A web browser for Human beings

Ubuntu Linux is designed for Human beings. It tends to be as easy as possible for all of them and to make things just work. A similar contender on this concept but in the web browser/e-mail environment is Opera. Sadly it is not open source but it is freely available to anyone and on many platforms and languages.

Opera features many enhancement regarding accessibility (and are/were pioneer in many of this area). They have integrated into their browser things like mouse gesture, voice control and many UI improvements (some were adapted in other major software) including: tabs, sessions, zoom and private data management.

It seems as if Opera has always tried to make their software more ergonomic with each new release. Something that was not really considered seriously until recently by the contenders.

If you want to install Opera for your Linux. It is quite easy, you can either download the installation file for your platform and install it. Or if you have a Debian based system, you can add a new repository so that you can install with aptitude/synaptic Opera and gets notify of new update when they are release.

To add the repository, launch your software sources manager (“System” -> “Administration” -> “Software sources”), and in the “Third-party software” tab click on the “Add…” button. A small window will request you to enter the “APT line”. Simply copy and paste the following line:

http://deb.opera.com/opera stable non-free

Click on the “Add source” button. You can close the window now. It will let you know that your software sources have changed and that you should reload them. For the moment ignore it, we will first add the security key for this new repository before proceeding. You will need to open a terminal(“Applications” -> “Accessories” -> “Terminal”) and type the following commands:

gpg --keyserver subkeys.pgp.net --recv-key 6A423791
gpg --fingerprint 6A423791
gpg --armor --export  6A423791| sudo apt-key add -

In the last command, do not forget the ending hypen (‘-‘) it is part of the command. As it calls “sudo”, you will be requested to enter your password to get the necessary privileges. Now you can launch Synaptic to install Opera (“System” -> “Administration” -> “Synaptic package manager”). Click on the “Reload” button, wait for it to complete and you can now search for Opera and install it.

Sources and further reading:

Update 2007-05-30: There is an excellent Ubuntu wiki article on Opera. This wiki article has numerous information how to better integrate Opera within Ubuntu and the Gnome or KDE desktop. Opera is now available in the Canonical commercial repositories. One does not need to use the software sources manager. Opera is installable directly from the menu “Add/Remove…” in the Gnome “Applications” main menu.

Update 2007-06-26: Opera is only available in binary form and for the 32bit platform. If you run the Ubuntu 64bit version, there are still hope to run it. Follow the instructions to install Opera on a 64bit system, and you should be done.

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