Installing Web-browsers on Debian and Ubuntu Distros

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  • DevynCJohnson
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    • @devyncjohnson

    Many, if not all Linux users, have at least one web browser installed on their system. Linux users have a variety of browsers to choose from. Most users use a stable, mainstream version while some developers use developmental versions to help test the software for the web browser's programmers. This tutorial will explain how to install some of the web browsers, both the stable and unstable versions, on Debian and Ubuntu based distros.

    WARNING: Never install developmental software on computers with important tasks and functions. For instance, never install such software on servers, medical computers, office computers, etc. These developmental versions are intended for developers and hobbyists using computers for non-crucial tasks.


    Mozilla has made a few different forms of Firefox. The current stable Firefox is simply called Firefox or some users call it Firefox-Stable. Mozilla has three other Firefox web browsers that users can use. Firefox Beta is one version ahead of Firefox Stable. For instance, if Firefox Stable is version 25, then Firefox Beta is version 26. Next is Firefox Aurora which is two versions above the mainstream version. Aurora may be more unstable than Beta. Lastly, we have Firefox Nightly which is three versions above Firefox Stable. For illustration, if Firefox Stable is version 25, then Nightly would be version 28. As the future Firefox versions are developed, each form of Firefox increases its version number. For example, after much development and bug testing, Firefox Beta becomes Firefox stable and Firefox stable becomes a previous version of Firefox. The current version of Firefox was once Nightly, Aurora, and Beta in that order.

    To install the developmental forms of Firefox, use one of the following commands for the form that is desired.

    • Beta: add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-next
    • Aurora: add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/firefox-aurora

    Next, open a package manager and update Firefox. Now, the user will have a developmental form of Firefox, but beware, they can be unstable.

    To install Firefox Nightly alongside Firefox Stable, type the commands below in a terminal.

    add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/ppa
    apt-get update
    apt-get install firefox-trunk

    This usually a better idea than replacing Firefox with the developmental versions. For illustration, a Linux user upgrades Firefox to Aurora, but Aurora happens to have a terrible bug that ruins all of the user's bookmarks and settings for Firefox. This can be very inconvenient for many users.


    Opera is a web browser that is not as popular as Firefox or Chrome. Thankfully, it can be installed on Linux systems. To install Opera, type the commands below in a terminal. The first one adds the repository address for the packages. The next command updates the package lists from repositories. The last command installs Opera.

    sh -c 'echo "deb stable non-free" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/opera.list'
    apt-get update
    apt-get install opera

    Alternately, users can go to one of the links below, download, and then install the Opera.

    The first link has Opera-Next. This is the developmental version of Opera. Beta testers will want Opera-Next. Opera and Opera-Next can coexist.


    Chrome is a popular web browser made by Google. To install Chrome, users will need to download libudev0 and Chrome from this link - First, install the library (libudev0) and then Chrome. This link also contains Chrome -

    NOTE: Some users will need to install libudev0 while others will not. It depends if the library is already installed on the system or if the library can be installed through a repository.

    To install Chrome through the command-line, download the files using wget after going to the tmp directory.

    • 32-bit systems: cd /tmp; wget
    • AMD64 systems: cd /tmp; wget

    Once the download has completed, install the package.

    • 32-bit systems: dpkg -i google-chrome-stable_current_i386.deb
    • AMD64 systems: dpkg -i google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb

    Some users report getting errors installing Chrome via command-line. If that happens, type the command below to fix the errors.

    apt-get -f install

    Alternately, users can add the Chrome repository and then install Chrome.

    sh -c 'echo "deb stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google.list'
    apt-get update
    apt-get install google-chrome-stable

    If a beta tester needs the latest developmental package, they can type this command after the repository has been added and the list has been updated:

    apt-get install google-chrome-beta


    Chromium is a Chrome-like browser. Google tweaks the Chromium source code to make Chrome. Chromium is one or two versions ahead of Chrome. Chromium gets new features before Chrome except for any features that Google adds to Chrome themselves.

    To install Chromium, type the below command in a terminal, or use a package manager to install Chromium.

    apt-get install chromium-browser


    Rekonq is a KDE web browser. This browser is seldomly seen or used by Linux users. It is actually an excellent browser that would benefits users needing a simplistic browser.

    The stable, mainstream Rekonq can be found in the system's package manager. Users wanting the newer versions can go to Sourceforge ( and download and compile the newest version.

    add-apt-repository ppa:yoann-laissus/rekonq-ppa

    User may also install this browser via the package manager.

    To obtain the latest developmental version, type the following command in a terminal.

    git clone git://

    Most of the other uncommonly seen browsers can be installed in similar ways. Now, Linux users can use more web browsers and the developers can test the latest versions.

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