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WebKit on the new Raspberry Pi 2

Marco Barisione avatar

Posted on 02/02/2015 by Marco Barisione

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Today the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced a new model of the Raspberry Pi!
While the new Raspberry Pi looks almost identical to the previous one, it’s much more powerful (and with four cores instead of one) and costs just $35.

Here at Collabora we have worked together with the Raspberry Pi Foundation on optimising WebKit for the first Raspberry Pi, achieving a good browsing experience (notwithstanding hardware limitations) with smooth 720 videos, good responsivity, etc.
Despite this work, a lot of web sites are just incredibly heavy and don’t run too well on the RPi1, so the extra CPU power is very useful. Just look at this video to see the difference in performances between the two Pis.


Comparison between the RPi1 and RPi2 (mp4 video file)

Our optimised WebKit-based web browser (i.e. GNOME Web, AKA Epiphany) is already available in Raspbian images, so you will get this out of the box.

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Comments (8)

  1. Peter Johansson:
    Mar 10, 2015 at 05:29 PM

    Hi,
    Good to see the great progress of optimization, just curious since reading the article from Sjoerd (https://www.collabora.com/about-us/blog/2015/02/03/debian-jessie-on-raspberry-pi-2), is it possible to get this version on Epiphany running on the Jessie release? repo/src code for this?
    Thank and keep up the work!

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  2. Marco Barisione:
    Mar 12, 2015 at 11:35 AM

    Due to dependencies, it's quite tricky to get the current Epiphany/WebKit to run on Debian Jessie. We plan on upgrading the current browser to Raspbian Jessie in the next month or so and, when it's done, running it on Debian will be much easier.
    We also have longer term plans on updating our WebKit to WebKit2 (i.e. the multiprocess Chrome-like WebKit).

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  3. Tim Davis:
    Apr 08, 2015 at 01:12 AM

    It would be great to see epiphany browser running on jessie. I am presently running mate on Jessie (on RPi2) and it is great... just need the final piece of the puzzle (multi-threaded epiphany).

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  4. Emanuele Aina:
    Apr 10, 2015 at 10:06 AM

    We don't have any date set yet, but moving our branch to Rasbpian Jessie is definitely in the plans, which should make running the patched version on Debian much easier. We'll keep you posted!

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  5. osol:
    May 23, 2015 at 07:40 AM

    Epiphany that comes with the Raspian image always crashes/stops when i perform a "save as" of a web-page. That is a big turn off, I use iceweasel instead......

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  6. Emanuele Aina:
    May 25, 2015 at 06:24 PM

    @osol, I just tried "Save As" on http://www.bbc.com/news with epiphany-browser 3.8.2.0-0rpi22rpi1 and libwebkitgtk-3.0-0 2.4.1-1rpi41rpi1 but I've not been able to reproduce your issue.

    Can you provide me some more info, like the output of `dpkg -l epiphany-browser && dpkg -l libwebkitgtk-3.0-0` and the URL of the page you tried to save?

    Feel free to mail me directly: emanuele.aina@collabora.com

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  7. Peter Strong:
    Dec 13, 2015 at 06:07 AM

    I understand the new 'Web' browser for Pi2 Raspbian has Javascript disabled by default. Try as I may for several hours today on Google, RaspberryPi and Gnome web site searches I cannot find any info on how to enable Javascript on this new browser - Web 3.8.2

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  8. Emanuele Aina:
    Dec 14, 2015 at 01:25 AM

    @Peter Strong, JavaScript is enabled by default, only some optimizations are turned off (ie. the JIT). This means that JavaScript is still quite slow on the Raspebrry Pi (even on the Pi 2), but it runs fine nonetheless.

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