Free and open-source cross-platform web browser
Chromium 78 running in GNOME Shell on Ubuntu, displaying the Settings page, and with the opened menu
|Developer(s)||Google, Microsoft, Igalia, Yandex|
|Initial release||September2, ; 12years ago()|
|Platform||IA, x, ARM|
Chromium is a free and open-source software project from Google. The source code can be compiled into a web browser.
Google uses the code to make its Chrome browser, which has more features than Chromium. Many other browsers are also based on Chromium code, most notably Microsoft Edge and Opera. In addition, some parties (although not Google) build the code as-is and release browsers with the Chromium name.
Chromium's user interface is minimalist. Google sought to make the browser "feel lightweight (cognitively and physically) and fast."
New Chromium versions are released daily, however there is no "stable" Chromium version unlike other web browsers.
Chromium is an entirely free and open-source software project. The Google-authored portion is released under the 3-clause BSD license. Other parts are subject to a variety of licenses, including MIT, LGPL, Ms-PL, and an MPL/GPL/LGPLtri-license.
Differences from Google Chrome
Chrome has features that are not present in a default Chromium build. However, some are enabled or manually added to a Chromium build, for Linux distributions.
Branding and licensing
While Chrome has the same user interface functionality as Chromium, it changes the color scheme to the Google-branded one. Unlike Chromium, Chrome is not open-source, so its binaries are licensed as freeware under the Google Chrome Terms of Service.
An early alpha build of Chromium for Linux, which clarifies its separation from Google Chrome
Releases are identified by a four-part version number, e.g. (Chromium 47 initial release 23 August ). The components are cipsas.com
- cipsas.com reflects scheduling policy
- cipsas.com identifies content progression
A cipsas.com branch point schedule is published. Branch points occur roughly every six to seven weeks. The published dates are a last branch date of each Chromium (Major) release and are tied to the Google Chrome development cycle. They lag the initial Chromium release by about 40 days and precede the next by about 2. Details are described in Chrome Release cycles.
Google Chrome was introduced in September , and along with its release, the Chromium source code was also made available, allowing builds to be constructed from it. The initial code release included builds for Windows and macOS, and a build for Linux, at a very early stage of development and lacking complete functionality. Chromium was released in December and with it Chrome was removed from beta status for Windows only.
Upon its first release in September Chromium was criticized for storing saved passwords in a manner so that any casual user of a computer can easily read them from the GUI. Chromium users have filed many bug reports and feature requests asking for a master password option to access stored passwords, but Chromium developers have consistently insisted that this provides no real security against knowledgeable hackers. Users have argued that it would protect against co-workers or family members borrowing a computer and seeing the stored passwords in clear text. In December , Chromium developer P. Kasting stated: "A master password was issue That issue is closed. We will not implement a master password. Not now, not ever. Arguing for it won't make it happen. 'A bunch of people would like it' won't make it happen. Our design decisions are not democratic. You cannot always have what you want."
In January the first development versions of Chromium were made available, featuring a bookmark manager and support for non-standard CSS features, including gradients, reflections and masks.
In May the first alpha Linux version of Chromium was made available. In reviewing that alpha version Ryan Paul said that it was "still missing features and [has] lots of rendering bugs, but it is clearly moving in the right direction." The first developer releases for Chrome on the Linux and macOS platforms were made available in June , although they were in a very early stage and lacked Adobe Flash, privacy settings, the ability to set the default search provider and even printing at that point. In July Chromium incorporated native theming for Linux, using the GTK+ toolkit to allow it fit into the GNOME desktop environment.
Chromium was the first Chromium version and appeared on 22 September  with Chrome publicly released in December Both brought support for extensions, plus synchronization of bookmarks along with Chrome beta versions for macOS and Linux. The all-platform market penetration of Chrome/Chromium combined was at % by the end of April 
Gentoo Linux has had Chromium in the official repository since September FreeBSD has had Chromium available since late and a port has been available from the FreeBSD ports system since late OpenBSD has had Chromium available for i and amd64 platforms since late  Although OpenBSD supports many browsers, recent releases only officially highlight Chromium and Firefox.
