76

I just discovered that chromium will only be released as a snap package.

How can I continue to get chromium, without snap? Is this possible without building from source?

Notes:

  • Please let's keep to the question as stated - not "what do you have against snap?"
  • I'm not asking how to remove snap (I realize that would break Ubuntu)... just how to use chromium as it is now, a deb.

Update

No, this is not a duplicate of that linked question. I don't need to know "why it's a snap". I want to know how to use it without snap.

Right now there is building from source, and some random PPA mentioned below. I hope someone can advise us of trustworthy alternatives.

12
  • 2
    @DKBose I'm very (VERY!) tempted to use that ppa, but without offense to it's maintainers... it's just some random ppa. If it had more "traction" I'd use it. Right now it has only 3 maintainers. I'm gonna keep an eye on it though... thanks! – lonix Jan 21 '20 at 9:00
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? Why apt package chromium-browser installs snap package instead? – N0rbert Jan 21 '20 at 18:32
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    @N0rbert No but thanks. That is the "why" - I wanted to know how to continue getting it without snap (hopefully as a deb). Maybe with time someone will post a decent solution here, or that PPA will get some traction (I'm wary of it right now). – lonix Jan 22 '20 at 7:18
  • 1
    I don't like snap either - I simply removed it from the Ubuntu that I am using atm. It doesn't seem to hamr anything, and I no longer have something using up my loopback devices. – j4nd3r53n Jun 15 '20 at 14:32
  • 3
    @lonix No, I just did - it doesn't appear to be an essential part of the system. Depending on what you feel is essential, of course. If you do apt remove ... you should see a list of all the things that are going to disappear. In my case there was one or two which I wouldn't miss any way. – j4nd3r53n Jun 24 '20 at 11:34

10 Answers 10

49

You can use Chromium from the Debian buster repository.
For example, if your Ubuntu release is eoan (19.10):

  1. Remove Ubuntu chromium packages:

     sudo apt remove chromium-browser chromium-browser-l10n chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra
    
  2. Add Debian buster repository. Create a file /etc/apt/sources.list.d/debian.list with the following content:

     deb http://deb.debian.org/debian buster main
     deb http://deb.debian.org/debian buster-updates main
     deb http://deb.debian.org/debian-security buster/updates main
    
  3. Add the Debian signing keys:

     sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys DCC9EFBF77E11517
     sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 648ACFD622F3D138
     sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys AA8E81B4331F7F50
     sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 112695A0E562B32A
    
  4. Configure apt pinning. Create a file /etc/apt/preferences.d/chromium.pref with the following content:

     # Note: 2 blank lines are required between entries
     Package: *
     Pin: release a=eoan
     Pin-Priority: 500
    
     Package: *
     Pin: origin "ftp.debian.org"
     Pin-Priority: 300
    
     # Pattern includes 'chromium', 'chromium-browser' and similarly
     # named dependencies:
     Package: chromium*
     Pin: origin "ftp.debian.org"
     Pin-Priority: 700
    
  5. Install Chromium again

     sudo apt update
     sudo apt install chromium
    

This should install the latest chromium from the debian-security repository and look like this:

$ sudo apt install chromium
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following additional packages will be installed:
  chromium-common chromium-sandbox libjpeg62-turbo libminizip1 libre2-5
Suggested packages:
  chromium-l10n chromium-shell chromium-driver
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  chromium chromium-common chromium-sandbox libjpeg62-turbo libminizip1 libre2-5
0 upgraded, 6 newly installed, 0 to remove and 9 not upgraded.
Need to get 56,6 MB of archives.
After this operation, 202 MB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y
Get:1 http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu eoan/universe amd64 libminizip1 amd64 1.1-8build1 [20,2 kB]
Get:2 http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian buster/main amd64 libjpeg62-turbo amd64 1:1.5.2-2+b1 [134 kB]
Get:3 http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu eoan/universe amd64 libre2-5 amd64 20190801+dfsg-1 [162 kB]
Get:4 http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian-security buster/updates/main amd64 chromium-common amd64 79.0.3945.130-1~deb10u1 [257 kB]
Get:5 http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian-security buster/updates/main amd64 chromium amd64 79.0.3945.130-1~deb10u1 [55,9 MB]
Get:6 http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian-security buster/updates/main amd64 chromium-sandbox amd64 79.0.3945.130-1~deb10u1 [141 kB]

As you can see, only Chromium related packages are fetched from the Debian repository, but all others like libminizip1 still come from your Ubuntu repository.

