How to Install Chromium Browser Debian 11

Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all users to experience the web. The Chromium codebase is widely used. Microsoft Edge, Opera, and many other browsers are based on the code.

In the following guide, you will know how to install Chromium Web Browser on your Debian 11 Bullseye operating system. The same principle will work for the older stable version Debian 10, Buster.

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Prerequisites

  • Recommended OS: Debian 11 Bullseye
  • User account: A user account with sudo privilages or root access (su command).
  • Required Packages: 

Updating Operating System

Update your Debian 11 operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Root or Sudo Access

By default, when you create your account at startup with Debian compared to other distributions, it does not automatically receive sudoers status. You must either have access to the root password to use the su command or visit our tutorial on How to Add a User to Sudoers on Debian.

Install Chromium Browser with APT

The recommended way is to install Chromium Browser using Debian’s default repository for stability and security, so installing Chromium is straightforward.

In your Debian terminal, run the following command to install the Chromium Browser.

sudo apt install chromium

Example output:

How to Install Chromium Browser Debian 11

Type Y, then press the enter key to proceed with the installation.

Verify the installation by checking the build and version:

chromium -version

Example output:

Chromium 90.0.4430.212 built on Debian 11.0, running on Debian 11.0

Uninstall Chromium Browser APT package

To remove the Chromium Web Browser APT package manager, type the following command.

sudo apt autoremove chromium --purge

Example output:

How to Install Chromium Browser Debian 11

Type Y, then press the enter key to proceed with the uninstall.

Note, this will automatically uninstall all other unused dependencies packages installed originally with your Chromium installation.

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Install Chromium Browser (Latest Version) with Snap

Chromium Web Browser can be installed through the snap packages, which often are more up to date than APT packages. Snaps are distributed and maintained by Canonical, who also own and develop the Ubuntu distributions and software that, as most know, is a fork of Debian testing branch and is perhaps one of the most widely used and popular desktop and distributions currently in Linux.

First, install snapd on your Debian 11 Bullseye operating system:

sudo apt install snapd

Example output with the dependencies included to be installed:

How to Install Chromium Browser Debian 11

Type Y, then press the enter key to proceed with the installation.

If you are installing snap for the first time, it is advised to install the core files to avoid conflicting issues:

sudo snap install core

Example output:

core 16-2.51.4 from Canonical✓ installed

Next, enter the following snap command to install Chromium Web Browser:

sudo snap install chromium

Example output:

core 16-2.51.4 from Canonical✓ installed

Verify the installation by checking the build and version:

chromium 92.0.4515.159 from Canonical✓ installed

Verify the installation by checking the build and version:

chromium -version

Example output:

Chromium 92.0.4515.159 snap 

As you can see, the snap package Chromium browser is on version 92.0.4515.159 vs. the APT version of 90.0.4430.212. As you can see, the Snap version is far ahead of the default Debian repository version.

Note, snap packages will always be larger than an APT package for the same program, as all the dependencies need to be shipped with it. Since many programs will naturally have the same dependencies, a system with many snaps installed will needlessly waste storage space on redundant data. However, snaps have become popular because they are easy to install the latest up-to-date packages, so it’s a personal choice.

Uninstall Chromium Browser Snap package

To remove the Chromium Web Browser snap package manager, type the following command.

sudo snap remove chromium

Example output:

chromium removed
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Launch Chromium Browser

With the installation complete, you can run Chromium in a few different ways. First, while you are in your Debian terminal, you can use the following command:

chromium

Alternatively, run the chromium command in the background to free up the terminal:

chromium &

However, this isn’t practical, and you would use the following path on your Debian desktop to open with the path: Activities > Show Applications > Chromium. If you cannot find it, use the search function in the Show Applications menu if you have many applications installed.

The first time you open Chromium, you will be greeted by its default homepage:

How to Install Chromium Browser Debian 11

Comments and Conclusion

In the guide, you have learned to install the Chromium Web Browser on Debian 11 Bullseye in two different ways and remove the package if no longer required. Chromium Browser is an excellent open-source choice that allows Linux distributions that need open-source software to package a browser almost identical to Chrome. Linux distributors can also use Chromium as the default web browser in place of Firefox.

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