*

A web browser for the Raspberry Pi

Marco Barisione avatar

Posted on 01/09/2014 by Marco Barisione

As I previously mentioned, Collabora has been working with the Raspberry Pi Foundation on various projects including a web browser optimised for the Raspberry Pi.
Since the first beta release we have made huge improvements; now the browser is more responsive, it’s faster, and videos work much better (the first beta could play 640×360 videos at 0.5fps, now we can play 25fps 1280×720 videos smoothly). Some web sites are still a bit slow (if they are heavy on the JavaScript side), but there’s not much we can do for web sites that, even on my laptop with an Intel Core i7, use 100% of one of the cores for more than ten seconds!

The browser is based on Gnome Web (Epiphany) using WebKit 1 (i.e. the non-multi-process version of WebKit).

Our main achievements are:

  • More responsive UI and scrolling, even under heavy load (like when loading a page)
  • Progressive tiled rendering for smoother scrolling (as mobile browsers do)
  • Startup is three times faster
  • Avoid useless image format conversions
  • Better YouTube support, including on-demand load of embedded YouTube videos to make page load much faster
  • Hardware decoding of videos (through gst-omx)
  • Hardware scaling of videos (again, through gst-omx)
  • Reduction of the number of memory copies to play videos
  • Faster fullscreen playback using dispmanx directly (a bit buggy at the moment, we are working on it)
  • Memory and CPU friendly tab management
  • JavaScript JIT fixes for ARMv6
  • Disk image cache (decoded images are kept in memory mapped files in a cache, saving CPU)
  • Memory pressure handler support


The Raspberry Pi web browser (mp4 video file)

To install the browser, just update your Raspbian and install the “epiphany-browser” package:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install epiphany-browser

Thanks to all the people at Collabora that, at some point or another, helped on this project: Julien Isorce, Emanuele Aina, ChangSeok Oh, Tomeu Vizoso, Pekka Paalanen, André Moreira Magalhaes, Derek Foreman, Gustavo Noronha, Danilo Cesar, Emilio Pozuelo Monfort and Jonny Lamb (I hope I haven’t forgotten anybody!).
Also thanks to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and in particular to Eben Upton, for their commitment to making browsing on the Pi better, and to Ben Avison for his work on optimising pixman and libav for ARMv6.

Update: people have reported a few bugs since the release, in particular a problem with Raspbian configured to use 24-bit or 32-bit mode for graphics. We should be able to fix this in a week or so.
Another problem is that Vimeo videos stopped working. This seems to be due to a change made by Vimeo that broke playback also on other browsers and on Android.

Original post

Related Posts

Related Posts

Comments (0)


Add a Comment






Allowed tags: <b><i><br>Add a new comment:


Latest Blog Posts

Virtme: The kernel developers' best friend

18/09/2018

When working on the Linux Kernel, testing via QEMU is pretty common. Here's a look at virtme, a QEMU wrapper that uses the host instead…

Cambridge XMPP Sprint

30/08/2018

Earlier this month, Collabora sponsored & hosted the XMMP Sprint, the first developer event in the XMPP community in a long time. Here's…

Testing Chromebooks with LAVA on kernelci.org

29/08/2018

In addition to Collabora's work to add support in mainline Linux kernel for several Chromebooks, these platforms are now being continuously…

Quick hack: git reset upstream

27/08/2018

Working with a git based project that has a defacto upstream repository means that you perioducally want to fetch the canonical master branch.…

En route to a robust GPU device selection in GL

21/08/2018

A look at the work and motivation behind implementing the Khronos EGLDevice extensions in Mesa. These extensions allow users of open source…

Cross-compilation made easy for GNOME Builder

03/08/2018

GNOME Builder is an Integrated Development Environment designed for the GNOME ecosystem. It most notably features a deep integration to…

Open Since 2005 logo

We use cookies on this website to ensure that you get the best experience. By continuing to use this website you are consenting to the use of these cookies. To find out more please follow this link.

Collabora Ltd © 2005-2018. All rights reserved. Website sitemap.