back to article Microsoft's Edge browser for Linux hits the Beta Channel ... if you're into that kind of thing

Microsoft's Edge browser has taken another step to stability on Linux with the addition of the operating system to its Beta Channel. Quite why anyone would actually want Microsoft's latest attempt at a browser on Linux is open to question. From the perspective of the Windows giant, getting developers to test their code on the …

  1. nematoad Silver badge
    WTF?

    Eh?

    "Linux fans were able to synchronise their settings using their Microsoft account."

    You need a bloody MS account to use a browser?

    As someone allergic to all things Microsoft I think that I will give this one a miss.

    Oh, it's a clone of Chrome?

    Double no thanks.

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: Eh?

      Draw a Venn diagram with two circles. One circle is labelled "Linux Users", the other "Microsoft Account". Make sure the circles not only fail to overlap but are placed extremely far apart from each other. I think that pretty much sums it up...

      1. thondwe

        Re: Eh?

        it's a corporate thing!

        An MS based org can secure "Edge" via controls which allows a random Linux/Mac/IOS user to access the corporate systems from home or whatever and remain secure.

        Likewise Academic/research settings - where Linux based researchers/students need secure access to corporate systems.

        Niche. but still a need.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @thondwe - Re: Eh?

          Where in the world have you heard about corporate Linux desktop ? I'm only curious because from my experience big corpo are highly allergic to Linux on their desktops. Care to point us to one or two medium/large corporations using Linux on their desktops ? No, not 100% but a significant proportion, something that could be written like a 2 digit integer.

          In my opinion, if Linux desktop is way below 1% of total Windows deployments then Linux desktop in a corporate environment is way below 1% of that 1%.

          It is such a niche that really doesn't worth the trouble at all. However, that doesn't mean Microsoft is not up to something here.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @thondwe - Eh?

            "Care to point us to one or two medium/large corporations using Linux on their desktops?"

            Many universities and other research institutions have a significant proportion of scientific researchers using Linux, and usually with some flavour of systems configuration software in place to set up and manage the machines.

            There are a number of high profile deployments in France: the Gendarmerie, parts of the military, etc. There are similar stories in other European (school set ups in parts of Spain, for example) and South American countries. There are also the likes of Google (and I think also IBM?).

            It would be good if someone was curating a big list out there somewhere (they probably are, but I just don't know of it).

            Obviously it depends on what your uses are, but with increasing amounts of software being web-based these days, the OS you use is often less important, unless you specifically need some software that only runs on Windows (and many specialists do, of course, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the whole organisational setup needs to be Windows based).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Eh?

          "An MS based org can secure "Edge" via controls which allows a random Linux/Mac/IOS user to access the corporate systems from home or whatever and remain secure."

          You certainly don't need an MS browser to do that: an organisational VPN and user authentication (both for the VPN and for the internal sites accessed via the browser) will do that perfectly well.

    2. Falmari Silver badge

      Re: Eh?

      @nematoad "You need a bloody MS account to use a browser?"

      I am sure you know you don't and you are just hyping up the point that you need a MS account if you want to sync across machines.

      Having an account to sync is normally the way it is done. Have to sign in with your Firefox account to sync in Firefox.

      Anyway who needs sync first time I activated I thought that's neat. But turns out it is annoying as when I switch machines I don't want all the open pages from the other as I am doing something else on the machine I switched too. So sync is off.

      1. gerdesj Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Eh?

        "Have to sign in with your Firefox account to sync in Firefox."

        You set up your FF sync server and then sign into your own system to sync your account. Note the use of the word "your".

        https://github.com/mozilla-services/syncserver

        1. Falmari Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          @gerdesj +1 for the link did not know that Firefox allow you to setup a self-hosted Firefox Sync rather than have to sign into theirs.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eh?

      No you don't. Having one will enable some extra functionality. Exactly the same way that having a Google account will enabled some extra functionality in Chrome.

    4. J27 Silver badge

      Re: Eh?

      It's Chrome with Microsoft spying on your instead of Google... Basically much of the same with a different logo. I suppose it's better than them building another inferior crapfest but why anyone would use it on Linux is a real question.

  2. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

    At least it won't be force-installed on Linux like it is on Windows. Top tip:

    c:

    cd "%PROGRAMFILES(X86)%\Microsoft\Edge\Application\9*\Installer"

    setup --uninstall --force-uninstall --verbose-logging --system-level

    Seems to be the only way to get rid of it. That is until an update forces it down your throat again. Running the above as a startup script helps with that.

    1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Wow. There must be some serious Edge fanboys on here to downvote that. I don't want Edge; some other people don't want it either. It's hard to kill, and I'm just tellin' 'em how to get rid of it. Do you really object to that?

      1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

        Apparently you do. So because you think it's fine to dump whatever browser you feel like on someone's machine without their permission, I shall hunt you down, sneak into your house, and install IE6 on all your devices. Even the Linux ones (somehow). See how you like it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Cheers

      I had some problems at first with your suggestion but got it working with sudo.

    3. J27 Silver badge

      Watch out, because when devs start using Microsoft's new "WebView2" apps will start crashing if you don't have Edge installed. Resistance is futile!

  3. Ilsa Loving

    No Thanks

    I remember when they had Internet Explorer for Solaris. It was during the first browser wars when they were up against Netscape. Once Microsoft won, suddenly they dropped support for all platforms other than windows.

