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I used Google Chrome in Windows, and am now using Chromium in Ubuntu. Is there any difference to the two programs? What are the advantages and disadvantages to each program? Which one seems better?

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14 Answers 14

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There are some key differences between Google Chrome and Chromium. First off, Google Chrome is a commercial closed source product made by Google which is based on the open source Chromium project.

Chrome is not available in the default Ubuntu repositories as it's not open source, however Google makes Chrome available through their own 3rd party repository. Chrome is updated by Google directly, as they run the entire repository and update Chrome on their schedule. Since it doesn't need to be redistributable and open source, Chrome includes things that we can't ship in Ubuntu out of the box, like Flash and H264 support (See the Ubuntu promise). However you can install this support with a few packages (see below).

Chromium, being open source, is available in the Ubuntu repositories. This is maintained by Ubuntu developers and goes through our Stable Release Update process. Chromium has a release process exception, which allows the team to upload a Chromium build as soon as a new upstream release is made.

There really aren't any proper "releases" made of Chromium, so Ubuntu developers base their build on what stable version of Chromium the stable Chrome build is based off of. Fabien Tassin has a blog post about this process that goes into much more detail.

The following packages in Ubuntu install the codecs and features in Chromium that you can find in Chrome:

Really it depends on what you want. If you trust Google to not break your computer and like the convenience of Chrome then you can use that; if you want an open source browser that is the basis of Chrome that is peer reviewed by Ubuntu developers and doesn't require 3rd party sources then you want Chromium.

This Wikipedia page outlines some of the security/usage tracking differences between the two browsers.

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Chromium is the bleeding edge development of the project. It is the browser, and whatever its current state may be. We usually get a few Chromium builds per day.

Google Chrome is simply a re-branding of Chromium, but is a little more ready for public consumption.

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There may be additional differences, but the biggest is that Chrome is not FOSS, Chromium is. Chromium also lacks the built-in flash plug-in, though I understand that it will pickup the normal plugin(ffmpeg) without issues.

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Chromium may lack the built-in Flash/PDF, but since they run off NPAPI, if you extract them from Chrome, Chromium will happily use them after a bit of configuring. (On Windows, this doesn't matter a whole lot, but while Flash is stopping their Linux builds at 11.2, Google managed to convince Adobe to package updated versions with Chrome.) Anway, it's not a huge point, but I thought it worth noting since none of the answers mentioned it. –  JamesTheAwesomeDude Oct 15 '13 at 20:51

Google Chrome is based on Chromium, the Open Source Web Browser. I've been using both of them and they are 99.99% similar. I finally choose to use Chromium because it's open source. You can still use all the extensions for Chrome, and also sync your bookmarks (and other stuff) with a Gmail account.

If you look at Wikipedia it says that the differences are that Chrome has Adobe Flash Player pre-installed (not open source software) and Chromium not. But you can still install it later very easily. That Chrome has auto-update mechanism, but using Ubuntu you have auto-update (and you can also add the Chromium repository). Also that Chrome has Google's brand and Chromium not (I don't care) and they say something about the colors of the logo (not very intelligent comments). Finally they say that Chrome has click-through licensing terms and usage-tracking. This last thing I'm almost sure is optional.

Use Chromium!

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Google Chrome is the stable version of Chromium browser . Google Chrome is based on Chromium . Hence , Chromium is a developer build where tests and new features are being tested at Chromium before it is shifted to Google Chrome as stable version . The biggest difference between the both builds is that Chromium does not have Adobe Flash Plugin embedded while Google Chrome is built in . Moreover , Chromium is updated daily to ensure previous bug had been fixed .

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The official Chromium Wiki provides a detailed table about the differences between Google Chrome and Chromium. It does not reflect differences of vanilla source versus those that are specific to Chromium packages provided by Ubuntu.

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I don't know why people are posting the uninformed answers. Chrome beta, canary, and dev are the 'bleeding edge' versions of chrome. At the end of the process, i.e. after a chrome stable build is released, you get a chromium build.

If chromium builds were the latest and greatest, google chrome would be the slowest browser around. Competitors would be leeching everything chrome constitutes of.

Furthermore, with chromium, individuals will be missing new plugins, such as Google Cloud Print, Chrome PDF reader, etc.

Personally, I stick to Chrome, I tried chromium but uninstalled within the day.