Original Chromium logo used from the project's inception until Chromium 11
Chromium was released on 26 January with as the initial version. Google Chrome followed on 25 May and provided stable (non-beta) releases for all platforms. At that time the web magazine, OMG! Ubuntu!, reported that Chrome/Chromium usage was at % for Linux browsers, compared to % for Firefox and % for Opera.
Lubuntu used Chromium as the default browser since its first release, Lubuntu in April , until Lubuntu in October when it moved to Firefox instead.Ubuntu started offering Chromium through the Ubuntu Software Center starting with Ubuntu LTS as part of the "universe" repository. The initial version available in April was , with brand-new versions delivered as updates.Puppy Linux has had Chromium available starting with Chromium on Lucid Puppy , based on the Ubuntu application repository.Maemo, Nokia's former mobile operating system, offered a proof-of-concept version of Chromium with an unmodified user interface which was released on 11 April 
Chromium was introduced in May with the first release version In July Chromium 6 daily builds introduced new features focusing on user interface minimalism, including a unified single page and tools menu, no home button by default (although user configurable), no "go button", a combined "reload/stop" button, bookmark bar deactivated by default, an integrated PDF reader, WebM and VP8 support for use with HTML5 video, and a smarter URL bar. Chrome 6 was released in both a stable and beta version on 2 September as version The switch to brought security fixes, a slightly updated user interface, improvements to form autofilling, synchronizing of both extensions and autofill data, along with increased speed and stability.
Acid3 test results on Chromium 7
7 October marked the release of Chromium , seven and a half weeks after that of Chromium 7. The initial release in this series was version The development of Chromium focused on improved integration into Chrome OS and improved cloud features. These include background web applications, host remoting (allowing users centrally to control features and settings on other computers) and cloud printing. On 12 January versions of Chrome and Chromium prior to version were identified by US-CERT as "contain[ing] multiple memory corruption vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities include a stack corruption vulnerability in the PDF renderer component, two memory corruption vulnerabilities in the Vorbis decoder and a video frame size error resulting in a bad memory access By convincing a user to view a specially crafted HTML document, PDF file, or video file, an attacker can cause the application to crash or possibly execute arbitrary code." This vulnerability was publicized after Chrome version was released fixing these problems, to alert users to upgrade versions as soon as possible.
Chromium was released on 23 October , just 16 days after Chromium , with as the initial version. The new version introduced an infobar refresh feature with the aim of preventing website spoofing attacks. Reviewer Wolfgang Gruener noted that the first builds of Chrome 9 have now doubled in size between Chrome 3 and Chrome 9 to a compressed download of MB, calling it "notably more bloated". Gruener also criticized the seemingly arbitrary numbering breaks between major versions, saying, "even by more progressive standards, the version numbering may be a bit excessive. By the end of this year, Google will have gone through seven or eight different browser versions. Some may doubt the benefit of that strategy." Chromium 9 introduced two new test features in November intended to load web pages more quickly, "pre-rendering" and "false start", plus sandboxing for Adobe Flash. Stable releases of Chrome and Chromium were version and included features such as Instant Search which allows the URL bar to act through Google Instant when Google is the default search. Other features included GPU/hardware acceleration, default 3D graphics though WebGL and access to the Chrome Web Store on the New Tab page.
Chromium was released on 3 December , with as the initial version. It introduced 18 new features, including "Instant Type" searching and "GPU accelerated compositing". Development of "Webpage pre-rendering" was reduced to an inactive feature while a selectable "snap start" was introduced.
