Ubuntu to drop Firefox for Chrome?

According to Ubergizmo, Canonical seems to be looking into the possibility of dropping Mozilla Firefox in their upcoming Netbook Edition of the world's most popular Linux distro, Ubuntu. In its place Canonical will use Google's Chrome, or possibly Chromium--the open-source, less stable project that Chrome is based on.

For as long as most can remember, Firefox has been the default browser of choice for Ubuntu, as well as many other popular Linux distros. The reason for this is likely due to Mozilla's open approach towards developer and their add-ons. Firefox prides itself on its magnificently large add-on repository--something which Chrome has just recently begun building.

No official decision has been made regarding the fate of Firefox in Ubuntu, but it's very possible that we will begin seeing test versions of Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 sporting Chrome in some form or another. Should Canonical make the switch to Chrome, it's unclear if it would also affect Ubuntu's desktop version. If Chrome becomes the default Ubuntu browser, many devoted followers would likely rise up in protest.

Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 is expected for debut alongside its desktop counterpart. The difference between this version and the desktop one is the new, single menu bar design, which gives the release more of a Mac look and feel. Since netbooks have less screen real estate, having a single menu bar allows users maximize their workspace. The bar will operate similarly to the one found in Mac OS X and will be only be enabled by default in Ubuntu's Netbook Edition. Ubuntu 10.10 will be called Maverick Meerkat and is scheduled for an October 28th release.

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Would it bother you if Ubuntu dropped Firefox for Chrome?

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For lower end systems I could see the switch to Chrome being more sensible, however there's some sites that I use that don't render properly in Chrome, and I refuse to install two separate pieces of software only to view certain sites, so I just use Firefox because all of my sites work with it.

i dont know why these articles keep touting the single bar interface for 10.10. I am using 10.04 netbook remix on my Dell Mini 1st gen and it has the side bar....

i switched over to Chrome a few weeks ago. it runs better then FF on my mini.

since firefox is very popular on linux they should have both installed and upon your first boot that you are given a choice of which to use and given a choice to either uninstall it or leave it,each has it's strengths and weaknesses,firefox is very customizable wheras chrome is not as customizable but it's getting there,having choice is the best of both worlds.

chrome is 5x faster than firefox. firefox's bloated, but the addon lib is still very good. I keep it as my secondary.

leo221 said,
chrome is 5x faster than firefox. firefox's bloated, but the addon lib is still very good. I keep it as my secondary.

Hey Leo! I just did a test using http://webwait.com/ to load the neowin.net webpage. Firefox loads the page in 2.5 seconds on average on my computer where Chrome needs 5 seconds on average. Can you please do some tests on your machine and tell me the results?

I don't mean to troll but I just want to check whether Chrome is really faster for the neowin website.

PS: I have the fasterfox extension on Firefox and no extension on Chrome

GottaFeeling said,

Hey Leo! I just did a test using http://webwait.com/ to load the neowin.net webpage. Firefox loads the page in 2.5 seconds on average on my computer where Chrome needs 5 seconds on average. Can you please do some tests on your machine and tell me the results?

I don't mean to troll but I just want to check whether Chrome is really faster for the neowin website.

PS: I have the fasterfox extension on Firefox and no extension on Chrome

While FF loaded 1 page Chrome loaded 10 pages due to DNS Pre-fetching option.
disable the pre-fetching and test again.

PS. There is a "fasterfox" extension for Chrome : https://chrome.google.com/exte...cokckfccddfenhkhnllmlobdahm

ilev said,

While FF loaded 1 page Chrome loaded 10 pages due to DNS Pre-fetching option.
disable the pre-fetching and test again.

PS. There is a "fasterfox" extension for Chrome : https://chrome.google.com/exte...cokckfccddfenhkhnllmlobdahm

Ok so now I disabled pre-fetching in Chrome ( wasn't enabled on FF ), and Chrome gets a bit better, from 5 sec on average I get to 3.46s. FF is at 2.29s on average.

PS: The extension for Chrome is "fastestChrome" and not "fasterfox", it basically loads the next pages while you are reading the current one. There is also a similar extension on FF called "fastestfox" but this has nothing to do with "fasterfox" as far as I know.

I don't understand what makes Chrome so great. I think the UI is very poor. I guess a lot of people felt that way when Firefox hit the scene too

medium_pimpin said,
If you don't like it, install FF.

It's not about what I like and what I don't like, I just like to understand why Chrome seems to be faster for some people!

@ joshua.barker : Thanks for your explication! Most of benchmarks actually state that a given browser is faster just because he performs well in javascript but javascript isn't everything in the browsing experience.

Why everybody feel that chrome is faster than firefox?
On both windows and linux I have always felt that firefox was faster (except for the startup) than chrome. Is it may be because I use the fasterfox extension ?

GottaFeeling said,
Why everybody feel that chrome is faster than firefox?
On both windows and linux I have always felt that firefox was faster (except for the startup) than chrome. Is it may be because I use the fasterfox extension ?

