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Opera is a free of charge web browser developed since 1994 by the Norwegian company Opera Software. It is known for being the first to bring new browsing features to the world that have become common on all web browsers, such as tabbed browsing and built-in search.

Opera continues to innovate with its integrated mail client, one-click bookmarking, tab stacks (a way of organizing your tabs) and very good support for HTML5 features.


Opera can be installed with the package opera, available in the official repositories.

The new Opera (as of early December 2014, version 26) is 64-bit only.

The pre-blink engine Opera (version 12.16) can installed from the AUR with the package name "opera-legacy".


Opera can use Netscape-based plugins that are supported by most major browsers, like Firefox and Chromium. For details about different plugins and installation instructions see Browser plugins. In Opera, the plugin path can be specified under Settings > Preferences... > Advanced > Content > Plug-in Options.

Adobe Flash

See the main article: Browser plugins#Flash Player

Java Support

See the main article: Browser plugins#Java (IcedTea)


Install Adblock support using the opera-adblock-completeAUR package from the AUR.

Performance tweaks

Although Opera is quite fast on modern hardware, it can be tweaked even more. For further examples, see the Opera wiki page on performance.

Disabling features and services

One of the keys to maximizing application performance is to disable undesired features and services through the native opera:config Preferences Editor.

Some commonly disabled features are:

  • Systray Icon: uncheck Show Tray Icon under opera:config#UserPrefs.
  • BitTorrent: uncheck Enable under opera:config#BitTorrent.
  • Geolocation: uncheck Enable geolocation under opera:config#Geolocation.
  • Multimedia: unckeck desired options under opera:config#Multimedia.
  • Web Server: uncheck Enable under opera:config#Web Server.

To more easily find these options just write the respective path (without spaces) in the address bar, for example opera:config#UserPrefs|ShowTrayIcon or use the built-in search.

Disable the e-mail client

Additional command-line options are available for further control over browser features and services. To start Opera without the default internal e-mail client:

$ opera -nomail

Alternatively, if you want to permanently disable the internal e-mail client you can uncheck the Show E-mail Client option under opera:config#UserPrefs.

Disable ARGB, LIRC and mailto links

To start Opera without ARGB (32-bit) visuals, LIRC infrared control support and with mailto: links disabled:

$ opera -noargb -nolirc -nomaillinks 

Improving Flash performance

To improve Flash performance you can set the following environment variables before starting Opera, or export the entries in xinitrc, or ~/.bash_profile, or for system-wide changes, to /etc/profile:


Another environment variable which may help resolve Flash issues:


See the blog article Flash problems on Linux? for additional details.

.xinitrc example


Command-line example

To use the variables from the command line call Opera as:


Profile in tmpfs

Relocate the browser profile to a tmpfs filesystem, including /tmp for improvements in application response as the entire profile is now stored in RAM. Another benefit is a reduction in disk read and write operations, of which SSDs benefit the most.

There are currently two ways of doing this:

  • using Profile-sync-daemon, that automatically detects and relocates the Opera profile to tmpfs.
  • using the -pd command-line flag to tell Opera where to store its profile data:
$ opera -pd /tmp/opera



Although Opera is cross-platform, it can be made to integrate very well into various Linux desktop environments.

To make the menus look integrated with Qt, install your preferred Qt theme and apply it by using qtconfig.
To make Opera use KDE icons, you can install a theme such as this one[dead link 2014-04-05].
A nice GTK+ skin that uses the Tango icon theme can be found here[dead link 2014-04-05].

Title bar

The title bar can be hidden by right-clicking on the tab bar, then unchecking "Show Border".

Tab modes

Opera has native support for tab cascading and tiling mode. Appropriate buttons can be found by activating the "Main" toolbar or by dragging and dropping the buttons anywhere desired, found in Menu > Appearance > Buttons > Browser.


Fonts can be configured under Settings > Preferences... > Advanced > Fonts.

If the ttf-ms-fontsAUR package has been installed before running Opera for the first time, Opera will use those fonts by default, regardless of what is specified by local GTK+ options, GNOME or KDE font management. To force existing installations of Opera to use the options set by your system:

  • Close all running instances of Opera.
  • Un-install the ttf-ms-fontsAUR package.
  • Move the existing profile folder: mv -i ~/.opera ~/.opera.bak
  • Run an instance of Opera and verify that your font manager settings have been applied.
  • Restore bookmarks and desired filter files from ~/.opera.bak to ~/.opera except for the operaprefs.ini file.
  • Re-install the ttf-ms-fontsAUR package, if desired.
Note: If no text except numbers is showing on some of the webpages that might be a problem with the fonts. A known issue that causes this problem is the helvetica pfb postscript fonts.

