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What are the differences between Chromium and Google Chrome?

27 mayo, 2021

Google Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi or Yandex, all of them are different browsers, but at the same time have a common base: Chromium. Exactly, Google not only leads the market with its own browser, but the open source base that it develops to build on it is also present in much of the competition.

But how different are Chrome and her hippie dad? Why does Google have two browsers and what things would we have to do without if we decided to use open source? These are perfectly logical questions that thousands of new users can ask, questions that we are going to try to answer today.

It all started in 2008. Google released Chrome 1.0 in December of that year, but three months before it released its source code. They did it together with a project they called Chromium, which, being open source, allowed developers to study, modify, improve and redistribute to other operating systems the base on which your browser would be based.

Over the years, being open source Chromium has gained popularity in environments like GNU / Linux, and allowing messing with Chrome’s code has helped many more developers approach him. Come on, with it Google manages to score a double victory.

In short, Chromium is not only the foundation, but also the structure of the building that is Chrome. Therefore we could say that Chrome is the sum of Chromium and a number of proprietary plugins, dedicated maintenance, and options designed by Google developers to make it unique.

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Chromium vs Google Chrome

Chromium

Chrome

Logo

Blue

Red

Bug report

Not

Yes, if we have it activated

User metrics

Not

Yes, if we have it activated

Video and audio codecs (may vary by distro)

Opus, Theora, Vorbis, VP8, VP9, ​​AV1 and WAV

AAC, H.264, MP3, Opus, Theora, Vorbis, VP8, VP9, ​​AV1 and WAV

Adobe flash

Support for PPAPI plugins (not included)

Own PPAPI plugin (not free) included

Code

Can be modified by Linux OSs and distributions

Tested by Chrome developers

Sandbox

Depends on distribution, look at about: sandbox to confirm

Always operational

packages

It depends on the distribution

A single DEB / RPM package on Linux

Profile direction

~ / .config / chromium

~ / .config / google-chrome

Cache address

~ / .cache / chromium

~ / .cache / google-chrom

New versions

Supervised by each distribution

Monitored by developers before launch

Synchronization

With Google account

With Google account

The key is in the codecs and plugins

Chromium 960x623

As you see, the biggest difference is found in video and audio, where Google has support for the AAC, H.264, and MP3 formats thanks to having licensed proprietary codecs for them. On the other hand, both browsers include codecs for the basic Opus, Theora, Vorbis, VP8, VP9 and WAV formats. They have recently added support for AV1, the codec of the future.

A similar situation we find with Adobe Flash. Chrome includes the Pepper API plugin (PPAPI) automatically updated by Google in your browser, becoming one of the only ways to have the latest version of Flash on Linux. In Chromium we do not have it included, although for example in Linux we can install it by searching for it in the repositories of our distribution.

Another small difference is found in the process isolation or sandboxing, which while Google activates it by default in Chrome leaves it to the discretion of the Chromium developers. In this way, if we are Linux users it will depend on the distro whether it is activated or not.

For the rest, the rest of the differences have to do mainly with maintenance. Chromium has no crash reports or user metrics. Its code is not 100% reviewed by Google either, since it depends on the operating system and can be modified by each developer. Of course, in both browsers we can synchronize our data using the Google account, although only Chrome has the Google Uptater to periodically connect to the company’s servers.