WebKit is an open source web browser engine. WebKit is also the name of the Mac OS X system framework version of the engine that's used by Safari, Dashboard, Mail, and many other OS X applications. WebKit's HTML and JavaScript code began as a branch of the KHTML and KJS libraries from KDE. This page will help you compile WebKit on your Ubuntu system.

Karmic and newer

Since Karmic, WebKit has been available in the Ubuntu archives as package libwebkit-1.0-2. It can be launched as a standalone demo (for testing bugs independently of the various browsers that use it) by running /usr/lib/webkit-1.0-2/libexec/GtkLauncher


You should be familiar with the terminal. Visit UsingTheTerminal to learn more about the terminal.

Get dependencies

WebKit requires a newer version of libsoup than provided by the official Ubuntu repositories. Add the PPA for WebKit Team repository to get access to the right version:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webkit-team
sudo apt-get update

WebKit requires libraries to successfully aquire, configure, and compile. You can get libraries by issuing the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt-get install subversion gtk-doc-tools autoconf automake libtool libgtk2.0-dev libpango1.0-dev libicu-dev libxslt-dev libsoup2.4-dev libsqlite3-dev gperf bison flex libjpeg62-dev libpng12-dev libxt-dev autotools-dev libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-dev libenchant-dev libgail-dev

Get the source code

To acquire the WebKit source code issue the following command in your terminal:

svn checkout ~/src/WebKit

Be patient, this step will take some time.

Compile the code

Change the directory in your terminal to the newly created ~/src/WebKit directory with the following command:

cd ~/src/WebKit

Now you will need to configure the source to be sure all dependencies are present on your system. Issue this simple command in your terminal:

./ --prefix=/usr

If your ./ command runs without any hitches you are ready to compile WebKit. Issue the following command in your terminal and grab a beer:


To install run:

sudo make install

Test WebKit

Assuming no errors occurred during the build you can now test WebKit. Launch the demo browser by issuing the following command in your terminal:


Enter the following URL in the browser:, you should see something like the following image:

The Acid3 Test: 100/100

External Links

For more information about WebKit see the following links

WebKit (last edited 2010-10-27 21:15:40 by darxus)