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Chimera - The newest OS X browser Pick of the Week
Chimera iconThe macosxhints Rating:
6 of 10
[0 to 10 lights; 10 = perfect!]
Although Chimera has been out for quite a while now, it's only in the newest versions that it's really starting to feel like a 'real' program to me. It still doesn't have everything needed for successful use as my full-time browser (hence the somewhat low score for a pick of the week), but it gets much much better with every minor release. Version 0.6, released about a week ago, is by far the best version yet. I've found myself using it quite often this last week, and so it winds up as this week's Pick of the Week.

Chimera has many of the advantages of Mozilla (it uses their page rendering technology, and it supports tabbed browsing) but it is developed in Cocoa, which speeds its interface greatly (and it should eventually support services). Although I don't have any solid empirical research to back this up, it also seems like pages display much more quickly in Chimera than they do in Mozilla or any of the other OS X browsers (has anyone done any real timed studies?).

So while Chimera may not be ready to become my default browser yet, its progress to date has been amazing, and it is now a very usable product. So here's a word of thanks to the Chimera team for taking the best rendering engine and combining it with what's shaping up to be a very nice user interface!
  • Currently 1.50 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (10 votes cast)

Chimera - The newest OS X browser | 38 comments | Create New Account
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First Impressions
Authored by: UltraNurd on Nov 12, '02 01:28:14AM

I just grabbed Chimera - I'm pretty happy with it thus far. For one thing, it can use last week's pick of the week Cocoa Gestures, which I'm getting used to. I'm a little worried that my wrist is sore, but that's not going to stop me from using a flick of the wrist to move between tabs!

It grabbed my Mozilla bookmarks just fine, and had fewer preferences to set, at least from the GUI. It seems to work with all of my previously installed plugins. It's pretty to look at. It uses a drawer to bring up your bookmark list (although it has trouble resizing the window when it's done). It uses the main keychain to store web passwords, instead of its own password control stuff.

It doesn't have form memory, but I barely use that. Cookies seem to work fine, although it obviously didn't grab all of my Mozilla cookies.

Happy thus far, going to use it for a while, and I might dump Mozilla too...

All right, I'm being really crazy with the mouse gestures now... :o)

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First Impressions
Authored by: barryjaylevine on Nov 12, '02 11:42:39AM

I'm using v0.6 (and 10.2.2). The speed with which it draws its pages is about 50-75% faster than IE. It has crashed once in the last week but IE locks up far more often. There are some sites (like banking) for which IE is still required and also some sites (like University of Phoenix's student area) where some elements aren't displayed. I do not fault Chimera for this as the HTML is of the Microsoft-proprietary variety. Obviously some programmers at UoPhx looking for job security (or too stupid to know that you do webpages based on real standards).

Oh, almost forgot! The smoothing of the fonts in Chimera is -way- superior to IE. I'd like to see some add'l prefs to give me tabbing to just text fields instead of to every link on the page (that's Windoze crapola).

Bottom line: I'm very impressed and, in fact, using it to write this post.

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Share preferences between Mozilla and Chimera
Authored by: david-bo on Nov 14, '02 08:02:12PM

Since Chimera still is work in progress I need to use Mozilla too.

Therefore, I want to share preferences between Chimera and Mozilla (yes I know you are not recommended to do this, but I backup everything everyday so I can take the risk), but neither aliasing my ~/Library/Mozilla to ~/Library/Application Support/Chimera or soft linking (ln -s) them works. I have more than one profile, i.e., I don't want to fix (link/alias) every profile's bookmarks, chrome, cookies, history etc.


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Chimera rocks
Authored by: seven5 on Nov 12, '02 01:44:49AM

i've been using chimera as my fulltime browser since .4
The newest build is just marvelous. Its still slack on features, but i'll tell you what... I haven't had a popup in about 5 months, and thats the truth. And i don't have to run some other application to do it. That in it self is worth it. I am also addicted to tab browsing, its great, i mainly use it on my ibook, but its the greatest.

I NEVER use IE anymore, and can't stand it. The only thing i use it for is for my online Bank, and I think it will be like that for a long while, i'm sure it would work just fine, but they seem to think it won't.

I'd like to see the option of putting in my own info for the browser detection, like Konqueror does in KDE.

If you haven't tried it yet, its fast, stable, low in memory, low in cpu, and looks just great. Go get and trash your old browser....

