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"Linux Gazette...making Linux just a little more fun!"

Dillo--a Web Browser as Fast as Lightning

By Matthias Arndt


Dillo is a new and up-and-coming open-source web browser. It is different and almost not comparable to other browsers. I discovered it over a year ago and I've been watching this project growing and getting into a usable state. It is still alpha software but in my opinion this program is quite useable in its current state.

It resembles the old Chimera browser in being small and fast. It is definitly not as fancy as other graphic browsers but it has its good points.

Dillo features

Dillo currently has support for:

You can use it as any other graphical browser. Click on links to activate them. The middle button will bring up the link in a new window. The right button gives you a simple menu which allows you to view the page source, to save a page or to download a link.

Advantages of Dillo

Dillo is...

Disadvantages of Dillo

If you really need Javascript, Java or Flash, then Dillo is not for you. Of course, you can use Dillo for your regular surfing and open another browser whenever you need to see the Javascript, Java or Flash.


First go to the Dillo homepage and grab a tarball of the current version.

Then issue the following steps to install it: Steps given like this must be entered at a shell prompt.

If all works, you should have a binary called dillo now. To install Dillo system-wide do su -c "make install" now.

Type dillo to get started and don't forget to read the documentation that comes with Dillo.

To compile Dillo , you'll need to have several libraries installed including X development, libpng and GTK.

Dillo is in the Debian distributon (unstable at least), and may be in other recent distributions too.


Dillo is neat. You should take a look at it. Dillo is very usable especially for browsing local documentation. But in the current versions you can even take a serious trip into the web.

Dillo is small and fast and therefore makes w3m obsolete. Anyone who is still browsing with w3m because of its speed should change to Dillo. Dillo is as fast and it offers rendering graphics. You can even turn image loading off and only get the ALT tags of images.

Dillo is my browser of choice. Only when I have to browse pages needing Javascript or Flash do I start a Mozilla-compatible browser. The most annoying drawbacks for me are the lack of CSS support and that you cannot cut & paste from the Dillo rendering area.

So take a look it--nobody forces you to use it. It's a nice example for what can be done, and a pretty cool example of open-source software.

If you want to get more information, I suggest visiting the Dillo homepage.


Matthias Arndt

I'm a Linux enthusiast from northern Germany. I like plain old fifties rock'n'roll music, writing stories and publishing in the Linux Gazette, of course. Currently I'm studying computer science in conjunction with economics.

Copyright © 2002, Matthias Arndt.
Copying license
Published in Issue 79 of Linux Gazette, June 2002

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