WebRender: Simple & a Fast Web Browser (WebKit Based)

“WebRender” is an extremely simple web browser that uses the WebKit page rendering engine (a software that reads all the “weird” programming codes of web sites and displays it in a humanly readable format) that runs in GNU/Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. It should be because of Webkit, both the web browser and web sites did load fast while I was using it (or faster than Firefox does anyway:D).

I actually don’t use Google Chrome or Chromium that much, and use Firefox instead. So maybe because of that I felt its speed more than anything. But that being said, the browser is also very simple and doesn’t have that many options right now (still at Alpha stage), and whenever I double click on its icon, it loaded almost instantly (then again, I have a 4GB of RAM and reasonably faster Core i3 CPU).

The UI is designed using Qt, and Qt and WebKit go along really well together too (KDE loves WebKit :D). However, I think that it could look much more beautiful, if they can improve those icons or artwork in general because, something is definitely missing here 😉 (any ideas?).

The “back”, “forward” buttons, colors of the “Tab button”, the Black border/background around the URL section for instance doesn’t make it look any prettier either.

WebRender-running-in-Ubuntu-11.10
Not that pretty, but it’s kinda fast though 🙂 …

It’s true that it loads fast and looks simple, but “simple” doesn’t mean it’ll be light on your system resources as, “Webrender” did consume more RAM than Firefox did though (while loading the same web sites as Firefox did).

Few main features …

*. Other than the usual web site “save” or “print” features, you can change few additional settings such as:

The default home page, enable/disable image loading, enable DNS caching, enable/disable java script support, add proxies and few other options are available via the “Preferences” window.

*. Transparent menus.

menus-in-WR

*. Built in IP address finder: Although not that useful to many, but using this tool, you can type a web site’s URL and get the actual IP address.

*. Zoom in/out.

*. Reset settings to default values.

*. Start private browsing.

Changing-settings-WR

The installation is pretty simple. Just go to this Webrender Home page and choose your OS (Windows, Ubuntu/GNU-Linux or Mac OS X) and download the appropriate package.

Concerning the Ubuntu users; they do have a pre-built “.deb” package.

However, to install it, make sure you have installed LibreOffice 3.4.4 or never otherwise Ubuntu Software Center will give you a “dependency unsatisfiable” error. But, as a work around, you can download the “Linux i386” package rather than the “Ubuntu i386”, which should give you a single executable file.

I don’t know if it works in older versions of Ubuntu, but if you’re using Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, then once downloaded, extract the file into your Home folder or to your Desktop, for example. And then just double click on it and it should open “Webrender”!.

executable-file-WR

But please remember that, while using , the menu-bar button kinda stopped working few times and when pressing the Enter key (after typing the URL of a web site) nothing really happened (sometimes).

But it’s totally forgivable as it’s still in beta testing. Other than that, for a simple and a fast loading web browser then you might wanna keep an eye on “WebRender” (until it is officially released, I wouldn’t recommend running it as your primary browser).

And may I humbly add a few final words for the developers too: You guys gotta work on the theme a little bit, and having the ability to close the “tabs” more easily (a “close” button perhaps) would also be great. Other than that, it looks good, nice work!.

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

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