Comparison of browser engines

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article compares browser engines, especially actively-developed ones.[a]

Some of these engines have shared origins. For example, the WebKit engine was created by forking the KHTML engine in 2001.[1] Then, in 2013, a modified version of WebKit was officially forked as the Blink engine.[2]

General information[edit]

The following browser engines are discussed in this article

Status of browser engines
Engine Status[a] Steward License Embedded in
WebKit Active Apple GNU LGPL, BSD-style Safari browser, plus all browsers for iOS;[3] GNOME Web
Blink Active Google GNU LGPL, BSD-style Google Chrome and all other Chromium-based browsers, notably Microsoft Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, Samsung Internet and Opera[4]
Gecko Active Mozilla Mozilla Public Firefox browser and Thunderbird email client
Goanna[b] Active M. C. Straver[6] Mozilla Public Pale Moon, Basilisk and K-Meleon browsers
Flow Active Ekioh[7] Proprietary Flow browser[8]
Trident[c] Maintained Microsoft Proprietary Internet Explorer browser
EdgeHTML Maintained Microsoft Proprietary some UWP apps;[10] formerly in the Edge browser[11]
KHTML Maintained KDE GNU LGPL Konqueror browser
Servo Maintained Linux Foundation Mozilla Public experimental browsers[12][13]
NetSurf[d] Maintained hobbyists[16] GNU GPLv2 NetSurf browser[17]
LibWeb[e] Maintained hobbyists[19] 2-clause BSD Ladybird browser[18]
Presto Discontinued Opera Proprietary formerly in the Opera browser


These tables summarize what actively-developed[a] engines can support.

Operating systems[edit]

The operating systems that engines can run on without emulation.

Compatibility of browser engines on various operating systems
Engine Windows macOS iOS[3] Android Linux BSD Haiku
WebKit Yes[i] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Blink Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes[ii]
Gecko Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
Goanna Yes Yes[20] No No[21] Yes Yes No
NetSurf Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes
Flow[8] Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No


  1. ^ Must be built from source code.
  2. ^ Only available through QtWebEngine.

Image formats[edit]

WebKit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Blink Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Nightly build
Gecko Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Nightly build
Goanna Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes

Media formats[edit]

Engine VP9 AV1 HEVC H264+AAC Opus FLAC
WebKit Yes Yes Yes Yes Depends Yes
Blink Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gecko Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Goanna Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes


Engine TTF OTF WOFF WOFF2 @font-face Ligatures
WebKit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Blink Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gecko Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Goanna Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Other items[edit]

Engine Shadow DOM WebGL SVG XHTML
WebKit Yes Yes Yes Yes
Blink Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gecko Yes Yes Yes Yes
Goanna No[22] Yes Yes Yes

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Active status means that new Web standards continue to be added to the engine, which properly renders the vast majority of websites, including multimedia. However, Maintained status can be as minimal as ensuring the engine code still compiles. Discontinued is when the engine code is abandoned.
  2. ^ Goanna is a fork of an old version of Gecko. It has less web compatibility, but still renders the vast majority of websites.[5]
  3. ^ Internet Explorer continues to receive security updates,[9] which means Trident (a.k.a. MSHTML) is still maintained.
  4. ^ NetSurf does not fully support HTML5 or other recent Web standards,[14][15] which means it cannot work properly on YouTube, Gmail, and many other popular websites. Thus it does not merit Active status per this article's criteria.
  5. ^ As of September 2022, LibWeb will require "years of development" before it is a full-featured engine suitable for real browsing.[18] Thus it does not merit Active status per this article's criteria.


  1. ^ Paul Festa (2003-01-14). "Apple snub stings Mozilla". CNET Networks. Archived from the original on 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
  2. ^ Bright, Peter (April 3, 2013). "Google going its own way, forking WebKit rendering engine". Ars Technica. Conde Nast. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Open-sourcing Chrome on iOS!". 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  4. ^ "Current browser market share". StatCounter. Retrieved 29 October 2021.
  5. ^ M.C. Straver (a.k.a. Moonchild) (July 2022). "Re: YouTube SLOW!". For the record, even I am not exclusively using Pale Moon either, because the web simply is too Google-centric at the moment. I do use it for the vast majority of sites but there are a few like Youtube and some sites which are simply not interested in being browser agnostic where I use Edge, instead.
  6. ^ M. C. Straver. "About Moonchild Productions". Archived from the original on 2017-03-13. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  7. ^ "About Ekioh". Ekioh.
  8. ^ a b "Flow Browser". Ekioh.
  9. ^ "Lifecycle FAQ – Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge – Microsoft Lifecycle". Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  10. ^ Mendelevich, Alan (14 May 2021). "You Think You Can Forget About the "Legacy" Microsoft Edge? Not So Fast!".
  11. ^ Mackie, Kurt (10 December 2018). "Microsoft Edge Browser To Get New Rendering Engine but EdgeHTML Continues". Redmond Mag. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  12. ^ "A new browser for Magic Leap". 2018-12-03. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  13. ^ "Firefox Reality for HoloLens 2". 2020-05-21. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  14. ^ "Development Progress". NetSurf. Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  15. ^ "NetSurf | News". NetSurf. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  16. ^ "NetSurf Developer page". Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  17. ^ "NetSurf web browser homepage". Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  18. ^ a b Andreas Kling (September 2022). "Ladybird: A new cross-platform browser project". Please note that we're still early in development, and many web platform features are missing or broken. It's going to take a long time before Ladybird is ready for day-to-day browsing.
  19. ^ "SerenityOS F.A.Q." GitHub. This project does not cater to non-technical users.
  20. ^ "#1829 Restore Mac OS X code and buildability". 2022-03-31. Archived from the original on 2022-05-06.
  21. ^ "Pale Moon for Android is dead". April 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  22. ^ " shows blank page TypeError: e.attachShadow is not a function". August 2022.