The web browser is nowadays the most important and frequently used tool in a computer. Recently I’ve been using more the Chromium browser than Firefox, on in Debian’s case, Iceweasel. This is for several reasons:
- Better memory management (doesn’t eat up all my RAM)
- Extensions are also available for Chromium
- Faster browser startup
- Faster page loads
- Full HTML5 support, which is lacking in Debian Wheezy’s Firefox (err… Iceweasel) which is still on version 3.5.19 at the time of this writing.
So I decided to change my default browser to open in Chromium for all applications. To do the change, at the terminal, type:
sudo update-alternatives --set x-www-browser /usr/bin/chromium
sudo update-alternatives --set www-browser /usr/bin/chromium
If you’re using KDE 4 you also need to open the System Settings, click on Default Applications, Select Web Browser and choose the second radio button option so it reads: “Open http and https URLs in the following browser” and type “chromium” in the text box. Click the Apply button and close the window.
Since I do almost everything with Emacs, I also needed to configure it to use Chromium as its default browser. To set that, you just need to add the following to your .emacs file:
(setq browse-url-browser-function 'browse-url-generic
I still love Firefox, but it has staled away from the cool minimalistic and fast browser it was when it started. Chromium is now filling that gap, so I hope that in future versions (maybe the new Firefox 5?) memory handling gets better as well as loading times.