17
  • 3
    @lonix I haven't removed snapd from my system yet, but snap list tells me that the only things it currently manages are itself and gtk-common-themes. I might just leave it installed, in case Canonical ends up replacing more important deb packages with snaps. (I might also drop Ubuntu if they do that.) As long as there isn't a snap directory cluttering my home dir, I can tolerate snapd lurking in the background for now. It might even become useful to me if they fix bug 1575053 and learn from their mistake there. – ʇsәɹoɈ Jan 29 '20 at 19:12
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    "I might also drop Ubuntu"... Considering this too. It's just too much of a hassle to switch, even if it's to Debian. – lonix Jan 30 '20 at 5:58
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    security deb gave me error, have to use: deb security.debian.org buster/updates main contrib non-free – Ferroao Jan 31 '20 at 17:35
  • 3
    Thanks @Ferroao. When I added "deb security.debian.org/debian-security buster/updates main contrib non-free" to debian.list instead of the last line above, it worked! – James Bradbury Jul 18 '20 at 16:13
  • 3
    After this answer Debian has changed their repository from ftp subdomain to deb. See wiki.debian.org/SourcesList#Example_sources.list – Zouppen Aug 4 '20 at 9:46
8

For the time being, the chromium-beta PPA also works fine & does not require snap: https://launchpad.net/~saiarcot895/+archive/ubuntu/chromium-beta

To add this PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:saiarcot895/chromium-beta
sudo apt-get update
4
  • 6
    This was already mentioned above. It may be an option for some people, but keep in mind it's just some random PPA - who knows whether it's safe to use? The approach in the accepted answer ensures you get chromium without malware. – lonix Jun 1 '20 at 4:26
  • 1
    @lonix their project is open source though - github.com/saiarcot895/chromium-ubuntu-build . Also its totally up to date , the accepted answer will install chromium 80 if that matters for someone – Sachin Jun 26 '20 at 1:52
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    Perhaps not a good idea, in general, to use a random PPA for such sprawling software as a browser. Auditability near zero even if it is open source. – Sqerstet Jul 10 '20 at 14:39
  • Agreed about the risk of using a random PPA. However, the snap-based chromium cannot access files on my separately-mounted /opt filesystem. The non-snap chromium has no such limitation. Until or unless the snap version ever is able to access all the filesystems on my device, I am willing to live with the risk of a PPA-based version. – HippoMan Oct 24 '20 at 20:51
4

For completeness: Another option is to use nix:

# Install nix
curl -L https://nixos.org/nix/install | sh
. /home/$USER/.nix-profile/etc/profile.d/nix.sh
nix-env --install chromium
chromium

Unfortunately, for getting chromium into your launcher, you'll need to execute whereis chromium and, supposed the outcome is /nix/store/bpmjh6lpsfn3fwrkqx9kp1013x4hqk2y-user-environment/bin/chromium, create ~/.local/share/applications/chromium.desktop (e.g. by gedit ~/.local/share/applications/chromium.desktop) like

[Desktop Entry]
Name=chromium
Exec=/nix/store/bpmjh6lpsfn3fwrkqx9kp1013x4hqk2y-user-environment/bin/chromium
Comment=
Terminal=false
Icon=gnome-panel-launcher
Type=Application

While this basically works, chromium sometimes hangs with this solution, I have no clue why. So if you are ok with the Debian-solution, stick to it.

