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Chromium vs. Chrome: What’s The Difference?

Posted by Chris on June 24, 2016

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

chromenchromium

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.

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

Larry Rink says:
I use chromium but my mouse pointer is to small. It is smaller on this app than on any others that I use. Is there a way to fix this?
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cheryl read says:
How do I uninstall Chromium from my laptop? I accidentally downloaded it and I can’t close it as the X and minimize in the upper right-hand corner have disappeared, so therefore I can’t uninstall it. I have Windows 10 but use the classic shell.
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cheryl read says:
I’ve read that Chromium is a virus & duplicates itself repeatedly, slowing down the computer. I accidentally downloaded it & I can never close it so I can’t uninstall it. Is this what’s slowing down my laptop? How can I close it? There is no X in the upper right-hand corner, nothing, so I can’t minimize it either. I have windows 10 but have installed a classic shell since I hate Windows 10 & am old school so I’m wondering if I can uninstall it there? Please advise! Thank’s.
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yvonne says:
for some reason my CHROME just won’t load at all and I lost all my saved websites etc from years of using Chrome. Also Chromium doesn’t have “plug-ins” that allows me to do the same work I used to do with Chrome without any problems. I can’t open a lot of videos etc with Chromium: HOW DO I GET CHROME BACK? I also lost access to one of my forums that are only accessible via Chrome:
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Nommi DeGuerre says:
Chromium actually works, and lets me do things I want to do!!
(such as closing both windows and tabs with command w, like every other damn application on Macintosh EXCEPT crappy old Chrome)

Chrome is mostly interested in tracking us for Google, and driving us into Google revenue streams, being not at all focused on user satisfaction.

Tl;dr: Chromium is great; Chrome sucks balls

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usman says:
Chromium does not help hard refresh even after ctrl shift R. It is takes much time compared to chrome.. It is not well developed for web development 🙁
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Chris says:
chromium is solid. Bugs are fewer than before. But you can also run Chrome on Linux as well so there is no reason to avoid Linux if it is just for Chrome. Linux has evolved, and is highly supported by Valve, so there will be more native games moving over to linux. Another great thing is that more programs are being built to be multi-platform unlike before. Linux has come a long way in such a short time.
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Robert says:
Pierre, if you are switching from WIN 7 to Linux I would recommend ChaletOS. It is very WIN 7 oriented, not resources hungry and can help you into your transition from WIN to Linux.
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ittyhead says:
Some linus distros to try :

ChaletOS

Peppermint OS

Netrunner

Makulu Linux

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heronymus.anon says:
I would recommend Linux Mint Mate,
it’s based on Ubuntu but sleeker and with a UI that’s similar
to WinXP and easy to grasp for Windows users.
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Gary Jones says:
Chrome and Chromium in faint washed out yellow tat op of article should be bold.
You must have good eyes. You repeat the same thing with the Robot puzzle.
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Joshua Gahan says:
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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Steve says:
I think you’re slightly out of touch. Apt-get?? It has been simply Apt install for a long time now. On my KDE system, around half of the applications I use are Appimages. What could be easier? Just download the Appimages and store them on another partition and regardless of what distro you use those apps are ready to use on a single click. Even for average joe, to install the latest kernels now is a piece of pie with Ukuu kernel update utility. Choose which you want from a list with 1 click and click install and that’s it.
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Average Joe says:
Steve I think you just proved Joshua’s point. No one knows what you just said.
Alan says:
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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Fortunato says:
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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thatoneguy99 says:
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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GoogleAbusesItsPower says:
“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 says:
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 says:
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 ?

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