Screenshot of Servo rendering the Servo preview release page
|Developer(s)||Mozilla Research, Samsung and others|
Servo is an experimental browser engine developed to take advantage of the memory safety properties and concurrency features of the Rust programming language. The project was initiated by Mozilla Research with effort from Samsung to port it to Android and ARM processors. The prototype seeks to create a highly parallel environment, in which many components (such as rendering, layout, HTML parsing, image decoding, etc.) are handled by fine-grained, isolated tasks.
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Development on Servo is still at an early stage; however, it can already render Wikipedia and GitHub, and successfully passes the Acid2 test. It features innovations like a parallel layout algorithm and its own CSS3 and HTML5 parser implemented in Rust.
Servo makes use of GPU acceleration to render web pages more quickly and smoothly. Servo is significantly faster, in certain benchmarks, than Gecko, Mozilla's other layout and rendering engine, as of November 2014.
As of 30 June 2016, a preview version is available for download. This is marked as 0.0.1 and is available for macOS and Linux.
As of 13 April 2017, builds are now available for Windows as well.
The Servo project itself is officially a research project. The goal is to create a new layout engine using a modern programming language (Rust), and using parallelism and code safety, to achieve greater security and performance versus contemporary browsers.
Using Browser.HTML as a GUI, Servo can act as a standalone browser. This configuration of the browser was originally intended as a research project and proof-of-concept.
Relationship to Firefox
Chromium Embedded Framework
Servo intends to re-implement the Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) API. This would allow Servo to be used as a drop-in replacement for Chromium in applications using CEF, and positions Servo as a competitor to Chromium in these cases.
The Servo project is sponsored and maintained by Mozilla, with several Mozilla employees contributing a majority of code to the project. As an open-source, free software project, it is open to contributions from anyone. Servo, including all community contributions, is licensed under the Mozilla Public License version 2.0.
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