I use Google Chrome and it is a addictive browser, it is super fast.

But it forced updated itself on my Ubuntu 12.04 today, which I did not like at all.

My Question

  1. How Google Chrome updated itself on Ubuntu 12.04 without permission?
  2. How to tell Google Chrome to "knock on door before entering in the room"?
  • Are you sure you didn't overlook it when you were doing security updates? Chrome doesn't update itself without prompting you. – Jorge Castro Apr 3 '13 at 18:21
  • I wish it did update itself automatically. – Steve-o Apr 3 '13 at 18:31
  • I never did any update, it started automatically. – Gaurav Agarwal Apr 3 '13 at 18:32
  • Just out of curiosity - you weren't just seeing the April fool's popup about Chrome updating with a new 'spel chek' were you? It says it auto updated, but it is just a joke - just want to make sure this isn't what you saw – Drake Clarris Apr 3 '13 at 19:37
  • @DrakeClarris Yes, I saw that on the bottom left corner. But before that Ubuntu downloaded around 52 MB. – Gaurav Agarwal Apr 3 '13 at 19:54

When you install Google Chrome, it automatically adds its software source to your list of software sources.

This causes Ubuntu's package manager to automatically upgrade Google Chrome when a new version comes out.

If you want to stop this from happening, you can disable that software source.

The Graphical Way

Open the Software Sources window. One way to do this is to start typing Software Sources in the the Unity dash search box, then click on the Software Sources icon when it appears; another is to open the Update Manager (called the Software Updater in later versions of Ubuntu) and click Settings...

Click the Other Software tab. In the list, find the entry that says:

http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main

Software Sources window, showing the entry for Google Chrome Stable

Uncheck the box to the left of it, to disable that entry. Now Google Chrome will not be automatically updated.

Alternatively, you may remove the entry (by selecting it and clicking Remove). Disabling it by unchecking the box is just as effective at preventing Google Chrome from being automatically updated, however.

The Manual / Command-Line Way

When you installed the google-chrome-stable package (after downloading it from Google), it enabled its software source for updates on your machine by creating a file called google-chrome.list in the directory /etc/apt/sources.list.d.

If you rename that file to google-chrome.list.save, the software source will be disabled (like unchecking it in Software Sources, as described above).

If you delete the file, it will be removed entirely (though disabling it is sufficient for preventing Google Chrome from being automatically updated.

You can rename or delete it in the Terminal or with the GUI (Nautilus, the file browser). To rename it in the Terminal, run:

cd /etc/apt/sources.list.d
mv google-chrome.list google-chrome.list.save

To delete it in the Terminal, run:

cd /etc/apt/sources.list.d
rm google-chrome.list

However you remove it, you may have to remove it again later.

If you install a newer version of Google Chrome, it will probably re-add its software source, and enable it. So no matter what method you used to disable it, Google Chrome will typically be automatically upgraded if you then subsequently manually upgrade it by manually installing the .deb package for a newer version.

Why does Google Chrome add its software source?

Because many updates to web browsers including Google Chrome include fixes for security vulnerabilities. Running a web browser with known vulnerabilities is unsafe. Many security exploits these days, like cross-site scripting exploits, don't depend on what operating system you run. Running Ubuntu instead of Windows does not protect you very much from many browser security bugs.

Since it is usually dangerous to run an old version of Google Chrome, installing Google Chrome also enables its software source so that it is automatically updated.

Therefore, you may wish to reconsider if you really want to prevent Google Chrome from being automatically upgraded when a new version comes out.

| improve this answer | |
  • +1, It is true that it may be dangerous to run an old version of a browser and therefore the user must be warned of dangers and that s/he should update immediately instead of forcing an update. History is witness, all rights have been taken away by showing an invisible threat to uninformed and weak by mighty and powerful. – Gaurav Agarwal Apr 3 '13 at 18:30
  • I'm on a distro derived from 12.04 - so pardon my possible ignorance in asking, but Ubuntu now runs apt updates automatically? I thought it still prompted you before installing... – Drake Clarris Apr 3 '13 at 19:00
  • @DrakeClarris My understanding is that the default behavior is to offer them to the user automatically. This is reconfigurable (in the Updates tab in Software Sources). Many users configure their systems for automatic updates. In the case of the OP here (coding crow), even if updates had to be manually installed, the presence of Google Chrome updates among the updates for other software (software provided by officially Ubuntu repositories and installed automatically or with the Software Center, APT, or similar tools) probably created the impression that Google Chrome had updated itself. – Eliah Kagan Apr 3 '13 at 19:03
  • Ok, as long as the default only checks and informs you - I was wondering there for a minute. – Drake Clarris Apr 3 '13 at 19:18
  • @DrakeClarris I am not absolutely sure about that, for every possible version of Ubuntu and all its official derivatives (much less unofficial derivatives). You can check and change your current setting, whatever it is, from the Updates tab in Software Sources. If you're running Ubuntu Server (which doesn't have a GUI by default), a different mechanism may be in use to perform automatic updates--you are prompted explicitly to decide whether or not you want this when installing Ubuntu Server. – Eliah Kagan Apr 3 '13 at 19:26

Untick it in the image below (see the last one) and tick it again whenever you want: (You can get this screen by selecting 'Software and updates')

Software Sources

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Sorry I noob, where to find this?? – Gaurav Agarwal Apr 3 '13 at 17:39
  • 1
    I recommend expanding this a bit to explain how to get there and what to do. My answer includes the use of the Software Sources utility, but there's value in different answers that present things differently. There's also value in an answer like this that is short and to the point; this could nicely compliment my longer, more detailed answer. However, right now this doesn't really explain what to do; in particular, someone who (for example, due to disability) cannot see your image will be entirely unable to understand this answer. – Eliah Kagan Apr 3 '13 at 18:35

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