Chromium (web browser)

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File:Chromium web browser.PNG
Chromium displaying Wikipedia on Windows 7
Written in C++ and Assembly
Operating system Windows (XP SP2 and later)
Mac OS X (10.5 and later)
Size 19.9 MB (Linux)
18.4 MB (Mac)
11.9 MB (Windows)
Type Web browser
License BSD license, MIT License, LGPL, Ms-PL, MPL/GPL/LGPL tri-license

Chromium is the open source web browser on which Google Chrome is based.[1] The Google-authored portion of it is released under the BSD license,[2] with other parts being subject to a variety of different permissive open-source licenses, including the MIT License, the LGPL, the Ms-PL, and an MPL/GPL/LGPL tri-license.[3] It implements the same feature set as Google Chrome, but has a slightly different logo.[4] Versions of Mac and Linux Google Chrome based on Chromium were released to the development channel for Google Chrome on 4 June 2009.[5] According to the developer documentation, "'Chromium' is the name of the project, not the product, and should never appear in code in variable names, API names etc. Use 'chrome' instead."[6]

One of the major aims of the project is for Chrome to be a tabbed window manager, or shell for the web, as opposed to it being a traditional browser application. The idea is for the application to be minimalist in the same way Windows Explorer or Mac OSX's Finder are minimalist. The developers state that it "should feel lightweight (cognitively and physically) and fast".[7]


Unofficial releases

An early alpha build of Chromium for Linux, which clarifies its separation from Google Chrome
Acid3 test results on Chromium
  • On September 15, 2008, CodeWeavers released an unofficial bundle of a Wine derivative and Chromium Developer Build 21 for Linux and Mac OS X, which they dubbed CrossOver Chromium.[8][9]
  • SRWare Iron is a release of Chromium software that explicitly disables the collection and transmission of usage information and enables ad blocking and full User agent control. The Download page has links to Windows, Linux, Mac and USB stick builds which usually follow official builds within a week. There's also a Chrome vs Iron comparison page.
  • ChromePlus is a Chromium-based browser for Windows. It adds features such as mouse gestures, link dragging, and IE tabs.[10]
  • It is possible to download and view a pre-release 'snapshot' trunk build of the Mac version of Chromium from the Chromium development website. Although this is not the public release, but rather an internal version for developers, it does allow you to see how far development has progressed and what the browser might eventually look like. Users should be warned that although this is the most advanced development version, it is still only in alpha and may be very unstable. The Mac development status page also has information related to the development of the product. As of June 2009 the Chromium trunk version was tested as being faster than Safari 4.0 Beta, Firefox 3.5 beta 4 and Opera 10.0 Beta on the SunSpider benchmark on Mac OS X [11].
  • A similar pre-release snapshot of the Linux version is also available, including builds for Debian and Ubuntu and unofficial repo for Fedora. Arch Linux has included a package in the official repository.

See also


  1. "Google Chrome is built with open source code from Chromium." Retrieved from:
  2. "Home (Chromium Developer Documentation)". Chromium Developer Documentation. 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  3. "Chromium Terms and Conditions". Google Code. 2008-09-02. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  4. McAllister, Neil (2008-09-11). "Building Google Chrome: A first look". Fatal Exception (InfoWorld). Retrieved 2008-09-16. "As the name suggests, Chromium is a rawer, less polished version of Chrome. The UI is mostly identical, with only a few very minor visual differences...The most readily evident difference is the logo, which sheds the Google colors in favor of a subdued blue design" 
  5. The Chromium Blog
  6. "Coding Style (Chromium Developer Documentation)". Chromium Developer Documentation. 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-05. . See "Naming".
  7. "User Experience (Chromium Developer Documentation)". Chromium Developer Documentation. 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  8. "Fire Drills and Proving a Point". CodeWeavers. 2008-09-15. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  9. "CrossOver Chromium". Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  10. Lifehacker: ChromePlus Is an IE-Tab and Mouse-Gesture Sporting Chromium Build
  11. "Google Chrome For Mac OS X". TechSutra. 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
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