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Thread: Lightweight Web Browsers. Myth or Reality. What do you think?

  1. #1

    Default Lightweight Web Browsers. Myth or Reality. What do you think?

    Dear all,
    I have just installed opensuse 12.2 with xfce to my weak laptop (1.1GHZ processor with 1,5GB ram).

    I am trying to find lightweight applications (by lightweight: low cpu utilization).

    I was googling last night articles regarding lightweigh web browser and I have installed firefox, qupzilla and midori. (the last two on their web page they claim that are lightweight)

    What I did is quite simple. I launched the three aforementioned browsers and loaded in each one (three tabs per browser program) the following three web pages
    leoforos.gr, sport24.gr and news247.gr (typical web pages with ads, javascripts and flash==flash support is not yet installed though).

    Then I opened task manager and I started looking what the web browsers do:.
    You will find just a screen shot here
    ImageShack® - Online Photo and Video Hosting

    What I noticed is that their
    1.memory utilization is somehow similar
    2. cpu utilization also. All browsers have 3-7% at idle state with some periodic 20% sparks
    3. firefox was the most memory consuming at the beginning but as the time was passing by firefox turned to have the less consumption
    4. all browsers even though I was doing anything to them over time had their memory consumption increased. I never understood why this happened.

    Now the question is if there is a lightweight web browser or not. For me they all look quite alike.
    What I am looking is a web browser that will
    -allow multiple tabs
    -have low memory consumption
    -memory consumption will not increase over time
    -flash would be only be available on demand. A colleague sends something that has flash content and I Want to see it. Otherwise this should be disalbed
    -Disabling all other features that consume cpu and memory in today's browsers (are these advertisements?)

    I would like to thank everyone for their constructive posts.

    Regards
    Alex

  2. #2
    Vahis NNTP User

    Default Re: Lightweight Web Browsers. Myth or Reality. What do you think?

    alaios wrote:
    >
    > Dear all,
    > I have just installed opensuse 12.2 with xfce to my weak laptop (1.1GHZ
    > processor with 1,5GB ram).


    Xfce is not particularly lightwight.
    >
    > I am trying to find lightweight applications (by lightweight: low cpu
    > utilization).
    >


    >
    > What I did is quite simple. I launched the three aforementioned
    > browsers and loaded in each one (three tabs per browser program)


    Browsers one by one I assume?

    Percentages and stuff are not that important.
    The question is: Is the system usable or not.

    Now, run the same stuff on TWM or IceWM desktop.

    Vahis
    --
    http://waxborg.servepics.com
    openSUSE 11.4 (x86_64) 2.6.37.6-0.20-default main host
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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Lightweight Web Browsers. Myth or Reality. What do you think?

    It's a bit sad but then I last tested browsers for weak hardware it
    turned out that only Opera (which is gratis but proprietary) cut the
    mustard, be aware that this was more than a year ago and probably changed.
    If I were you I would test Opera as well. You can disable flash in it
    and only use it on demand (I forgot where you set that but google is
    your friend and it is somewhere in the gui so it is no hidden property
    you have to set).

    --
    PC: oS 12.2 x86_64 | i7-2600@3.40GHz | 16GB | KDE 4.8.5 | GTX 650 Ti
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    eCAFE 800: oS 11.4 i586 | AMD Geode LX 800@500MHz | 512MB | lamp server

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Lightweight Web Browsers. Myth or Reality. What do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by alaios View Post
    I was googling last night articles regarding lightweigh web browser and I have installed firefox, qupzilla and midori. (the last two on their web page they claim that are lightweight)
    Everything that makes a modern browser what it is will prevent it from being lightweight. In order to save memory and cpu time you will have to disable caching, webgl, flash, and sometimes even javascript, which will cripple your web experience. As for the browser itself without overhead of what it actually does. I never found firefox to be particularly heavy. Midori/Qupzilla will probably take up less disk space just for themselves though.

