back to article Google betas Chrome for Mac, Linux

Google (finally) released beta versions of its Chrome browser for Mac and Linux on Tuesday, along with over 300 extensions for Windows and Linux. Sorry, Mac users - extensions "aren't quite beta-quality on Mac yet", according to a Google blog posting announcing the new-release trifecta. Google offers an introductory video for …


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  1. J 3
    Thumb Up

    Quite nice

    Reading the article, I finally decided to give it a try on my Ubuntu computer at work. It feels much faster than Firefox so far, even without blocking anything on Chrome yet (I have Flashblock on FF). Pages have loaded very fast, including El Reg which, in FF, always takes a little while even with Flash off. I haven't seen any of my regular sites being rendered any differently from FF, which I guess is good. My own lab's pages all render exactly the same as before, which is great since I don't have to figure out why things are different and/or not working as before.

    Quite positively impressed so far, we'll see what further impressions day-to-day use will bring. I might get used to this, yes. If it keeps working. :-)

    Still have to try any extensions though. And also have to see if this nice speed boost will be maintained when I install Chrome in my ancient home computer...

  2. El Zed

    Mostly Works...

    Am posting this from the Linux beta running on my Debian test/general purpose box.

    Hate to say this, but apart from the startup time being a bit longer than Iceweasel or Opera, it performs better generally than either of them on this box (which has limited memory etc.)

    Even though it (Chrome) was installed for my niece (her browser of choice on the Windows box) I may consider switching to it myself, I'll hammer some of the usual 'problem' sites for Iceweasel to see if I can get it to fall over.

    Only annoying niggle with it so far, Installed the translate extension/whatever to have a quick play, and now the damn thing keeps translating pages into Afrikaans at the drop of a hat (more precisely, the rolling of the scroll button on my optical mouse), as its a Beta, I'll forgive it..

    Besides, some things look better in Afrikaans.

    (Or, as it said when I tried to preview the message 'Naas, 'n paar dinge lyk beter in Afrikaans.')

  3. Pigeon

    Frosted mini wheats

    I don't eat giant muffins etc, but I've worked on my own nutty software project for the last two years. I drink at least six beers while working. This makes 4380 beers. I am actually making progress... Am I allowed to post rubbish?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Frosted Mini Wheats

      'Am I allowed to post rubbish?'

      You have answered your own question.

      1. neek


        Why answer a rhetorical question?

        Pigeon made a valid point, if it was indeed his point, in that the number of Frosted Wheats consumed during development of Chrome (for any platform) would be considered 'rubbish' information by most readers. His post of similarly useless information was equally rubbish, and perhaps equally amusing.

        On topic, I welcome yet another platform and combination of architectures to test for in our ever diversifying world of web development. For truly, a testers work is never done. Almost makes me wish Microsoft had taken over the world. Almost...

  4. windywoo
    Jobs Horns

    Chrome had "Top Sites" before Safari.

    As did Opera where they both nicked the idea from. Or maybe Opera stole the idea from some Firefox extension I hadn't seen. A beta had tabs above the address bar in Safari which I liked and then they reverted to tabs below it. I think most of the new features in Safari 4 may have come from Chrome which is possibly linked to one of the google guys being on the Apple board.

    Are there any adblockers on Linux that run as a local proxy? Privoxy springs to mind but its UI has always been crap.

  5. frymaster

    something google did right

    "which notes that the Webkit-based browser integrates Mac OS X's spell-checker and Keychain, plus OS X's built-in sandboxing system"

    in a similar vein, chrome on windows integrates with the user's certificate store, unlike firefox. It looks like google are at least making attempts to make use of integration features provided by a host OS (something difficult on linux because the set of features you can absolutely rely on being there is tiny, and you don't want to have legions of prerequisites that concern functionality many users don't give a hoot about)

    though I wonder if they've done something about their abysmal screenreader integration yet... (which is the biggest sign that chrome is being developed by a company not used to desktop apps and not experienced in all the subtleties yet)

  6. brudinie
    Thumb Up

    Super Fast!

    I tried chrome last night on my Ubuntu laptop - its very very fast.

    In fact, compared to Firefox on Ubuntu it goes like lightening.

    I'm not sure I'm ready to do all my browsing in Chrome yet but its tempting. I suppose the only thing that I'm worried about is what private data Google are probably harvesting from my web activities whilst I'm using it!

  7. Dan 55 Silver badge

    "integrates Mac OS X's spell-checker and Keychain"

    Yes, with Google's fantastic record on privacy, I'm going to let them near Keychain.

    (Surely only miscreants would need Keychain anyway?)

  8. James Dunmore


    Running on Ubuntu 9.10 - chrome is fast !

    Just scored 100/100 on the acid 3. Nice.

    Not quite as polished as FF, few features kind of missing (well, probably more "different") but a great 2nd choice browser - contender for default !

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Intel Macs only


  10. Cameron Colley

    I've been using it for ages on Linux.

    So far I'm relatively impressed, but I'll have to get some form of Adblock and Noscript installed if I'm to use it as my regular browser -- oh, and some way of white-listing cookies. Why is it that only Firefox allows me to white-list sites to accept cookies from*?

