back to article Another Chromium browser for Linux? Microsoft Edge arrives in preview form, no love for Arm yet

Microsoft has delivered on its threat to inflict Chromium Edge on Linux. Completist tendencies aside, one would be forgiven for wondering, "Why?" Edge on Linux Click to enlarge Edge on Linux had been lurking behind the bushes before its announcement at September's Build event. Indeed, Microsoft insiders had whispered to us …

  1. David Roberts

    Allowing Linux Devs to test natively instead of firing up some Windows system might make it worthwhile.

    Also, wider testing community.

    1. Andy Non Silver badge

      Not sure I'd trust it as a reliable test as there will likely be very few people using Edge on Linux. When I've tested my web applications I always tried to be as realistic as possible and test them on Edge, Firefox and Chrome on Windows. Then Firefox and Chrome on Android etc. There were always some niggling differences in rendering.

    2. TVU

      "Allowing Linux Devs to test natively instead of firing up some Windows system might make it worthwhile"

      ^ Absolutely this. The market share for Linux among developers is many times that of general computer users so this is just a pragmatic, common sense move on the part of Microsoft.

      The sync function is not currently available yet but it will be introduced at a later stage. Edge can now be downloaded in both deb and rpm form.

    3. Tom Chiverton 1 Silver badge

      Headless testing. Can't see any other reason

  2. karlkarl Silver badge

    https://forum.winworldpc.com/uploads/editor/3c/3yku05dsro1i.png

    The only thing that has really changed is... err, the background?

  3. Pete B
    Stop

    In particular, only local accounts are supported

    please - just leave it at that: i don't want to be forced to login to the vendors system!

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: In particular, only local accounts are supported

      I was thinking that that sounds like an actual selling point to me.

      Won't nag/encourage you to "Sign into the browser"

  4. gerdesj Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Hi

    Welcome to Microsoft Edge

    On Arch Linux. My eyes, my eyes

  5. alain williams Silver badge

    What is the advanage to Microsoft ?

    What local information does it 'leak' back to Redmond ?

    I suppose that it might be a good test: if they can get a browser working on Linux then they will have cleaned up many components needed to get other ported to Linux as well.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: What is the advanage to Microsoft ?

      It is a fork of Google Chrome, which is a fork of Safari, which is a fork of Konqueror, which was originally released on Linux. It shouldn't be too difficult to get it running on Linux.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What is the advanage to Microsoft ?

        Chrome isn't a fork of Safari, but a fork of the rendering engine used by Safari. That in turn is a fork of KHTML, which was used in Konqueror. A bit pedantic, but then this is a nerd forum.

  6. HellDeskJockey

    Running Debian on my home machine and while there are a lot of browsers for Linux most of them are not that good. Firefox is may daily driver on Linux most of the others I've tried are seriously lacking in one or another feature. If I want to run a low resource browser I will just run Lynx.

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Linux

      @HellDeskJockey

      How about Vivaldi.

      1. Claverhouse Silver badge

        'S Fugly.

      2. jake Silver badge

        "How about Vivaldi"

        Not ready for prime-time. Not by a long stretch. I'll keep trying it and filing bug reports ... I WANT it to work for me. Maybe next year.

        During the meanwhile, Firefox ESR seems to work for what I need a browser to do.

      3. HellDeskJockey

        I tried it in Windows I wasn't too impressed. I bit the bullet and installed Brave from CLI. Works better for the most part but it locks up logging in my cell account page. Oh well I can live with Firefox for that and a few other things.

        Sorry for the late reply getting the house ready for winter.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Brave is pretty good on Linux in my experience.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's a puzzling joke in my opinion

    [quote]The Windows giant seems to agree, reiterating that its target is "developers who want to build and test their sites and apps on Linux."[/quote]

    Has anybody here seen an invasion of apps for Linux and the desperate need of testing them using a Microsoft browser, on Linux ? It doesn't hold water.

    To me at least, either Microsoft is looking for new data to slurp (yeah, there aren't that many Linux desktop users but it's un untapped ressource that can still be exploited) or they're preparing terrain to offer a subpar version of Office 365 that will nudge you into moving to Windwos 10 in order to unlock the reach features you will come to need.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's a puzzling joke in my opinion

      It's not "apps for Linux" that is Redmond's concern, more of an acknowledgement that a lot of web stuff is developed by programmers on Linux. I suspect MS are seeing an uptick in incompatibilities with their browsers, and hope this is a solution by making it easier for those developers to test on their browser.

  8. Dinsdale247

    Nothing to do with Devs

    Microsoft is going to ditch the NT kernel as soon as they can. Porting SQL Server, Powershell, Edge, VS Code and other applications gives them input from users and allows them to build up expertise as they transition away from win32. Ultimately win32 will run in a VM under a Linux kernel and then eventually die.

