We should keep Firefox as default browser in Ubuntu

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I think that Firefox should stay as the default browser in Ubuntu for the following reasons:

Why fix something if it’s not broken? If others prefer Chromium well then “sudo apt-get install chromium-browser” and I guess that’s just my two-cents on the topic.


    • says

      Chromium has always had pretty wonky font rendering in linux. Its gotten better after some bugfixes to skia recently, but it still looks poor compared to fx at times. It doesn’t seem to fully respect fontconfig like firefox does.

  1. says

    You know, your last point could easily be used against you: If others prefer Firefox well then “sudo apt-get install firefox” :)

  2. Amblin says

    All very valid reasons. I would add that FF has basically reached stability and feature parity with Chrom(ium) now. Back when this was first being discussed, that wasn’t true. I’m not even sure why switching is being brought up again now.

  3. says

    Firefox and Mozilla are and were very important for the open web. They provide a Borwsing experience which is on par with chromium, but more so, as others said Firefox is not controlled by a profit-based organization. The Fox is a a symbol for the open web. And while Chromium is a good browser and all, i don’t see any reason to switch from Firefox!

    Even more so, to support the open web, it is essential that Ubuntu, know gaining a even bigger user base, keeps using Firefox as a default browser. Because that makes sure we keep having at least three different rendering engines out there and alive.

  4. says

    The team of contributors in the Ubuntu Community who keep Firefox up-to-date is currently a team of 1, and even that person has gradually less time to spend doing that.

  5. Franck Routier says

    I second your point: why switch to a browser you have to tweak to prevent privacy problems ? Why undermine diversity and openness ? Moreover, Chromium feels visualy alien on a Unity desktop…

  6. extraymond says

    Maybe users can choose between firefox or chromium from the installation process. Further more, choose between totem or VLC, between rhythmbox or banshee, and so on.

    Though it takes quiet some bandwidth, but considering the fact that if the installation process can let people customize their software stack, it might bring fun and people will be more closed to their desktop.

    Just my opinion.
    BTW Mozilla is always the adventure-kid in open-source world.
    Why not give them a warm place to keep shining?

  7. says

    Canonical no longer cares about Community or openness. They continue to prove these statements with every new decision they make.

  8. says

    I think 3 of those 5 points apply to Chromium as well.
    -vibrant open-source community: Chromium has that as well. The switch over to Chromium by Opera means that it will grow even more.
    -mission to promote openness, innovation: I think it’s fairly clear that many of the recent features, and even development workflow for Firefox in the last three years has been inspired by Chrome/Chromium. Even down to the releasing a billion versions every month concept.
    -respects user privacy: As far as I know, Chromium implements features such as Do Not Track as well.

    As for the other two points, popularity and “falling behind”, I think having Chromium has the default browser for Ubuntu would in turn fix those ‘issues’.

    Honestly, I have no problem with Firefox, and regardless of the default browser, I would have both installed on my systems. I even have Chrome and Firefox installed on my phone as well.

    As good as Firefox is, I think giving Chromium the spot light on Ubuntu, even if just for awhile, would give the project the chance to catch up on development, increase on things like efficiency and stability, etc.

    I just think the Chromium project can benefit from being default more than Firefox can at this point.

    • says

      Chromium has bilion-dollars company behind it, which can pretty much handle any efficiency and stability problems there might be.
      The same is not true for Konqueror, Midori or Web (formerly called Epiphany), which could use larger user-base and commercial backing of some company. So maybe we should make one of these default in Ubuntu?

      Well, no. Canonical mission is to provide the best software for their users, not help developing promising software. Whichever browser could benefit most from being default in Ubuntu is irrelevant.

      • says

        Well by saying

        “Chromium has bilion-dollars company behind it, which can pretty much handle any efficiency and stability problems there might be.”

        you just fulfilled the choice. You said,

        “Canonical mission is to provide the best software for their users, not help developing promising software.”

        which by the first quote then means Chromium.

