I’ve had my Acer Aspire One netbook running Easy Peasy Linux for just a year now. During that time I’ve always run Firefox as my browser mostly to trawl through my feeds in Google Reader. Up until about a week ago I found I got an error message about an unresponsive script in Google Reader at least once during every session and often when scrolling. Easy enough to clear but quite annoying. I thought this was probably due to memory issues and Firefox – I guessed the Reader webpage was heavy going for a netbook.
So I thought I’d try Google Chrome on the Linux powered netbook to see if it would be any better. I figured that the Google Reader/Chrome combination should have better luck – you’d think that Chrome should have been well tested on Reader by Google.
So I installed Chrome (version 4.0.295.0) easily using instructions I found here. Absolutely no problems with unresponsive scripts when browsing – but as with Firefox, occasionally when scrolling it would lock up for 5-10 seconds and then proceed without problems. So I thought I’d write a post singing the praises of Chrome and slating Firefox for its errors. Problem is that when I went back to check if Firefox was still issuing those error messages, I found that the latest version of Firefox (version 3.0.17; for Ubuntu) which downloaded last weekend seems to have cleared the problem. Both browsers are now running fine on my netbook.
So what about browser speed? Is there a difference there? Well, I set up both browsers with Google Reader as home page and with no other tabs and checked times for clean loading of Firefox and Chrome separately just after booting the netbook. I have 257 Google Reader subscriptions at the moment. Firefox took 48 seconds and Chrome 24 seconds to load the page. Then to reload Firefox again, that took 33 seconds, while Chrome reloaded in 13 seconds.
Google Chrome has gained considerable momentum recently with a growing number of extensions available. Even though Firefox is better than it was in terms of browsing on my netbook, it’s much slower than Chrome for me. So I’m going to move over to Chrome on my Linux netbook and give it a thorough work out.
Incidentally, for anyone interested in keeping up with the latest at Chrome, Lee Mathews at Download Squad has been doing a weekly Chrome Corner post since the end of December last year.