Logo introduced with Chromium 11
In February , Google's Jeff Chang announced to Chromium developers that Google was considering further large-scale interface changes. Under consideration were eliminating the "Omnibox" URL bar and combining the two-line layout which has tabs on one line and navigation buttons, a menu and URL bar on a second line into one single line, thus freeing up more screen space for content. (Such a layout was later adopted by Internet Explorer 9.) Chang acknowledged that this would result in URLs not always being visible to the user, that navigation controls and menus may lose their context and that the resulting single line could be quite crowded. Other proposed changes include being able to log into multiple accounts in different windows and improved URL suggestions from the user's history. By the middle of , after some experimentation, the developers decided that eliminating the URL bar was too risky and shelved the idea. Chromium 11 also introduced a new simplified 2D logo that replaced the 3D logo used from the project since its inception.
Mageia first offered Chromium 11 in Mageia v1 during 
In March Google announced directions for the project for the year, including a plan for seven new major versions, planning to end the year with Chrome 17 out. Development priorities focus on reducing the browser's size, integrating web applications and plug-ins, cloud capabilities and touch interface. The size is a concern to developers, who have noted that Chrome 1 was MB in Windows download size, compared to Chrome 10 for Windows at MB, as a result they have created a "bloat taskforce". Larger download sizes are a problem for a number of reasons, as Chrome Developer Ian Fette explained: "1. We do distribution deals with Chrome, where we bundle Chrome with other products. These get difficult when our binary grows. 2. We see increased download failures/ install dropoffs as the binary grows, especially in countries with poor bandwidth like India. India also happens to be a very good market for Chrome (we have good market share there and growing), so that's also very problematic."
With the release of Chromium on 19 April the interface incorporated many changes, the most significant since Chromium 6 was released. A multi-profile button was introduced allowing users to log into multiple Google and other accounts in the same browser instance. The new tab page was also redesigned and separated into four horizontally scrollable screens, providing access to most visited pages, Google apps, plus two identified pages. The page reload button was also redesigned along with minor changes to the URL bar. The first stable version of Chrome and Chromium 12 released was which brought malware detection and support for hardware-accelerated 3D CSS transforms.
Chromium was released on 26 April , with as the initial version. Early versions of Chromium 13 included a menu button to enable users to switch between multiple Google profiles, multi-selection of tabs and an improved omnibox engine. This version also included several minor GUI changes, including a slightly lightened menu bar. By early May the results of Google's attempts to reduce the file size of Chromium were already being noted. Much of the early work in this area concentrated on shrinking the size of WebKit, by removing Wireless Markup Language (WML), the Image Resizer, datagrids and the Android build system. The largest Chromium nightly build was MB on 15 April , but this was reduced to MB by 20 April  Later builds of Chromium and Chrome in mid-May introduced the optional "compact navigation view", aimed at mobile device users. This view combined the tabs, URL bar and menu bar into one bar, by making the URL bar hide when not in use, thus saving 30 pixels of vertical space.
Chromium was released on 2 June , with as the initial version. This initial version included testing support for preloading instant searches, permitting the user to preload the default search engine used in instant search and GPU acceleration on all pages. Default changes include a 2D-accelerated canvas and the task manager incorporated a frames-per-second counter. There was also support for the Page Visibility API. By the time development of Chromium 14 had been completed and Chrome 14 stable released this version also incorporated Mac OS X Lion scrollbar compatibility and "presentation mode". It also had support for the new Web Audio API and Google Native Client (NaCl) which permits native code supplied by third parties as platform-neutral binaries to be securely executed within the browser itself.
Chromium was released on 28 July , with as the initial version. Work in this version included integrating the profiles and synchronization features, including moving synchronization into the main menu and introducing a profile manager. Synchronization data will be encrypted by default. Chromium 15 also expands webpage pre-rendering. Dan Bailey of Conceivably Tech stated about this version and the development of it, "it is obvious that Google is plugging along and is fine-tuning its browser… Chrome isn't surrendering its perception of the most advanced browser today anytime soon." As development wound up in early September Chromium 15 also gained a "self-crashing" feature that crashes the browser if a close command is not completed in 25 seconds, smooth scrolling when using the space bar, automatic pre- and auto-logins to Google's own web pages, task bar logos to show different profiles, greatly enhanced synchronization customization, including optional search engine synchronization and improvements to the pre-rendering process.
