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How To Install Microsoft Edge On Linux

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Microsoft announced the first developer preview of Edge browser for Linux on October 20 2020. This initial preview release supports Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and openSUSE distributions. This brief tutorial shows you how to install Microsoft Edge on Linux and how to get started with Microsoft Edge browser.

A brief introduction to Microsoft Edge Browser

For those who don’t know yet, Microsoft Edge is a web browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier. It is based on Chromium browser, a free and opensource software project from Google and is created with lots of other open source software.

Edge has replaced Internet Explorer 11 and Internet Explorer Mobile and became the default browser for Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile and Xbox One consoles. Apart from Windows, It works on Android, iOS, macOS and now Linux.

Install Microsoft Edge On Linux

Currently, Microsoft Edge preview builds supports DEB-based systems, such as Debian and Ubuntu, and RPM-based systems such as Fedora and openSUSE. The Edge devs are planning to release the versions for other Linux distributions in the days to come.

At present, we can install Microsoft Edge on in two ways.

1. Download and install .deb or .rpm binary packages

You can directly download the .deb or .rpm packages from the Microsoft Edge Insider site and install it using the distribution’s package manager.

For instance, I installed Microsoft Edge on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS desktop using the following commands:

$ sudo apt install gdebi
$ sudo gdebi Downloads/microsoft-edge-dev_88.0.673.0-1_amd64.deb

The above command will add the Microsoft Software repository and then install Edge browser in your system.

If you are on RPM-based systems like Fedora or openSUSE, download the .rpm file and install it like below:

$ sudo rpm -ivh microsoft-edge-dev-88.0.673.0-1.x86_64.rpm

2. Install Microsoft Edge from software repository

The another way to install Edge on Linux is to from Microsoft’s Linux software repository.

2.1. Install Microsoft Edge on Debian, Ubuntu

Download and add Microsoft’s GPG public key:

$ curl https://packages.microsoft.com/keys/microsoft.asc | gpg --dearmor > microsoft.gpg
$ sudo install -o root -g root -m 644 microsoft.gpg /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/

Add Microsoft’s Linux software repository for Edge browser:

$ sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64] https://packages.microsoft.com/repos/edge stable main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/microsoft-edge-dev.list'

Update repository lists and install Edge browser on your Debian or Ubuntu system:

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install microsoft-edge-dev

Finally, remove the downloaded GPG key:

$ sudo rm microsoft.gpg

2.2. Install Microsoft Edge on Fedora

Import Microsoft’s public GPG key:

$ sudo rpm --import https://packages.microsoft.com/keys/microsoft.asc

Add Microsoft’s Linux software repository for Edge browser:

$ sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo https://packages.microsoft.com/yumrepos/edge
$ sudo mv /etc/yum.repos.d/packages.microsoft.com_yumrepos_edge.repo /etc/yum.repos.d/microsoft-edge-dev.repo

Finally, install Edge browser on Fedora using command:

$ sudo dnf install microsoft-edge-dev

2.3. Install Microsoft Edge on openSUSE

Import Microsoft’s public GPG key:

$ sudo rpm --import https://packages.microsoft.com/keys/microsoft.asc

Add Microsoft’s Linux software repository for Edge browser:

$ sudo zypper ar https://packages.microsoft.com/yumrepos/edge microsoft-edge-dev

Update the software repositories and install Microsoft Edge browser on openSUSE:

$ sudo zypper refresh
$ sudo zypper install microsoft-edge-dev

Getting started with Microsoft Edge Browser On Linux

When you open Edge browser for the first time, you will be greeted with a welcome message.

Please read the license terms prior to using Edge browser. Your installation and use of the package constitutes your acceptance of these terms. If you do not agree with the license terms, do not use the package.

Click the “Accept and get started” button.

Welcome to Microsoft Edge

Next you can choose how your new tab pages should look. You will be given three choices. Pick one that interests you and click Confirm to proceed.

Setup new tab page in Edge browser
Setup new tab page in Edge browser

You can always change the look of the new tab pages later in Page settings window.

Finally, you will be landed in the Edge browser’s home page. This is how Microsoft Edge browser looks like in my Ubuntu 20.04 LTS desktop.

Microsoft Edge Insider Home page
Microsoft Edge Insider Home page

Start browsing the web with Microsoft Edge:

Microsoft Edge browser running in Linux
Microsoft Edge browser running in Linux

Features of Edge browser

Even though Edge is based on Chromium, it has its own set of features such as collections, immersive reader mode, Bing search integration, dark mode, web capture (screenshot tool), and a variety of different New Tab page layouts. As stated already, you can pick a new layout for your New Tab page from Page settings.

Select New Tab layout in Edge browser
Select New Tab layout in Edge browser

Among all features, I like the “Web capture” and “Collections” features the most. You could use the web capture option to take screenshots. And the Collections allows you to to save content for later – an image, text or a full web page – directly in the browser.

Edge browser is fast and responsive! I opened a few tabs to measure its speed and performance. I don’t notice any drops in its performance. It doesn’t hang or freeze. It has a built-in task manager to view the resource usage. To open the task manager, click the three horizontal dots (…) in the tool bar and select More tools -> Browser Task Manager option. You can also hit SHIFT+ESC keys to open the task manager.

Edge browser task manager
Edge browser task manager

Customize Edge browser

Edge browser can be customized as per your liking. You can change its appearance, switch between dark/light mode, apply a custom theme, change font size, hide/show buttons in the tool bar etc.

To customize Edge browser, Click “…” menu on the top right, choose “Settings” and select Appearance in the left pane. Alternatively, you can type “edge://settings/appearance” in the address bar.

Install Extensions

We can extend the improve the functionality of Edge browser by installing add-ons and extensions. Since Edge is based on Chromium, you can get extensions from the Chrome Web Store. There is also a dedicated, official extensions page available for Edge.

Conclusion

I used Edge browser for a couple hours. I visited various types of websites, ranging from blogs, e-Commerce, news, forums, and entertainment. I haven’t encountered any crashes or issues so far. Edge browser just worked fine in my Ubuntu 20.04 LTS desktop. However, I must warn you, it is not yet ready for production use. Refrain from using it for doing any important tasks.

You may encounter bugs and unexpected behaviour. Report any issues or share feedback or feature requests via the “Send Feedback” tool, either via the “…” (“Settings and More”) menu in Microsoft Edge, or by pressing Alt+Shift+I keys.

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