Mozilla Announces Servo Nightly For Mac And Linux, Windows And Android Builds Coming Soon

The first public Servo Nightly Build was released recently by Mozilla to give interested users options to play around with the new web rendering engine for Mac and Linux platforms. However, the developers plan to release builds for Windows and Android soon.

This is the first tech demo of Servo, which Jack Moffitt, Servo project lead at Mozilla, had termed as “a next-generation browser engine focused on performance and robustness,” in March.

Servo is a new browser engine created by Mozilla Research and built by a global community of individuals and companies including Mozilla and Samsung.

The build comes with a browser wrapper which is still a little vehicle, and a new tab page, which has links to popular sites and graphical tests, which Servo handles a lot better than the current version of Firefox.

The announcement makes clear that the browser isn’t fully web compatible just yet and is simply a nightly:

“To make the Servo engine easy to interact with, we are bundling an HTML-based browser UI. While our engine is not yet fully web compatible, we want to give a larger audience the chance to start experimenting with and contributing to Servo.”

The Servo engine, which saw its first stable release in May 2015, is developed in Rust, which is a highly parallel yet very memory safe language, which are two great features for a web browser, especially on mobile and multi-core desktops. Servo is significantly faster than the Gecko engine but it will likely take a long time for Mozilla to put Servo into a release version of Firefox; such a change would likely be the biggest since Firefox launched.

Those maintaining the project are looking for external assistance to fix bugs now that the nightly builds of Servo have started to roll out. The blog post invites anyone with skills in writing Rust, JS, Python, or shell scripts to help out. The team is also interested to see what web developers can do with Servo’s capabilities. You can find binaries and instructions on the Servo Developer Preview Page.

In due course, Mozilla hopes that the Servo engine “will set a new bar for web engine performance” and will be applied not just across the company, but in various kinds of applications built on web technology.