Chromium was released on 10 September , with as the initial version. Early in the development of version 16 an experimental Offscreen Tabs Module was incorporated which allows simultaneous user interaction with multiple web pages. This version for macOS included a move to Google's Skia 2D graphics library in place of Apple's core graphics as previously used. This aligned Chromium for macOS with the Windows and Linux versions.
Chromium was released on 19 October , with the initial release version  This version introduced HTTP pipelining as a test feature to increase web page load speed, starting with build Development on Chromium 17 near the end of November included the Gamepad API, specifically intended to allow game inputs from joysticks and other gaming-oriented pointing devices. Other work included being able to move profile icons directly to the desktop in Windows.
Chromium was released on 7 December , with the initial release version  Nightly builds of Chromium 18 showed that this cycle included work on menu organization. In January the builds reworked the Options menu to eliminate the Basics, Personal Stuff and Under the Hood pages and unite them into one menu named options. The new menu simplifies selections and hides privacy and proxy settings and security certificate management. Additional features included omnibox suggestion visualization.
Chromium was released on 2 February , with the initial release version  Support for Android was added. Chromium 19 development led to the release of Chrome on 15 May , which incorporated many bug fixes along with a tab synchronization feature that allowed users to have the same tabs open on Chrome on different devices through "signing into Chrome".
Chromium was released on 29 March , with the initial release version This development cycle resulted in the release of Google Chrome on 26 June , which was predominately a bug-fix update with few new features.
Chromium was released on 9 August , with the initial release version  This development cycle resulted in the release of Chrome on 6 November , which incorporated easier website permissions, plus GPU accelerated video decoding for Windows.
Chromium was released on 20 September , with the initial release version  This development cycle resulted in the release of Chrome on 10 January , which incorporated support for MathML which allows mathematical equations to be displayed, HTML5 datalists for date and time and a large number of security and bug fixes. This release marked a total of a 26% increase in page loading speed achieved in the releases over the previous 12 months.
Chromium was released on 20 December , with the initial release version  This development cycle resulted in the release of Chrome on 26 March This release incorporated a new "Ask Google for suggestions", spell checking feature improvements, which includes grammar and homonym checking, desktop shortcuts for multiple users on Windows, and asynchronous DNS resolver improvements for Mac OS-X and Linux.
The first new release for , Chromium , first appeared on 14 February , as This development cycle resulted in the release of Chrome on 21 May This version incorporated a page-loading speed-improvement of an average of 5%, the cipsas.comleSystem API, improved prediction-ranking and Omnibox predictions, and improved spelling-correction.
Chromium was released on 28 March , with the initial release version This development cycle resulted in the release of Google Chrome for Linux only on 17 June On Linux this version requires Ubuntu , Debian 7, openSUSE or Fedora Linux 17 and later releases to run.
Chromium was released on 9 May , with the initial release version  This development cycle resulted in the release of Chrome on 20 August  This version incorporated improved Omnibox suggestions, the ability to reset user profiles, new applications and extension APIs and improvements in stability and performance. The Blinkbrowser engine (a fork of the WebKit engine) was introduced on 4 April in Chromium 
Chromium was released on 27 June , with the initial release version  This development cycle resulted in the release of Chrome on 1 October This incorporated improved image searching, new applications and extension APIs, performance and stability enhancements and 50 bug fixes.
Chromium was released on 13 August , with the initial release version  This development cycle resulted in the release of Chrome on 12 November This version of Chrome introduced only bug fixes with no new features.
Chromium was considered as the default browser for Ubuntu , which was released on 17 October , but Firefox remained the default browser due to problems keeping the Chromium packages up-to-date.
Chromium was released on 25 September , with the initial release version  This development cycle resulted in the release of Chrome for Windows and Chrome Frame and for Mac and Linux on 14 January This release incorporated tab indicators for sound, webcam and casting, visual changes to the version for Windows 8 in Metro mode, automatically blocking of files detected as malware, several new apps and extension APIs, and improved stability and performance.