    *Yes, I know that in Opera you can choose to be asked and then accept the site or not -- but that means annoying pop-ups on every new site you visit, so it's not really the same thing.

  11. Jaques Croissant

    woo yay hoopla

    I've been tracking the developer binary builds for a bit, added the repository on my desktop bix, and it has been nice and stable under linux for ages.

    Of course, it's not a contender for my primary browser due to noscript and adblock on ffox being a must, but it runs nicely, I must say.

  12. Goat Jam

    Overall I like the speed of chrome

    But the lack of (as far as I can tell) a "bookmarks toolbar" means I will stick with ff a bit longer

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      How hard is it to press control and B?

    2. Simon Briggs
      Thumb Up

      Re:Overall I like the speed of chrome

      @Goat Jam: CTRL+B should show/hide the bookmark toolbar.

      Love this new raft of extensions. with Xmarks, AdThwarte(Adblock), and FlashBlock extensions I'm a happy bunny. Not too bothered about NoScript but will probably install it when available. Chromium is one sweet browser, I was genuinely very surprised.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Definitely a Beta

    Exit the browser and one second later OSX (fully patched snow leopard) bugchecked. Can't reproduce it yet. Had several other Chrome crashes as well. Very fast though.

    Yes, OSX does crash. In my experience Snow Leopard is far more buggy then Leopard was at this stage. I've had 5 crashes on my 13in MacBook but none on my 17in MacBook Pro. I've run diagnostice on the CPU & RAM so I don'tthink it is a HW problem.

  14. Sean Hunter

    dns resolution a bit borked on 64 bit linux

    I installed it on FC12 on a 64 bit desktop and a 32 bit netbook. On the netbook it works fine. On the 64-bit box the dns lookup fails about half of the time and I have to refresh to get the page to work.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Do you have some ipv6 resolution turned on when it shouldn't be or vice versa? Check your system's resolv.conf or whatever.

      I have been using developer builds of chrome for a few months on this 64 bit umbongo box, and haven't had a single DNS lookup problem.

  15. /dev/null


    I hope these ports do better than the Windows version when it comes to switching between tabs. I guess the multi-process architecture and Windows' virtual memory handling are to blame for tab-switching becoming as slow as mole's asses in January once you've got a good number of tabs open?

  16. Nic Brough 1


    I gave the beta a go a while back, and was glad to find it was a lot faster than Firefox 3.5. Shame about the plugins (I still use Firefox for most of my browsing because of the plugins), but we are getting there.

    On the other hand, I'm giving Firefox 3.6 beta a go now, and it's caught up with Chrome... (Although this is not formal testing, just one person doing a bit of standard surfin')

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why is everybody surprised that it's faster than FF? Every browser I've tried on my old Kubuntu laptop blows Fartfox away on performance. That's because FF has become nasty MS style bloatware since it's version 2 heyday.

  18. peyton?

    Horribly lame

    Not the browser - I'm finding that to be nice and zippy - but the Pokeball for an icon. That has to go.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Major omission

    Even though you can add some content and add blocking, the thing that I really miss, and why Chrome can't be my main browser yet, is the lack of "delete all private dataq on exit" facilities.

    I like this option a lot in Firefox. Not only does it prevent useful crap being left on my hard disk for miscreants to pinch and abuse, but it means I don't need to blither on about cookies like a tinfoil hatter. Motherf*ckers can set whatever tracking cookies take their fancy- they will all be useless after I log out.

    This simplifies matters hugely, and means you don't need yet another addon, yet another set of whitelists, and yet another thing to obsess about in a fit of tedious tinfoil hattery.

  20. B Candler Silver badge


    Blindingly fast under 32-bit Ubuntu on a low-spec machine; flash block extension works fine; and the built-in DOM and Javascript debugging tools look to be comparable to firebug at first glance.

    Now all I want is to:

    - disable animated gifs

    - be able to change the user-agent header

    Looks like the site is being crushed under the weight of new users...

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Hey, getting better...

    I've always shied away from Chrome due to the lack of Adblock Plus.

    However, the new AdThwart plugin actually works quite well. It's not very configurable yet (not at all actually), but I'm sure that will change.

    After testing it for a day, I've now switched from Firefox (which is getting way too bloated, buggy and slow) to Chrome as my default. If I find something that really pisses me off, I might switch back, but it's all groovy so far.

  22. Goat Jam

    @Simon Briggs

    Thanks for the tip Simon.

    Now all I need is a vmware console plugin and I'm set to switch.

    Oh & @AC, there is no need to be a prick about it. ctrl+b is indeed easy *once you know about it*

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    No love for PPC

    I have this working on x86 Ubuntu Linux, working fine Flash works and has an adblocker (hider) extensions and more importantly smooth scroll extension!!! why this is not part of the browser itself is beyond me. But I do like chrome better than Firefox as it's just built better with it being multithreaded and what not.

    Was going to install this on my PPC mac mini, guess not now then :( stick with Firefox on that until they make PPC versions. If they don't then -1 to them along with apple not making any version of java above 1.5 available for PPC macs which is crap as well.

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