qutebrowser A keyboard-driven browser.

qutebrowser's primary maintainer, The-Compiler, is currently working part-time on qutebrowser, funded by donations.

To sustain this for a long time, your help is needed! See the GitHub Sponsors page for more information. Depending on your sign-up date and how long you keep a certain level, you can get qutebrowser t-shirts, stickers and more!

Installing qutebrowser

Table of Contents

Official vs. community-maintained

Only the following releases are done by qutebrowser’s maintainer directly:

All other packaging is done by the community, so in case of outdated/broken packages, you will need to reach out to the respective maintainers. Note that some distributions (notably, Debian Stable and Ubuntu) do only update qutebrowser and the underlying QtWebEngine when there’s a new release of the distribution, typically once all couple of months to years.

On Debian / Ubuntu

How to install qutebrowser depends a lot on the version of Debian/Ubuntu you’re running.

Debian Stretch / Ubuntu 16.04 LTS / Linux Mint 18

Debian Stretch does have QtWebEngine packaged, but only in a very old and insecure version (Qt 5.7, based on a Chromium from March 2016). Furthermore, it packages Python 3.5 which is not supported anymore since qutebrowser v2.0.0.

Ubuntu 16.04 doesn’t come with an up-to-date engine (a new enough QtWebKit, or QtWebEngine) and also comes with Python 3.5.

You should be able to install a newer Python (3.6+) using the deadsnakes PPA or pyenv, and then proceed to install qutebrowser in a virtualenv. However, this is currently untested. If you got this setup to work successfully, please submit a pull request to adjust these instructions!

Note you’ll need some basic libraries to use the virtualenv-installed PyQt:

# apt install --no-install-recommends git ca-certificates python3 python3-venv asciidoc libglib2.0-0 libgl1 libfontconfig1 libxcb-icccm4 libxcb-image0 libxcb-keysyms1 libxcb-randr0 libxcb-render-util0 libxcb-shape0 libxcb-xfixes0 libxcb-xinerama0 libxcb-xkb1 libxkbcommon-x11-0 libdbus-1-3 libyaml-dev gcc python3-dev libnss3

Debian Buster / Ubuntu 18.04 LTS / Linux Mint 19

Debian Buster packages qutebrowser, but ships a very old version (v1.6.1 from March 2019). The QtWebEngine library used for rendering web contents is also very old (Qt 5.11, based on a Chromium from March 2018) and insecure. It is not covered by Debian’s security patches. It’s recommended to install qutebrowser in a virtualenv with a newer PyQt/Qt binary instead.

With Ubuntu 18.04, the situation looks similar (but worse): There, qutebrowser v1.1.1 from January 2018 is packaged, with QtWebEngine 5.9 based on a Chromium from January 2017. It’s recommended to either upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or install qutebrowser in a virtualenv with a newer PyQt/Qt binary instead.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS / Linux Mint 20 (or newer)

With those distributions, qutebrowser is in the official repositories, and you can install it with apt:

# apt install qutebrowser

Additional hints

  • If running from git, run the following to generate the documentation for the :help command (the mkvenv.py script used with a virtualenv install already does this for you):

    # apt install --no-install-recommends asciidoc
    $ python3 scripts/asciidoc2html.py
  • If you prefer using QtWebKit, there’s QtWebKit 5.212 available in Ubuntu 18.04 / Debian Buster or newer. Note however that it is based on an upstream WebKit from September 2016 with known security issues and no sandboxing or process isolation.

  • If video or sound don’t work with QtWebKit, try installing the gstreamer plugins:

    # apt install gstreamer1.0-plugins-{bad,base,good,ugly}

    Note those are only needed with QtWebKit, not with the (default) QtWebEngine backend.

On Fedora

qutebrowser is available in the official repositories:

# dnf install qutebrowser

Additional hints

Fedora only ships free software in the repositories. To be able to play videos with proprietary codecs with QtWebEngine, you will need to install an additional package from the RPM Fusion Free repository. For more information see https://rpmfusion.org/Configuration.

# dnf install qt5-qtwebengine-freeworld

On Archlinux

qutebrowser is available in the official [community] repository.

# pacman -S qutebrowser

There is also a -git version available in the AUR: qutebrowser-git.

You can install it using makepkg like this:

$ git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/qutebrowser-git.git
$ cd qutebrowser-git
$ makepkg -si
$ cd ..
$ rm -r qutebrowser-git

or you could use an AUR helper like yay, e.g. yay -S qutebrowser-git.