    What I noticed is that their
    1.memory utilization is somehow similar
    2. cpu utilization also. All browsers have 3-7% at idle state with some periodic 20% sparks
    3. firefox was the most memory consuming at the beginning but as the time was passing by firefox turned to have the less consumption
    4. all browsers even though I was doing anything to them over time had their memory consumption increased. I never understood why this happened.
    Well if cpu is low, and memory is close even between different engines, then browsing the web is just a heavy. Not much you can do about that really. As for memory consumption.. Caching, javascript, etc.


    Now the question is if there is a lightweight web browser or not. For me they all look quite alike.
    Because in order to use advanced features necessary to the modern web experience you need a lot of cpu and memory. That is just how it is.

    What I am looking is a web browser that will
    I do not know if netsurf is able to use flash. But it is certainly one of the only gui browsers I would truly call light. software.opensuse.org:

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Lightweight Web Browsers. Myth or Reality. What do you think?

    Hi
    I've been running SRWare Iron a google-chrome derivative, doesn't use much resources around 3% cpu....
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
    SUSE SLE, openSUSE Leap/Tumbleweed (x86_64) | GNOME DE
    If you find this post helpful and are logged into the web interface,
    please show your appreciation and click on the star below... Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Lightweight Web Browsers. Myth or Reality. What do you think?

    On 2012-11-24 15:36, alaios wrote:
    > I was googling last night articles regarding lightweigh web browser and
    > I have installed firefox, qupzilla and midori. (the last two on their
    > web page they claim that are lightweight)


    w3m, links, and lynx :-)

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 11.4 x86_64 "Celadon" (Minas Tirith))

  7. #7

    Default Re: Lightweight Web Browsers. Myth or Reality. What do you think?

    Hello
    everyone based on your nice suggestions
    I repeated the "test" by adding more broswers in the procedure: opera, chrome and netsurf

    you can see results here

    ImageShack® - Online Photo and Video Hosting

    I found opera to give a good combination between cpu utilization and memory consumption. Netsurf was having the lowest memory consumption but it kills all the cpu during loading time. Chrome was also consuming quite a lot of cpu after pages were loaded (I am pretty sure that these cpu utilization are not visible on a Dual, Four core system) but my 1.1 GHz monocore suffers

    -Does anyone know why task manager of xfce and top show different cpu utilization for chrome 38.6% and 1% respectively.

    -When I was installing the browsers many other packages were also installed to support the browser installation (I think that happened for chrome especially). Is it possible through Yast uninstall the application + the packages that have been installed with that installation and not needed any more?

    I would like to thank you all for your feedback

    Regards
    Alex

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Lightweight Web Browsers. Myth or Reality. What do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by alaios View Post
    -Does anyone know why task manager of xfce and top show different cpu utilization for chrome 38.6% and 1% respectively.
    Because the cpu usage is polled different (and at different times) with the two programs. Also the cpu load on the process might have been active for less than a second. I should note that just because cpu is being used does not meant the system isn't interactive. Linux uses a scheduler called completely fair queuing that gives fairness to sleeping processes that suddenly need cpu time. A lot of software is just designed to use as much cpu as it needs.

    -When I was installing the browsers many other packages were also installed to support the browser installation (I think that happened for chrome especially). Is it possible through Yast uninstall the application + the packages that have been installed with that installation and not needed any more?
    I know in yast software manager qt version you have to check the menu option to clean up dependencies. The gtk one might do it automatically. Just remove the packages you do not need and then you can also remove any repositories you no longer need in the repository section of yast.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Lightweight Web Browsers. Myth or Reality. What do you think?

    I think the qt and gtk are alike. Do you mean under the Dependencies menu the "Cleanup when deleting packages?"

  10. #10

    Default Re: Lightweight Web Browsers. Myth or Reality. What do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by alaios View Post
    I think the qt and gtk are alike. Do you mean under the Dependencies menu the "Cleanup when deleting packages?"
    Kind reminder on how to remove packages (dependencies) install by program (i.e opera). If I just uninstall the program from Yast all the other installed packages are not removed (I am not sure if is time for a new topic, I guess not)

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