    Once bitten, twice shy...

    1. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: No Thanks

      It may be useful for some web stuff ported from Internet Explorer that refuses to run in anything but Edge in compatibility mode.

      Otherwise I see no point in the muddy thing

      1. mark l 2 Silver badge

        Re: No Thanks

        I believe Edge on Windows is effectively just running IE in a Edge tab. As even Microsoft support page says Internet Explorer 11 has to be enabled in Windows Features for IE mode to work. So if that is something you use on Windows and want to replicate it on a Linux or MacOS PC you are out of luck.

  4. Gavin Ayling

    Some real Microsoft hostility from the other comments. One cannot claim that a multi-billion dollar company has changed permanently, but it is nice to have a browser that syncs your settings like Chrome, has vertical tabs and other features being added frequently, and that is a competitor to Firefox. I have been missing having Edge on both my Windows and Linux OSes, and I am sure I am not alone.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      > it is nice to have a browser that syncs your settings like Chrome

      Mainly because it *IS* just another Chrome fork, so it's not really another browser to compete with Firefox. You still have Firefox, old IE, and Chrome-Chrome-Chrome-Chrome and more Chrome.

      That's part of what ticks me off.

      1. 142

        It really is a shame. There were some very nice aspects to the Edge rendering engine, before they abandoned it and switched to Chromium..

      2. HildyJ Silver badge
        Boffin

        "it *IS* just another Chrome fork"

        Not exactly. First, it isn't supporting Google's FLoC. Second, it does support uBlock Origin. Third, Microsoft's business model isn't ad based.

        That said, I'm a Firefox user. The only justification for Edge is for sites that I need to access but require a Chromium browser.

    2. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      I'm specifically expressing Edge hostility rather than MS hostility. I'd like it more if it were truly optional. The fact that it's forced onto people's systems and heavily plugged whenever you don't use it means that they apparently learnt nothing from the IE debacle. Changed permanently? This detail seems to indicate they've reverted on this issue. It would be lovely if there were any real Firefox competitors (i.e. ones that don't use Chrome at all). Until then, I'm using Firefox.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        none of this Microsoft shite

        is coming anywhere near my Linux systems. If it did it would find slurping my data back to Redmond because at the last count, I have more than 600 MS-owned domains and IP addresses blocked at my firewall and this includes microsoft.com.

        Once you let these guys into your domain, like any invasive species such as cane toads in OZ they are almost impossible to get rid of.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: none of this Microsoft shite

          The difference is MSFT would slurp all your data and not know what to do with it.

          I see you are installing HaloShootingKillerGrandTheftNinjaAssassin can we suggest you would like minesweeper?

    3. Swarthy
      Angel

      Settings Synch and Vertical Tabs

      Can I talk you you about Our Lord and Saviour Vivaldi?

    4. J27 Silver badge

      I'd like Edge a lot more if it auto-installed on all versions of Windows from 7 up and salted the earth afterwards to make using IE impossible.

  5. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
    Windows

    Thumbs up from me!

    I installed Edge and Powershell 7 on Linux so that I could access Azure cloud services! Why would I do that, you ask? Sheer perverse delight, of course!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thumbs up from me!

      Perverse, yes, delight, you and I clearly tick differently.

      :)

    2. J27 Silver badge

      Re: Thumbs up from me!

      I wonder if I could get away with that. Right now I have a whole Linux install hidden in WSL2 behind Windows.... Could I flip the table?

  6. jonha

    Who needs Edge when there's Vivaldi?

    If I have to use a Chromium spawn (some websites, mostly WebRTC stuff, don't run in my (t)rusty Pale Moon) then there's Vivaldi... best Chromium browser by a mile. Or two.

    But YMMV as I am an old geezer.

  7. Jason Hindle Silver badge

    ARM64 support

    Oddly enough, Chrome hasn't been ported to ARM64 Linux either. One of a number of odd omissions I came across while testing Ubuntu 20.04 on my M1 MacBook. Edge is ARM native on the Mac (as is Chrome - Google couldn't get that out of the door quickly enough) so I expect this is something Microsoft could address reasonably quickly. If they wanted to, that is.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: ARM64 support

      I suspect that dominating the Linux running on Mac with M1 market would raise monopoly concerns and Microsoft don't want another DOJ investigation

  8. saskwatch
    Linux

    Over the Edge

    Installed the Chrome based Edge on my Linux system along with Teams which my partner of many, many years needs for civic participation meetings. I never use it for anything else. It is most bloated and unintuitive spin on Chromium I've ever encountered. Totally useless. Big Firefox fan myself. To add insult to injury I now have to have two M$ ( I know using this abbreviation marks me out as a "Linux bigot" )

    accounts because the first one triggered some obscure Teams bug. I took me more time than I care

    to remember to get Teams to work reliably with the help of the administrator on the other end, who

    was very patient with me. Although he knew Linux existed he'd never encountered anyone who used

    it. Suppose I should be grateful to Microsoft for porting all this software to Linux but I am not. As soon

    as this pandemic is over & she doesn't need it any more it's 'apt-get purge' for the lot of it.

  9. binary
    Unhappy

    MS Edge for Linux? Why?!

    I refuse to use MS Edge in Windows 10 so what is the purpose using it with Linux? Chrome and Firefox do everything I need. Why Edge?

  10. Silny Ogór

    Great browser, great news.

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