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Chimera rocks
Authored by: UltraNurd on Nov 12, '02 01:50:34AM

It\'s definitely faster to load and faster to run that Mozilla - I\'ve been using Mozilla for a month or two now, so IE is a distant memory. Whenever I use someone else\'s computer, I freak out when I get a pop-up. They\'re a faded bad memory :o).

The popup disabler in Chimera is a little too absolute... at least compared to Mozilla. Specifically, they way some sites do their go-to menus, they simply don\'t work because Chimera kills the JS call. Some sites are even obnoxious enough to not have a regular go button next to said menu, so I have to look at the source code and figure out the links myself. ::sigh::

I\'ve only used it for about 20 minutes, but I\'m happy. Now I just have to proselytize a little :o).

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re:Chimera rocks (useragent)
Authored by: mlibbey on Nov 12, '02 02:18:33AM allows you to change the useragent. I havent tried this with chimera yet, but works with mozilla.

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Authored by: seven5 on Nov 12, '02 01:46:44AM

its just a BROWSWER, not an irc client, news reader, email client, and whatever else comes with the bloatware they call mozilla....

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Authored by: UltraNurd on Nov 12, '02 01:54:34AM

I agree... it took effort to make Mozilla's other "features" stay out of my way. Not as bad as Nutscrape 6, but still mildly annoying. I like everything separate, so I can pick exactly what I want out of a mail/news reader, IRC/AIM/ICQ/etc client.

I won't swear off Mozilla until I see Chimera flex its muscles a little, and make sure that it won't do anything undesirable on a regular basis. I hate to say it, but it's seeming more and more like Mozilla might go the way of IE and Netscape, as far as my Browser tastes are concerned.

I look forward to Chimera's continued development.

Speaking of which, why is the app just called Navigator, and not Chimera?

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I just use Mozilla...
Authored by: edalzell on Nov 12, '02 01:50:55AM

...with the Pinstrip theme. I found Chimera nice, but I like Mozilla's popup handling a little better. I don't find Mozilla any slower (not noticably anyway) than Chimera.


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Chimera ROCKS
Authored by: aranor on Nov 12, '02 01:54:07AM

Chimera is truly awesome. I've looked at it several times over the past few months, but with the relase of version 0.6 I've finally migrated to using it as my full-time browser. Sure, it's missing a few features, and the popup-blocking is just a tad strict, but it's still a heck of a lot better than IE.

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It's come a long way since...
Authored by: shreddiez on Nov 12, '02 03:23:03AM

Chimera was originally posted to OS X Hints (by me!) about 8 months ago..

Back than it rendered pages and not much else, now I use Chimera as my default browser. I wonder how long it will be until OS X ships with Chimera set as default :P

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Hacking Chimera
Authored by: Silasthemac on Nov 12, '02 03:29:54AM

You can edit the Chimera preferences files to do almost ANYTHING.
I using website icons in Chimera right now!

Use with care...

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Authored by: diskiller on Nov 12, '02 04:53:32AM

I don't know why, but i have found Chimera 0.6 to be really unstable.

For a long time i have ran Chimera 0.5, and it would very very rarely crash on me. However, now that i have 0.6 all it does is crash on me, several times a day.

I cannot figure out what the problem is, but it may be just me. But its really unstable! I'm on OSX 10.2.2 (just updated) on a PowerBook G4 DVI.

If it keeps doing it to me, i'll have to downgrade to 0.5 (or try the nightly builds which may fix it), or just use Mozilla.

Anyone else been having stability problems with 0.6?

And yes, WHY IS it called Navigator instead of Chimera? Its strange. Even in About it says Navigator.


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Authored by: secretskwirl007 on Nov 12, '02 09:49:49AM

Yeah, since 0.5 I've had no end of problems with it. I don't know why- a friend of mine uses it almost exclusively and has no problems.. Just updated to 10.2.2 last night, on my old-school iMac DV. I used to use it about half the time, from 0.2-0.3 to 0.4. Now it barely handles one page before it crashes.

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Authored by: stevec on Nov 12, '02 10:10:14AM

Hey, I like it too.

yeah I do miss the open window BEHIND menu that Omni has but recently Chimera refuses to download anything. It opens the download window and counts the seconds but never downloads a thing, DRAT!

I trashed the prefs files and reinstalled, still nothing.

Oh well I guess that's why it is release 0.6

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Authored by: yatyk on Nov 12, '02 10:41:52AM

I had this problem, when I went to pages serving shockwave flash. If you look at the news section of Chimera's site there is a link to the 6.0 beta shockwave flash plugin. Since I updated my plugin, I have not had a problem.