Feeling and actual speed tests are different things. Right now, in most tests, Chrome and Opera trounce Firefox and the rest of the bunch.

GottaFeeling said,
Why everybody feel that chrome is faster than firefox?
On both windows and linux I have always felt that firefox was faster (except for the startup) than chrome. Is it may be because I use the fasterfox extension ?

Probably because of the javascript benchmark tests. Although it is a performance indicator, its not like every page is loaded up with nothing but javascript that is running all of the time.

For corporate use on a windows platform, IE can't be beaten. Even in windows 7 where it is more modularized, the windows authentication, development hookups to visual studio and other niceties make it a good choice. Firefox and chrome still don't have the hookups and support to get it all working smooth and probably never will because Microsoft has the edge on their own platform working with their own tools.

For personal and surfing the web use, Firefox is usually my choice with chrome as a "what the hell" moment.

Google sheep tend to flock around their shepard no matter what form it is. Google does some things right, but definitely can't do it all right. Android isn't really theirs so that one's out, chrome's been described, their mapping is fine for consumers but horrible for development due to the costs, and Chrome OS hasn't been released fully but currently has some major design flaws such as not having any printer drivers and commercial backing.

Edited by joshua.barker, May 17 2010, 12:28pm :

bangbang023 said,

Feeling and actual speed tests are different things. Right now, in most tests, Chrome and Opera trounce Firefox and the rest of the bunch.

For the end user feling is more important
I have also done some tests using http://webwait.com/ and Firefox was definitely faster for me but again this might depend on the website I am testing.

Wasnt it only a few months ago that they dropped Google as the default search? Now they're in love with Google again it seems.

I'm Firefox all the way on my Windows box but until the Firefox team fix the zoom-in picture quality on Linux I'm Chrome all the way on my Linux box

If you don't know what I mean, ctrl+mouse wheel on Linux Firefox and check out the distorted graphics

hektik said,
I'm Firefox all the way on my Windows box but until the Firefox team fix the zoom-in picture quality on Linux I'm Chrome all the way on my Linux box

If you don't know what I mean, ctrl+mouse wheel on Linux Firefox and check out the distorted graphics

I just did. Things look fine.

EDIT: I did a few clicks of zoom, and color palette reduced "indexed" images like the small gif smileys do, indeed, have some distortions for the first few clicks.

Edited by markjensen, May 17 2010, 11:18am :

fixxxer2010 said,
how about firefox dumps linux, i think that sounds better.

Given the performance of Firefox's Linux version, Linux users already feel like Mozilla is taking a dump on them.

I'm all for it. Usually the first thing I do when I get Linux is I install Chrome and set it as default, so I'm glad they're doing it for me.

I've never liked Chrome very much so I won't be a fan of this move, but as long as they keep Firefox as option it won't hurt much... this won't affect me unless I buy a netbook anyway...

Awesome! Although I have IE8, FF and Chrome all installed and used to be a sworn fan of Firefox. I've been using Chrome full time for ages now...its faster than the others and i love the simplified layout and sync'd bookmarks

TechDudeGeorge said,
This move I support

Same,
When i put Ubuntu on my cousin laptop. I found my self using Chromium more then Firefox.

The only thing keeping Firefox alive is ADblock Pro.
Firefox better be damn good if the want to keep their market share.

Shiranui said,
The only thing keeping Firefox alive is ADblock Pro.
Firefox better be damn good if the want to keep their market share.

And what about being the only browser with a properly, 100% customizable UI? You can do something with Opera's UI but not that much. You can change the colors of Chrome but that is it. You can do anything with Firefox.

Shiranui said,
The only thing keeping Firefox alive is ADblock Pro.
Firefox better be damn good if the want to keep their market share.

AdBlock on Chrome works just fine, so there is something else.

Why not make an improvement and go with Opera, sheesh.. Chrome is fast and backed by a major company, but it's still a very basic browser and I wouldn't consider it an improvement over Firefox. Something like Opera would provide improved features and usability. at least, if they wanted a change...

nullie said,
Why not make an improvement and go with Opera, sheesh.. Chrome is fast and backed by a major company, but it's still a very basic browser and I wouldn't consider it an improvement over Firefox. Something like Opera would provide improved features and usability. at least, if they wanted a change...

Opera is not open source.

nullie said,
Who cares about open source, it's free.
It cannot be redistributed by third parties.

It is free as in price, but not free as in license terms. It would be a license violation.

One gets Opera from Opera.

Udedenkz said,
Spyware & lack of customability
The new Linux standard?

If you do not like Chrome you can uninstall it quite easily. Then you are free to install Firefox/Opera/etc.

Udedenkz said,
Spyware & lack of customability
The new Linux standard?

Spyware: The RLZ feature is not included in Chromium at least, which they are considering. Perhaps even WHY they are considering it.

