option.

Lunascape is available for MAC and android but it's not available for Linux. Browser is very slow and heavy.

I even tried Avant browser, but it runs on top of IE. Finally I settled for Opera. I like it since my dial-up days, since it was first browser for tab browsing and easy switching off images or just displaying cache images. I used net only to check mails and do very little surfing.

Another useful feature is to save session, notes and inbuilt RSS feed reader. But recently there has been some rendering issues in V12, so Now I have almost shifted to Chromium. It was also first browser to have built-in pop-up blocker, speed dial, add many search engines to search bar, zooming both text and images alike (which was absent at that time in other browsers), using low memory when minimized and other innovative features later copied by other browsers. This was pre-firefox era, when opera was ad-ware. When FF became popular it also started copying features and keeping common keyboard shortcuts (e.g. opening tabs). Even though I use Opera less frequently, I still have a soft corner for it.

I have found that chromium is fast with sites having more javascripts

I have tried

1. IE 5 / 6 / 7 / 8
2. Opera
3. Avant Browser
4. Chromium / Chrome
5. Iron
6. Avant Browser

and have use , Chromium and Opera.

I do not recall another browser which I have.

I have also noticed that if you have too many tabs open (more than 12-15) and you leave it idle for long time, chrome / chromium / opera would freeze.

So I use Opera feature --> save session and closed browser. Later i restored session to continue my surfing.

For frequent checking of mails or quick search, I find chromium handy. I have kept chromium to open with a blank page. I have also observed that some sites, mostly with more javascripts / jscripts (I do not know the difference between them :) ) open faster in chromium then in FF and Opera.

@zerozero

Thanks for the link.
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Re: Back up Browser

Postby viking777 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:13 am

Your mention of memory usage prompted me to have a quick look at FF and Slimboat. Slimboat usage of both memory and cpu is about half of FF.

12-15 tabs!! I have never had that many tabs open at one time in my life, I would usually have 2-3 sometimes up to 6 never more. Chrome still freezes.

I like Opera too and used to have it as my main browser, but it refuses to work with my bank website (and I know about user agent switching) so I had to have a second browser around to view my bank statements online. (I think this is what started me on the backup browser idea).

Nothing is perfect (that is why you need a backup browser imho) another slight downside to Slimboat as opposed to FF is the lack of 'Sync' functions, so if you use it over several different distros as I do, you end up with bookamrks on one distro not being available on the others. That is why it is just a backup - but a very good one.
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Re: Back up Browser

Postby sunewbie on Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:41 am

viking777 wrote:Your mention of memory usage prompted me to have a quick look at FF and Slimboat. Slimboat usage of both memory and cpu is about half of FF.

12-15 tabs!! I have never had that many tabs open at one time in my life, I would usually have 2-3 sometimes up to 6 never more. Chrome still freezes.

I like Opera too and used to have it as my main browser, but it refuses to work with my bank website (and I know about user agent switching) so I had to have a second browser around to view my bank statements online. (I think this is what started me on the backup browser idea).

Nothing is perfect (that is why you need a backup browser imho) another slight downside to Slimboat as opposed to FF is the lack of 'Sync' functions, so if you use it over several different distros as I do, you end up with bookamrks on one distro not being available on the others. That is why it is just a backup - but a very good one.


True.

Opera guys (and fan boys) will always blame web designers and coders for inaccurate buggy coding for poor rendering and compatibility.

Compatibility has had problem with opera, though it is considered as very secure. some of Indian Govt sites work well only in IE ;(

Definitely a backup browser is needed which will not have any of the resource intensive functions and renders and works web pages properly.

While net banking, sometimes by heart beat stops when after hitting submit button, nothing happens and the busy icon just keeps moving round and round and round and i can just keep staring at my screen, not allowed to reload a page, like a helpless chick.
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Re: Back up Browser

Postby viking777 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:05 am

While net banking, sometimes by heart beat stops when after hitting submit button, nothing happens and the busy icon just keeps moving round and round and round and i can just keep staring at my screen, not allowed to reload a page, like a helpless chick.


:lol: :lol: :lol:

We have all been there :D
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Re: Back up Browser

Postby tdockery97 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:17 am

With all the reasons I've seen people give for not using Chrome, I still find it to be the best option for me. Works perfectly on my bank site as well as other accounts (utilities, etc.). I watch a lot of streaming video, which is probably the main reason I like Chrome with it's own flash. Don't have to worry so much about lack of support for Linux.
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Re: Back up Browser

Postby rijnsma on Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:09 pm

Yes, what's going to happen if there is no more Flash from Adobe.
They stop and do only security backports of Flash 11.2

So there is no moonlight for years and it looks like there will be no Flash.
Is that the end for Linux or am I missing something?? :?
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Re: Back up Browser

Postby Flemur on Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:15 pm

Here's Slimboat vs Firefox in gnome-system-monitor with the same 22 tabs open in each:
Slimboat_vs_Firefox.png
Slimboat vs Firefox (gnome-system-monitor)
Slimboat_vs_Firefox.png (16.27 KiB) Viewed 1176 times

Slimboat uses more memory than firefox, and had some CPU running all the time...
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