Private tabs

To browse without leaving obvious traces of the Web sites you visit, you can use a private tab. When you close a private tab, the following data related to the tab is deleted:

  • Cache
  • Cookies
  • History
  • Logins

This is similar to the --incognito option in Chrome/Chromium and PrivateBrowsing in Firefox.

To open a private tab from the command-line use:

$ opera -newprivatetab

To ensure only private tabs are used throughout the duration of the browsing session:

  • Set Settings > Preferences... > General > Startup > Start without open tabs.
  • Clear any entries in Settings > Preferences... > General > Home page option.
  • Enable Settings > Preferences... > Advanced > Tabs > Additional tab options... > Allow windows with no tabs.

To open a new window for private browsing when already running Opera you can just press Ctrl+Shift+N or look under Menu > New Tabs and Windows > New Private Window. All subsequent opened tabs with be private as well.

Accessibility Tips

Disable text selection

It is possible to disable text selection in Opera. However, text selection through JavaScript will still work (for example in forms, etc.). To get to the setting follow the link bellow:


Grab and scroll mode

Besides setting text selection off, grab and scroll mode makes page scrolling possible with mouse dragging. It is very useful, especially when you have a touchscreen. Copy and paste the link bellow to get to the mentioned setting.


It is also possible to change this setting on the fly by dragging and dropping the appropriate Opera button into a toolbar. The button can be found in Menu > Appearance > Buttons > Browser View.

Long pressing a link opens it in a background tab (extension)

It is possible to open up any long-clicked link in a new background tab by installing this extension.

Virtual On-Screen keyboard (extension)

There is an extension which allows the use of an on-screen virtual keyboard. Further details and installation link can be found here.


Slow scrolling on NVIDIA cards

Try running the following command:

$ nvidia-settings -a InitialPixmapPlacement=2

On some computers, http://helion.pl works extremely slow without this hack, making it a perfect site for testing.

Horizontal mouse wheel scrolling

Check Settings > Preferences... > Advanced > Shortcuts > Mouse > Middle-Click Options... > Enable horizontal panning.


  • Highlight Settings > Preferences... > Advanced > Shortcuts > Mouse > Opera Standard.
  • Duplicate Settings > Preferences... > Advanced > Shortcuts > Mouse > Opera Standard.
  • Edit... Settings > Preferences... > Advanced > Shortcuts > Mouse > Copy of Opera Standard.
  • Search the Forward and Back input contexts and edit the appropriate button shortcuts to scroll left and scroll right.
  • Rename Settings > Preferences... > Advanced > Shortcuts > Mouse > Copy of Opera Standard as desired.

Launching an external browser

If Opera does not display a site well, a workaround is to launch the currently displayed page in an external browser.

Note: The following method appears to be deprecated in favor of the built-in Open With menu accessed via the right mouse button.
  • Set the following line under [Site Navigation Toolbar.content] in $HOME/.opera/toolbar/standard_toolbar.ini:
Button0, "Chromium"="Execute program, "chromium, "%u", , "Chromium""
  • If Firefox is desired, or preferred:
Button0, "Firefox"="Execute program, "firefox", "%u", , "Firefox""
  • Any number of command-line options may be included in the string:
Button0, "Chromium"="Execute program, "chromium --block-nonsandboxed-plugins --disable-java --incognito --safe-plugins --start-maximized --user-data-dir=/tmp/.chromium", "%u", , "Chromium""

Opera crashes when starting or closing with GTK+ 2.24.7+

If this crash occurs, you can work around it by changing the DialogToolkit option to 4:


This will disable GTK+ styling support and hence avoid the issue.

Unreadable input fields and address bar with dark GTK+ themes

When using a dark GTK theme, one might encounter Opera address bar and Internet pages with unreadable input and text fields (e.g. Amazon can have black text on black text field background). This can happen because the site only sets either background or text color, and Opera takes the other one from the theme.

Using an installed clear theme and a command help to work around the problem: env GTK2_RC_FILES=/usr/share/themes/<light-theme-name/gtk-2.0/gtkrc opera

to turn it as default, use a prefered text editor and edit the file /usr/bin/opera. e.g. using Opera 12.14:

sudo gedit /usr/bin/opera
export OPERA_DIR=${OPERA_DIR:-/usr/share/opera}
exec /usr/lib/opera/opera "$@"

edit the file and follow the example changing to...

export OPERA_DIR=${OPERA_DIR:-/usr/share/opera}
env GTK2_RC_FILES=/usr/share/themes/Clearlooks/gtk-2.0/gtkrc /usr/lib/opera/opera "$@"

this will make the browser use a clear theme that you set in the file /usr/bin/opera that was used in the above example the theme "Clearlooks" and the problems will be solved.

See Also