What are the differences between Google Chrome and Chromium browser and how to use Chromium on PC

Browser Chromium Chromium is a browser open source little known to the general public but essential for browsing the web: it is in effect the father of Google Chrome e the father of the new version of Microsoft Edgewhich is the two most used browsers in the world.

Chromium, being completely open source, is one of the browsers available in the software repositories of most Linux distributions in order to facilitate its installation, unlike Google Chrome which must be installed from the official website. Just as Chromium is the project from which Google Chrome was born, Chromium OS is the name of the open source project behind Google Chrome OSthe operating system of Chromebooks.

In the guide that follows we will show you the differences between Chromium and Google Chromeso as to be able to choose the best browser based on the operating system in use and based on the situation (for example, those who want a fast browser that does not spy on and does not collect navigation data).

READ ALSO -> Alternative browsers to Chrome and Firefox, different and worth trying

Differences between Chromium and Chrome

The first difference that catches the eye is the type of code applied to both products. Google Chrome is a browser provided by Google (even the logo is protected by copyright) and alongside the open code (taken from Chromium) many items released as closed codetherefore only Google can access it or can modify it where necessary; on Chromium all packages and features are open sourcetherefore free to be implemented on other browsers (which Google does with Chrome and Microsoft with Edge) and modified where necessary.

Another difference between Chrome and Chromium are the packages of plugins and “closed source” codecs, where Google has supremacy: Chromium lacks support for multimedia contents AAC, H.264, MP3, which is possible on Chrome. Both browsers have the basic free codecs: Opus, Theora, Vorbis, VP8, VP9, ​​and WAV, more than enough for most video and multimedia content on the web.

Google Chrome also includes crash and bug reporting functionality not found in Chromium. Both browsers also have a security sandbox to prevent bad sites from crashing the entire browser. Extensions designed for Chrome also work great on Chromium, since the code capable of executing the add-ons is the same.

Another very marked difference between Chromium and Google Chrome is the support for Google services. In the past Chromium supported Google services, so it was possible to synchronize bookmarks, history and installed extensions like on Google Chrome; unfortunately recently Google has removed support for Google services on Chromiumforcing those who need to synchronize to use Google Chrome as their default browser.

This begs the question for the next chapter of the guide: Why is Google pushing for Google Chrome to be used instead of its open source counterpart?

Privacy analysis of Chrome and Chromium

Many features of Chrome depend on Google servers, especially with regards to privacy and the options that are enabled by default. In his time we have listed the options for privacy in Chrome and security in the Google browser.

Among these, options such as that to automatically correct web addresses, the search prediction service, anti-phishing protection, the automatic translation system and the correction of spelling errors inextricably link internet browsing to Google servers. Much of Google’s income is derived from profiling of user behaviorwhich is very easy to do with a browser like Google Chrome compared to Chromium (and this gives the answer to the question posed at the end of the previous chapter).

Those looking for maximum privacy should therefore necessarily use Chromium (now totally devoid of Google closed elements) or alternatively Mozilla Firefox.

Come scaricare Chromium

Chromium can be easily installed on GNU / Linux distributions, thanks to the presence of repositories dedicated to automatic updating with each new release. To install it on Ubuntu or on Linux Mint we can run the following commands from the terminal:

sudo snap install chromium

Su Windows we recommend that you try the browser by downloading Chromium portablethat is the portable version available without installation (it can start from a simple USB stick).


Chromium it may be the right choice on a Linux distribution that, thanks to the repository, keeps up to date. The fact that Chromium is open source and independent from the large multinationals of the web is certainly appreciable, however, the lack of advanced features such as synchronization of favorites or history make it an incomplete software.

You can also think badly of Google Chrome from the point of view of privacy, but it is undoubtedly the best browser ever on both PC and smartphonepacked with features, extensions and applications, updated every month with new features brought by the Google development team.

In Windows and Mac the choice is therefore obligatoryand if you just don’t want to have anything to do with Google, you can always install one alternative Chrome version.

To learn more, we can also read our guide on how download or update Google Chrome with offline installation.


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