If video or sound don’t work with QtWebKit, try installing the gstreamer plugins:

# pacman -S gst-plugins-{base,good,bad,ugly} gst-libav

On Gentoo

qutebrowser is available in the main repository and can be installed with:

# emerge -av qutebrowser

If video or sound don’t work with QtWebKit, try installing the gstreamer plugins:

# emerge -av gst-plugins-{base,good,bad,ugly,libav}

To be able to play videos with proprietary codecs with QtWebEngine, you will need to turn off the bindist flag for dev-qt/qtwebengine.

See the Gentoo Wiki for more information.

On Void Linux

qutebrowser is available in the official repositories and can be installed with:

# xbps-install qutebrowser

On NixOS

Nixpkgs collection contains pkgs.qutebrowser since June 2015. You can install it with:

$ nix-env -i qutebrowser

On openSUSE

There are prebuilt RPMs available at OBS.

On Slackware

qutebrowser is available in the 3rd party repository at slackbuilds.org

An easy way to install it is with sbopkg (frontend for slackbuilds.org) available at sbopkg.org

sbopkg can be run with a dialog screen interface, or via command line options.

After installing the latest sbopkg package, choose your release version, and sync the repo.

sbopkg -V 14.2
sbopkg -r

Generate a queue file for qutebrowser and dependencies:

sqg -p qutebrowser

Then load the queue in the dialog queue menu or via:

PYTHON3=yes sbopkg -i qutebrowser

If you use the dialog screen you can deselect any already-installed packages that you don’t need/want to rebuild before starting the build process.

Via Flatpak

qutebrowser is available on Flathub as org.qutebrowser.qutebrowser.

Note
The Flatpak package is looking for (co-)maintainers. The package recently was updated after being out of date for multiple years. It currently (March 2021) is up to date again. If that situation changes, consider to install qutebrowser in a virtualenv instead, which is one of the officially maintained options and will always be up-to-date.

On FreeBSD

qutebrowser is in FreeBSD ports.

It can be installed with:

# cd /usr/ports/www/qutebrowser
# make install clean

At present, precompiled packages are not available for this port, and QtWebEngine backend is also not available.

On Windows

There are different ways to install qutebrowser on Windows:

Prebuilt binaries

Prebuilt standalone packages and installers are built for every release.

Note that you’ll need to upgrade to new versions manually (subscribe to the qutebrowser-announce mailinglist to get notified on new releases). You can install a newer version without uninstalling the older one.

The binary release ships with a QtWebEngine built without proprietary codec support. To get support for e.g. h264/mp4 videos, you’ll need to build QtWebEngine from source yourself with support for that enabled.

Nightly builds

If you want to test out new features before an official qutebrowser release, automated nightly builds are available. To download them, open the lastest run (usually the first one), then download the archive at the bottom of the page. Note that due to GitHub limitations, all variants (Windows/macOS, 32/64 bit, debug/non-debug) are contained in a single archive.

Those builds also include variants with debug logging enabled, which can be useful to track down issues.

Chocolatey package

  • PackageManagement PowerShell module

PS C:\> Install-Package qutebrowser
  • Chocolatey’s client

C:\> choco install qutebrowser
  • Scoop’s client

C:\> scoop bucket add extras
C:\> scoop install qutebrowser

Manual install

Use the installer from python.org to get Python 3 (be sure to install pip).

On macOS

Prebuilt binary

The easiest way to install qutebrowser on macOS is to use the prebuilt .app files from the release page.

Note that you’ll need to upgrade to new versions manually (subscribe to the qutebrowser-announce mailinglist to get notified on new releases).

The binary release ships with a QtWebEngine built without proprietary codec support. To get support for e.g. h264/mp4 videos, you’ll need to build QtWebEngine from source yourself with support for that enabled.

This binary is also available through the Homebrew Cask package manager:

$ brew install qutebrowser --cask

Nightly builds

If you want to test out new features before an official qutebrowser release, automated nightly builds are available. To download them, open the lastest run (usually the first one), then download the archive at the bottom of the page. Note that due to GitHub limitations, all variants (Windows/macOS, 32/64 bit, debug/non-debug) are contained in a single archive.

Those builds also include variants with debug logging enabled, which can be useful to track down issues.

