Gecko is the rendering engine used by Mozilla
foundation Corporation's web browser products such as Seamonkey and Firefox. There used to be many other browsers, such as Flock and Galeon, using Gecko has a rendering engine. The vast majority dwindled into irrelevancy and died slow silent deaths. There are a few hanging in there. There's also a few alternative browsers that use Gecko which are nothing more than Firefox with different graphics and different default configurations.
Actively developed Gecko-based Desktop browsers
There's not much left in terms of actively developed gecko-based browsers but there are a few choices:
- K-Meleon, a Windows browser based on Gecko, is still being actively developed. There hasn't been a stable release since 2015 but there was a preview release late 2018. The Gecko-based rendering engine it uses has deviated from Gecko to the point where it's now called "Goanna". K-Meleon's homepage is at http://kmeleonbrowser.org/
- Pale Moon is a Firefox fork which has diverged quite a lot since the fork long, long ago.
Much of it's code consists of a 10 years old Gecko-version from Firefox. It has one clear disadvantage: it's runs entirely single-threaded.Palemoon has always been multithreaded & multi-core performance is being furthered currently using OpenMP. One browser tab will slow down another (i.e., All browsers share this issue. Opening more tabs requires more processing & resources. It's impossible to get more performance without taxing system resources. No, you cannot download more RAM). It is a Gecko-based browser but it's kind of not, the changes between it's rendering engine and modern Gecko are significant. Pale Moon is available for Windows and Linux. No *BSD. It's homepage is at http://www.palemoon.org/
Gecko-"based" Firefox-rebranded Desktop browsers
- GNU IceCat is just the regular Firefox long-term release with some default configuration tweaks and some bundled privacy-focused extensions; it isn't a different browser. It's entire "codebase" is actually a few bash-scripts which changes the graphics, adds extensions and changes configuration options. It is not a fork.
- LibreWolf is like IceCat a regular Firefox browser with a few patches, default AdBlock, stripped out telemetry and configuration focused on tracking and privacy protection (which inevitably breaks some websites). It is hosted on gitlab. LibreWolf is using current builds of Firefox rather than long-term releases.
- Waterfox is a stripped down actively developed Firefox version. There is a Linux, Windows and macOS version. The changes are large enough to perhaps call it a fork but the changes are mostly removal of Firefox code and there's not much in terms of new original code added. The project got sold to System1, an ad company, however the developers stay the same. It's essentially a stripped-down rebrand. The homepage is https://www.waterfox.net/
Gecko-"based" Firefox-rebranded Android browsers
- IceCatMobile is, like the Icecat desktop version, just plain mobile Firefox Extended Support Release with different configuration options and branding. It is available from the free software F-Droid appstore at https://f-droid.org/en/packages/org.gnu.icecat/
- Fennec is another Firefox re-brand with the same no differences apart from stock configuration and graphics as IceCatMobile. The difference between IceCatMobile and Fennec is the rebranded version used, Fennec is based on standard releases while IceCatMobile uses the ESR version. Thus; Fennec is always based on a newer version. It is available from the free software F-Droid appstore at https://f-droid.org/en/packages/org.mozilla.fennec_fdroid/
Gallery of the Bankrupt and Finished
These browsers are all discontinued for various reasons:
- Classilla, a Gecko-based browser for PowerPC, could be considered to be "alive" but there's not been a release since 2014.
- The Camino web browser, a Gecko-based browser for Mac OS X, was abandoned in 2012.
- Flock was abandoned in 2011.
- Galeon was abandoned in 2008.
- Kazehakase's last release was September, 2009.
- Light was an attempt to make a light-weight Firefox fork which was actively developed 2015-2016. There's portable versions for Windows XP, Windows 7 and GNU/Linux. It's been abandoned for quite some time and it not an alternative. It does have one use-case: It's a good choice if you want to run a relatively modern web browser on a Windows XP machine for some reason. It's available from https://sourceforge.net/projects/lightfirefox/
- Nightingale hasn't been updated since 2011.
- TenFourFox, Builds with security updates will be guaranteed until October 5, 2021.