Mar 23, 2016

K-Meleon vs QupZilla vs Otter Browser vs Midori - comparison of lightweight web browsers

Apart from the most popular web browsers for Windows - Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, IE and Edge - there are also more lightweight open source web browsers, which deserve more recognition. This time I am testing the latest versions of four of them: K-Meleon 76.0 beta 3 (based on Gecko), Otter Browser 0.9.10 (based both on QtWebKit and on QtWebEngine), QupZilla 1.8.9 (based on QtWebKit) and Midori 0.5.11 (based on WebKitGTK+), on a PC with Windows 8 and 2 GB RAM. In the comparison test I am focusing on HTML5 features, performance and RAM usage at startup and after loading four big websites in tabs.

Here are the results:

K-Meleon Otter QtWebKit Otter QtWebEngine QupZilla Midori
HTML5 Test 467 pts 399 pts 525 pts 400 pts 341 pts
Octane Benchmark 5915 pts 1222 pts 6653 pts 1285 pts 806 pts
BrowserMark 1590 pts 1165 pts 1926 pts 1052 pts 149 pts
RAM at startup 35 MB 12 MB 54 MB 40 MB 40 MB
RAM at 4 tabs 151 MB 335 MB 236 MB 395 MB 271 MB

The best alternative web browser is Otter Browser with QtWebEngine (based on Chromium), made by a Polish developer Emdek. This is the only multi-process web browser out of them and has a really good performance. The second place goes to K-Meleon. That said, QtWebEngine is still in the works, so it may be buggy, and it uses more memory than Gecko engine used in K-Meleon.


  1. I'd be curious if you could run the Dooble web browser (V1.56 just released) through these tests and compare it to the the above results.

  2. good one, but providing baseline against firefox or chrome would've been great.

  3. P.S. Forgot to mention in my 'rant' above: Want to keep GOOGLE *OFF* OUR MACHINE. As soon as we open certain browsers (usually Mozilla look-alikes), we see Google's is on our machine send/receiving. How do we get rid of that? Why is it built into the browsers? Tired of google snooping! If it's google analytics, how do we get rid of it?

    1. You can easily block Google servers in AdBlock or in the HOSTS file regardless of the browser.

  4. Pardon my rant, but need to ventilate:

    We want a FAST browser with basic functions. We don't need or want email or newsreader functions. We don't want keyboard shortcuts. We want a bookmark function that knows how to order the marks into categories and ABC order.

    Those basic/essential functions should allow for a FAST functional browser. What is annoying is that as soon as somebody develops such a browser, people start to clamor for email!, newsreaders!, keyboard shortcuts!, speed dial!, live chat!, etc. etc. etc.; and pretty soon, what was supposed to be a bare-bones FAST easy-to-use browser is just another kludge like Firefox.

    BTW, why can't they make those extras into add-ons so we don't even have to install them, if we want to keep the program light and speedy?
    And why can't we GET RID OF ALL TABS AND MAKE EVERYTHING INTO WINDOWS?? I hate tabs! Have always used windows and know where they are, and just hate when a tab is opened and hiding behind something in some place we've never looked for a WINDOW! LOL.

    Also hate keyboard shortcuts that cannot be turned OFF. Am so sick of accidentally hitting the wrong key combo and having some developer nonsense start up or having some new window or tab open and cart off to another site.
    When they add functions, they need to add the option to DISABLE that function.

    Please consider making a FAST, LIGHTWEIGHT browser for those of us who don't need all that clutter and glitz. Thanks for listening!

    1. Try K-Meleon, it is very lightweight and fast.

  5. midori is really bad, bugged as hell