Install the non-Snap Version of Chrome/Chromium

So many questions are answered by telling people to skip the snap version and to install the .deb/PPA versions. This is how you do that for Google Chrome and Chromium. Chrome and Chromium are browsers from Google and Chrome is based on Chromium but has more features inside it – and isn’t open source. Chromium is open source, and many other browsers are based on it.

This, like many of my articles, is going to be fairly limited in scope. It’s only really useful if you’re using Debian derivatives like Ubuntu, ElementaryOS, or Mint. In fact, part of it will only apply if you’ve enabled PPAs on your computer.

PPA, if you’re curious, stands for Personal Package Archive. Rather than beat a dead horse, I’ll just suggest that you visit this site to learn more about them. It should be noted that PPAs were initially meant for testing and many consider them to be a security risk because you’re essentially letting someone else decide what gets installed on your system without the oversight of the official project. Anyone can make a PPA and advertise it.

Anyhow, back to the topic at hand. The process is different for both of them and so we’ll go ahead and get started with Chrome.


Chrome is going to be the easiest. Crack open your terminal with CTRL + ALT + T and enter the following:

[code]cd Downloads
sudo apt install ./google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb[/code]

Tada! You’re done. When you finish it up and start Chrome, you’ll get to set it as the default browser and stuff like that. On top of that, it will automatically update with the system – as it adds its own repository.

chrome repository

Note, the new repository contains the beta version as well.


Chromium is a bit more complicated. For this one, you’ll need to add a PPA first. Once again, open your terminal with CTRL + ALT + T.

Now, let’s add the PPA.

[code]sudo add-apt-repository ppa:saiarcot895/chromium-beta[/code]

Yes, I know it says beta. Also, any modern distro should do this for you, but you may need to first update the database of installable packages.

[code]sudo apt update[/code]

Once that’s done, or if you don’t need to do so, you can go ahead and install Chromium.

[code]sudo apt install chromium-browser[/code]

Then, much like with Chrome, you will have a regularly updated version of Chromium at your disposal. Like always, go ahead and subscribe to be notified of new articles. I promise, I won’t send you any spam or give your email addresses away.


A Short Rant…

I am not sure who I am ranting about. I am not sure who made this decision. Allow me to show you:

Google Chrome choices
Look carefully. You’ll see it.

I was playing with Manjaro (their Cinnamon edition is delightful) and was playing around with AUR software. After all, I wanted to install Google Chrome. Say what you will, but I actually like their browser. It suits my needs best and, trust me, I’ve tried all the other browsers.

It’s not the packager’s fault. It’s probably not Manjaro’s fault. It’s almost certainly Google’s fault.

Don’t see it yet? Well, look at the choices. See, I’d like Google Chrome to be a good browser. By that, I mean that I’m willing to send them crash reports. I don’t want to send them my usage statistics, even though I’m sure they’re truly anonymized and I really don’t have anything to hide. I just don’t need them knowing that much information.

I get it Google,  you’re an information company. But, for the love of all that’s holy, let us pick. Because I didn’t want to send usage stats, I am not able to send you crash reports by the proper channels. Manjaro will get crash reports when something crashes. That’s not going to make it upstream to Google. Google isn’t going to be trawling through Manjaro’s crash reports looking for data. They’re going to expect it on their channels.

Why can’t I pick one or the other, Google? You’re not making more people send you usage statistics, you’re making fewer people send you crash statistics! There’s a bit more fidelity and more choices at chrome://settings/syncSetup but not that much. In there, you can can at least choose to send less data to them.

I know, bitching about data collection with a data collection company is kinda silly – but there is data that I’d happily give them. There is data I’d let them have in exchange for making a decent browser. I’m willing to make that trade, but they need to let me pick a more granular selection than they currently allow.

HSTS Preload

Seeing as the site is hosted on a Linux server, I’ll go ahead and document this. This is how to set up HSTS Preload for your website, by using .htaccess.

If you want to get your site hard-coded into Google Chrome as an “HTTPS Only” site, it’s actually relatively easy – once you know how to do it. You can verify that this site is listed here

Open your site with your favorite FTP application, I prefer Filezilla. Make sure that you’ve set it to show hidden files. (Files prefaced with a period are hidden files by default.) Edit your .htaccess and add the following:

[code]<IfModule mod_headers.c>
Header set Strict-Transport-Security “max-age=31536000; includeSubDomains; preload” env=HTTPS

Save your file to your server and check your site for yourself.

Why do this? It’s added security for your visitors and it’s quite probable that Google has a preference for sites who have taken the time to do so. That may lead to more traffic and happier traffic because they know your site is using HTTPS.