chromium (the web browser) on Gentoo FAQ

As you’ve probably already heard from one of your favourite sites (slashdot, phoronix, …), Google has just released the first beta-quality version of Google Chrome for Linux. I figured this was as good a time as another to collect and answers a few questions frequently asked on it, or rather on chromium which is the open-source version available in portage

  • What’s the difference between Google Chrome and Chromium? Well, chromium web site has a nice page summing it up here. So emerging chromium will get you a browser very close to Google Chrome, except the log and a few Google specific report links (the sandbox is enabled in gentoo chromium)
  • Why does it depend on ffmpeg (and a recent version of it)? For HTML5 audio/video tags support. There is now a USE-flag to disable this dependency if you are on a stable system and do not need this
  • Where do the source tarballs come from? Are they official ones? I create them manually, based on the SVN dependencies listed for each revision here. And it does take some time (checking out their huge tree, trying to get rid of as much bundled sourcecode as possible, …) For now, I track the developer releases, but may switch to beta releases some time. Especially now that upstream is finally considering making source tarballs available 🙂 Bug report is here. There is also another bugreport interested people can track, number 28287, which lists all bugs that would make our life easier, “our” as in distrib packagers, read this recent rant by the Fedora packager for chromium. Also interesting to read is Evan’s answer, digging into what is exactly there in the 3rd party folder.
  • I want to debug/run gdb on it: again the chromium wiki has a nice page on it. The usual recommendations apply of course
  • Will google-chrome-bin get in the tree? This is bug #272805. Right now we have chromium-bin, installed from snapshots generated by chromium test farms, with SVN revisions close to the from-source packages. Right now I don’t see a lot of benefits between chromium-bin and official google-chrome (except a shiny logo?), but if that changes I’ll probably add it to tree (in addition to/replacing chromium-bin). Or if another dev decides to add it 😉

So that’s it for the first round of questions, add yours in comments if it’s still unanswered 😉

4 thoughts on “chromium (the web browser) on Gentoo FAQ”

  1. The rant by that Fedora-packager really hit the spot, I’m guessing you’re pretty much pushing the same stuff as he is? He is pretty much right about everything there, too bad google doesn’t seem to acknowledge his claims even though they are obviously correct. Seems more and more likely that it sooner or later will be a clash between distro packagers and the chrome/chromium people about these things?

  2. Indeed, we concur on most of the points he listed! But luckily this won’t go up to a clash, recently things got better (beta release effect?) and their distribs support metabug now lists most of the current problems (with most of the corresponding bug reports opened in the last 10 days). And with the title "Metabug for issues related to making a real release for Linux distros", that’s one bug I’ll really like to see closed 😉

  3. Nice, I’ll update the post with this! From my comments in the current ebuild, looks like I had found about the same list of "problematic" bundles too:

        # -Duse_system_sqlite=1 :
        # Others still bundled: icu (not possible?), hunspell (changes required for sandbox support)

    I did manage to miss the one page in the wiki that was referering to Gentoo though, I’ll fix that asap

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