After the failure of Internet Explorer, and the classic Edge, one of the best fucking decisions that Microsoft makes is to abandon its web engine once and for all and jump through the hoops of the most popular engine, which, in the end, is what people use: chrome. Thus, in January 2020, Microsoft finally launched its new web browser for all Windows users (from 7 onwards), shortly after launching versions specially designed for other operating systems, such as macOS and, of course, Linux.
The new Chromium-based Edge is roughly a version of Google Chrome without all the Google bad stuff (i.e. the spying and tracking), and it changes many of the system functions and adds new features that, by default, , are not available in the Google browser, such as performance improvements or better ways of working. In addition, such is the similarity between both browsers that is it possible to install chrome extensions on edgeso that users do not miss anything when changing.
Edge is not fully OpenSource software, only the engine (Chromium) is open source. Therefore, we will never see it installed by default in any distro. But, if we want, we can install it by hand, Let’s see how.
Install Microsoft Edge on Linux
There are two different ways to install this new web browser on any Linux distro.
Using the DEB/RPM package
The first one is by downloading the installation package from the web page of the browser. This website will automatically detect the operating system that we are using, and will allow us to automatically download the best version for our system. For example, we are going to download the version to install it on Ubuntu, so we will download the .DEB version of it. In case of using other distros not based on Debian, like Fedora, we should download the RPM package.
Before continuing, we will have to accept the license terms.
Once the corresponding DEB/RPM package has been downloaded, we run it on our computer by double-clicking on it. The package manager of our computer will open, and we will be able to see general information about it. For example, the version that we are going to install, the type of license, and the size of the program, among other aspects.
We click on the “Install” button, enter the superuser password, or root, when asked, and wait for the installation to complete. Ready. Now the browser will appear in the list of installed applications of our distro, and we can run it directly from there.
If we are one of those who prefer to install the programs from the terminal, using commands, we will also be able to do it. To do this, the first thing we must do is copy the program’s installation script to the system and import the Microsoft GPG keys to be able to authenticate the package. We can do this by directly executing the following commands in our terminal, always with root permissions.
To install it on a Debian-based distro, such as Ubuntu, the commands that we must execute on the system are the following:
curl https://packages.microsoft.com/keys/microsoft.asc | gpg --dearmor > microsoft.gpg
sudo install -o root -g root -m 644 microsoft.gpg /usr/share/keyrings/
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/microsoft.gpg] https://packages.microsoft.com/repos/edge stable main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/microsoft-edge-dev.list'
sudo rm microsoft.gpg
Once the keys have been imported, we will have our system ready to install the browser using the package manager of our system. In our case, since we are using Ubuntu, we can do it through APT. Therefore, we simply execute the following command and wait for it to finish.
sudo apt update && sudo apt install microsoft-edge-stable
We can also install the “Dev” version for developers using the following command:
sudo apt install microsoft-edge-dev
Or the beta, by changing the repository name to “/etc/apt/sources.list.d/microsoft-edge-beta.list'” and running the command:
sudo apt install microsoft-edge-beta
When finished, we will already have Edge installed on our computer, and we can start browsing with it by launching it from the list of system applications.
If what we want is to launch this browser in a Fedora-based distro, then what we must do is execute the following commands (which are very similar to the ones we have just seen with Ubuntu):
sudo rpm --import https://packages.microsoft.com/keys/microsoft.asc
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
And, to install it, we will do it with:
sudo dnf install microsoft-edge-stable
Likewise, we can change “microsoft-edge-stable” to “sudo dnf install microsoft-edge-dev” or “sudo dnf install microsoft-edge-beta” depending on whether we want to install the beta version of the browser, or the developer version Web.
Microsoft also allows us to install your browser on OpenSUSE-based distros. To do this, we must also change a little the commands that we must execute, leaving them as follows:
sudo rpm --import https://packages.microsoft.com/keys/microsoft.asc
sudo zypper ar https://packages.microsoft.com/yumrepos/edge microsoft-edge-dev
sudo zypper refresh
And, to install it:
sudo zypper install microsoft-edge-stable
Likewise, we can change the name of the package to “microsoft-edge-dev” or “microsoft-edge-beta” depending on the version of the browser that we want to install.
Refresh the browser
Contrary to what happens with the version of the browser for Windows, in the case of Edge for Linux we cannot update it from the “About” section. When we enter it we can see information about the version, but not the browser updater itself.
To bring Edge up to date when there are new versions, what we have to do is update it like any other program installed on our system. That is, through the corresponding package manager.
To do this, what we will do is search for new package updates in the repositories of our distro, and download those that are available. The fastest way to do this is to run the following command in an Ubuntu terminal:
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
If we do not want to use the terminal, we can also download the DEB/RPM package again when there is a new version from the Edge web page to install it on top and thus update to the latest version.
Thus, if there is a new version of Edge for Linux, we can download and install it on the PC. If we use Fedora, or OpenSUSE, we will have to execute the appropriate command to update the browser to its corresponding version.
Uninstall Edge and clear your data
In the event that we are not convinced by the operation of Edge for Linux, we can always delete it so that there is no trace that it has been on our computer. We can do this, as always, in several different ways. If we still save the installer of the program, we can open it with our package manager to see the option to uninstall it and proceed to delete it just as we installed it at the time.
In addition, we can also do it from a terminal, executing the following command:
sudo apt purge microsoft-edge-stable
If we use the “beta” or “dev” version, we must change the name of the package to that of the version that we have installed. Thanks to the “purge” command we can delete both the browser and all the data related to it from our system, erasing all traces of Edge and being able to continue with our lives.
If we use another distro, like the ones we have seen, we will have to delete it using “dnf” or “zypper”.