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The Chromium Browser: Google Chrome on Ubuntu

written by: Kristen Grubb•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 8/30/2009

The Chromium Browser is the Linux version of Google Chrome. The Chrome is generally viewed to be faster and more streamlined than all other browsers, including Mozilla Firefox. From my tests, I cannot disagree with the general consensus.

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    The Pros and Cons

    The benefits of Google Chrome include the inclusion of its own JavaScript engine, the Omnibar, the uncluttered feel, and the incognito mode. The included JavaScript engine allows the browser to load and process JavaScript twice as fast as Mozilla Firefox. The Omnibar allows you to type search words or complete URLs in the same address bar. Other features like the lack of support for multiple toolbars and the ability to completely hide the toolbar and URL make the browser very streamlined, allowing you to focus solely on the web page. The Incognito mode provides with a window that will not show up in the browser history or search history. Nor does it leave cookies or other traces on your computer.

    The cons of Chrome include the lack of support for add-ons. If you like your extras in Firefox, you are will not be able to bring them to Chrome. You cannot sort your history, but you can search through it. You also cannot synchronize your bookmarks between multiple computers. If you like to keep your bookmarks the same on two or more computers you will have to use an online bookmark service like Google Bookmarks or Delicious.

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    Installing the software

    The Chromium Browser can be installed through the apt package manager just like all your other software. First of all, you will have to update your software sources list. Type the command sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list in a terminal window and add the following two lines to the file:

    deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/chromium-daily/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main

    deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/chromium-daily/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main

    This repository uses a GPG key, so you will have to add the key with the following command:

    sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com 0xfbef0d696de1c72ba5a835fe5a9bf3bb4e5e17b5

    Then update the sources list and install the browser:

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get install chromium-browser

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    Enabling Flash Player

    Chromium will support Adobe Flash Player, but you must add the plugin in order to use it. If you don't already have Flash Player installed on your computer, you will have to install it with the following command:

    sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer

    You will need to place a copy of the libflashplayer.so file into the chromium-browser plugins directory. Locate the file by typing sudo updatedb and locate libflashplayer.so. The file you want looks like usr/lib/flashplugin-installer/libflashplayer.so. Make the chromium-browser directory by typing sudo mkdir /etc/chromium-browser/plugins/. Then copy the file with the following command:

    sudo cp /usr/lib/flashplugin-installer/libflashplayer.so /etc/chromium-browser/plugins/

    The final step is to tell the browser to load the plug-in when it starts. Right click on the Accessories menu and choose Edit Menus. Choose the Chromium Browser under Internet and then click Properties. Add the line chromium-browser --enable-plugins %U to the command field. Close the Edit Menus GUI. When you open the Chromium Browser, you will have Flash Player enabled.