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?


16 Answers 16


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.


The official Chromium Wiki provides a detailed list 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.


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!


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.

  • 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. Oct 15, 2013 at 20:51

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.


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.


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.

  • 1
    LOL at last paragraph. Jul 28, 2012 at 3:41

Chrome blocks extensions outside the Chrome Web Store; Chromium does not.

Chrome includes tracking features such as RLZ; Chromium does not.

Chrome's EULA used to include the following:

you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content that you submit, post or display on or through the Services.

This has been corrected, whatever that means. Whether this point matters though is debatable; after all, if you have nothing to hide...

Finally, Chromium does not include closed source code like Chrome allowing the community to review it. This, along with the fact that Chromium is less complex since it does not include some goodies like flash and pdf reader, makes it, at least theoretically, more secure.

For the interested reader, there is also an official blog post about the relationship between Google Chrome, Chromium, and Google.


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.

  • 3
    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. Aug 17, 2014 at 15:23

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:


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


First of all, Chromium is owned by the community. Chrome, is owned by Google, so Google can do anything with it.

Chromium is Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS). That means if you have enough programming skills, you can see and modify its source code, and, eventually, make it a Closed source (=CS) software (like the Torch Browser on Windows).

Google has already taken and modified the OS code with 3rd party CS, with its own code, and released the CS software named Chrome. Some of the code added include PDF reader, Flash player (which will update, but the Linux one will not update any more) and tracking (so Google and the NSA will know everything).

On Ubuntu, Chrome release = Chromium release, because the Ubuntu team took care about that (as soon as a Chrome update is released, an Ubuntu's Chromium update is released, based by the same source code, but, of course, without Google's code).

Hope that this explained everything.

The choice is yours: Chromium's safety or Chrome's full-of-features ability. (or Firefox or any other browser... There are many browsers in this world... Or even take the source-code of Chromium and make your own browser)


In addition to other answers, one practical difference that I've noticed is that Chromium doesn't come with, and quite possibly doesn't support, some DRM libraries such as used by Netflix, and so you'll most likely have trouble trying to run Netflix on Chromium, as well as other Web applications that may require them.


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 .


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.


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.

  • 4
    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. Jul 28, 2012 at 0:57
  • 3
    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. Jul 28, 2012 at 1:00
  • 1
    @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, 2012 at 3:44

To answer you question more precisely... Chromium is the Open source browser made free; free as in free not free as in beer... Google Chrome is the Google Branded version of the Chromium browser. Trademarks are applied and icons and images are added and thru some kind of legal loop holes Google can "claim" chrome as its own product. btw the trademarks expire soon.

In plain speak, Chromium is the Car and chrome is the color paint on the car... its not functional to the car. I hope that makes sense! so chromium is the car painted blue, and chrome is the car painted blue but with a giant sticker slapped on it in the form of a logo and trademark.

if the chromium ceases to exist chrome would cease to exist and google could do zero about it.

ill be brief, chromium allows google to download but not upload so in a sense they are not even in control of the product, if someone on the chromium end decided to "hack" the chromium browser, chrome would automatically update the chrome browser and everyone using it would be affected by the chromium "hack"...

full disclosure, its made like this for a reason! if google had control of the chromium browser they would have sold it like netscape ;) back in the day... This is for You!

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