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unstable? Try this.
Authored by: Crimson Napkin on Nov 12, '02 11:44:07AM

I found 0.6 to be less stable than various builds of 0.5 so I went and downloaded the latest nightly build (which I do regularly automate this with ChimeraKnight) and found my stability issues greatly improved. Here's the link for those who need it:

Here is ChimeraKnight:


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Yes, It's Fast
Authored by: xnovax on Nov 12, '02 07:19:07AM

My biggest disappointment in OS X was the bloated and slow browser rendering by that Microsoft thingie, OmniWeb, and Netscape. I jumped on Chimera at version 4 and was amazed by the speed of it compared to what I had been using. It crashes once every few thousand pages but I can live with that. I just hope the authors keep it lean and mean. It does what a browser was meant to do.

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Authored by: mervTormel on Nov 12, '02 08:25:10AM

i've done some real timed studies...

since i can't even count to two-banana on rendering some moderately complex pages, i consider it to be the fastest kid on the block ;]

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Authored by: Brian Kendig on Nov 12, '02 08:53:45AM

The only thing I really miss in Chimera is the \'Open link behind this window\' feature that OmniWeb has. Chimera lets me open all new links behind the current window if I want, but I want to be able to choose via the right-click contextual menu whether to open a link in a window in front of the current one or behind it.

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Authored by: ziggy on Nov 12, '02 10:48:55AM

You can open the tab behind a window used the command key click method.
Famous galeon move that Chimera adapted. Now it is my default browser thanks to 10.2.2 it works as default finally.

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Macworld has speed tests
Authored by: specbebop on Nov 12, '02 09:46:12AM

The new issue of Macworld has speed comparisons for all the OSX browsers. Chimera comes out on top in loading many of the pages they tested it on but, didn't do so well in their 'Speedmark Test' and 'Launchtime' test.

Also, because it is beta software, Macworld wouldn't give it a rating.

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Chimera is my default
Authored by: bluehz on Nov 12, '02 11:18:31AM

I switched to Chimear about a month ago and have not looked back. It is by far the best, most stable of the OS X browsers. I was using Mozilla, but it is developing serious bloat, and there is a long standing bug in it where typing on my machine (and other peoples) is EXCRUCIATINGLY slow. Letters appear one at a time...sloooooowly. Constant bug reports concerning the issue for over 3 months have yielded no fix. So I gave Mozilla the boot!

Does anyone know when Chimera will support keywords like Mozilla though? I really likethat feature. Define a keyword in your bookmarks and you can simply type that in to the URL field instead of the full URL. The bookmark dialog has the keyword field but it does not seem to function.

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You really want LaunchBar!!!
Authored by: gerti on Nov 16, '02 03:18:46AM

Check it out. It's a must have!

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Two reasons I didn't switch
Authored by: robh on Nov 12, '02 02:38:02PM

I'm staying with OmniWeb for now, for 2 reasons.

1) user configured banner ad filtering.
2) user configured cookie management,

If Chimera offered those two, I'd be very tempted.

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Two reasons I didn't switch
Authored by: raider on Nov 14, '02 11:31:41AM

Chimera (the newest version) does have user managed cookie controls.

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Mozilla, still the best.
Authored by: prk on Nov 12, '02 03:48:41PM

Mozilla still is the primary browser on my systems.

I will not have any MS product on my computers, so IE is out.

Omniweb does not do CSS very well at all. I really like Omniweb, but I will not use it until they fix the CSS support.

Chimera still has problems with CSS. It also does not have the features that I need as a web developer. The image blocking needs to be added. I really like how links from other programs will open in tabs, and I really like that its fast.

Mozilla. If only it had less bloat. I only use the browser part of Mozilla. I love the image blocking, but it really needs to show what site the image is from like how Galeon does. I hate that it selects the whole URL in the URL field on one click. I will click on something and start typing and it will erase the whole damm url.

So, none of the browsers are perfect yet, but Mozilla is still number 1 here. Chimera and Omniweb are in 2nd place.

Thats my 2 cents...

