People who are involved in the open-source community often ask us why Vivaldi browser isn’t available under a unified open-source license. Here we explain why.

I know that many reject Vivaldi, because he is not entirely FOSS and only listed as Free-Proprietary, although I think that it is not at all fair to compare it for this with others in this category. The small part, about 5% of the code is obfuscated for good reasons. However, it does not prevent the user from modifying it to their liking and it is even encouraged by Vivaldi, but it does prevent large companies (Google) from making a fork of Vivaldi and thereby destroying this still small cooperative.

craigevil
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Vivaldi is my default browser. I switched when Google removed sync from Chromium. Great browser and support community.

@onlooker
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The small part, about 5% of the code is obfuscated for good reasons.

I would very much like to hear what those reasons are.

@Zerush
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Read the Blogpost and you know why. Short answer, Vivaldi is OpenSource at the user level, but not for the use of other companies to be able tofork it, due to its functions and tools that no other browser has today. For a small cooperative like Vivaldi, making it completely OpenSource would be a suicide, at least for the moment. But is accepted include in the Linux communities for its great funcionality, privacy and features implemented in a democratic way by the user requests, for Exmpl., its the default browser in Feren OS and a lot of other distros have it in the repository. Try it and you know why Vivaldi is different from any other Browser.

@onlooker
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So, the UI part is closed source because they want to protect their brand and don’t want forks of their project? That’s super weird. I think I see why FOSS enthusiasts don’t like it.

@Zerush
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Not weird (in the V community there are a lot of FOSS enthusiasts). Chrome and FF currently intends to imitate some functions from Vivaldi (with poor results), like Tree Tabs, tabstacking, note function, split screen view, web panel, etc. Google is dominating the market and also FF, his mascot. What do you think if they can make a browser like Vivaldi? Look at how many FF forks have existed, Mozilla is a great company that can afford it as it is also supported by Google, and how many different Chromium Browsers there were, and how many of these forks are currently abandoned and dead. The browser war is brutal and therefore messing with a new FOSS browser in this field is not always a good idea, not for the browser and not for the user, at least not, until it has become well established after many years Even less a browser that has a concept and philosophy completely different from the others, user centred and user colaboration ware, not company centred, or simples forks with other logos from Chromium or Mozilla, they are FOSS, but only this, same as using the original, or use Chrome, Edge or Opera, with features and UI decided by the company, you like or not. Not the same. With Vivaldi you can do what you want, if you like a feature, you propose it, and if this recibe upvotes, it is implemented in later updates. You have the liberty to degoogle Vivaldi completly in the settings, or not, if you have to use some Gservices, no other Chromium Browser can do this.

SeerLite
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Chrome and FF currently intends to imitate some functions from Vivaldi (with poor results), like Tree Tabs, tabstacking, note function, split screen view, web panel, etc.

No lmao they’re not trying. They don’t need to do that. Most people don’t want these features.

Most people just want something that works, and Chrome and Firefox accomplish that easily already. They don’t need to go around copying “power user features”. Power users are not their target market.

When you say they’re trying to imitate the features, maybe you mean extensions or addons that emulate something similar. And even then IMO these extensions are better than Vivaldi’s implementations. They’re a lot more customizable and modular.

What do you think if they can make a browser like Vivaldi?

If they wanted to, they would have already. They don’t want that though. Chrome wants to target the average user, while Firefox both targets the average user along with the more privacy-conscious people who want a more open web.

Look at how many FF forks have existed, Mozilla is a great company that can afford it as it is also supported by Google

Afford what? They’re not losing anything. They still develop the main browser. Forks don’t cost anything.

and how many different Chromium Browsers there were, and how many of these forks are currently abandoned and dead.

Well then you’re proving the point yourself. The forks aren’t “dead because Google has more money”. They’re dead because the original is more popular, because it’s better maintained by a team. If Vivaldi keeps up and has the original maintained correctly, no fork is gonna win over them.