  9. says

    I agree. Firefox also looks better with the default Ubuntu colour scheme. This combined with it’s popularity makes Firefox a fantastic choice for Ubuntu because it aids in solving Bug #1.

  10. Augustine Souza says

    The mozilla team has done a fantastic job of keeping Ubuntu users updated with Firefox and Thunderbird. From what I’ve seen, it’s not yet possible to get Chromium updates promptly. Now that a Canonical employee is on the task, let’s see how things go and perhaps elevate Chromium only after all the update issues are resolved.

  11. Dave Kokandy says

    I would also prefer Firefox to remain the default browser, because I’ve been frustrated how behind the mainline Chrome the Chromium package available in the Ubuntu repos keeps getting. Firefox is very well maintained, useful, and just seems to match the Ubuntu look and feel better than Chromium. That said, I always end up installing full Google Chrome from Google on Ubuntu… if they add Chromium to the mix and make it a dependency for some of the other Ubuntu packages, I’m afraid I’ll just have an extra unused browser stuck on my system.

    But I guess it’s easier to install Firefox from the repos or software center because it’s just titled Firefox in both locations, not firefox-browser.

    • Ryan Quinn says

      Doesn’t this just mean Ubuntu needs a new package builder…? Though this may also just stem from their being a fork of debian. If a package you want for debian is only two years behind in stable there is nothing to complain about. They focus much more on stability and security than on features.

    • says

      Both are already included thats not whats being proposed. What is being proposed is removing Firefox in favor of Chromium being the default browser after years.

      Just last year Chromium was unmaintained in Ubuntu now very suddenly it has a maintained but yet this entire time Firefox has been actively maintained by a entire team. It seems like it would be pre-mature to believe that Chromium can be sustainably maintained the way Firefox has been in Ubuntu at this point.

  12. Effrem Gottmeister says

    It is foolish to trust Google in any way shape or form. Google only does what is good for Google.

  13. slmouradian says

    The fact that it’s most popular is not an argument for Firefox. It’s a fact that is useless in the discussion as to which browser should be the default. As for your last point on privacy, do you care to elaborate on this, a little?

    Personally, I find that Chromium is faster and has better cache management than Firefox.

    You should also make the distinction between ‘Chromium’ (fully open-source project with no Google branding) and Google Chrome (built from Chromium by Google).

  14. Slawek Slawomir says

    and the another reason : Great great library of plugins!

    Chromium is google evil…

  15. asenk says

    yeah, why switch to the fastest, most reliable, and most preferred browser when you can run the second most stable, second fastest browser like you have been in the past.

  16. says

    Agree, I trust Mozilla a lot more than Google. Mozilla is fighting for their users freedom, while Google is an advertising company harvesting their users’ data. I hope Canonical keeps Firefox as the default.

    • says

      Funny since Google is the largest funder (is that a word?) of Mozilla. Google gives Mozilla millions of dollars every year. So that ‘data harvesting’ that you hate so much is partially why Firefox is still here today. I understand if someone likes one browser over another but claiming Firefox is better simply because Google is evil doesn’t really make sense.

      • Knut Olav Skaret says

        Partly correct at least. They are getting paid by keeping Google search as default engine, so if you change the search engine, then you are away from the dataharvesting.

  17. says

    Why not do what Win7 SP1 did in the EU.
    When you install and it’s finished being set up, present a box with a list of browsers from the repo’s and you get to choose which one.
    Or none if you prefer.

  18. says

    @Benjamin Kerensa:disqus You should bring this up in the mailing list as well. I attended the session and the decision is not final yet. They planned to continue the discussion in the mailing list since there are other work items which need to be finished before Chromium can become the default browser. Frankly, I do not mind either one being the default browser since as you said, it is a simple sudo apt-get install command for me. However, since you seem to have some valid points, it would be nice to get them heard in the mailing list.