Waterfox G4 has been released; it requires an SSE4.2 compatible processor
Waterfox has been updated to version G4, and brings some important changes. An announcement on the developer's website says that the browser has been heavily optimized for best performance.
You may use Waterfox G4 to import your profiles from other Gecko-based browsers, like Firefox. To do so, click the File menu and select the Import From Another Browser, option. Initially the latest version had a bug that failed to detect existing profiles, but the issue was quickly patched in G18.104.22.168
Waterfox G4 has a new theme called Lepton, which is based on the Proton theme. There are two more themes you may choose from: Dark and Light. The most notable change in the new theme, is the tab bar, especially the tab corners, they look less like Chrome and are now similar to Firefox.
The main menu is also similar to Proton UI's, as is the page context menu. The Lepton theme is not exclusive to Waterfox, you may use it with Firefox too, since it is an open-source User Chrome CSS style, called Firefox-UI-Fix (previously known as Proton Fix).
Waterfox requires a SSE4.2 compatible CPU
Waterfox G4 has a limitation that some users may not like, and this is related to the performance improvements. Starting with the latest version, you need to have a processor that supports the SSE4.2 instruction set technology, to use Waterfox. According to Wikipedia, Intel started supporting SSE4.2 from the Nehalem-based processors in 2008, while AMD began supporting it with the Bulldozer-based FX chipsets from 2011. Basically, you don't need to worry about it unless you are using a very old computer. But if you are wondering whether your computer supports SSE4.2, download a portable hardware monitoring program like HWiNFO or CPU-Z, and run it. The tool will tell you if your processor is compatible with the technology.
Some users on reddit have questioned whether their computers with SSE4.1 or below will be unable to run the browser.
Now as far as cross-platform compatibility is concerned, Waterfox's website says that G4 is supported on Windows 7, macOS 10.12 Intel, macOS 11 ARM and Linux Kernel 5.4. It appears that support for macOS Yosemite 10.5 has ended out of the blue. ARM support for Apple's new Macbooks is a welcome move, and the developer plans to add Windows and ARM builds in the future. You can find the installers, portable versions of the browser at the releases page.
Waterfox Classic coming to an end?
Waterfox Classic could be coming to an end, says Alex Kontos, the developer of the Firefox-fork. Responding to a query from a user on reddit, Kontos said that the existence of Waterfox Classic depends on whether security fixes from Firefox ESR91 can be ported to the Classic version. In short, it depends on how difficult the task could turn out to be, and boils down to the choice between updating the browser with new features, while leaving security vulnerabilities unpatched.
Kontos' post on the Waterfox blog says that the browser will now follow the central branch of Gecko. The browser will get a rolling release instead of Extended Support Releases.
Do you use Waterfox? Which one do you prefer? Classic or ESR or G4?Advertisement