Linux Mint Desktop

Web browsers needs RAM memory! 

Web browser comparison with focus on Linux Mint browsers. 

There are a lot of web browsers out there. For various Linux distributions, for Windows and macOS, as well as for tablets and phones. 

How much resources do they need to work? 

I have focused on the needed memory, when showing same reference web page ( I have uninstalled browser extensions. Starting point is the Linux Mint operating system with only internet connection (via VPN) turned on, idling, and of course the ordinary background programs and processes. The values are noted directly from the screen - the screen dump tool itself used for the examples below takes some resources itself (therefore screen snapshot examples have higher values than shown in the table). 

Resource monitor - no load

Tested browsers

I have compared four browsers available in the Linux Mint repository. It means they available to download, install and update inside the Linux Mint program library. 

  • Firefox
  • Chromium
  • Epiphany / Gnome
  • Arora

Resource monitor of Firefox browser

Test result

Browser   Memory usage RAM [GB]  Memory usage RAM [%]
No browser "idling" 981 53,3
Firefox 1200 68,0
Chromium 1100 60,7
Epiphany / Gnome 1200 64,5
Arora 1000 58,1


This is a very quick study. Anyway, I think it is accurate enough to conclude it indeed is a difference between browsers. Many more browsers exist.

Memory resources is of course only one aspect of selecting browser. Security, privacy, available extensions are some other important aspects to consider - none of those are considered in this test.

When browsing, the needed memory can be highly impacted of which page is browsed, and if many tabs are opened at the same time. Not at least for a computer as in the test object with very limited RAM, this memory resouce aspect can be relevant to take into account when browsing the world wide web!

Test reference information

Operating system Linux Mint Cinnamon: 19.1, 64 bit

Firefox: 65.0.1

Chromium: 72.0.3626.121

Epiphany/Gnome web browser: 3.28.1

Arora: 0.11.0

Main characteristics of this computer: CPU: 1.60 GHz dual core, eMCC (SSD) Hard drive: 32 GB and RAM: 2 GB.

Henrik Hemrin

10 March 2019


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