Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Vivaldi After a Few Days

Last week, I installed and began using Vivaldi -- a more Opera-like gloss on Chromium -- on the Raspberry Pi in preference to basic Chromium. Here's a brief update on how that's working out:

  1. Vivaldi seems to load/render sites faster than regular Chromium, which is nice but not strictly necessary. The ARM-based Pi running Raspbian (a fork of Debian Linux) is, in general, slower than my AMD-based ThinkCentre running Kubuntu, but not to a degree, or in particular ways, that slow down my work (I tend to open a bunch of new tabs in background at once, and if they take a little longer to load, no biggie).
  2. Vivaldi has built-in ad and tracker blocking, meaning I don't have to run e.g. uBlock Origin for that stuff. The settings are controlled by a button on the left side of the URL bar, so nicely accessible.
  3. As a Chromium build, Vivaldi will run most Chrome extensions, but I haven't loaded a whole bunch of them. This probably contributes to the speedier work.
  4. Two work-related things do bug me. One I can do something about and am doing it -- opening multiple bookmarks at the same time creates new tabs in reverse order. Since my workflow goes a particular way, I'm having to rearrange groups of bookmarks. The other is a "get used to it" thing -- opening something in a new tab automatically goes to that tab, with no setting for changing it (I checked/searched, and a number of users consider this an issue), unless you choose "open in background tab" on right-click. I'd prefer that just be an automated setting rather than a separate right-click option, but I can deal with it.
  5. On the gaming and entertainment side, I'm having trouble getting Vivaldi to handle WebGL (for certain games), or Widevine (for e.g. watching Netflix videos). The former is a minor irritation. As for the latter, I didn't even know I could watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. in Linux until I came across the subject while looking up the WebGL problem. And I did get Widevine working in Chromium proper, so that's a win if I want to use it.
Overall, I'm pretty damn happy with Vivaldi. Happier than with Chromium proper, at least so far.

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