FreeBSD does not come with a pre-installed web browser. Instead, the www category of the Ports Collection contains many browsers which can be installed as a package or compiled from the Ports Collection.
The KDE and GNOME desktop environments include their own HTML browser. Refer to Section 6.7 for more information on how to set up these complete desktops.
This section demonstrates how to install the following popular web browsers and indicates if the application is resource-heavy, takes time to compile from ports, or has any major dependencies.
|Application Name||Resources Needed||Installation from Ports||Notes|
|Firefox||medium||heavy||FreeBSD and Linux® versions are available|
|Opera||light||light||FreeBSD and Linux versions are available|
|Konqueror||medium||heavy||Requires KDE libraries|
Firefox is a modern, free, open source browser that is fully ported to FreeBSD. It features a standards-compliant HTML display engine, tabbed browsing, popup blocking, extensions, improved security, and more. Firefox is based on the Mozilla codebase.
Install the package of the latest release version of Firefox by typing:
# pkg_add -r firefox
To instead install Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) version, use:
# pkg_add -r firefox-esr
The Ports Collection can instead be used to compile the desired version of firefox from source code. This example builds www/firefox, where firefox can be replaced with the ESR or localized version to install.
# cd /usr/ports/www/firefox # make install clean
Note: The following sections assume that Firefox is already installed.
java/icedtea-web provides a free software web browser plugin for running Java applets. It can be installed as a package. To alternately compile the port:
# cd /usr/ports/java/icedtea-web # make install clean
Keep the default configuration options when compiling the port.
Once installed, start firefox, enter about:plugins in the location bar and press Enter. A page listing the installed plugins will be displayed. The Java™ plugin should be listed.
If the browser is unable to find the plugin, each user will have to run the following command and relaunch the browser:
% ln -s /usr/local/lib/IcedTeaPlugin.so \ $HOME/.mozilla/plugins/
A native Adobe® Flash™ plugin is not available for FreeBSD. However, a software layer (wrapper) for running the Linux version of the plugin exists. This wrapper also provides support for other browser plugins such as RealPlayer®.
To install and enable this plugin:
Compile the www/linux-f10-flashplugin11 port. Due to licensing restrictions, a package is not available.
# ln -s /usr/local/lib/npapi/linux-f10-flashplugin/libflashplayer.so \ /usr/local/lib/browser_plugins/
Create /usr/local/lib/browser_plugins if it does not already exist on the system.
Before flash is first used each user must run:
% nspluginwrapper -v -a -i
When flash is updated each user must run:
% nspluginwrapper -v -a -u
Start the browser, enter about:plugins in the location bar and press Enter. A list should appear with all the currently available plugins.
Swfdec is the library for decoding and rendering Flash animations. Swfdec-Mozilla is a plugin for Firefox browsers that uses the Swfdec library for playing SWF files. It is still in heavy development.
To install the package:
# pkg_add -r swfdec-plugin
If the package is not available, compile and install it from the Ports Collection:
# cd /usr/ports/www/swfdec-plugin # make install clean
Restart the browser for this plugin to take effect.
Opera is a full-featured and standards-compliant browser which is still lightweight and fast. It comes with a built-in mail and news reader, an IRC client, an RSS/Atom feeds reader, and more. It is available as a native FreeBSD version and as a version that runs under Linux emulation.
This command installs the package of the FreeBSD version of Opera. Replace opera with linux-opera to instead install the Linux version.
# pkg_add -r opera
Alternately, install either version through the Ports Collection. This example compiles the native version:
# cd /usr/ports/www/opera # make install clean
To install the Linux version, substitute linux-opera in place of opera.
To install Adobe Flash plugin support, first compile the www/linux-f10-flashplugin11 port, as a package is not available due to licensing restrictions. Then install either the www/opera-linuxplugins port or package. This example compiles both from ports:
# cd /usr/ports/www/linux-f10-flashplugin11 # make install clean # cd /usr/ports/www/opera-linuxplugins # make install clean
Once installed, check the presence of the plugin by starting the browser, entering opera:plugins in the location bar and pressing Enter. A list should appear with all the currently available plugins.
To add the Java plugin, follow the instructions for Firefox.
Konqueror is part of x11/kde4-baseapps. Konqueror is more than a web browser as it is also a file manager and a multimedia viewer.
Konqueror supports WebKit as well as its own KHTML. WebKit is a rendering engine used by many modern browsers including Chromium. To use WebKit with Konqueror on FreeBSD, install the www/kwebkitpart package or port. This example compiles the port:
# cd /usr/ports/www/kwebkitpart # make install clean
To enable WebKit within Konqueror, click “Settings”, “Configure Konqueror”. In the “General” settings page, click the drop-down menu next to “Default web browser engine” and change “KHTML” to “WebKit”.
Konqueror also supports Flash. A “How To” guide for getting Flash support on Konqueror is available at http://freebsd.kde.org/howtos/konqueror-flash.php.
Chromium is an open source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable web browsing experience. Chromium features tabbed browsing, popup blocking, extensions, and much more. Chromium is the open source project upon which the Google Chrome web browser is based.
Chromium can be installed as a package by typing:
# pkg_add -r chromium
Alternatively, Chromium can be compiled from source using the Ports Collection:
# cd /usr/ports/www/chromium # make install clean
Note: The executable for Chromium is /usr/local/bin/chrome, not /usr/local/bin/chromium.
Note: The following sections assume that Chromium is already installed.
To install Java plugin support, follow the instructions in Section 188.8.131.52.
Once Java support is installed, start Chromium, and enter about:plugins in the address bar. IcedTea-Web should be listed as one of the installed plugins.
If Chromium does not display the IcedTea-Web plugin, run the following commands, and restart the web browser:
# mkdir -p /usr/local/share/chromium/plugins # ln -s /usr/local/lib/IcedTeaPlugin.so \ /usr/local/share/chromium/plugins/