Small as a mouse, fast as a cheetah and available for free. NetSurf is a multi-platform web browser for RISC OS, UNIX-like platforms (including Linux), Mac OS X, and more.

Whether you want to check your webmail, read the news or post to discussion forums, NetSurf is your lightweight gateway to the world wide web. Actively developed, NetSurf is continually evolving and improving.

Written in C, this award winning open source project features its own layout engine. It is licensed under GPL version 2.

Why choose NetSurf?

Efficiency lies at the heart of the NetSurf engine, allowing it to outwit the heavyweights of the web browser world. The NetSurf team continue to squeeze more speed out of their code.
Interface innovation
Simple to use and easy to grasp, NetSurf significantly raised the bar for user interface design on the RISC OS platform. Designed carefully by RISC OS users and developers to integrate well with the desktop, NetSurf is seen as the benchmark for future applications. NetSurf pioneered the concept of web page thumbnailing, offering an intuitive graphical tree-like view of visited web sites.
Lean requirements
From a modern monster PC to a humble 30MHz ARM 6 computer with 16MB of RAM, the web browser will keep you surfing the web whatever your system. Originally written for computer hardware normally found in PDAs, cable TV boxes, mobile phones and other hand-held gadgets, NetSurf is compact and low maintenance by design.
NetSurf can be built for a number of modern computer platforms 'out of the box'. Written in C, with portability in mind, NetSurf is developed by programmers from a wide range of computing backgrounds, ensuring it remains available for as many users as possible.
Standards compliant
Despite a myriad of standards to support, NetSurf makes surfing the web enjoyable and stress-free by striving for complete standards compliancy. As an actively developed project, NetSurf aims to stay abreast of new and upcoming web technologies.

See the project goals and progress page for further information on where NetSurf is headed.

Want to help?

There are always things that need doing, and not enough time in the day, so we'd be delighted if you want to help develop NetSurf. Visit the "How can I help?" page to see ideas for contributing to the project.

If you can program and you'd like to improve NetSurf, then we'd love to hear from you. Pick an area you'd like to improve or a feature you want to add and contact the developers. Also, take a look at the developer and contributor area of this site.

Latest news

NetSurf 3.5 released 14 Apr 2016
NetSurf 3.5 is primarily a bugfix release. It contains several fixes and clean-ups to front end code, as well as an improvement to URL parsing. We recommend all users upgrade to NetSurf 3.5.
NetSurf 3.4 released 17 Feb 2016
NetSurf 3.4 features many optimisations to improve performance over previous releases. It also contains many bug fixes, including improvements to page layout. This is also the first release to contain the Duktape JavaScript engine. While our JavaScript bindings have seen a lot of development for this release, JavaScript remains disabled by default as the support is incomplete. We recommend all users upgrade to NetSurf 3.4.
Codethink sponsored development 12 Feb 2016
Over the last couple of weeks Michael has been able to work full time on NetSurf, and more particularly, its LibDOM and LibCSS components. At Codethink there is an arrangement whereby engineers may fill time between projects by making contributions to certain open source projects. A write-up of the work done has been posted to our mailing list. Thanks Codethink!

See more news

NetSurf 3.5 features

NetSurf 3.5 is available for: RISC OS; Linux and other UNIX-like systems; AmigaOS 4; and more.

  • Web standards: HTML 4.01 and CSS 2.1
  • Image formats including: PNG, GIF, JPEG, SVG, and BMP
  • HTTPS for secure online transactions
  • Unicode text
  • Web page thumbnailing
  • Local history trees
  • Global history
  • Hotlist manager (bookmarks)
  • Cookie manager
  • URL completion
  • Text selection
  • Scale view
  • Search-as-you-type text search highlighting
  • Save pages complete with images
  • Fast, lightweight layout and rendering engine
RISC OS only
  • Image formats: Sprite, Drawfile and ArtWorks
  • Drawfile export


NetSurf won the award for "best non-commercial product" at The 2012/2013 RISC OS Awards.

NetSurf picked up another accolade, winning in the "best non-commercial product" category at The Icon Bar Awards 2009. NetSurf had previously been nominated by The Icon Bar's readers.

See more awards