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

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 29 March 2019 at 12:00 PM EDT. Page 4 of 4. 65 Comments.

Debian Buster also pulled off another surprising win with the MotionMark browser benchmark, coming out just ahead of Clear Linux in the Firefox testing.

When running MotionMark in Chrome across the tested platforms, Debian Buster and Manjaro were tied for first followed by Clear Linux.

In the Speedometer JavaScript benchmark, Fedora Workstation pulled off its first wins when running in Firefox while Clear Linux was slightly behind and then Manjaro Linux.

The Speedometer results in Chrome were faster than Firefox and largely flat except for openSUSE Tumbleweed still trailing and Clear Linux having a narrow victory.

Lastly is a look at the geometric mean across all of the tested Linux distributions in all of the browser benchmarks on both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. A majority of the Linux distributions offered nearly the same performance as would be largely expected given the common components between these modern Linux distributions and all on Chrome 73 and most on Firefox 66.0.1. The outliers to the web browser Linux benchmarks were openSUSE Tumbleweed performing consistently slower, which we've also seen in other workloads due to the conservative defaults of the distribution, while Debian Buster came out slightly ahead of the others and then Clear Linux really came out ahead. Clear Linux was 6% faster than the second fastest distribution, Debian Buster, or about 30% faster than where most of the Linux distributions were performing. Clear Linux's browser performance came as quite some surprise considering that Intel is simply re-packaging the official Mozilla Firefox Linux release binaries and the Google Chrome binary is also the upstream binary. In other words, its performance benefits are coming from all the tuning and configuration lower in the stack which continues to pay off for really delivering the leading out-of-the-box Linux performance.

Up next will be seeing how these results compare to Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome on Windows 10. If you like these benchmarks, consider joining Phoronix Premium.

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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via