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only feature i'm missing...
Authored by: da5idonimac on Nov 12, '02 04:18:47PM

i use chimera as my default browser. it runs great. only since i set the disk cache to 0 manually, it tends to crash more.

but on ething i would love to see: being able to configure popup-blocking more. for instance, turn on popups for certain sites, while disallowing them for all others. then i'd be in heaven :) (i need this feature fpr a certain site i am working for)

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Text formatting when copied and speed
Authored by: MtnBiker on Nov 12, '02 07:47:05PM

I too just grabbed Chimera and one thing it doesn't do is keep the formatting of copied text like IE does. I copy information from OS X Hints and paste into a Tex-Edit Plus (not TextEdit) document for archiving and the yellow headlines and other formatting such as Rob uses for AppleScript is kept. I miss this. Is there a way around this? I never understood how the formating carries to some word processors and not others.

Typing speed on a web page seems to lag just a bit more than in IE. Can be about a half a character late.

I do like tabbed browsing, handy when looking up related information. Sort of good to open favorite sites together except when one goes to that tab and only wants to see one of the pages and they all download.

Thanks for listening.

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Authored by: rspress on Nov 12, '02 08:41:17PM

Chimera, Navagator, Whatever, while still not my default browser is very good and very fast. It is mostly only went TU on me once. It needs to support a few more standards before I make it my defauly browser. The best feature of the browser to me is the storing of site passwords in the system keychain. Something that has been lacking on the Mac platform.

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anyone has this problem in chimera 0.6?
Authored by: panicX on Nov 13, '02 07:21:54AM

I love Chimera Navigator.
But... in 10.2.1 Chimera 0.6 had the ability to drag links
into the Dock like Explorer and others have.
After updating to 10.2.2 and restoring my backup copy of Chimera 0.6
this feature doesnt work anymore.
Anybody have the similar problem?


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Nice, but History is missing (somewhat)
Authored by: victory on Nov 13, '02 08:21:02AM

I really like Chimera and have been using it as my full-time browser since the 0.6 release a few weeks ago. I *really* like tabbed-window browsing. (If you haven't tried Chimera yet, this single feature alone may be enough to sell you on it). The two problems I have are that it tends to crash a bit more often than IE does and that the browser History feature isn't quite finished. (Actually the function IS there, but presently you have to do a Preference file hack to enable it in the UI and it's a bit slow). HOWEVER, I'm perfectly aware it's a work in progress and in fairness to the development team, each release is huge leap forward in usability. Still, if you haven't yet tried Chimera, go check it out.

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Try a newer build
Authored by: Bookman on Jan 03, '03 12:55:21AM
I've just started using Chimera as my default browser. By the December 20th build, at least, the history has been added to the sidebar. Additional features such as greater toolbar customization options have been added as well. The addition of "create a new tab" and "send link" buttons and the ability to use smaller toolbar icons are very handy additions that tipped the scale enough for me to try this out full time (was using Mozilla as default browser). Get the newest Chimera build by searching for Chimera at or going to the Chimera project page. --Books

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Blank pages with Chimera
Authored by: christian.v on Nov 13, '02 11:01:56AM

Reading all those positive comments about Chimera let me feel quite frustrated... I tried to use Chimera as my primary browser but couldn't. Some pages won't load, displaying instead a blank page, like :
Same thing happens with Netscape 7 and Mozilla 1.2b
No one seems to be able to find a solution for this...
If anyone has a clue, I'll happy to read it.
Thanks in advance

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Blank pages with Chimera
Authored by: Silasthemac on Nov 13, '02 10:40:43PM

The problem is javascipt.
Look at the sources of the pages.
It will become clear


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Blank pages with Chimera
Authored by: rabbe on Nov 14, '02 03:43:17AM

Try to resize the window a little - most of the pages I encounter this problem with will suddently show when I force a refresh this way. This is also a known problem with IE...

- Søren

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Hide Chimera / Shared menus available 11/14 nightly build
Authored by: bluehz on Nov 15, '02 11:50:16AM

Anyone ever notice that Chimera reacts very oddly to Hide commands in OS X. For instance - with Chimera open in the background, select Hide Others in the Finder menu. Everything will hide except Chimera. Sometime if you click in a Chimera window it will then hide, sometimes it will hide and then reappear as soon as you click anywhere else. Very odd!

Also - as of the Nov 14 nightly build - Chimera finally supports shared menus (partially). This is great news for people who use things like URL Manager Pro with a system-shared menu for access to bookmark files. Still no go with Web Confidential yet - hopefully soon!

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Authored by: elfy on Dec 07, '02 10:42:10AM

The scrolling seems a lot smoother in Chimera.

I had compared the latest Moz & Chimera dev binaries (nightlies), and this seems to be true.

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