Chromium was released on 6 November , with the initial release version  This development cycle resulted in the release of Chrome on 20 February , which was predominately a bug-fix release.
The developers released Chromium on 18 December , with the initial release version  This cycle resulted in the release of Chrome on 8 April This version included the ability to import supervised users onto new computers, additional new apps/extension APIs and a different appearance for Chrome in Windows 8 Metro mode.
Chromium was released on 31 March , with the initial release version  This development cycle resulted in the release of Chrome on 16 July The release included improvements to notifications, a new incognito and guest NTP design, a new crash recovery bubble, an application launcher for Linux, improvements to stability and performance and 26 security fixes.
Chromium was released on 11 May , with the initial release version  This development cycle resulted in the release of Chrome on 26 August Chrome 37 included Windows DirectWrite support to improve font rendering, new apps/extension APIs, improvements to stability and performance, and 50 security fixes.
Chromium was released on 22 June , with the initial release version  This development cycle resulted in the release of Chrome on 7 October Chrome 38 included just bug fixes and improvements to stability and performance.
Chromium was released on 17 August , with the initial release version  This development cycle resulted in the release of Chrome on 18 November Chrome 39 included bit support for Mac computers, some new application and extension APIs as well as stability and performance enhancements.
Chromium was released on 28 September , with the initial release version The development cycle resulted in the release of Chrome on 21 January This version was predominately a bug-fix release with 62 security issues addressed.
Chromium was released on 9 November , with the initial release version  This development cycle resulted in the release of Chrome on 3 March This version was predominately a "stability and performance" and bug-fix release with 51 security issues addressed.
Chromium was released on 12 January , with the initial release version  This development cycle resulted in the release of Chrome on 14 April This release included new application and API support and improvements to stability and performance. In deference to its version number Google also claimed that it contained, "the answer to life, the universe and everything".
Chromium was released on 22 February , with the initial release version  This development cycle resulted in the release of Chrome on 19 May It was primarily a security-fix update. Chromium 43 was reported by Debian developers as automatically downloading the binary blobChrome Hotword Shared Module extension, a library for Google's OK Google voice recognition feature. Security researchers have indicated that this code carries a risk of invasion of privacy. This was fixed in Chromium with newer versions no longer automatically downloading the Chrome Hotword Shared Module, but the Debian community remained suspicious of the browser and Google.
Chromium was released on 7 April , with the initial release version  This development cycle resulted in the release of Chrome on 21 July This version included some new apps and extension APIs, some changes to improve stability and performance and 43 security fixes.
The remainder of the Chromium releases for the year were just bug and security fix updates, with no other significant changes.
Chromium , released on 18 January , added support for Brotli compression via the Accept-encoding header. Chrome 54, released on 12 October and based upon Chromium 54, introduced support for HTML Custom Elements.
The remainder of the Chromium releases for were only bug and security fix updates, with no other significant changes.
Chromium , released on 4 March , added support for the Animated Portable Network Graphics (APNG) file format.
The remainder of the Chromium releases for were only bug and security fix updates, with no other significant changes.
Chromium , first released on 20 January , introduced audio muting for all autoplaying video content by default.
Chromium , first released on 19 July and the stable version on 4 September , introduced a new material theme as part of year project anniversary.
Chromium 71, was first released on 1 September and resulted in Chrome 71, released on 4 December This version incorporated new measures aimed at abusive advertising, including misleading advertising and advertising for cell phones that aims to bill users.
Chromium snapshots are built automatically several times a day by BuildbotBuildworkers and made available as binary code releases. Once a snapshot has been built, it is placed in a directory in the chromium-browser-snapshots root directory and it is automatically tested. If the snapshot passes the automated testing, it is placed in a directory in the chromium-browser-continuous root directory.
Chromium builds can be downloaded for most Linux distributions and BSD operating systems from their respective software repositories. Chromium builds for Windows and Mac can be downloaded directly. Unlike Chrome releases, Chromium releases do not automatically update.
