Switching to QuteBrowser

May 25, 2022 16:02 · 218 words · 2 minutes read technology

Recently, I switched from Firefox to qutebrowser for my daily web-surfing needs. This move has been mainly driven by the need to adopt a keyboard driven minimal browser that I can also use during web development. Prior to this switch, I had tried Nyxt, another keyboard driven browser. My experience with Nyxt has mostly been positive, but the deal-breaker for me was un-reproducible random crashes that made the browser-experience inconvenient/uncomfortable.

That said, using qutebrowser has not always been smooth sailing: At the onset, I noticed that in some web pages—in my qutebrowser install—text was not visible. Here’s an example of browsing GitHub:

Example browsing GitHub in qutebrowser---bug with QtWebEngine

As outlined here, this was an issue with Chromium. Unfortunately for me, at the time of this writing, the upstream fix in QtWebEngine that addresses this issue has not been applied in GNU Guix upstream. To fix this issue, I had to add this to my ~/.config/qutebrowser/config.py:

c.qt.args = ['disable-seccomp-filter-sandbox']

That said, after working around the aforementioned bug with QtWebEngine, my browsing experience with qutebrowser has been suave: I’m always discovering new hacks for doing new things with a keyboard that I thought difficult. Needless to say, this has been an exciting experience and besides GNU Emacs, qutebrowser is growing to be one of those tools that keeps “fanning the flame” of: the joy of computing.