Camino - a Mozilla browser with Safari polish

Camino, a Mozilla-based web browser for Mac OS X, is getting close to version 1.0. And it is really good. I’ve been using Camino mostly for testing since it first appeared, but with the release of Camino 1.0 Beta 1 I’m giving it a try as my default browser. Yes, it’s that good.

Many Mac users, including myself, prefer Safari to Firefox because it has a much more polished GUI. Well, Camino is pretty much Firefox with a true Mac look-and-feel. And no brushed metal. So if that’s what you’re looking for, Camino is the answer.

One of my few complaints is about the non-standard keyboard mapping. Why not use Cmd + and Cmd - for text resizing, like all other browsers? Very odd, and hopefully something that can be changed - anyone know how?

Other than that - yummy!

Posted on November 10, 2005 in Browsers, Quicklinks


  1. November 10, 2005 by Julian

    What I don’t understand is: Why don’t they just develop a nice mac theme for firefox??? Is it really necessary to develop a new browser, when it’s in the end just a Firefox with nice mac GUI?

  2. not sure what you mean with the text sizing keystrokes… they seem to work just fine here

    All variations of cmd+(-) and cmd+(= or + or shift=) on either the number pad or the standard keys work as they do in other browsers. At least on my install.

    is it just the listing of the equal sign in the menu that is throwing you off?

  3. Ok, I’m posting this from the beta. It looks good, much better than Firefox, and it seems speedy. But it lacks quite a few features of Firefox (JavaScript console is a must in Firefox!), and some of the features I’ve added to Safari through plug-ins (reordering of tabs, better search-bar…). So I guess it won’t become my standard browser yet.

  4. Jullian-

    1. No, they couldn’t have. The depth of the difference in UI from Firefox to Camnio are much, much deeper than a simple skin.

    2. Why does it matter? Why would you prefer a FF theme? If the rendering engine is the same, why does it really matter if they choose to make a browser or a theme?

  5. November 10, 2005 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Chris: You’re right, the keyboard shortcuts do work. I remember from previous versions that it used weird shortcuts for text resizing and moving to the next and previous page. Seems like that’s been fixed and they forgot to update the menu :-).

  6. I have tried Camino before, and I like it alot. I do miss some features from FF and some from Safari, but it is the fastest browser I’ve ever used. I hope the community grows like it have with FF, so there will be nice plugins to install to make it even better.

    One thing that really bothers me is that I can’t seem to get links to open in a new tab instead of a new window without Cmd-clicking.

    And here, in 1.0b1, text resizing works fine with Cmd + and -. Maybe you have something else that interferes Roger?

  7. Jeff: What would those differences be? I have looked at a couple of screenshots now because I also wonder why Mac users need a special browser and honestly I can’t really distinguish the difference except that Camino doesn’t have a meny which Firefox have - but I suppose a little plugin or maybe only a little setting is needed to hide that one.

    I like the look of OS X and therefore has tested some themes for Firefox. For example Brush which is quite good.

    Well, if one use Camino or Firefox or Flock or whatever Geckobased browser doesn’t really matter luckily - so if this browser is much nicier than Firefox well - happy Macdudes. Wonder if it ever will be released for Windows? We could use some eyecandy to you know…

  8. I am in absolute love with camino as well. It really does offer what Safari does not. I do at times miss the extensibility that firefox has, especially extensions like session-save as I always have atleast 15-20 tabs usually open :-\

    But the speed makes up for that, especially with the G4 gcc optimized buids. I’m definitely looking forward to the next stable release.

  9. Just got Camino a few days ago and I’m loving it. I got a few ‘extensions’, and one that changed the look of it to be brushed which looks quite nice.

    Very nice browser indeed.

  10. Funny how ppl are talking about brushed themes, I hoped the recent OSX update would finally kill off the mish/mash of brushed vs smooth vs inactive pinstriped… just give me unity! :-)

    I also can’t figure out how to subscribe to a feed using Camino unless there’s a physical link on the page? Where’s the feed button please, or doesn’t it have one?

  11. I miss the right-click and then “Search the Web…”, fast searching with Firefox, also the regular search is better. Oh and last, the RSS is better with Firefox beta.

    “Search the Web…”

    I hope they will add does features later on to Camino.

  12. November 11, 2005 by Paul D

    Why don’t they just develop a nice mac theme for firefox?

    Firefox is a slow, non-Mac-like port of a Linux browser. The theme of the toolbar is the least of its problems.

    On my Mac, Firefox is the slowest browser. Camino is the fastest. And you get all the advantages of using native APIs, like native widgets, form box undo, services menu integration, and so on. The result is nicer, because Camino is designed with the attitude of designing a nice Mac app, not with the attitude of making a “good enough” Firefox port.

    Camino even has a Bonjour menu (which I use), while Firefox doesn’t. It’s those kinds of details.

  13. I also really appreciate Camino. The only thing that really bothers me is that the bookmark bar doesn’t fit the rest of the UI. Well at least from my point of view :)

  14. What’s a Bonjour menu, gosh?

    Why they don’t port it to Windows anyway?

  15. Hans:

    I can’t seem to get links to open in a new tab instead of a new window without Cmd-clicking

    There’s a preference that lets you set this.

    Port to Windows? Um, no. Camino doesn’t do anything different from any Windows browser. Camino is the Mozilla rendering engine put into a browser coded from scratch as a proper native Mac OS X application. As such, it’s really only of interest to Mac folks, unless you happen to like its particular mix of features.

    Me? I like it cos it’s non-crufty - very limited feature set, doesn’t get in the way. And fast.

    All I’d want added to it is a preference for it to start on the last page (or set of tabs) you were on before you quit. And I guess if I want that enough, I should just download the source and get coding.

  16. Oh, the other thing: it’s got a different “switch to next/previous tab” key command than both Safari and Firefox. That gets on my nerves a bit, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

  17. Small Paul (comment #16) Firefox 1.5 and Cmaino both use the same keyboard shortcut(s): command-option left/right arrow; you can also use command 1 or 2 or 3, etc.

    Camino is a very nice browser, very polished; glad you like it, Roger. There are a few things that annoy me: the close button on each tab (Opera’s also annoys me, but at least I can change that). I see some problems with the use of tab keys: no focus ring on submit buttons, and sometimes, it skips past select elements, radio buttons and checkboxes. Missing also is the ‘search teh web’ context menu from Firefox. (and Firefox also has some great features: The DomInspector, the error console - necessary tools for the web-developer in me). Also, the find-as-you-type isn’t as polished as the Firefox’ one.

  18. November 21, 2005 by Anonymous Coward

    Be sure to install CamiOptions and then turn on pipelining in preferences>camioptions for even faster browsing.

    For those looking to add to the search options, CamiSearch is the pref pane that allows you to add your own.

    Really promising browser - looking forward to see how it evolves!

  19. November 25, 2005 by Adrian Bengtson

    Back in the days, when Camino was named Chimera and neither Safari nor Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox was availablie, it was a real jaw dropper for me, going from IE5. The tabs, the speed… it was amazing.

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