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What are your sources for the claim that Chrome dev/canary are newer than Chromium? From the Chromium download page it claims Chromium is based directly on trunk. The version is 39.x, while the current version of Canary is 38.x. –  michaelms Aug 17 at 15:23

There is another major difference chromium is with usage tracking, like link posting from wikipedia:

Chromium snapshots appear essentially similar to the latest builds of Google Chrome aside from the omission of certain Google additions, most noticeable among them: Google's branding, auto-update mechanism, click-through licensing terms, usage-tracking, a built-in PDF viewer and bundling of the Adobe Flash Player.

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Honestly, the only real differences between Google Chrome and Chromium are that Chromium is open-source and Google Chrome is made commercially. It's like Windows and Ubuntu, with Chromium as Ubuntu and Google Chrome as Windows. Ubuntu is open-source. Windows is commercial. If you can live with open-source things like Ubuntu you can live with Chromium. Plus, there are many rumors (proven true) that google tracks you for advertising and sends it to places all over the web without telling you. So you can pretty much narrow it down to:

Get Chromium. Forget about Google Chrome.

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-1. The comparison to Windows vs Ubuntu makes no sense. Chrome is based on Chromium; Windows obviously isn't based on Ubuntu, so that analogy is weak at best. If you're going to argue that Chrome is bad because Google tracks you with it, then you should probably provide reliable sources. –  michaelms Feb 27 '12 at 16:55

Yes, Google Chrome works fine on Ubuntu(has higher memory usage than firefox, but less cpu than firefox). Difference between Chrome and Chromium is that Chromium is open-source and it is a bit more buggy.

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I don't think that quite does it justice. Chrome is built directly off of Chromium, so any bugs in Chromium appear in the same version of Chrome. (You can compare version numbers from About Chromium and About Google Chrome in their respective menus). Where you might encounter bugs is if you have installed Chromium from one of its beta repositories. Chrome makes it a little easier to find just the stable repository. –  Dylan McCall Jul 28 '12 at 0:57
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In addition, Chrome has some proprietary features that aren't (currently) released in Chromium. It comes with its own build of the Flash plugin and a built in PDF reader. –  Dylan McCall Jul 28 '12 at 1:00
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@Dylan McCall, "Chrome is built directly off of Chromium, so any bugs in Chromium appear in the same version of Chrome." is incorrect IMO, because the particular Chromium build that is taken to make Chrome then passes through testing, including user feedback, as Canary (in MS Windows), then dev, and then beta before being released as Chrome stable. –  user25656 Jul 28 '12 at 3:44

Google Chrome is the end product designed for everyday use. Chromium is an opensource project to develop the code that runs Google Chrome.

One thing to note, Google Chrome releases obtained via Google officially should be stable whereas code from the Chromium project is cutting edge and likely to be buggy.

If you want a browsing experience that isn't riddled with bugs, go for Google Chrome. If you enjoy browser crashes and Flash memory and CPU usage being through the roof, you clearly need the bleeding edge untested code direct from the chromium project.

At Last we have to understand that, whether it is Chrome/Chromium/Firefox/ Google probably doesn't care which web browser you use. Google wants this internet eco system to grow and that is where their money is.

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LOL at last paragraph. –  Smile.Hunter Jul 28 '12 at 3:41
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Chromium on Ubuntu is not buggy. "Ubuntu Chromium tracks the same version numbers as Google Chrome". code.google.com/p/chromium/wiki/ChromiumBrowserVsGoogleChrome –  Eric Carvalho Jul 28 '12 at 4:03

At this day! there's a important difference that make me user Chrome, it downloads faster and it's probed (at least on my PC), someday I was wondering why on windows I can watch a video without wait-time, and it doesn't happend the same way with ubuntu and the same video so I changed Chromium by Chrome and that was the answers but to be sure you can try it! :D

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What do you mean by chromium being probed by your PC? –  Kevin Bowen Apr 12 '13 at 11:04

What I care more is the EULA and privacy issues related to the two browsers. Read this article which touches (a bit) of the issues:

http://www.techdrivein.com/2010/05/why-cant-we-all-use-chromium-instead-of.html

So I have changed from G-Chrome to Firefox and back to Chromium.

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A new reason to use Chromium, rather than Chrome - Chromium does not prevent you from using third party extensions. Google Chrome now totally blocks all extensions that are not directly from their Chrome Ap store.

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