    I think Microsoft should have switched to the FreeBSD kernel myself. FreeBSD already has great emulation layer support for Linux emulation. FreeBSD could have hosted win32 natively without need of a virtualisation layer and there would not have been license issues.

    1. Lorribot Silver badge

      Re: Nothing to do with Devs

      Microsoft will be very unlikely to ditch the NT Kernel anytime soon, yes they have ported SQL to Linux but they don't make a huge amount of money from Windows on the desktop compared to all the other stuff like Data Centres and Azure.

      SQL was likely a decision by the SQL team as they saw the number of Server website systems running Linux and wanted a piece of the action. I would imagine most installs of SQL on Linux are free versions however.

      Windows already runs as a VM on Linux kernels in VMware and other hypervisors. running Windows code natively on Linux is a whole different ball game and not worth the effort, though MS has done some work in this space.

      There are way too many corporate systems that are tied to Windows Server for it to disappear any time soon, warehouse control and medical system development happens at pace only slightly faster than a dead snail, with the desktop being the same as the server it is no skin off MS's nose to keep both going for another 20 years as long as someone is paying subscriptions and the OEMs keep bundling it on laptops.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nothing to do with Devs

      > Ultimately win32 will run in a VM under a Linux kernel

      That's exactly what I predicted a little over ten years ago. Yes, the writing has been on the wall for that long.

      Back then I gave it some twenty years for this process to complete, we're about halfway now.

      There might be some old comment of mine saying as much on this site. It'll be as AC, as all my comments are.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nothing to do with Devs

        No!

        I am Anonymous Coward!

        .. and so is my wife!

  9. minnsey231

    All to do with Devs

    Probably more to do with the release of the Edge based WebView2 component, https://blogs.windows.com/msedgedev/2020/10/19/edge-webview2-general-availability/ and making .NET Core UI components run cross all OSes?

  10. Binraider Silver badge

    It's not really native if you're running different code on windows. Would you trust your web development test to release a high profile website without going to the actual platform? At least something within a VM?

    Thought not.

    1. bigtimehustler

      Perhaps not, but if a QA finds a defect and in fact it is reproduceable on a mac or Linux system, that's definitely going to save me some time trying to debug it in a VM with all the networking nonsense of routing it to my real local machine, as that's where I'm running the code.

  11. Lorribot Silver badge

    Why? Because it isn't Google Chrome.

    There some people in this world who feel Google, currently, are as about trustworthy as Microsoft were in the 90s but are more insidious and rather than just wanting your money and to control things they want you and your life and to make money from it by selling it back to you and anyone else.

    Currently Microsoft are slightly less worse than Google in this respect and the browser is Chromium based so is guaranteed to be compatible with all websites and due to MS fiddling with the code, it will not have stuff in it that makes sites that compete with Google services (Apple, Microsoft and Oracle to name a few) work poorly at Googles whim.

    You could choose one of the other Chromium based browsers but they will be dependant on the 39 Google embedded services that Microsoft have replaced with their own services.

    Linux people have a choice to make with three basic options. Give your data to Google and use its services, give your data to Microsoft and use its services or do neither and use Firefox and chose which services you wish to use..

    Choice is a good thing and should be applauded and embraced wherever it comes from and not derided because of past histories or personal anguish.

    1. Zolko Bronze badge
      Thumb Up

      Ungoogled Chromium

      Did you hear about Ungoogled Chromium ? It's the open-source Chromium browser with the Google-specific code removed. Should, in principle, and by experience so far, work exactly as Google Chromium but without the phoning-home to the mothership. That's what I use when needing Google stuff (meet, docs, maps ...)

  12. jonnycando

    I dunno if want to try it or not..... I am thinking that maybe, just maybe if Microsoft came up with a Linux distribution....(that didn't look slavishly like Windows) maybe I'd give it a spin....but maybe I'm crazy after all....

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never mind the browser, what about Active Directory Users and Computers

    Never mind the browser, what about Active Directory Users and Computers?

    Literally the only thing I have to boot up a Windows computer for at work is when I want need to change something in Active Directory Users and Computers.

    Yeah, I'm sure it's doing something more complicated under the surface than what looks like just a plain tree view of items (with awkward, crappy, tiny and unresizable properties windows, will they ever fix that substandard junk?), but is there any reason why there shouldn't be Linux and Mac interfaces to it, or even, shock, horror, just a web front end? They have our money for AD already, so just give us useful customer-friendly ways to use it.

    (Currently, like many people, working from home, and have been cursing my rubbishy (and shortscreen, barely "HD") emergency Windoze work laptop that spent ages refusing to get online this afternoon for that miserable one sole purpose. How much easier my life would be if instead, even time I have to venture to the dark side, I could just crank up a new browser window on my compact (CD sized) Linux desktop and put it in a corner of its nice Quad HD monitor somewhere...)

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