Linux Google Chrome Shines

By Juliet Kemp (Send Email)
Posted Oct 5, 2009


The Google Chrome browser is still available as a stable build only for Windows, but it turns out that you can get a dev build for Linux and also for Mac OSX. I've been curious about this browser for a while, so I tried out both.

Tip of the Trade: When it comes to Linux, Google Chrome may be far from gold, but it sure is shiny -- and fast.

The Linux build is easy to install if you're running current versions of Debian or Ubuntu. It may also be possible to install on other distros, but it's untested — the available version is .deb. Once installed, it's pretty fast — faster, I think, than Firefox on my machine.

Install is also easy on the Mac (.dmg available), but on initial startup, it hung when importing settings from Firefox. The second time around I did get a window, and all seemed to work well. It does start fast. Once up and running, Chrome is noticeably faster than Firefox (although perhaps this was a slightly unfair test, as I have about 20 open tabs in my Firefox right now!)

I quite like how the server address in the address box is bolded, with the rest of the URL left light gray. The address-and-search-box is also nice, although you get this functionality in practice in Firefox these days as well. I also like the minimalism of the address/button bar. I certainly intend to keep experimenting for a while.

Note that these are dev builds (not even beta!), so they may be significantly unstable. In the case of the Mac build, various privacy settings are unavailable.

Juliet Kemp has been messing around with Linux systems, for financial reward and otherwise, for about a decade. She is also the author of "Linux System Administration Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach" (Apress, 2009).

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