NetSurf is an open source, graphical, free, multiplatform and portable software, a web browser for UNIX-like operating systems, including GNU/Linux, and especially RISC OS. It’s fast, offers an innovative interface, has lean requirements and it is standards compliant.
Features at a glance
Key features include support for the HTML 4.01 and CSS 2.1 web technologies, support for numerous image file formats, including JPEG, JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP and MNG, as well as support for secure HTTP transactions through the HTTPS protocol.
It is a lightweight, low on resources web browser that supports Unicode encoding for text displayed on websites, web page thumbnailing, local history trees, URL completion, and scale view. It’s actively developed, and continually improving and evolving.
RISC OS only features include support for the ArtWorks, Sprite and Drawfile image file formats, as well as support for exporting web documents to the Drawfile format. NetSurf received the “Best non-commercial product of the year” RISC OS Awards in 2012/2013.
Getting started with NetSurf
Detailed installation instructions for NetSurf can be found on the project’s homepage (see link at the end of the article) for each supported operating system (see the next section for details). It boasts a graphical user interface that is quite similar with the one of the Mozilla Firefox web browser.
It is quite obvious that it brings less features than Mozilla Firefox or any other web browser based on it, especially because of its simplistic design. All the basic web navigation functions are available, as well as support for bookmarks, a download manager, a few developer tools, full screen mode, built-in search engines, support for themes, privacy settings, and built-in PDF viewer.
Supported operating systems/platforms
Besides RISC OS and all GNU/Linux distributions, NetSurf is officially supported on numerous other Unixes, including the FreeBSD, NetBSD, Solaris, Amiga OS, Haiku, BeOS, Atari and Mac OS X operating systems. It runs successfully on computers supporting either of the 64-bit or 32-bit hardware architectures.