Edge for Linux Brings Sync and Vertical Tabs. Here’s how to Enable it.


Edge for Linux Brings Sync and Vertical Tabs. Here’s how to Enable it.

In a recent announcement, the Edge dev team enabled the Sync, Sign-in, and Vertical tabs in the Linux build of Edge browser.

Microsoft’s Chromium-based web browser Edge developer preview is available for Linux for quite some time now. The Linux build is a little different than that of the Windows dev build. As the underlying OS is different, the team slowly bringing the additional features to Linux users.

From the moment Edge for Linux is announced, one of the most requested features for Linux is the Sign-In and Sync. This feature enables you to login using your Microsoft account in Edge for Linux. You can sync your bookmark, history, and all other browser-specific items and settings across devices.

Before this update, the feature was not available for Linux users and when you try to sign in, you used to get a message like this.

Not supported popup

The feature is now available for Edge for Linux dev preview version 91.0.838 onwards. However, the feature is not enabled by default as it is still being tested.

How to Enable Sync in Edge for Linux

You need to tweak a flag to enable it. Here’s how.

Make sure you have Edge installed in your Linux distributions. If not, check out our guide to Install Edge in Linux.

Open Edge and in address bar type edge://flags

Search for “MSA”.

Edge Flags for Sync

Change the settings to Enable and restart Edge.

After you restart, click on the Avatar icon and Sign in.

Sign in with your MS account

Use your Microsoft account, Hotmail account to log in. After you log in, wait for a minute to sync your bookmarks, history, and other browser settings in your Linux system.

Sync in ON

As of writing this post, this feature only available for Microsft personal account users. That means, if you have a corporate, work, school account then it would not work in Edge for Linux, for now. The feature of signing in with a non-personal account is available for the Windows build of Edge. And it would eventually land in Linux build as well.

Vertical Tabs

Another interesting UI change that also lands is the Vertical tabs in Edge for Linux. As the name says, Edge for Linux now allows you to bring your tabs vertically at the left side. This saves space in your wide-screen display and improves productivity as well. You can click on the small tab icon at the top-left corner of the Edge browser to enable it. It is a toggle button, which means you can go back to horizontal tabs anytime.

Turn on Vertical Tabs
Vertical Tabs in Edge Linux

Closing Notes

Things are not well in the open-source browser world. Google Chrome shutting down private API for Chromium by March 2021. Chromium would not be the same without the API support. Firefox is there as the true open-source, privacy-focused browser.

That said, Edge for Linux is not open-source per se, despite forked from Chromium. However, Edge is faster it seems in my test in Linux build. I don’t know the reason. In the same machine spec, Edge runs faster than Chrome, Firefox, and another Chromium-based browser. But again, it is difficult to trust a browser that comes from Redmond street, even if it is faster. It boils down to a trade-off you need to make. It also true that Microsoft has some great developers and engineers, it’s just their ideologies and practices are debatable.

Overall, it is good for Linux users – that they have more options while choosing browsers.

I hope Mozilla improves the performance of Firefox in the coming days to be competitive against Chromium forked browsers.