Raspberry Pi Foundation bakes a custom, optimized browser for the $35 mini-PC

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Alex Campbell

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The Raspberry Pi is a fun little mini PC you can play around with to create your own entertainment center, learn a little programming, or even use as a secondary PC. But one complaint you'll consistently hear from Raspberry Pi users is just how poor the web browsing experience is.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is hoping to change that with a new and improved browser optimized for the Raspberry Pi. The new browser is based on Epiphany—also known as Gnome Web—and was developed in cooperation with Collabora, a software development company specializing in optimizing open source applications.


Raspberry Pi's new Epiphany browser.

After eight months of development, the Raspberry Pi Foundation recentl took the wraps off the new browser on Monday. Epiphany brings a lot of great benefits to Raspberry Pi's browsing experience, including app startup that is three times faster than the Midori browser it's replacing, improved HTML5 and YouTube support, hardware-accelerated video decoding, more responsive scrolling, and less resource-intensive browser tab management.

Overall, it sounds like a great improvement for Raspberry Pi users, but the browser isn't quite a perfect desktop replacement. JavaScript-intensive sites may be problematic, the Foundation warns.

Raspberry Pi's version of Epiphany will be replacing Midori on future versions of Raspbian, the official Linux distribution recommended for use with the mini PC, as the default browser. Epiphany will also be included with NOOBS, the easy-to-use OS installer for Raspberry Pi.

Current Raspberry Pi users who want to give the new Epiphany browser can grab it now using apt-get from the command line on their Internet-connected Raspberry Pi box. If you're a command line noob, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has instructions on how to use apt-get to grab Epiphany on its blog post announcing the release.

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