How to Install Chromium Browser on Debian 12/11/10

Presenting Chromium, the open-source, high-performance web browser project from Google that forms the backbone of numerous web browsers today. Originated in 2008, Chromium was designed with a commitment to fostering an open web ecosystem and providing a robust platform that developers and users alike can rely on. The browser ensures smooth navigation across the web and is known for its dynamic features, reliability, and fast performance.

Chromium’s Distinctive Traits

  • Open Source: Unlike proprietary browsers, Chromium’s source code is accessible to everyone. This transparency promotes peer review, fosters innovation, and allows developers from around the globe to contribute to its continual improvement.
  • V8 JavaScript Engine: Chromium employs Google’s V8 JavaScript Engine, renowned for its exceptional speed and performance. This ensures that websites and web apps running JavaScript are processed swiftly and efficiently.
  • Security and Privacy: Chromium places a significant emphasis on user privacy and security. Features like sandboxing and site isolation provide an additional layer of security, isolating each website and web application in a separate process to prevent malicious attacks.
  • Multi-Platform Support: Chromium supports a wide array of platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. This compatibility ensures that users across different operating systems can enjoy a consistent browsing experience.
  • Omnibox: One of the unique features of Chromium is its Omnibox, a unified place for inputting URLs and search queries. It predicts and offers suggestions from browsing history, bookmarked sites, popular websites, and more as you type, speeding up the browsing experience.

Chromium’s Influence on Other Browsers

Chromium isn’t just a browser; it’s a platform that other browsers build upon. Google Chrome, the world’s most popular browser, is based on the Chromium project, as are many others, including Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Brave.

  • Google Chrome: Google Chrome uses the Chromium source code as its foundation, adding some proprietary features like automatic updates, additional video format support, and a built-in PDF viewer.
  • Microsoft Edge: Microsoft transitioned its Edge browser to the Chromium project in 2019. Edge uses the same rendering engine as Chromium and adds Microsoft-specific features and services.
  • Opera: Opera transitioned to Chromium’s Blink rendering engine in 2013, resulting in improved performance, compatibility, and access to Chrome extensions.
  • Brave: The privacy-focused Brave browser uses Chromium, allowing it to support Chrome extensions and provide a familiar interface while blocking trackers and ads by default.

The proliferation of Chromium-based browsers reinforces the quality, reliability, and adaptability of the Chromium project.

Section 1: Install Chromium Browser via APT

The Advanced Package Tool (APT), a powerful and widely-used package management system in Debian, makes the installation process straightforward and convenient. Leveraging APT, we will download and install the Chromium browser.

Step 1: Synchronize Your Debian System

First and foremost, we need to ensure that our Debian system’s packages are current. We will refresh the local package index to include the latest updates from the online repositories and upgrade all installed packages on the system.

In order to accomplish this, enter the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

The sudo apt update command fetches the package information from all configured sources and updates the local package index.

The sudo apt upgrade command then upgrades all currently installed packages to their newest versions, as informed by the local package index. This ensures that the system is well-prepared and conflict-free for the Chromium installation.

Step 2: Deploying Chromium Browser Using APT

Now that our system is up-to-date, we can proceed to the installation of the Chromium browser. The APT package manager simplifies this task with its direct and streamlined approach.

Input the following command to commence the installation of the Chromium browser:

sudo apt install chromium

In this command, sudo apt install chromium instructs APT to locate the Chromium package in the repositories, download it, and install it onto the system. The sudo at the beginning of the command allows these operations to be performed with superuser permissions, which are required for system-wide installations.

Section 2: Install Chromium Browser via Flatpak and Flathub

Flatpak is another universal package management tool, boasting a myriad of benefits such as application sandboxing, enhanced security, and seamless distribution across a wide variety of Linux distributions. In this section, we’ll delve into how to utilize Flatpak, in conjunction with Flathub, to install Chromium.

Step 1: Activating the Flathub Repository

Before we can leverage Flatpak to install Chromium, it’s essential to enable the Flathub repository, a major hub for Flatpak applications. This step equips your system with access to a vast library of applications packaged in the Flatpak format, including Chromium.

To add the Flathub repository to your Flatpak configuration, execute the following command:

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub

The command flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub instructs Flatpak to add Flathub as a remote repository, given that it isn’t already added (--if-not-exists). Now, your system is configured to fetch applications from Flathub when using Flatpak.

Step 2: Installing Chromium with Flatpak

With Flathub successfully added, you’re now ready to install Chromium. For this, we’ll utilize the flatpak install command.

Enter the following command to install Chromium:

flatpak install flathub org.chromium.Chromium -y

This command flatpak install flathub org.chromium.Chromium -y directs Flatpak to locate (install) the Chromium package (org.chromium.Chromium) in the Flathub repository (flathub) and install it. The -y flag is used to automatically respond “yes” to any prompts during the installation process, facilitating a non-interactive installation.

Upon completion of these steps, Chromium will be successfully installed on your Debian system, ready to deliver a powerful browsing experience.

Note: If your Debian system is not currently configured with Flatpak, please follow the instructions in our detailed guide on How to Install Flatpak on Debian to set it up before proceeding with the steps in this section. This guide will facilitate the installation of the latest supported version of Flatpak, enabling you to harness its benefits when installing applications like Chromium.

Section 3: Initiating the Chromium Browser

Having successfully installed the Chromium browser, you might be wondering how to launch it. Chromium can be started in a few distinct ways. We will delve into these methods, elaborating on each approach to ensure a seamless browsing experience.

