Regardless of your current Raspberry Pi project, you may need network access. Unfortunately, fast browsing is not the strength of this little computer — is there a way to speed up the process?

Luckily, there are several methods you can use, depending on the browser you choose. For example, if you’re using the Raspbian distribution (and as the most popular choice among many, we’ll assume you are), then you’ll have the Midori browser pre-installed.

Despite its usefulness, this browser doesn’t really offer much in terms of speed. So what should be done? Is there a better browser that Raspberry Pi users might find more useful?

Why It’s Important to Use the Right Browser

Chances are if you’re using a Raspberry Pi to browse the web, you’re probably doing it as part of your software development job rather than using a small computer as a desktop PC. .

As Midori is, the general inability of web developers to code JavaScript concisely, economically, and correctly can lead to problems with many sites failing to open correctly or in a timely manner on the Pi, as the CPU is heavily tied to a lot of unnecessary processing work.

Using the right browser — hopefully not a lot of resources, but loads the page quickly — will help you improve your web browsing experience.

Best Browser Settings for Raspberry Pi

There are four different browser browsers what can be used with raspberry pi. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, but it can be argued that only one of them really fits.


This is the default browser that is found in Raspbian and all distributions and is built based on this OS.

ii-rpi-browser midori


An alternative to Midori, also found in Raspbian. It’s a faster option, and generally does a pretty good job of displaying «complex» web pages (although as you can see it struggles with the new home page).

ii-rpi-browser netsurf


Super fast, if you need text-based web browsing, Lynx isn’t ideal for everyone. Install with sudo apt-get install lynx . Although it is added to the menu » Other» you must launch the browser from LXTerminal with the command lynx .



Raspberry Pi’s version of the Chromium browser is fast and impressive, and can be installed using sudo apt-get install chromium . The downside of this browser is that it’s not as lightweight as the others and will put a lot of stress on your Pi’s CPU.



This is a lightweight and highly customizable browser that many Raspberry Pi users now use instead of Midori. Install with sudo apt-get install luakit .

ui-rpi-browser luakit

Tuning Tips for Midori

While Luakit, WebSurf, and Lynx are pretty fast browsers (although they are limited in the case of Lynx!), some useful setup tips can be used to get the most out of Midori.

In Midori open » Settings»> «Settings» to make some changes to browser behavior. For example, on the tab » Autoload » for the parameter « launch Midori» set to » Show recently opened tabs» which may result in a slight wait for the browser to load. To avoid this, switch to Show speed dial or Show recent tabs without loading .

On the tab » Behavior » should automatically switch the parameters « Upload Images» » Enable Scripts» and » Enable Netscape plugins» to decide if you want these items to be active — turning it off will speed up the process, but may not improve your browsing experience.


Finally, on the tab Confidentiality use parameters Enable Offline Web Application Cache and Turn on options HTML5 local storage support, to speed up caching.

Disadvantages of Raspberry Pi Web Browsers

While the tips above can be used to improve your Raspberry Pi navigation, there is one very important element in all of this that cannot be stressed enough: these browsers can be helpful, they can be fast at loading certain pages, but they are absolutely useless for downloading web pages and content based on Adobe Flash, such as games and video streaming services.

Likewise, websites that use AJAX to format and provide real-time updates (such as Facebook, various newspaper websites, etc.) should be avoided unless you are prepared to wait. Note that NetSurf defaults to mobile versions of these sites, and even then, results may be sluggish.

Gmail also cannot be used except in HTML mode, and even then you can expect some page loading wait.

Some JavaScript is supported by these browsers, but since this code is often used to run more demanding scripts and content, you should not generally expect to be able to use your Raspberry Pi browser in the same way that you can use Windows, Mac, or a standard Linux browser.

Customize Midori, or rely on alternatives

While the Midori browser ships with the Raspbian distribution by default, other than speed, it is no better or worse than others and is prone to crashing on some websites. NetSurf and Luakit, on the other hand, are much better alternatives.

What do you think? Is Midori enough for your Raspberry Pi browsing needs, or are you using any of the alternatives listed here? Should the Raspbian distribution offer more Midori alternatives?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Image Credits: Raspberry Via Shutterstock

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