The Fastest Linux Distributions For Web Browsing - Firefox + Chrome Benchmarks On Eight Distros

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 29 March 2019. Page 1 of 4. 65 Comments

With now having WebDriver/Seleneium integration in PTS for carrying out browser benchmarks, we've been having fun running a variety of web browser benchmarks in different configurations. The latest is looking at the Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome web browser performance across eight Linux distribution releases (or nine if counting Fedora Workstation on both X.Org and Wayland) for looking at how the web browsing performance compares.

For this round of benchmarking I carried out clean installs of Ubuntu 19.04 beta, Ubuntu 18.10, Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, Majaro Linux 18.0.4, Fedora Workstation 29 with Wayland, Fedora Workstation 29 with X.Org, Debian Buster/Testing, and Clear Linux 28500 for looking at the web browser performance. Each operating system was cleanly installed on the same system and kept to the default/stock settings (the only notable exception is for Debian Buster having to install the non-free Linux firmware/microcode package for tapping Radeon GPU acceleration). All stable release updates on each of the operating systems were carried out prior to testing.

The system used for this big browser benchmark was an Intel Core i9 9900K with ASUS PRIME Z390-A motherboard, 16GB RAM, Samsung 970 EVO 256GB NVMe SSD, and AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics.

Mozilla Firefox was found installed by default on each of the Linux distributions tested. For Google Chrome it was installed where available via the OS package manager (e.g. Manjaro with Arch's AUR repository) otherwise via the official Google Chrome site and using the latest release binaries.

A variety of web browser benchmarks were carried out via the Phoronix Test Suite including ARES-6, Octane, WebXPRT, Basemark, Jetstream, CanvasMark, MotionMark, and Speedometer. In this comparison is just the Linux distributions tested but, yes, this weekend I will be installing Windows 10 on this same system for seeing how the Windows vs. Linux browser performance then compares - stay tuned for those results next week.

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