Launch a URL in Any Web Browser Across Different Operating Systems

Web browser choice is often locked to Operating System vendor bundling, defaults, and convenience at the cost of choice, privacy, and innovation paid for by data mining and advertising where you are the product. For the software developer, tester, and operator, this is an essential tool need: learn how to elegantly enable web browser choice.

Just as closed app stores have diminished both web application and independent software distribution in the market place, browser lock-in further chokes the open and compatible web into balkanized web sites. Have we learned nothing from the Netscape-Microsoft browser wars? The simple pleasure of having choice in web consumption shouldn’t be dictated by operating system vendors.

Launch a URL in Your Choice of Web Browser, Any OS

The cross-platform applications: Thunderbird, Mozilla, and Seamonkey support the add-on: OpenWith 6.8.6. Combined with a simple helper script, it allows you to right-click on a URL link inside these programs and launch them in your choice of web browser.

MacOS Web Browser Choice

Fortunately, nearly all major web browsers run on MacOS, but Apple tries to supplant it’s Safari web browser as the default on iOS and MacOS.

Safari is a capable browser, but it is also closely tied to the OS, such as using Keychain for web browser credentials and certificates. Recently, Keychain allowed CSV export of passwords, which makes it easier to use, so I have less issue with it now when I leverage KeePassXC for a cross platform, cross-browser credential vault. Safari also has a auto-fill option which may also be leveraged across browsers?

I adore the combination of Finicky (a programmatic chooser of web browser based on conditions, typically a URL regular expression pattern) which then falls back to Browsersaurus (a graphical web browser chooser).

Android Web Browser Choice

Link Eye is available from F-Droid and it allows web browser selection for every launched URL. Some more alternatives may exist.

Linux Web Browser Selection

I searched for a long time, but I recently found Junction. It is a generalized app selector based on MIME type, so it is not just for the web, a surprising bonus!

Windows and More OS Web Browser Choosers!