User Information

This page is is relevant to all users of NetSurf. RISC OS users can also check the RISC OS user information further information on the RISC OS version of NetSurf.

Last updated 2 January 2008

Getting NetSurf

There are two versions of NetSurf available:

Stable releases
These are recommended for most users, particularly if this is your first experience of NetSurf.
Development builds
These are built automatically from the latest bleeding-edge source code and may be unstable. Development builds are currently available only for certain platforms. Users of other platforms can obtain the latest source code and follow the simple compilation instructions.

Note that some features may be fully implemented on the RISC OS version and not started on the GTK version. This is indicated on the progress page.

Which version to choose

If you are new to NetSurf (or don't want to run potentially unstable versions), the stable release series is the best option. Stable releases are made infrequently and comprise bug and security fixes to the previous stable release. Major stable releases introduce new features and form the base of the next stable release series.

If you want to keep up with the latest developments in NetSurf, then the development builds are for you. However, as these represent the current state of development, they may be unstable or introduce new bugs. They also have significantly less testing than releases from the stable series.

Reporting bugs

The NetSurf developers are very much open to bug reports. Please follow these simple guidelines.

Before submitting a bug report, please:

  1. check that the bug exhibits itself in the latest version available for download at the time.
  2. try to find a reproducible way of triggering the bug.
  3. check the progress page be sure that something has actually been implemented.

When reporting bugs, please:

  1. state the version of NetSurf you are using.
  2. say what hardware and operating system you are using.
  3. say whether you can reproduce the problem or whether is was a one-off occurrence that you can't reproduce.
  4. explain clearly and concisely the precise nature of the problem. (eg. does the computer hang, does NetSurf crash or report an error or is there a layout problem on a particular site? If it is a layout problem, please explain what is wrong.)
  5. if a specific site is failing, give the full URL.
  6. list the exact steps required to reproduce the bug.
  7. if you can narrow a bug down to a minimal test-case, then that's great. Please provide it as it's likely to speed up a fix. (Don't worry if you can't.)

Bug reports should be made on the our bug report system.

Feature requests

You're welcome to share your ideas on the NetSurf user mailing list.


At present, NetSurf has only primitive and incomplete support for JavaScript, which we disable by default. Without JavaScript, NetSurf is able to provide access to most of sites on the World Wide Web. Some sites, however, will not display correctly or be unworkable due to heavy reliance on this standard.

Full JavaScript is support is planned but we are currently a long way off achieving it. Many things need to be done before complete JavaScript support can be considered, such as changing our web page layout engine to handle dynamic changes being made to the page. JavaScript support will require a huge amount of work to complete. If you are keen to help out please visit the developer and contributor area.