2
  • It did not work for me. How do you remove all those components now? – Pynchia Nov 19 '20 at 9:56
  • 1
    Just get rid of the nix folders: stackoverflow.com/questions/51929461/how-to-uninstall-nix If you would further specify why installing chromium using nix did not work for you, it would maybe be possible to provide a solution, in case others also stumble over the problem. – David Georg Reichelt Nov 19 '20 at 14:46
4

Chromium is now available in Flatpak packaging format on Flathub: https://flathub.org/apps/details/org.chromium.Chromium

Although Flatpak is similar to Snap, I think it matches the freedom standards that many Linux users are usually looking for, much better than Snap.

1
  • It is much faster... but the AUR and the Flatpak have a crippling sync bug. The snap is 3 versions out of date. Annoying position to be in. I'll try the beta Flatpak I guess. If Xenial was an option, I could just have a deb. – Ray Foss Feb 27 at 20:14
3

If you can live with Chrome instead of Chromium, you can use the officially provided Debian package from Google:

wget https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb
apt install ./google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb

You can get the download URL from the normal Chrome download page, then scroll to the very bottom of the page and select "other platforms". The URL is not directly displayed but you can see it in your download history.

apt instead of dpkg also takes care of installing all dependencies – which snap is not one of.

From reading a few files in that package, I have the impression that it installs a cron job that automatically updates the Chrome installation, just like we know it from Windows. So this looks like a pretty solid solution to me, without tinkering with package sources from other distributions or even personal PPAs. And it might even be available for longer, no need for procedure updates with a new distro version.

I've installed this in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and it works for me, but I'm only using it headless on a web server. The package includes config files for graphical desktop environments, too, though.

2
  • There is a package google-chrome-stable in the standard repositories for Ubuntu 20.04 (I probably originally installed via "Software Boutique"), so you don't need to do anything this exotic. – nobar Feb 19 at 18:18
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    @nobar I see that I have that package installed on my system. I also noticed it was updated some time ago. So I think what I downloaded was just a copy of that package and it's more easily available through apt indeed. – ygoe Feb 22 at 11:58
1

Get rid of snap:

sudo snap remove chromium
sudo apt purge snapd

Use the official Chromium PPA (from the Chromium team):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chromium-team/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install chromium-browser 

Beta repo is also possible if you want to (instead of stable):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chromium-team/beta
1
  • 3
    This PPA seems to be discontinued (last updated in 2019). – Archisman Panigrahi Jan 2 at 7:52
1

Part One: Download Available Dependencies.

  1. Download these:
sudo apt install libgcc1 libmpx2 gcc-8-base

Part Two: Get .deb files of Chromium

  1. Install VirtualBox
  2. Run Ubuntu 18.04 in it
  3. Download Chromium (and dependencies) with the download-only flag IN 18.04!
sudo apt-get --download-only install chromium-browser chromium-browser-l10n chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra
  1. Go to /var/cache/apt/archives and the .deb files will be there.
  2. Copy the deb files into a shared folder between the guest and the host OS.
  3. Download and install the packages. ON 20.04!!!

Part 3: Disable Updates in Update Manager or other Update Software

  1. Running
sudo apt-mark hold chromium-browser

will disable the Updates.

You Can Also Get the .deb's from archive.ubuntu.com.

  1. Go to http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/c/chromium-browser/

  2. Use CTRL+F to search for:

    1. chromium-browser_[version]-0ubuntu0.18.04.2_amd64.deb
    2. chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra_[version]-0ubuntu0.18.04.2_amd64.deb
    3. chromium-browser-l10n_[version]-0ubuntu0.18.04.2_all.deb
  3. Download Them and Install