Manual Install

Alternatively, you can install the dependencies via a package manager (like Homebrew or MacPorts) and run qutebrowser from source.

Homebrew

$ brew install qt
(build PyQt and PyQtWebEngine from source)
$ pip3 install qutebrowser
Note
Homebrew does not package PyQtWebEngine (Python wrappers for QtWebEngine), so you will need to build that from sources manually.

Since the v1.0 release, qutebrowser uses QtWebEngine by default.

Homebrew’s builds of Qt and PyQt don’t come with QtWebKit (and --with-qtwebkit uses an old version of QtWebKit which qutebrowser doesn’t support anymore). If you want QtWebKit support, you’ll need to build an up-to-date QtWebKit manually.

Packagers

qutebrowser ships with a Makefile intended for packagers. This installs system-wide files in a proper locations, so it should be preferred to the usual setup.py install or pip install invocation.

Installing qutebrowser with virtualenv

Important
Before January 2020, this section used to be about installing qutebrowser via tox which is a wrapper around virtualenv. Now, a dedicated script is used instead.

A virtual environment (virtualenv, venv) allows Python packages to be installed in an isolated location for a particular application, rather than being installed globally.

The scripts/mkvenv.py script in this repository can be used to create a virtualenv for qutebrowser and install it (including all dependencies) there. The next couple of sections will explain the most common use-cases - run mkvenv.py with --help to see all available options.

Getting the repository

First of all, clone the repository using git and switch into the repository folder:

$ git clone https://github.com/qutebrowser/qutebrowser.git
$ cd qutebrowser

Installing dependencies (including Qt)

Using a Qt installed via virtualenv needs a couple of system-wide libraries. See the Ubuntu 16.04 section for details about which libraries are required.

Then run the install script:

$ python3 scripts/mkvenv.py

This installs all needed Python dependencies in a .venv subfolder (which subdirectory the environment is created in is configurable via the --venv-dir flag).

This comes with an up-to-date Qt/PyQt including a pre-compiled QtWebEngine binary, but has a few caveats:

  • Make sure your python3 is Python 3.6 or newer, otherwise you’ll get a "No matching distribution found" error and/or qutebrowser will not run.

  • It only works on 64-bit x86 systems, with other architectures you’ll get the same error.

  • It comes with a QtWebEngine compiled without proprietary codec support (such as h.264).

See the next section for an alternative install method which might help with those issues but result in an older Qt version.

You can specify a Qt/PyQt version with the --pyqt-version flag, see mkvenv.py --help for a list of available versions. By default, the latest version which plays well with qutebrowser is used.

Note
If the Qt smoke test fails with a "This application failed to start because no Qt platform plugin could be initialized." message, most likely a system-wide library is missing. Pay attention to a QLibraryPrivate::loadPlugin failed on … line for details.

Installing dependencies (system-wide Qt)

Alternatively, you can use mkvenv.py --pyqt-type link to symlink your local PyQt/Qt install instead of installing PyQt in the virtualenv. However, unless you have a new QtWebKit or QtWebEngine available, qutebrowser will not work. It also typically means you’ll be using an older release of QtWebEngine.

On Windows, run set PYTHON=C:\path\to\python.exe (CMD) or ``$Env:PYTHON = "…"` (Powershell) first.

There is a third mode, mkvenv.py --pyqt-type source which uses a system-wide Qt but builds PyQt from source. In most scenarios, this shouldn’t be needed.

Creating a wrapper script

Running mkvenv.py does not install a system-wide qutebrowser script. You can launch qutebrowser by doing:

.venv/bin/python3 -m qutebrowser

You can create a simple wrapper script to start qutebrowser somewhere in your $PATH (e.g. /usr/local/bin/qutebrowser or ~/bin/qutebrowser):

#!/bin/bash
~/path/to/qutebrowser/.venv/bin/python3 -m qutebrowser "$@"

Building the docs

To build the documentation, install asciidoc (note that LaTeX which comes as optional/recommended dependency with some distributions is not required).

Then, run:

$ python3 scripts/asciidoc2html.py

Updating

If you cloned the git repository, run mkvenv.py --update which will take care of updating the code (via git pull) and recreating the environment with the newest dependencies.

Alternatively, you can update your local copy of the code (e.g. by pulling the git repo, or extracting a new version) and the virtualenv should automatically use the updated versions. However, dependencies won’t be updated that way.