Browsers, browsers everywhere!

Yesterday we mentioned that Microsoft Edge has been published in the stable channel on Flathub. This sparked a few wry comments on our social feeds, mostly from Linux users asking who on earth would install such a thing.

Turns out, quite a few people. Since entering the stable channel, the Edge flatpak has clocked up around 1500 downloads. We can’t know how many of those users actually tried the application, nor whether the browser stays installed, as Flathub doesn’t have that kind of telemetry.

For those who aren’t fans of software originating in Redmond, how about a different browser. Recently, a new release of Ungoogled Chromium has been released on Flathub.

Ungoogled Chromium

As the name suggests, it’s essentially the Chromium browser, with some Google “special sauce” taken out. Think of it as a big mac without the pickle, and made at home, kinda. The goal is to make a Chrome/Chromium-like browser without any dependence on Google services. They also add tweaks to enhance privacy, control and transparency, while keeping the Chromium user experience as closely as possible.

Stock Chromium is indeed open-source and does omit some Google proprietary features, whereas Ungoogled Chromium goes a few steps further. It’s commonly accepted that having a monoculture of web rendering engines isn’t awesome, but we are where we are. If you enjoy the Chromium experience, but Microsoft Edge, Chrome and indeed Chromium itself aren’t for you, then give Ungoogled Chromium a try.

Flathub download data suggests that Ungoogled Chromium isn’t as popular in terms of userbase as contemporary browsers. This could simply be due to a lack of awareness. Maybe the name is too nerdy and obscure, not fitting the “Use one word for the name” unwritten rule that all other browsers use. Or it could just be that users like the Google special sauce – or more likely don’t know it exists.

We do note though that at the time of writing Ungoogled Chromium doesn’t feature on the front page of Flathub.

Flathub front page

Nor does Ungoogled Chromium appear in the Editors Picks section – but Chromium does.That certainly won’t help awareness among desktop Linux users.

Editor’s Choice (featuring Chromium)

Perhaps if open-source, privacy and freedom promoting applications were featured, more people would know about them? Maybe the Flathub admins could take a look at promoting Ungoogled Chromium.

The next article won’t be about web browsers, we pinky promise. 🤞

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