How to Install Chromium Web Browser on Ubuntu 20.04

Chrome is the most popular browser in the world, but there would be no Chrome without Chromium. Chromium is the open source project that underpins Google’s Chrome browser.

Since the project is open-source, both Google and others are able to build on and use the Chromium source code. In fact, anyone can download, compile, and tinker with the source code for Chromium.

When Google first introduced Chrome back in 2008, they also released the Chromium source code on which Chrome was based as an open-source project. That open-source code is maintained by the Chromium Project, while Chrome itself is maintained by Google.

As a web browser, Chromium is inherently less stable than Chrome, which means it crashes more often and can exhibit other types of undesirable behavior.

However, it is compatible with Chrome browser extensions and offers a very similar user experience without submitting to any invasive information-gathering from Google.

What’s the Difference Between Chromium and Chrome?

Since Chrome and Chromium are similar, and each has benefits, it isn’t easy to say which is best.

For regular users, Chrome is probably the better choice. For advanced users and for those who place a high value on privacy and coding, Chromium may be the way to go.

Here I have listed some major differences:

 ChromeChromium
FeaturesProvides more features such as update mechanism, built-in support for multiple technologies, and digital rights management (DRM) components to play copyrighted content.Does not provide any of these features.
StabilityMore stable than Chromium.It is more prone to crashes, even when compared to the most basic versions of Chrome.
PrivacyAutomatically collects and transfers information to Google. This information can vary from crash reports, usage statistics, device operating systems, and more.Collects and transfers less information. Cannot transfer information such as crash reports and usage statistics.
SecuritySince it is built on Chromium, the security mechanisms are similar. But all security patches are updated automatically on Chrome.Just as secure as Chrome. But the lack of an update mechanism means that security patches to the source code will have to be manually downloaded and installed by the user.
License supportIncludes support for licensed codecs for proprietary media formats AAC, H.264, and MP3. Offers access to more media content, especially sites using HTML5 video to stream H.264 videos. Also includes basic, free codecs: Opus, Theora, Vorbis, VP8, VP9, and WAV.Only provides support for basic, free codecs: Opus, Theora, Vorbis, VP8, VP9, and WAV.

What is the Purpose of Chromium?

The purpose of the open-source Chromium project is to provide the source code for Google’s Chrome browser, which isn’t open source.

This allows Google to receive input from outside sources and iterate on new ideas very quickly. In fact, there are several new builds of the Chromium browser released every single day.

Global Web Browser Statistics

Image Credit: browserstack.com

This article explains two methods of installing Chromium on Ubuntu 20.04.

Chromium can be installed as a snap package via the Snapcraft store or as a .deb package from the Google repositories.

Choose the installation method that is most appropriate for your environment.

Method 1: Installing Chromium as a Snap Package

The chromium snap package is distributed and maintained by Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu.

A snap package is a type of universal Linux package that you can enjoy irrespective of the distro. Its an self-contained software packages that include the binary all dependencies needed to run the application.

All you need is the snap service pre-configured, In the case of Ubuntu 20.04, it comes with snap pre-installed.

If snapd package is not already installed then you can install it by running following command.

$ sudo apt install snapd

Note: Snap packages can be installed from either the command-line or via the Ubuntu Software application.

This is actually the Snap version of the Chromium. It can be used on any Linux distribution that has Snap support.

Open your terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and type the following command to install the Chromium Web Browser package.

$ sudo snap install chromium

That’s It. Now you can open the Chromium Browser application with the help of Activities search bar.

Note: Whenever a new version is released, the Chromium snap package will be automatically updated in the background.

If you are not comfortable with the command line, open Ubuntu Software, search for “Chromium” and install the application.

Image Credit: linuxhint.com
Image Credit: linuxhint.com

Method 2: Installing Chromium via apt

Chromium application can also be installed with the help of apt repository. It’s .deb package is available in the default Ubuntu repositories.

Step #1

First of all to get all of the available updates, for that Open your terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and type the following command.

$ apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

Step #2

Now you can install the Chromium Web Browser by running the command given below.

$ sudo apt install chromium-browser

When a new version is released, you can update Chromium through the command-line or your desktop Software Update tool.

Starting Chromium Browser

In the Activities search bar type “Chromium” and click on the icon to launch the application.

Image Credit: toshost.com

How to Uninstall Chromium Web Browser from Ubuntu 20.04

For some reason, If you want to uninstall Chromium browser, then type the following command.

$ sudo apt remove chromium-browser

Conclusion

I hope that now you have a good understanding of How to Install Chromium Web Browser on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa.

If anyone does have any questions about what we covered in this guide then feel free to ask in the comment section below and I will do my best to answer those.

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