Technology

Microsoft Edge for Linux enters the stable channel after a year of beta

microsoft-edge-for-linux-enters-the-stable-channel-after-a-year-of-beta

Enlarge / The stable version of Microsoft Edge that runs on Linux Mint.

Andrew Cunningham

Big news for the surely huge pool of Linux users who also love Microsoft’s software: Microsoft has released the first stable version of the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser for Linux. The move follows about a year early availability in the dev and beta channels and almost two years of stable channel availability for Windows and macOS.

The Linux version of Edge is compatible with most major distributions. Microsoft offers both .deb and .rpm installers (for Debian and Red Hat-based distributions) on its download page, and the browser can also be installed from the command line or the package manager of your choice.

In our quick test of the stable version of Edge running on Linux Mint, the browser appears to offer most of the same functionality as Edge on Windows or macOS, including syncing passwords, extensions, bookmarks, and open tabs. If you’re a Linux user who needs to use Windows for work, it comes in handy to have a version of the browser that can sync that data back and forth. The Linux version of Edge lacks the Internet Explorer Compatibility Mode (which is also missing from the Mac version) that some companies use to update outdated internal websites, but most of the other features seem to be there.

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Google’s Chrome web browser is by far the most widely used browser on the internet, which means that most websites test it and the underlying Chromium engine. One potential selling point for Edge – not the only non-Google Chromium browser out there, but probably the biggest as measured by Statcounter data – is that it works with those pages and most of Chrome’s extension ecosystem is compatible, but not tied to, Google services or data collection mechanisms. It also offers more robust tracking and privacy controls and broad cross-platform compatibility with versions for Windows versions 7-11, macOS 10.12 and higher on Intel and Apple Silicon Macs, iOS, Android and now Linux.

If you’re not comforted by swapping the services of one large company and pursuing them for another, smaller browsers like Brave and Vivaldi are also trying to combine Chromium’s compatibility with better data protection features.

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