@Zerush
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Vivaldi features are implemented because of upvoted user requests, for this it’s wrong to say that nobody need this. Inbuild features always better as extensions because of privacy. If you want a browser only for post in a social network and for read your mail, yes, for this are FF or Chrome, but if you are a student, or a professional, you will like the webpanel, where you can have some social media, Wiki or something else, while you have two or more webs in mosaic view in the screen, taking notes with markup or past them from the context menu, which is, like everything in Vivaldi, customizable You can stack the tabs in tree and save them as session, or hibernate them to save memory, You have a screenshot tool for part or the whole page, clock with pomodoro timer, menu with page actions and filters, own sync encrypted end2end, page translation which is not from Google translate, you can quit all Google APIs in the settings if you want…a few examples of some features. FF or Chrome can do this? As I say, try it, it don’t bite you.

SeerLite
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Vivaldi features are implemented because of upvoted user requests, for this it’s wrong to say that nobody need this.

I didn’t say that. I said the target users of FF and Chrome don’t need them, so Google and Mozilla have no motivation to “fork” (much less “kill”) Vivaldi.

you will like the webpanel, where you can have some social media, Wiki or something else, while you have two or more webs in mosaic view in the screen, taking notes with markup or past them from the context menu, which is, like everything in Vivaldi, customizable You can stack the tabs in tree and save them as session, or hibernate them to save memory, You have a screenshot tool for part or the whole page, clock with pomodoro timer, menu with page actions and filters, own sync encrypted end2end, page translation which is not from Google translate, you can quit all Google APIs in the settings if you want

  1. Wow that is a lot of bloat.
  2. Yes, half of that stuff comes built in to Firefox and the other half is, as I said, available through extensions. Extensions which themselves are also open source. Firefox comes with a lot more features than you seem to think, just saying.
  3. Google and Mozilla aren’t targeting people who need these features. And even then it wouldn’t hurt the Vivaldi team to make it open source under a copyleft license, as far as I know.

As I say, try it, it don’t bite you.

I have tried Vivaldi, I know it’s deal. It was my main browser when I first started my power user journey and was for a long time. It was only like a year ago that I switched to Firefox because I started to care more about open source and privacy.

@Zerush
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Privacy is certainly very important nowadays, but looking only at FOSS is not an answer, I think it is a mistake to believe that FOSS is automatically synonymous with privacy and security, which is false. The best example is Chromium and certain OpenSource APIs from Google and Facebook, content in Chromium and others in many apps, be careful with this then. FF is not an exception in this either, the same official Mozilla page will give you a tracker as soon as you enter, if you don’t block it. What prevails today is what no one does, stay away from the big monopolies and bother to read the content of the licenses, the TOS and the Privacy policy of the things that are used, this can lead to many surprises, no Always good If you use a VPN, do you know one that is FOSS and is it worth it? Do you think that using TOR, developed by the US defense and the NSA, really protects your privacy? If you use a self-hosted webapp, if you don’t have your own server, does the host you hire offer you a lot of privacy? OpenSource is a good initiative for many products, it allows free collaboration and has many other advantages, but can we forget about this for private developers who create a closed Source app to earn their livelihood, without further pretense and with respect to privacy without Do you hit? As a user, you do not improve your freedom on the web, just by using FOSS, it does not help you that the code is open, if you are not a programmer and then it will not be easy for you to review sometimes millions of lines of code to see where they point (try them with the FF code). It is useful if you want to create a fork of your own app, or use part of the code for another project. If not, it is of no use to you, more than the faith that protects your privacy because it is FOSS. Any app, FOSS or not, is only as good as the community or company behind it. There is no more than this. At least I prefer to use European applications before those of the US or China.

SeerLite
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it does not help you that the code is open, if you are not a programmer and then it will not be easy for you to review sometimes millions of lines of code to see where they point (try them with the FF code)

And that is when you rely on the community for that. As long as 1 programmer can see what’s up and explain it to the rest with proof from the source, we are all up to date with everything that’s going on behind the scenes. That’s why we have Ungoogled Chromium and LibreWolf. That is why there was so much commotion when Brave some referral links (or whatever it was, I don’t remember), they were visible in the source code. This is not possible with Vivaldi.

You may say there’s no advantages to something being FOSS, but you’re not saying there’s any disadvantages either. I say there’s many advantages to FOSS, like the one I said above. Therefore I remain convinced that FOSS is better than proprietary in most circumstances (including Vivaldi).

You gave a bunch of valid examples about FOSS projects not necessarily being trustable just because they’re FOSS. They are still FOSS though. People can see how things work and if there’s anything shady that’s happening. As I said before you don’t have to be a programmer for this; If the project is popular there’s bound to be people who’re gonna examine it for you. It’s not automatically better, but it’s an extra level of trust towards the devs.

Any app, FOSS or not, is only as good as the community or company behind it

Yeah, and if an app is proprietary the community’s quality is gonna suffer.


Vivaldi makes money from search engines and default bookmarks. Making it FOSS will not change that. Yes, someone will make a fork and strip all that stuff from the browser. No, it’s not gonna be as popular as Vivaldi. LibreWolf does not have as many users as Firefox and Ungoogled Chromium does not have as many users as Chrome.

@Zerush
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Vivaldi let in the choice of the user how much privacy like to have. FF and Mozilla forks not. As I say before, only entering in Mozilla.org, they put you a tracker from Alphabet Inc Privacy? What do you think how many lines of the script of FF or forks are pointing to Google? Their code also is financed by Google, without a choice from the user like in Vivaldi. For this I prefer an CE Browser, privacy norms in the US don’t exists. FOSS isn’t a sinonym of privacy, nor security. Search a degoogled Geck Engine, and Gecko also is at the end of possibilities and also FF in the future go to Blink, this is a fact.

SeerLite
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Vivaldi let in the choice of the user how much privacy like to have

And Firefox doesn’t? What is the difference? What is it about privacy that Vivaldi “gives you an option for” and Firefox doesn’t?

Privacy? What do you think how many lines of the script of FF or forks are pointing to Google?

With Firefox I can check. With Vivaldi I can’t check. Vivaldi may have thousands of lines pointing to Google for all we know (though I’m sure that’s not true, it’s an example).

Their code also is financed by Google,

Google pays Mozilla to keep them as the default search engine. Don’t make it sound like Google controls everything that goes in the source code of Firefox. Also even if they did, as I said before, Firefox is open source, so I can check.

Search a degoogled Geck Engine, and Gecko also is at the end of possibilities and also FF in the future go to Blink, this is a fact.

I don’t understand what this sentence means nor why it is a “fact”.


You’re really missing my point here on purpose just to defend Vivaldi. If it’s so good, so much better than Firefox, so much more private, with 0 references to Google in the code, then why isn’t it FOSS so I can see for myself? You haven’t given me a single reason for why it shouldn’t be FOSS. Repeating “Vivaldi better than Firefox” doesn’t answer my question.

@onlooker
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You do realize that you’re advocating a Blink-based browser, right? As in, the browser engine created and maintained by Google? And the browser wars are over, my friend. Google won.

@Zerush
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Blink is a fork of the WebCore component of WebKit, which was originally a fork of the KHTML and KJS libraries from KDE. It’s currently the engine which best adapt to new webstandarts. Even FF is going to have to say goodbye sooner or later to Gecko, whose development is already reaching its limit. The Safari WebKit engine is only maintained by Apple’s stubbornness and there are no more more valid alternatives. With using Blink, the similarities and relations with Chrome in Vivaldi are over. As I say, test Vivaldi and say that Vivaldi is the same as other Chromium.

SeerLite
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They could always re-license with a copyleft license. Then, if a big company forks the browser, Vivaldi can still use the modifications and improve the original version. I can’t see how that’d be suicide

@Zerush
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Maybe, they will do it one day, but von Tezcher don’t like to repeat the error with the old Opera. He don’t like that big companies use his works in own interests and not in the interests of the user. Chrome with the inventions of Vivaldi, dominate the market definitivly and not with benefits for the user… In a satured Browser market, developers and small companies have to go with feet o lead, so as not to disappear or be absorbed by the great ones or making a deal with the devil, like Mozilla.

@nerdyguy1990
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I was a HUGE fan of opera, before it was traded hands, and I do use Vivaldi on occasion. I really liked Opera’s battery saving option, and bookmarks manager. It was unique. Vivaldi also has a unique bookmark manager. I really hope Vivaldi includes a battery-saver in an upcoming release. It’d be great if they upped the ante for tracking protection also. I’m glad they are against FLOC.

@Zerush
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Vivaldi permits to add ad and tracking filters to the blockers in the privacy settings, it includes also a blocking from annoying advertising Pop ups “We use cookies”

Same as in old Opera, you can hibernate tabs to save battery.

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