After several years of inactivity and a quiet relaunch earlier this year, the Dillo web browser has finally released Dillo 2.0.

The open-source project started in 1999 with the goal of creating a small, fast, highly efficient graphical web browser that could run well even on low-end hardware and software. It’s a UNIX application, and runs on Linux, BSD, Solaris, etc. Things stagnated when it became clear that GTK1 was going to vanish, and GTK2 would not fit the project goals, and eventually the browser was ported to the Fast Light Toolkit (FLTK).

If you’ve used Dillo before, some of the improvements in this release are multiple character set support (the old versions were Latin-1–only), tabbed browsing, HTTP compression, anti-aliasing, improved rendering and UI, and smaller(!) memory usage.

It does have its limitations, and a few major items stand out as missing when compared to other modern browsers:

  • No CSS stylesheet support.
  • No scripting.
  • No plug-ins.
  • Limited SSL support.

That said, it’s useful to keep around on an older system, or for situations where speed is more important than rendering, or to test how a website works without styles, scripts, and plugins.

I started building RPMs of Dillo for my own use back in 2002, and became the official RPM packager for the project the following year. I’ve posted Dillo RPM packages for Fedora 9, RHEL 3, RHEL 4, and RHEL 5. Other distros will have to wait until I get my build system out of storage or figure out how to convince mock to let me build two packages together.

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