  4. Run sudo apt-mark hold chromium-browser to prevent it from updating to snap version.

5
  • The above 85.0.4183 18.04.2 packages have been removed. I then tried the 85.0.4183 20.04.2 packages. Even though they installed (after displaying some software channel nonsense), Chromium was not available as an app (i.e. using Activities or the nine dots on the Ubuntu standard screen). – John Rose Nov 3 '20 at 14:46
  • I entered previous comment again as it cut me off while I was looking up details in repo index. The above 85.0.4183.83 18.04.2 packages have been removed. I then tried the 85.0.4183.83 20.04.2 packages. Even though they installed (after displaying some software channel nonsense), Chromium was not available as an app (i.e. using Activities or the nine dots on the Ubuntu standard screen). I then tried the 86.0.4640.75 18.04.1 packages and they installed OK:, though I had to do the codecs package install first due to dependency problem when I tried the browser package install first. – John Rose Nov 3 '20 at 14:54
  • Yes, chromium will get updates, you should manually look for the latest versions of chromium :) – Aten Dec 18 '20 at 2:47
  • Running Virtual machines?? no freaking way.. – danger89 Dec 19 '20 at 2:28
  • @danger89 you don't need to... Can get from the Ubuntu Archive – Aten Apr 16 at 22:37
1

Chromium browser is available in deb for Ubuntu 16.04 (xenial) and 18.04 (bionic). Ubuntu offers chromium in snap packages only for 19.x and 20.x versions. Once this said, you should normally find chromium updates in Ubuntu depots for xenial and bionic. Normally? It seems that updated version is available several days (weeks!) before it appears in depots. Today 18 April, the chromium version in bionic depots is 89.4389.90, while versions 89.4389.114, 89.4389.128 and 90.4430.72 are available here: https://launchpad.net/~canonical-chromium-builds/+archive/ubuntu/stage/+builds?build_state=built Click on the url of the version you want corresponding to your distribution and processor; then download chromium-browser, language pack and one of the codecs deb. Open you downloads directory in a terminal session, then "sudo dpkg -i *.deb". For Ubuntu versions 19.x and 20.x, you have two solutions:

  • download chromium-browser from debian buster depots (see former answers),
  • or download an ungoogled-chromium-browser for debian buster from here: https://github.com/ungoogled-software/ungoogled-chromium-debian. Enjoy! (answer done using amd64 build of chromium-browser 90.0.4430.72-0ubuntu0.18.04.1 from Linux Mint 19.3 Mate).
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-5

Without getting into the why, what you're asking for is someone, somewhere to maintain the deb of Chromium. There is a time and resource commitment to do that work, providing the build for you. There's a couple of options.

You specified a way of getting Chromium without building from source. So you're after binary packages which are not packaged as a snap. One option is to get the builds from the upstream Chromium project themselves via https://www.chromium.org/getting-involved/download-chromium

Another would be to use an older release of Ubuntu - such as Ubuntu 18.04 LTS - which still ships a binary deb of Chromium. At the time of writing 18.04 has Chromium 79 - the same as the version in 16.04, and is the latest.

2
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    Strange how Ubuntu can simply use thousands of packages from Debian, but are unable to do so for Chromium. – lvella Dec 12 '20 at 17:24
  • 1
    I realise you're just venting snark, but for anyone reading, it's partly because we're supporting multiple (5) stable releases of Ubuntu, so we don't use the debian package of chromium, because that's only updated in stable/unstable/experimental. We support 14.04/16.04/18.04/20.04/20.10/21.04. – popey Dec 14 '20 at 15:29
-6

You'd use a PPA.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:system76/pop
sudo apt update
sudo apt install chromium

And that's all.

2
  • 2
    System76's employee themselves don't recommend using Pop!_OS' PPA over Ubuntu. There is a warning as well in the PPA page. For reference, askubuntu.com/a/1188837 – Lorenz Keel Aug 4 '20 at 15:09
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    Do NOT do this. I almost screwed up my laptop (Kubuntu 20.04) massively. I had to use ppa-purge to fix everything. What happened was that by adding the system76/pop repository, the next time I ran the standard package updates (Software Updates) it ended up basically installing all of PopOS along with Gnome, GDM3, and it even changed Grub! – Michael Butler Sep 26 '20 at 22:13

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