Browsers based on Chromium
In addition to Google Chrome, many other notable web browsers have been based on the Chromium code.
- Amazon Silk
- Avast Secure Browser developed by Avast
- Beaker, a peer-to-peer web browser
- Blisk is a browser available for Windows 7 and later, OS X and later that aims to provide an array of useful tools for Web development.
- Brave is an open-source web browser that aims to block website trackers and remove intrusive internet advertisements.
- CodeWeaversCrossOver Chromium is an unofficial bundle of a Wine derivative and Chromium Developer Build 21 for Linux and macOS, first released on 15 September by CodeWeavers as part of their CrossOver project.
- Comodo Dragon is a rebranded version of Chromium for bit Windows , 8, Windows 7 and Vista produced by the Comodo Group. According to the developer, it provides improved security and privacy features.
- Cốc Cốc is a freeware web browser focused on the Vietnamese market, developed by Vietnamese company Cốc Cốc, based on Chromium open-source code for Windows. According to data published by StatCounter in July , Cốc Cốc has passed Opera to become one of the top 5 most popular browsers in Vietnam within 2 months after its official release.
- Epic Browser is a privacy-centric web browser developed by Hidden Reflex of India and based on Chromium source code.
- Falkon a Qt-based GUI, based on the Chromium core.
- Microsoft Edge is Chromium-based as of January 15, 
- Naver Whale is a South Korean freewareweb browser developed by Naver Corporation, which is also available in English. It became available on Android on April 13,
- Opera began to base its web browser on Chromium with version 
- Qihoo Secure Browser is a popular web browser in China.
- SalamWeb is a web browser based on Chromium for Muslims allowing to view positive websites/information only (called Halal).
- Samsung Internet shipped its first Chromium-based browser in a Galaxy S4 model released in 
- Sleipnir is a Chromium derivative browser for Windows and macOS. One of its main features is linking to Web apps (Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, etc.) and smartphone apps (Google Map, etc.). It also boasts what it calls "beautiful text," and has unique graphical tabs, among other features.
- Slimjet: A Chromium-based web browser released by FlashPeak that features built-in webpage translation, PDF viewing capability and a PPAPI flash plugin, features usually missing from Chromium-based browsers currently not supported.
- SRWare Iron is a freeware release of Chromium for Windows, macOS and Linux, offering both installable and portable versions. Iron disables certain configurable Chromium features that could share information with third parties and additional tracking features that Google adds to its Chrome browser.
- Torch is a browser based on Chromium for Windows. It specializes in media downloading and has built-in media features, including a torrent engine, video grabber and sharing button.
- Vivaldi is a browser for Windows, macOS and Linux developed by Vivaldi Technologies. Chromium-based Vivaldi aims to revive the rich features of the Presto-era Opera with its own proprietary modifications.
- Yandex browser is a browser created by the Russian software company Yandex for macOS, Windows and Linux. The browser integrates Yandex services, which include a search engine, a machine translation service and cloud storage.
- Flock – a browser that specialized in providing social networking and had Web facilities built into its user interface. It was based on Chromium starting with version Flock was discontinued in April 
- Redcore – a browser developed by Chinese company Redcore Times (Beijing) Technology Ltd.. and marketed as a domestic product that was developed in-house, but was revealed to be based on Chromium
- Rockmelt – a Chromium-based browser for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS under a commercial proprietary licence. It integrated features from Facebook and Twitter, but was discontinued in April and fully retired at 10am PT on July 31,  On August 2, , Rockmelt was acquired by Yahoo! Rockmelt's extensions and its website was shut down after August 31, Yahoo! plans to integrate Rockmelt's technology into other products.
Chromium as a toolkit is also commonly used, but without Google's acceptance a stable ABI or API upstream, every project using it as a toolkit, maintains a fork of Chromium with an API wrapper. Many of the browsers listed previously are based on these forks rather than the upstream project directly. All actively maintained forks however rebase frequently onto the main branch avoiding them forking off to being completely separate projects over time.
Active toolkit forks include: