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How To Try Servo, Mozilla’s Next-Gen Web Engine, on Linux

Nightly builds of the new web rendering engine ‘Servo’ are now available for Linux and Mac desktops.

‘Servo is a new web rendering engine, not a new web browser’

“While our engine is not yet fully web compatible, we want to give a larger audience the chance to start experimenting with and contributing to Servo,” the Servo team writes in a blog post.

Servo is billed as a ‘modern, high-performance browser engine designed for both application and embedded use’. It is written in the Rust programming language to, the project claims, “achieve better parallelism, security, modularity, and performance.”

Windows and Android builds are to debut in the near future.

The Servo project was launched back in 2013 and is co-developed by Mozilla and Samsung. You can find out more information on the project GitHub page.

Includes a Basic Browser UI

The Servo nightly builds come with a basic browser interface which, while buggy, serves as your window to a web powered by the next-gen engine. It even has a neat New Tab page with shortcuts to popular websites and some online tech demos.

Servo is not yet fully web-compatible and should not be considered stable.

Also keep in mind that Servo is a rendering engine and not a brand new web browser; i.e., criticisms that it lacks extensions, notifications, etc. are not fair.

Other well-known web rendering/layout engines include: Blink (used in Google Chrome, Chromium, and Opera); Gecko (used in Mozilla Firefox, Camino); WebKit (used in Safari, GNOME Web, Midori); EdgeHTML (Microsoft Edge); and Trident (Internet Explorer).

Download and Run Servo on Linux

Servo nightly is available for 64bit Linux only.

Click the download button below to grab the latest nightly build of Servo as a .tar.gz file.

Download Servo Nightly (Linux Build)

When the download completes:

  1. Open your download directory
  2. Extract the ‘servo.tar.gz’ archive.
  3. Open the ‘servo’ folder that appears
  4. Double-click on the ‘./runservo.sh’ script inside

That’s it.

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