Your Linux Data Center Experts

I recently took a look at Opera against my current web browser Firefox, Read on for my findings.

I have been using Firefox for quite a while now, and been pretty happy with it. It's pretty fast and does all the things I need it to do. It seems like with the 1.0.3 version however it's less stable than it used to be (I am seeing browser crashes) and slower.

Since Opera released their 8.0 version it seemed like it would be a nice time to check it out and see how it stacks up against Firefox.

The download and install were quite easy. Just download a rpm and install it. The base configuration (proxys, bookmarks import, etc) were also pretty easy. I was up and browsing in just a few minutes.

The good points of Opera:

  • It's fast. Faster than Firefox when it comes to multiple tabs.
  • Easy to install
  • Saves sessions by default

And the downsides:

  • Lots of little UI things that can't be changed, like control-t making a bookmark, or control-w closing the current tab, but moving focus to the first tab
  • No nice extensions like greasemonkey, etc
  • Fonts didn't seem to look as nice

So, for now I am going to stick with Firefox, but opera is a very nice choice for folks that aren't very used to the Firefox UI.

It's worth noting that I had a bad experence with Firefox the other day. It crashed and then when restarted it would load one page and then freeze up. Using the (as far as I can tell undocumented) “-safe-mode” option I was able to bring it up and uninstall extensions until I tracked the problem down to the 'setproxy' extension. I wish there was a better way to debug those problems. That also prompted me to remove Tabbrowser Extensions and Session Saver (which I have also had problems with), and replace them with Tab-Mix (which does both session saving and all the important features of TBE. With those changes, firefox has been working great.

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