New to RPi but I'm seeing a lot of stuff about how it has struggled in the past to web browse -- particularly on heavy-js sites and with video and such.

Is this a problem of the past? Especially now with RPi3? Is there a default/RPi-specific browser (some version of Epiphany) that comes bundled with Raspbian? I'm also assuming Raspbian is installed on all RPi's by default?

Thanks for taking the time to educate me. =)

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    Keep in mind that client side processing (i.e., .js) is a preferred method of creating dynamic web sites for a variety of reasons, but it is not always done super efficiently because part of the (perhaps unconscious) assumption is that it's going to be done on a high powered multi-core modern box. Many smartphones from much larger OEMs could be accused of the same problem for the same reason -- the people who design the sites target desktop and laptop users, and the pi cannot compete with that. – goldilocks Mar 1 '16 at 8:19

The RPi's architecture and speed is getting better with each new release. If you look at the spec page for the new processor, it specifically mentions higher performance with Javascript and web browsing. It certainly won't rival the x86 in your desktop/laptop, and we can't yet say if it's a thing of the past. Time will tell.

Currently, Epiphany is the default browser shipped with the RPi.


I've played with Raspbian and Ubuntu on a rpi2, and although Ubuntu has Firefox, the Ephinay browser in Raspbian runs a lot faster. It may not be able to play youtube above 320p, not even in fullscreen.. but as for simple browsing, it does the job.. similar speeds of an old pentium 2 machine. I've used it a few times while working on my main desktop pc. I mainly run a dual-boot though.. Raspbian and LibreELEC (Kodi), and I only boot into Raspbian to grab things or info needed for Kodi, configure my media drives, or just quickly grab emails.

  • This is a reasonable answer but note there is no point in trying to address any specific user from an answer (other than whoever wrote the question, which is implicit anyway). If you wish to comment freely, you need to earn 50 rep first (part of the purpose there is to restrict it to people who understand this isn't a discussion forum). Please take the tour to understand better how the site works. – goldilocks Sep 18 '16 at 12:12

As far as i can tell it is not a problem of the past, and i also know that both github and google docks have problems with the browser preinstalled on rasbian. which is in fact some version of epiphany. as for an SD card coming with rasbian only if you buy an sd card from the "swag store" does it come with an os. however there are plenty of other viable options of os wich are very good and can be downloaded here https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/.

  • Is Raspbian at least pre-configured to work nicely with various RPi hardware? Why would anyone ever Raspbian? – corysimmons Feb 29 '16 at 22:05
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    rasbian is the foundatians recomended os, and is very compatible with many forms of hardware. – sir_ian Feb 29 '16 at 22:10
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    @CorySimmons Because most pi users probably don't buy it for use as a web browser unless they cannot afford a normal computer. Which most places if you look around you could probably pick up a much better spec'ed used laptop (including screen, power supply, and much larger faster storage) and at least twice the RAM for ~$100. So that category is small indeed. Finally, you can install iceweasel on Raspbian, which is a firefox clone. – goldilocks Mar 1 '16 at 8:15
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    i am in fact using iceweasel. and your right but it is helpful to have for RPi stack and other places like github. – sir_ian Mar 1 '16 at 13:33

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