Chromium is an open-source web browser developed by Google. Since it is an open-source project, anyone can download, compile, and change the source code for Chromium. It is mostly known as the massive part of the Chrome browser’s source code, but it is also a fully functional browser on its own. In chemistry, chromium is the metal that is used to make chrome platings.
Chromium source code was introduced in 2008 for the first time, along with Google Chrome’s release. Even though the first build’s codes supported Windows, macOS, and Linux, it wasn’t very stable. A few months later, Chromium 1.0 was released in December of 2008, and with it, Chrome for Windows was removed from beta status. Shortly after, Chrome became very popular among Linux users too. In 2010, Lubuntu decided to use Chromium as the default web browser.
During the following years, Chromium’s progress became even faster. In 2019 Chromium 19 was released with Android support. Stability and the performance of the browser kept getting better during the development period. In 2017, Chromium 59 was released with Animated Portable Network Graphics (APNG) file format support.
Chromium and Chrome
The main purpose of Chromium is to provide source code for the Chrome browser, which isn’t open source. Thus Google receives input from developers and implements it to Chrome browser quickly. It is safe to say that Chrome is almost entirely based on Chromium. Google takes the stable code from the Chromium project, add their proprietary code to implement features. Such as:
- Auto-update capability
- Integrated Adobe Flash Player
- Google services API keys
- The Widevine digital rights management module
- Licensed codecs for popular video and audio formats
- Tracking mechanisms
If you are looking for a browser that offers a similar experience to Chrome, but don’t want Google to track your information, Chromium might be the best option for you.
Browsers using Chromium
Other than Chrome, most of the popular browsers are also utilizing the Chromium codebase. They are also implementing the features and changing the interface to create a unique user experience. Some of the browsers that use Chromium are:
Opera is one of the oldest and most popular browsers on the internet. Opera used to be based on its proprietary code, but they decided to switch to Blink, which is based on Chromium in 2013.
The browser of the Russian search engine is also based on the Blink engine. Blink also powers Chrome, Opera, other Chromium-based browsers.
Vivaldi was created by a former CEO of Opera, and they decided to add the features that had been removed from the Opera browser. But Vivaldi is also a Chromium-based browser.
Brave is also based on Chromium. The co-founders of Mozilla developed Brave. Brave is mostly focusing on removing the ads preventing the tracking system without plugins.
Epic is also a privacy-focused browser that uses Chromium base code. Every time the user shuts the browser down, the browser removes cookies, clears cache, and browsing history.
How to install and uninstall Chromium
If you want to try the Chromium browser experience, you can download the browser from the app spot webpage. After downloading, unzip the appropriate file for your operating system, then click on Chrome.exe.
Uninstalling is also very easy. For Windows users, finding the Chromium on the “Add or remove programs” and clicking the uninstall button should be enough.
If you can’t delete or install Chromium, the computer might be infected with malware disguised itself as a version of Chromium. You may have to get rid of that malware first to install or uninstall the Chromium safely.