Debian 11 Bullseye users currently, by default, are only limited to the Firefox Internet Browser. However, many alternatives can be installed. Microsoft Edge is one alternative that has been in development for over a year and has been getting quite a lot of good reviews amongst many Linux distribution communities and maybe an alternative compared to just switching to Google Chrome.
In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Microsoft Edge stable, beta, or developer (nightly build) on Debian 11 Bullseye using the command line terminal.
Table of Contents
First, update your system to ensure all existing packages are up to date.
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y
Install Required Packages
To successfully install the Edge Browser, you will need to install the following packages; run this command if you are unsure; it will not harm your system.
sudo apt install software-properties-common apt-transport-https wget ca-certificates gnupg2 ubuntu-keyring -y
These are pretty generic dependencies that may be already installed. Run the command regardless if unsure, as many other installations will require these on your system.
Import Edge GPG Key & Repository
Import the Microsoft Edge GPG Key
In the first step, you will need to download the GPG key to verify the package’s authenticity using the following command.
sudo wget -O- https://packages.microsoft.com/keys/microsoft.asc | gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/microsoft-edge.gpg
Import the Microsoft Edge Repo
Next, add the repo as follows.
echo 'deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/microsoft-edge.gpg] https://packages.microsoft.com/repos/edge stable main' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/microsoft-edge.list
Now that you have completed the imports refresh your repository list to reflect the new repository.
sudo apt update
Install Microsoft Edge Browser
Microsoft Edge can be installed using stable (recommended) or beta nightly, using three alternative branches.
Install Microsoft Edge Stable
sudo apt install microsoft-edge-stable -y
Optional. Install Microsoft Edge Browser Beta or Dev Version
Alternatively, you can install the Microsoft Edge Brower beta or dev (nightly) build if you have downloaded the repositories. These two versions are not recommended for daily use, especially not on a main desktop or production server.
However, you can install the below alternative versions for those who want to live on the edge or check out upcoming releases.
Note that these do not replace your stable version, and they are installed separately, but it is recommended only to install one at a time.
Install Microsoft Edge Browser Beta:
sudo apt install microsoft-edge-beta -y
Install Microsoft Edge Browser Dev (Nightly):
sudo apt install microsoft-edge-dev -y
How to Launch Microsoft Edge Browser
To run Microsoft Edge, you can use the terminal command in your console:
However, this isn’t practical, and you would use the following path on your desktop
Activities > Show Applications > Edge.
Alternatively, if you cannot find it, use the search function in the Show Applications menu if you have many applications installed.
The first time you open Microsoft Edge, you will be greeted by the following:
Untick or leave as is and click the OK button to continue.
Afterward, you will find three options Inspiration, Informational or Focused. Selecting each tab will preview what the view will look like in your Edge browser background. Choose one and click the confirm button.
Lastly, the optional sign-in and sync across multiple devices. Unless you need this, click Continue without signing in, as most users would do by clicking the X in the top right-hand corner of the pop-up screen.
Now you will see The Microsoft Edge Internet Browser, and the below example is from choosing the lightweight UI. Optionally you can set up a more graphical look later on if you prefer a change.
How to Update/Upgrade Microsoft Edge
To update Microsoft Edge Internet Browser, run the APT update command in your terminal as you would check your entire system for any updates.
sudo apt update
If one is available, use the upgrade option:
sudo apt upgrade
How to Remove (Uninstall) Microsoft Edge Browser
Remove Microsoft Edge Stable
sudo apt autoremove microsoft-edge-stable --purge
Note that unused dependencies will also be removed.
Alternatively, if you have beta or unstable builds, use the following commands and remove these versions.
Remove Microsoft Edge Beta:
sudo apt remove microsoft-edge-beta --purge
Remove Microsoft Edge Dev:
sudo apt remove microsoft-edge-stable-dev --purge
Next, remove the repository that was imported with the following commands.
sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/microsoft.*
Lastly, remove the GPG key.
sudo rm /usr/share/keyrings/microsoft*
And that is it, and you have successfully removed the Microsoft Edge Browser from your desktop.
Troubleshooting Multiple Sources.list
Please note you can install all three. However, each installation will create a new sources list in your /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ directory. When you use the apt update command, you will have multiple sources.list for Opera Browser, and some will be ignored.
Just remove the extras and keep the original one. If you accidentally delete them all, copy the import directory code in this tutorial.
Example of a quick fix.
sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/microsoft*
Then re-add the one repository.
echo 'deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/microsoft-edge.gpg] https://packages.microsoft.com/repos/edge stable main' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/microsoft-edge.list
Remember to run an APT update.
sudo apt update
This should fix the issue in the future, and you will still receive updates for all three browsers from one source.list instead of three.
Comments and Conclusion
In the tutorial, you have learned how to import the APT binary package and the GPG key to install Microsoft Edge on Debian 11 Bullseye.
Overall, Microsoft Edge is a solid option. However, many open-source and FOSS fans will not have a bar of it due to using a Windows product in a historical sense on Linux and the long history of Microsoft vs. Linux; some of it is justifiable. Indeed it is; some of it is just political rubbish.
However, ranking Edge for performance and speed lands this among the top Internet Browser, and it truly does work well on Linux. If you can get over the fact, Microsoft owns it.