dcsimg

Galeon

Browsing the Web on a Linux box just got a lot better. Galeon, a GNOME-based browser, raises the bar for performance and ease-of-use. Galeon is fast, easy to configure, and packs features not available in mainstream browsers.

Browsing the Web on a Linux box just got a lot better. Galeon, a GNOME-based browser, raises the bar for performance and ease-of-use. Galeon is fast, easy to configure, and packs features not available in mainstream browsers.

Tabbed Browsing

Galeon’s most visible innovation is tabbed browsing. Rather than cluttering your desktop with a half-dozen separate browser windows, you browse in a single window and swap among tabs. The result is a huge savings in desktop space.








galeon-browse
Figure One: Tabbed browsing saves desktop space

Adding a tab is as simple as selecting “New Tab” from the File menu or right-clicking a link and picking “Open in new tab” from the pop-up menu. To remove a tab, just click the “X” on it. Figure One shows an example of the tabbed interface.

As if tabbed browsing isn’t cool enough, Galeon takes the feature one step further by letting you save a tabbed setup and reuse it. Say you normally browse the following sites: Linux Today (http://linuxtoday.com), Freshmeat (http://www.freshmeat.net), Slashdot (http://www.slashdot.org), and Linux Magazine (http://www.linux-mag.com). You can create a tab for each site by selecting “Save Session As…” from the File menu. You can recall sessions using “Open Session.”

When quitting Galeon, you can either “Exit” or “Exit With Session.” The latter option saves the current configuration so you can pick up where you left off when you return.

Galeon can do “one-window-per-site” browsing, but after trying out tabs, you’ll probably change your mind.

Pop-up and Animation Control

These days, it seems like you can’t visit any site without being disrupted by pop-up ads, animated graphics, and other advertising tricks. Unlike some popular browsers, Galeon was developed by open source hackers for open source users and has helpful features that let you control your browsing experience.

The Settings menu has two useful check boxes: “Use own fonts” and “Use own colors.” These options are helpful for viewing sites whose “designers” have a poor sense of what’s easy to read on a laptop screen. And Galeon’s killer feature, the “Allow popups” check box, alone makes it worth trying out.

The “Animate Images” sub-menu lets you select how many times an animation plays (“Continuously,” “Once,” or “Never”). Once you’ve been browsing the Web for a while without animations and pop-ups, it can be quite disturbing when you have to use some other browser.

Flexible Configuration

Though Galeon is literally packed with great features (more than we can cover here), configuration is relatively simple. Settings in the main preferences dialog are grouped into Browsing, User Interface, Handlers, Rendering, and Advanced. They are further sub-divided where necessary. Notice there’s an entire screen of settings for tabs and how tabbed browsing should work.

Beyond tabbed browsing and enhanced user interface control, Galeon contains a host of other great features. You can enable, disable, or customize how auto-completion of URLs works. The toolbar is also configurable: you can even add search boxes for your favorite search engines (look at the top of Figure One). And Galeon’s Persistent Data Manager lets you control what information Galeon stores, including cookies, images, and passwords.

Under the Hood

The Galeon developers have built a fantastic browser with tons of useful features without reinventing the wheel. In true open source fashion, Galeon is built on top of the Gecko rendering engine from the Mozilla project (http://www.mozilla.org), which means it benefits from all the hard work of the Mozilla team. Since Gecko is regarded as the most standards-compliant browser, it’s an excellent match for Galeon.

Do yourself a favor and try out Galeon. There are RPMs and TGZs (for Slackware users) available from the Galeon site. Debian users can just run apt-get install galeon. Enjoy.



Have an idea for a project we should feature? Drop a note to potm@linux-mag. com and let us know.

Fatal error: Call to undefined function aa_author_bios() in /opt/apache/dms/b2b/linux-mag.com/site/www/htdocs/wp-content/themes/linuxmag/single.php on line 62