Chromium based secure browsers for Linux

chromium_compMany of us are strong Firefox fans but there’s no denying that Chromium browser runs faster (at the cost of more memory). On the other hand, Firefox had always been the leader when it comes to secure web browsing. Chromium (and Google Chrome) had alway been under scrutiny for sending user information back to servers. How about some Chromium based web browsers which are more secure, up to date with the latest releases and honour the privacy of users? Chromium being open source makes it possible and this article explores some of those browsers supporting Linux.

Yandex Browser

We explored it earlier. Comes with its own AdBlock extension. Nice browser with unique look and feel. It can be difficult to figure out that it is actually a Chrome mod.

SRWare Iron

One of the oldest and première Chromium mods which cares about strong security and privacy. It is also the lightest and fastest among the browsers in this article. Iron differs from Chromium in several areas: no Installation-ID, suggestions, alternate error pages, error reporting, RLZ tracking, Google updater, URL tracker. It also comes with in-built ad-blocker, flexible user agent, 12 preview-thumbs. You need to visit the SRWare Iron Forum to download it.

Note that there’s controversy around Iron, who is making the changes and what’s the real mission.

Iridium Browser

Does data transmission to the servers only on user consent. It claims to enhance Chromium’s security to the maximum extent possible. However, the bulk remains. All the builds are reproducible and all the modifications are auditable. Iridium is fast with good loading and rendering speeds. The complete source code of the Iridium Browser in available on GitHub for audit.

Slimjet Web Browser

Slimjet claims automatic protection against phishing and malware, advanced privacy control options, robust multi-process architecture. However, it adds so many extensions by default like weather, facebook (conflict of interest???) etc. that it might even appear bloated to purists. We couldn’t find anything specific with respect to privacy or security related enhancements done either. It also crashed when we tried to run it on Ubuntu Trusty x86_64:

$ flashpeak-slimjet 
[0504/] Couldn't mmap v8 natives data file
fish: Job 1, “flashpeak-slimjet ” terminated by signal SIGABRT (Abort)

As you can already guess, our advice will be to stay away from Slimjet. That’s also the reason we didn’t link to the browser’s webpage.

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