Web Browsers

Revision as of 23:21, March 12, 2014 by Daniel Robbins (Talk) (Firefox and Audio)

Funtoo Linux offers a number of possibilities when it comes to Web browsers. This page is intended to give you an overview of what is available, their various trade-offs, and also provide tutorial-style instructions on how to set them up so they offer full functionality.

Google Chrome (binary)

The Google Chrome (binary) ebuild is www-client/google-chrome. Google Chrome is a very good Web browser. This browser is a great option for those who want a full-featured browser up and running quickly without a lot of complication.


  • It's very fast to install, because it does not need to be built from source.
  • It includes support for Adobe Flash and PDF viewing built-in, which works right away with no additional configuration.
  • It works well with PulseAudio with no additional configuration required.
  • Overall, the browser looks fantastic and is very fast.


  • It's based on a binary for Debian systems, and sometimes depends on outdated versions of ebuilds to run.
  • The stable Google build of Google Chrome (www-client/google-chrome) has a bug where the text in the address bar "wiggles" as you type. This is fixed in later versions, but not in the reliable "stable" binary that Google is currently shipping.

Google Chrome Installation

As root, you first need to accept the Google Chrome license, as follows:

# emerge google-chrome --autounmask-write

Now, run etc-update and accept the changes made to /etc/portage/package.license. Now, emerge:

# emerge -a google-chrome


Chromium (www-client/chromium) is the from-source version of Google Chrome, and is a very good option for people who like Google Chrome but who want to build from source. Like most modern Web browsers, it does take a very long time to build. It requires a special helper package www-plugins/chrome-binary-plugins for Adobe Flash as well as PDF viewing support.


  • It is built from source, so it has fewer issues with dependencies than Google Chrome, yet it is very similar in functionality.
  • It looks great, and works well.
  • With an easy emerge of www-plugins/chrome-binary-plugins, it provides identical functionality to Chrome in regards to Adobe Flash and PDF support.


  • It takes a very long time to build, even on a modern system, so be prepared to wait.

Firefox (binary)

The Firefox binary Web browser, www-client/firefox-bin is another good option. It is more feature-rich as opposed to the "lean and mean" Chrome/Chromium.


  • Firefox is a great, full-featured Web browser.
  • It is quick to install, because it is a binary.


  • It works well with ALSA by default, but requires tweaks to get working with PulseAudio.
  • A separate merge of www-plugins/adobe-flash is required for Adobe Flash support.

Installing Firefox

First, emerge Firefox itself. This is quick:

#  emerge www-client/firefox-bin

By default, Firefox does not support Adobe Flash. Let's fix this:

#  emerge www-plugins/adobe-flash --autounmask-write

Now, run etc-update and accept the changes that Portage made to /etc/portage/package.license. Now, let's get Flash installed:

#  emerge www-plugins/adobe-flash

Firefox is now installed!

Firefox and Audio

By default, Firefox will try to use an ALSA. To get Firefox to use PulseAudio, create an .asoundrc file in your Firefox user's home directory that looks like this:

{    type pulse
    hint.description "Default Audio Device"
}ctl.!default {
    type pulse

This will route ALSA to PulseAudio by default. I also recommend emerging media-sound/pavucontrol -- the PulseAudio Volume Control app. Some casual tweaking in here to set the output device for Firefox should result in audio working for you.