Midori – A Webkit powered GTK2 Web Browser

with 6 comments

I am writing this post from Midori. Currently described as a lightweight web browser. Which I don’t even get at this point, hasn’t every browser since Internet Explorer been a “lightweight.”


In any case, what I feel really makes this different is the fact that unlike most GTK2 browsers, Midori uses Webkit to render web pages. Firefox and Epiphany, the default Gnome browser among many others use the Gecko engine.

Webkit is a fork of KHTML, which powers KDE’s default web browser Konqueror. Webkit itself is probably most well known for powering the default Mac OSX browser Safari.

As far as Gecko vs Webkit. I haven’t used Webkit/KHTML based browsers enough to really say what makes them different. On both Windows and Linux I use Firefox, on OS X I use Camino. Using Midori I didn’t really run into any noticeable rendering issues. Things like GMail and Google reader worked fine. I checked various sites I visit and it rendered them all without any snags. I did notice however that pages with text entry dialogs are a little buggy. Oh and for those that care, it does render the acid test correctly. Although I did noticed when I scrolled up or down it distorted it. Normally the page in question doesn’t allow you to scroll. So that could be an issue with Midori not Webkit.

I should mention before I get into the more Midori specific aspects of this post. I am using version 0.0.17, a self described “early alpha.” At this point it’s far from daily use ready.

Working right now is the basics. You can bring up pages, search from the search entry box, reload pages, move back for forth, go to a homepage, create new windows and tabs. You can create bookmarks but you create them from scratch. Then they are only accessible in the panel not from the bookmarks menu.

What isn’t working yet? Unable to tab through fields on a page, no support for secure http, no font configuration, the preferences in general is mostly a place holder at the moment, unable to save files, binary files just open in a page, no controls/menus for tabs aside from close, bookmarks very limited.

Midori Font Preferences

It’s an interesting project that I’ll have my eye on. While I really like Firefox, I love choices so hopefully this florishes. I also have my eye on Kazehakase, which also plans on letting you choose between Gecko and Webkit.

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Written by Matthew A. Darragh

January 31, 2008 at 1:11 am

6 Responses

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  1. Epiphany plans to support webkit in it’s 2.22 version. Thanks for letting me know about this, I hadn’t seen this program before.

    Dirk Gently

    February 9, 2008 at 1:47 am

  2. Epiphany already supports Webkit.


    February 10, 2008 at 9:46 pm

  3. i’d be happy if the ui would be like epiphany’s (no search box, but the location box is used for search if smart bookmarks are present, and the smart bookmarks can be made into serch boxes on demand) the greater and smaler icons (i use them quite often, but this may also bt the gecko/xulrunner engine’s fault) and the tag based bokkmark handling.

    these are what i love in epiphany, and the dependences is what i hate (i don’t use gnome otherwise)

    i’d be happy if I could replace epiphany with midory, as the project looks promising, yet there are the things i miss…

    Best Regads,


    February 19, 2008 at 3:36 am

  4. Cannot manage (delete) bookmarks in Midori v 0.0.18…Anyone else experience this, and is there a solution, other than removing and reinstalling Midori?


    November 8, 2008 at 9:49 am

  5. In Midori 0.1.2 bookmarks are written to a simple XML file, which you can edit in any text editor.

    On my system (OpenBSD 4.5), the path to this file is:


    If Midori is running, you do have to close and reopen it for the changes to take effect. Possibly bookmark management will be enhanced in a future release, but for now this is fine.

    Matt Fisher

    September 23, 2009 at 7:35 pm

  6. The operating system you are referring to is called ” GNU / Linux ” …! Not just Linux….!


    September 14, 2011 at 11:53 pm

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