Chromium vs. Chrome: What’s The Difference?

google-chrome

If you use Google Chrome (most of the people reading this article) or you read around the web occasionally, you might’ve heard of this little thing called “Chromium”. The context you’re most likely to hear this in is “Chromium-based”, but searching for Chromium just gives you what seems to be an alternate version of Chrome.

In this article, we’ll clear up any confusion you might have by explaining the difference between the two browsers, as well as how something can be Chromium-based.

The Browsers

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Let’s just get this right off the bat. From a user-end perspective, Google Chrome and Chromium are basically the same thing. They share an interface, extensions and most basic features. The main difference is that Google Chrome is the consumer-faced version of Chromium, customized by Google. It’s usually pretty stable, and unless you opt into Chrome Canary, you’re not going to be dealing with a lot of bugs or crashes in the main browser.

Chromium, however, is essentially Chrome distilled to its purest form. Before Google does a lot to it, with all the latest features actively being tested. This means that it can be very buggy and unstable, and it usually is. In fact, it’s kind of supposed to be- the issues are there so that developers can identify their causes and fix them, which later results in a more powerful, more stable version of Chrome for everyone else.

But that doesn’t explain browsers being Chromium-based, like Opera’s current version. Also, what’s this stuff about “open source” and “developers”? Well…

The Project

chromiumprojects

Most of Chrome comes from the Chromium Project, and the Chromium Project, like many others, are open-source. Open-source projects allow anyone to view, edit and make changes to the program, with the goal of everyone working together to make the best possible application. Many applications are born this way, and so are various distributions of Linux, an open-source kernel for literally thousands of operating systems.

Chromium is the open-source base from which Google Chrome is built, in addition to other browsers. It’s sponsored in part by Google, of course, and Google’s devs obviously have a hand in it. If you’re a developer or want to get into web development, take a look at Chromium. But if you’re like most Internet users…just use Chrome.

Posted by Chris on June 24, 2016

7 thoughts on “Chromium vs. Chrome: What’s The Difference?”

GoogleAbusesItsPower

November 19, 2016 at 3:14 pm

“just use Chrome”

And have every single thing you do online reported to Alphabet/Google.
There’s even an extension to tell you if your visiting a news site that Alphabet/Google don’t like.

Unthinking drones who like to be spoon fed their view of the world use Chrome.

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Paul Anderson

December 4, 2016 at 9:29 am

The same puppets also run MS Windows exclusively. I know that some applications are Windows only, which in itself is self-perpetuating, but I suspect that 99% of users could happily make a permanent move to the world of Linux.

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Pierre Aribaut

March 1, 2017 at 12:29 pm

I use Chrome like many people, i had a thought about chromium so i searched chrome vs chromium to see what’s new, and i arrived there, i read that chromium is buggy, uninstable, so i guess i’ll stay on Chrome…
Which version of Linux for somebody who would like to switch from windows 7 to linux ? Ubuntu ? Xubuntu ?

thatoneguy99

March 3, 2017 at 1:12 pm

Ubuntu all day. I have played with a few others, there are SOOOO many, but Ubuntu is what I come back to everytime…

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Fortunato

March 9, 2017 at 12:54 pm

I have ubuntu 14.04 using 32bit computer in linux. Unfortunately Google is no longer supporting chrome for ubuntu at 32 bits. I will have to buy a new computer with 64 bits to use chrome on linux (ubuntu). Having said that I choose to use chromium because I can’t afford to buy a new computer.

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Alan

March 13, 2017 at 2:00 am

I have an ASUS NAS, wife use Chrome to watch Youtube videos. It crashes at random intervals.
I was hoping Chromium would help help her.
From the “less reliable” comments, I’m guessing this would not be the case.

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Joshua Gahan

March 16, 2017 at 5:23 am

Linux while superior in many aspects isn’t quite ready to be ‘every-mans’ OS. I alternate between windows (for games) and mint, and as much as I love Linux, even the simplest things not in Synaptic will invariably require dropping into the terminal at one point or another. Remember its hard enough to find a general computer user knows how to find add/remove on their windows computer. I would take a guess that > 70% of computer users have never typed a single command into cmd, and asking them to migrate to a *nix system where they will almost certainly need to at the very least apt-get something is more than most would be willing to handle.

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