Launching Chromium from the Terminal

The terminal provides a direct method to launch Chromium. You can start your browsing session immediately with a simple command.

If you’ve installed Chromium through the APT or Flatpak, use the following command to start the browser:


The chromium command, when run in the terminal, invokes the Chromium browser and opens it on your screen.

Flatpak users, on the other hand, will require a slightly different command to initiate the Chromium browser:

flatpak run org.chromium.Chromium

The command flatpak run org.chromium.Chromium instructs Flatpak to run the Chromium application. The argument org.chromium.Chromium is the identifier Flatpak uses to recognize the Chromium application.

Starting Chromium from the Desktop

While using the terminal can be quick and efficient, it might not always be the most practical way to launch applications. For daily usage, you might find it more convenient to start Chromium directly from your desktop environment.

To launch Chromium from your desktop:

  1. Navigate to Show Applications
  2. Search for Chromium Web Browser

Example Chromium browser application icon on Debian Linux:

Section 4: Tips on Getting Started with Chromium Browser on Debian Linux

Once you have Chromium up and running, the journey to mastering its features begins. Chromium is highly customizable and packed with capabilities that can streamline your browsing experience. Here, we provide insights on harnessing the power of Chromium, focusing primarily on the Linux-based application’s configurations and features.

Customizing the Appearance

Chromium allows for personalization of the user interface to match your aesthetic preferences. Here are some of the modifications you can make:

  • Themes: Chromium supports a wide range of themes. To install a new theme, navigate to the Chrome Web Store, select Themes in the left pane, and choose the theme that suits your taste.
  • Show Home Button: If you prefer having a home button for easy navigation, go to Settings > Appearance > Show home button.
  • Fonts and Page Zoom: Chromium provides options for changing fonts and the default page zoom level. This can be found under Settings > Appearance > Font size and Page zoom.

Privacy and Security Settings

Chromium values user security and privacy. Here are some recommendations to fortify your browsing experience:

  • Incognito Mode: Chromium offers an Incognito Mode for private browsing. You can access this mode by clicking on the More icon in the top right and choosing New Incognito Window.
  • Safe Browsing: This feature protects against malicious websites and downloads. It can be enabled under Settings > Privacy and security > Security > Safe Browsing.
  • Site Settings: Chromium provides granular control over what websites can do. You can access these settings under Settings > Privacy and security > Site Settings.

Enhancing Performance

Chromium can be optimized for better performance. Here are some tips:

  • Hardware Acceleration: This feature uses your GPU to speed up processes. You can enable it under Settings > System > Use hardware acceleration when available.
  • Extensions: While extensions can offer extra functionality, they can slow down the browser. Consider disabling any extensions you don’t need.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can greatly enhance your productivity. Here are some useful ones:

  • Open a new tab: Ctrl+T
  • Close the current tab: Ctrl+W
  • Reopen the last closed tab: Ctrl+Shift+T
  • Navigate through open tabs: Ctrl+Tab

Example of Chromium web browser once launched on Debian Linux:

Section 5: Maintaining and Managing Chromium Browser on Debian Linux

Maintaining software applications is just as important as their initial setup. Regular updates ensure that you’re using the latest features and security enhancements. Conversely, properly removing applications is important for managing system resources. This section will cover the steps required to update and remove the Chromium browser on Debian Linux.

Updating Chromium

Regardless of your installation method, keeping your Chromium browser updated for the best performance and security is crucial. Here’s how to do it:

Updating via APT

If you installed Chromium using the APT package manager, you can update the browser (along with all other software packages) using the following command:

sudo apt upgrade && sudo apt upgrade

This command first updates the local APT package index with the latest changes made in repositories. Following this, the upgrade command is used to install the latest versions of all the software packages on your Debian system.

Updating via Flatpak

If you opted for the Flatpak installation method, the Chromium browser can be updated with the following command:

flatpak update

The update command checks for updates in all enabled remote repositories and applies them. In the context of Chromium, it ensures that your browser is running the most recent version available on Flathub.

Uninstalling Chromium

Should there be a situation where Chromium no longer fits your requirements, you can easily uninstall the browser. This can be done differently depending on your installation method.

Uninstalling via APT

If you installed Chromium through the APT package manager, execute the following command:

sudo apt remove chromium-browser

This command will effectively remove the Chromium browser from your Debian system, freeing up system resources.

Uninstalling via Flatpak

For those who used the Flatpak method to install Chromium, use the command below:

flatpak uninstall --delete-data org.chromium.Chromium

This command removes Chromium and also deletes all related data, ensuring a clean uninstall.

Closing Thoughts

This guide has comprehensively covered the process of installing the Chromium browser on a Debian Linux system, offering insights into the different methods of installation, namely via the APT package manager and Flatpak. We’ve also detailed the necessary steps to launch, update, and even uninstall Chromium should the need arise. Each step was carefully curated and crafted to provide a seamless experience, regardless of the user’s technical expertise.

Additional Resources and Links

For further reading and exploration, consider the following resources:

  • Chromium Project Homepage: This is the official project page for Chromium. It provides an overview of the project, documentation, source code, and more. This should be your first stop if you want to dive deeper into Chromium.
  • Chromium Blog: The official blog for the Chromium project is an excellent source for updates, feature highlights, and discussions about the future of the project.

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