Customizability: Chrome does extensions and themes, and switching those even without browser restarts.

Northgrove said,

Customizability: Chrome does extensions and themes, and switching those even without browser restarts.

IE has done this since activex.

As if that will make a difference. People will just install Firefox or whatever browser they like when they like. They dont even need to have a default browser because you can get one so easily. Either way, Ubuntu 10.04 has some improvements, yes, but mostly, I believe that it is a step in the wrong direction. Themes being too ugly to use, too much hassle with switching caption buttons to the RIGHT side which is the right side also. I can't believe the majority of Ubuntu 9.10 users likes to have their world mirrored!?

Chrome is one of my least favourite browsers...Opera > FF > Safari > Chrome > IE. But like was said before, just install your favourite browser. It's what you have to do with Windows anyways.

ncc50446 said,
Chrome is one of my least favourite browsers...Opera > FF > Safari > Chrome > IE. But like was said before, just install your favourite browser. It's what you have to do with Windows anyways.

You have a terrible taste for browsers!!!

still1 said,

You have a terrible taste for browsers!!!
I think he has great tastes. Personally, I'm a Opera > Chrome > FF > IE > Safari kind of guy. I use Opera as my main browser, and IE as the backup for incompatible sites.

ncc50446 said,
Chrome is one of my least favourite browsers...Opera > FF > Safari > Chrome > IE. But like was said before, just install your favourite browser. It's what you have to do with Windows anyways.

honestly, i just tried Chrome for the first time in the last week or two and if it where not for Firefox, Chrome would be the browser i would use

p.s. i still keep Chrome installed though and use it here and there but at the end of the day Firefox is all around better.

Edited by ThaCrip, May 17 2010, 9:09am :

Ah yes, Ubuntu Netbook edition, where the window controls are on the left, until you maximize and they're back on the right...yaaayyy consistency!

/because open source means more people thinking about fewer things

I have no problem with Chrome becoming the default browser, but it just doesn't blend in as well as Firefox.

I doubt they will change it anyway, especially for the desktop version.

Rob2687 said,
Not a big deal. I will simply install Firefox again.

My thoughts exactly. Surely someone savvy enough to download and install a Linux distro can manage to install a web browser.

Ikshaar said,
I love chrome but it is lacking way too many function to replace FF.

ain't overall ram use noticeably less with Firefox vs Chrome? (hence, Firefox is probably all around better)

brentaal said,

Open files such as torrents automatically with a certain application.

Yeap, this is annoying for me too. And also the option to download OR open a file, like in FF. I can't believe Chrome still just saves the damn thing...

brentaal said,

Open files such as torrents automatically with a certain application.

That works for me here with Chrome and uTorrent on Windows 7. Does it not work elsewhere?

roadwarrior said,

That works for me here with Chrome and uTorrent on Windows 7. Does it not work elsewhere?


Really? It does? How did you set it automatically open with uTorrent?

The thing that annoys me the most is the lack of a popdown on the address bar to select previously visited website. I like to surf w/o using keyboard if I can. You are force to either type the beginning of the address, or open a new tab or look into history or bookmarks. All take much more than a single click on the popdown menu of FF.

Also the lack of history on the back button. On FF, you can go back several pages at once. On Chrome, on page which are coded auto-refreshing, you have to hammer the back button fast enough to bypass the page and be able to really go back, or you are stuck.

No easily customizable search engine. I often switch between google and wowhead

Also still some (few) websites have weird rendering issues.

Edited by Ikshaar, May 17 2010, 3:19pm :

brentaal said,

Really? It does? How did you set it automatically open with uTorrent?

Click on the drop down box next to the torrent download and select "open this automatically" or something like that. Works for me.

Berserk87 said,

such as?

I like Chrome, but there are many things left as of now. This include the lack of an option to open files instead of saving them to a normal location instead of a temp folder like every other browser and RSS Feeds.

I've it installed to keep track of the newly developed extensions but as of now, there are only a few that are truly useful. They should make a sidebar (or possibly someone via extensions can add it) because all the extensions I have tried like to install buttons on the minimalistic toolbar and it soon becomes full of buttons, even with some extensions that don't need them in the first place.

Another cause of concern is that no matter what the extensions does, they consume about 10mb of RAM, even if what they is just add a button to an already built-in feature like Downloads or Extensions pages.

Having said that, I really like its speed and performance. I will still use Firefox as default because most of the addons I use everyday still don't have a Chrome alternative. They are, among others, Tab Mix Plus, All-in-One Sidebar, PDF Download, Menu Icons Plus and Stylish.

No built in proxy support
On windows it uses IE's settings which is pathetic..and no DNS over socks support..making SSh tunneling hard
pretty sure its limited in linux if its not functional in windows

Raa said,
I think that's a fantastic move, TBH.

I'm not sure why anyone would think this is all that big of a deal. I perfer FireFox myself but they if they don't include it that isn't a big deal, just one command to add it :-)