Your Linux Data Center Experts

Chromium

I have been using midori full time as my browser for a while now. The latest release of the Chromium browser looked interesting, so I decided to run it for a few days and see how it worked. Read on for a review.

Chromium turns out to be easy and install and play with on Fedora at least. Tom “spot” Callaway provides a yum repo with non official builds for fedora at: http://spot.fedorapeople.org/chromium/, simply add a yum repository based on this, or manually download and install the packages for your Fedora version.

Things I like about chromium:

  • It's pretty fast to start and to load pages.
  • You can turn off all the talking to your google overlords if you like
  • HTML5 works fine if you have ffmpeg installed from rpmfusion
  • tabs and extensions are their own processes, and can die and be killed seperately
  • AdBlock+ itself isn't available, but there are several ports that seem to work fine
  • There are lots of extensions, but happily I haven't seen too many I want.
  • The task manager to see all the running tasks and memory usage is cool

Things I don't like:

  • Middle button paste doesn't go to the url. There is happily an extension to fix this. See: This chromium bug
  • It's not in the main Fedora collection. I sure wish google would work with spot and get it to the point where all Fedora users could use it
  • Noscript isn't available for it yet. It would be very nice if it was (but see below)
  • The font settings seem limited. Changing size in the pref doesn't seem to change the page, you have to zoom in and out to change things

Memory usage seems pretty good, especially against firefox. It's hard to get exact numbers as chromium spreads things out into their own threads. My current parent process has been up around a day or so and everything is still quite responsive.

The lack of noscript is anoying, but then midori doesn't have that either. ;) The latest chromium builds do allow you to block/add exceptions for sites for: javascript, cookies, popups, extensions, etc. While not being as handy as noscript it's a pretty nice setup. I set it here to only allow specific sites I want to be able to do those things. See: Options->Under the hood->Privacy Content Settings button. There is also a handy link to get to a flash plugin pref to clear or set preferences for flash cookies and other junk in flash, which I have not seen in any other browser.

All in all, I think I will at least keep using chromium for a few more days and see if it sticks. I still like midori a lot, but chromium is pretty good so far too.

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