Sunday, January 15, 2012


Of all the software shipped with Chakra that impressed me, QupZilla probably did so the most. I actually am considering switching to it, which (to me) is a pretty big deal. Even though a lot of the other browsers out there are considered "full" web browsers, (Konquerer, Arora, rekonq, etc) they really don't stand up to the big three (Firefox, Chrome/ium, Opera) to me. Midori and QupZilla are the two that I have seen that are very close to being as good as the biggies.

The thing that I like most about QupZilla is that it is extremely like Firefox;  I have the two side-by-side right now and QupZilla's menus are practically identical to Firefox's. It has:
  • a download manager (although it is still separate, i.e. not tabized like FF's)
  • a Password manager 
  • an RSS reader
  • profiles 
  • private browsing 
  • a ton of translations 
  • Adblock
  • speed dial
  • app tabs 
  • And best of all, it's cross-platform.

The part that makes it possibly better is that it is faster -way faster, both in rendering pages and in running. For example, I started them both up and even though I started Firefox a full second earlier, QupZilla made it up 2 seconds before Firefox did. I'm not sure if it's going to be much lighter on system resources; Qup is sitting around 215MB of RAM, and Moz is sitting around 300MB. That's with very light browsing (literally just opening Twitter and getting to Blogger for both), but hopefully Qup does better with memory leaks. I am sick of Firefox eating up 2GB of RAM when I have no tabs open.

The bad thing is that it does not have addons. That's really what makes the top three how great they are (not sure about Opera though) and it is quite literally the only thing stopping me from jumping ship to QupZilla. Granted, most of the addons I have installed I could easily do without, so here are the only 4 that really make my Firefox experience enjoyable:
  1. Roomy Bookmarks Toolbar
    This wouldn't be a huge big deal to implement in Qup: just give the option to make bookmarks only favicons in the toolbar.
  2. Tab Mix Plus
    There are really only a few options I use with this one: middle click opens the last closed tab, and a bunch of tab click options like "Bookmark All". QupZilla ships with many of the latter, so the former is all I really want out of it.
  3. Firefox Sync
    QupZilla (understandably) does not have a sync service, which is dissapointing, but meh. I feel like I might just be able to build one, at least to sync with my Wuala folder. Besides, the sync thing used to be nice because I used Xmarks which synced with Chrome, but nowadays a sync service is just rather annoying, especially if I want to just view my bookmarks away from home.
  4. Themes
    I actually don't even use a theme anymore, I've dropped to a Persona, but the fact is that QupZilla doesn't even have them. It has 4 themes: one that looks like Chrome, Classic QupZilla (rather ugly IMO), and then Linux, Mac, and Windows. I don't expect Themes for Qup, but Personas would be so very awesome.
Other than that, I am so set on QupZilla. Yeah, there are probably a bunch of tiny things, like you can't right click a Bookmark Folder and click "Open All", or it doesn't highlight the tab to let you know it is unviewed, but I know it will get there.

+1 Qup

[UPDATE 5-7-12]
I still have yet to switch to Qupzilla because of one of the reasons that Bill commented on below: no encryption. I haven't checked if it has changed in the new version, but to my knowledge, it still stores all your usernames and passwords in one unsalted, unencrypted MySQL database, and that scares me to death.


  1. Using it now.

    Doesn't have addons that I can't live without,
    doesn't play quite a lot of video formats,
    or download them
    doesn't detach tabs for a separate page
    (there's essentially a fixed limit of 30 open pages)
    can't download video
    can't stop download panel popping up.
    Where's the browser password? How safe is it?
    Mid-click for new tab doesn't work everywhere.

    Yes, but it does all of that quite fast, & it loooks like FF ?

    Sorry, Back to FF, until it Qup grows up.

    Which probably means no Chakra for me.
    Until it grows up.

  2. Bill,
    You make several very valid points, but I think you are slightly confused in some areas.

    *Yes, as I mentioned, the lack of addons is definitely Qup's greatest weakness. I hope it gets the ability for people to write custom addons, but it isn't based off XUL like Firefox is.

    *I'm kind of confused by your video point. It works fine with Flash, which powers at least 90% of the videos on the web. It works with me for HTML5 using OGG or WebM. I had problems with it on, but really I think it is decently capable when it comes to playing video.

    *Firefox can't download videos either without addons, which you already mentioned.

    *Yes detaching/re-attaching tabs a nice feature to have, I'm sure it will be added eventually. Sometimes it takes a while. Firefox took forever to add the ability to re-attach a tab.

    *I don't know what you mean by a "fixed limit" on tabs. I just opened up 57 tabs no problem.

    *Again, addons.

    *Making the download panel not show up is a great feature. You should drop by the Qupzilla git and suggest it.

    *Do you mean a Master Password? That's another feature that Qup has yet to obtain. And as for encryption, that is an important feature that I had not thought about. It looks like it stores it as clear text in a MySQL database, so that's definitely something they need to change.

    *Middle Click always opens a new tab for me.

    I definitely agree, Qup has a lot of growing up to do, but we as users need to realize that it will never be as fully featured as Firefox. Firefox is developed by a company quite literally hundreds of millions of dollars, and Qupzilla is run by mainly one person. I'm not saying that it's an excuse, but just keep it in mind.

    I'm afraid that you are very, very confused on that last part, Bill. Chakra ships with Qupzilla, yes, but it also ships with Konquerer and Rekonq and the ability to install Firefox, Chrome, Chromium, and even Firefox Nightly through bundles with just a click of a button. Chakra is anything but immature.

    Thanks for the comment,

  3. Hi, if interested, I've built a (simple) "sync" script for bookmarks.