Opera has finally released a version of its popular browser for Linux. The Developer version of Opera 24 brings familiar Windows and Mac features to the open source platform and users can get it from the experimental Developer channel. Opera 24 will be an alternative to Chrome and Firefox, which are the two most used browsers on Linux. Opera claims to have re-purposed the browser based on the Blink rendering engine, that the company adopted when Google, along with Opera, ditched WebKit. “We’ve had many questions about Opera on Linux from our users,” says Zhenis Beisekov, Product Manager of Desktop Products at Opera Software. “We focused on rebuilding the entire browser, adding a new engine and the same features you can find in the Windows and Mac versions. Now, you can finally get a web experience completely re-thought for the Linux platform.”
The Opera browser is available for Linux again, albeit just in the developer stream for now. The Norwegian browser maker used to have something for Linux until around the time, in early 2013, that it abandoned its own framework and rendering engine in favor of Chromium and WebKit. Pre-revamp version 12.x was the last with Linux support, and there is indeed an open-source project called Otter Browser that aims to recreate that version. Now, probably to the surprise of some, Opera is back on the free operating system with the upcoming version 24. It’s in the low-stability developer stream and right now it’s only guaranteed to work on Ubuntu Linux 64-bit with the Unity or Gnome shell, but it’s there. As the Opera team said in a Monday blog post: “Many of us at Opera use Linux as our primary platform. It’s great to be able to try out the newest developments of Opera on Linux once again. Adding Linux to our browser line fulfils an important part of Opera’s vision to shape an open, connected world. We want everyone to have fast and safe access to the web. Adding Linux opens up that possibility to more machines running the open-source operating system.” The new Linux version of Opera 24 will be the first to take in features released for Windows and OS X versions last year, notably the Stash read-later facility and the Google Currents-ish Discover. Speed Dial (Opera’s answer to bookmarks) and the data-compressing Opera Turbo feature have also seen heavy revamps during that period, so that’s more for Linux Opera fans to look forward to.