How to Install Google Chrome on Debian 12, 11 or 10

Google Chrome is a free web browser developed by Google, which has garnered immense popularity among internet users worldwide since its debut in 2008. As of 2023, Chrome holds a staggering market share of over 60%, making it one of the most widely used web browsers.

Key factors contributing to its popularity include:

  • Simplicity and speed: Chrome boasts a minimalist user interface, allowing for easy navigation and use. Its powerful rendering engine also ensures rapid browsing speeds.
  • Enhanced browsing experience: With features like built-in translation, auto-fill forms, and password management, Chrome offers a range of tools to improve the user experience.
  • Integration with Google services: Chrome’s seamless integration with services like Gmail and Google Drive appeals to users who rely on these platforms regularly.
  • Versatility and functionality: The browser’s compatibility with various plugins and extensions further bolsters its appeal.

While Chrome faces competition from other popular browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Vivaldi, and Brave, it continues to be a preferred choice for many internet users.

To install Google Chrome on Debian, you can easily use the command line terminal and Google’s official APT repository. This guide will walk you through installing the latest stable, beta, or unstable (nightly) versions of Chrome on Debian 12 Bookworm, Debian 11 Bullseye, or Debian 10 Buster.

Step 1: Install the Required Packages

First, updating your system to ensure all packages are current is important. This step is crucial in preventing potential compatibility issues during the installation process of Google Chrome, and it also helps ensure a smooth and hassle-free installation experience.

Open your terminal, and run the following command:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Next, you’ll need to install the following packages by executing this command:

sudo apt install software-properties-common apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl -y

Remember that these are common dependencies that may already be installed on your system.

Step 2: Import Google Chrome Repository

The first step of installing Google Chrome is to import the GPG key for the digital signature.

curl -fSsL | sudo gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/google-chrome.gpg >> /dev/null

Without this crucial step, the installation will not be completed successfully.

After successfully importing the GPG key, the next step is to import the Google Chrome repository using the following command:

echo deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/google-chrome.gpg] stable main | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome.list

The last step in importing the Google Chrome repository is to update the repository list using the “apt update” command. This incorporates the new additions to the apt sources list.

sudo apt update

Step 3: Install Google Chrome

After successfully importing the Google Chrome repository, all users should install the stable edition of Google Chrome. This version is the most reliable and secure option for general use, as it undergoes thorough testing.

Run the following command to install Google Chrome stable:

sudo apt install google-chrome-stable

Alternatively, you can install the Google Chrome Beta or the Unstable version. It’s worth noting that these versions aren’t recommended for regular, daily use, especially not on a primary desktop or production server. They may appeal more to tech-savvy individuals who want to experiment with new features and are comfortable with potential instability.

Use one of the following commands in your terminal to install either the beta or unstable version of Google Chrome:

sudo apt install google-chrome-beta
sudo apt install google-chrome-unstable

It is possible to install all three branches of Google Chrome, as they each have separate installations. However, you will need to delete the imported sources.list file imported by Google, which is explained in the Additional Tips section at the end of the guide.

Step 4: Launch Google Chrome

Once you have installed Google Chrome, you can launch the browser using the appropriate command in your terminal. You have the choice to launch either the stable, beta or unstable version of Google Chrome using the following commands:

  • google-chrome-stable:
  • google-chrome-beta:
  • google-chrome-unstable:

For most desktop users, the browser can be launched by navigating to the application icon through the following path. It’s worth noting that the exact location may vary depending on the desktop environment that was initially installed.

Activities > Show Applications > Google Chrome {version}

Example of opening Google Chrome in the applications menu on Debian:

When you open Google Chrome for the first time, a pop-up will appear asking you to create a password for the keychain. Furthermore, Google Chrome will inquire whether you wish to set it as the default browser for your desktop and whether you approve of sending data back to Google.

Example of default browser prompt from Google Chrome on Debian:

When you are given the option to set Google Chrome as the default browser instead of the default option, Firefox, you can choose to uncheck this option or leave it as is. You’ll also have the option to let Google receive data and crash reports. To proceed, click the “OK” button. The subsequent step is to sign in to Google Chrome, but you can skip this step. If you skip it, click the “X” in the Chrome browser tab.

Example of Google Chrome once launched on Debian:

If you’re using Google Chrome for the first time on Debian Linux, here are some things to check out and general tips to help you get started:

  1. Check out the Chrome Web Store, which offers many extensions and themes to enhance your browsing experience.
  2. Try out keyboard shortcuts to navigate through tabs, open new tabs, and perform other common tasks more quickly. Some useful shortcuts include:
    • Ctrl + T: Open a new tab
    • Ctrl + W: Close the current tab
    • Ctrl + Tab: Switch to the next tab
    • Ctrl + Shift + Tab: Switch to the previous tab
    • Ctrl + L: Select the address bar
    • Ctrl + D: Bookmark the current page
    • Ctrl + H: View browsing history
  3. Use Google Chrome’s built-in password manager to store your passwords and other sensitive information securely.
  4. Customize your browsing experience by adjusting the settings in the Chrome menu. Here, you can change the default search engine, enable or disable cookies, and more.
  5. Use incognito mode to browse the web privately without leaving a trace of your browsing history. To activate the incognito mode, click on the three dots in the window’s top right corner and select “New incognito window”.
  6. Keep your browser up to date by regularly checking for updates in the Chrome menu. Click on the three dots in the window’s top right corner, select “Help”, and then select “About Google Chrome”.

By following these tips, you can make the most out of using Google Chrome on Debian Linux.

Example of selecting new themes for Google Chrome from the Chrome web store on Debian:

Additional Tips

Update Google Chrome on Debian

Keeping Google Chrome up-to-date is crucial, and checking for updates regularly through the terminal is recommended. While the GUI update notifications may not always be effective in updating the browser, you can ensure you have the latest version by running the following command:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Uninstall (Remove) Google Chrome Browser on Debian

If you no longer want to use the stable version of Google Chrome, use the following command to uninstall it:

sudo apt remove google-chrome-stable

To remove the beta or unstable version of Google Chrome, use the following commands:

sudo apt remove google-chrome-beta
sudo apt remove google-chrome-unstable --purge

To remove the Google Chrome repository that was previously imported, execute the following set of commands:

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome.list

Troubleshooting Multiple Sources.list

If you have installed all three editions of Google Chrome (stable, beta, and unstable), it is important to note that each one will create its own separate sources list in the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ directory. This can cause a conflict when using the apt update command as multiple sources.list files for Google Chrome will exist, and the system will ignore some of them.

Example image of having multiple Google Chrome sources to pull updates from:

For example, if you installed Google Chrome using the method provided in this guide, you may encounter issues if you also installed the beta or developer versions of the browser. These installations add additional sources to your system, which can cause conflicts. To fix this issue, you can remove these sources using the following commands in your terminal:

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome-beta.list
sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome-unstable.list

Instead, you can remove all Chrome repositories using the following command, which includes the correct one you imported at the beginning, and then start again from the beginning:

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome*

After removing all the Chrome repositories, you can re-add the correct one that was imported at the start of the guide with the following command:

echo deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/google-chrome.gpg] stable main | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome.list

Don’t forget to run an APT update after re-adding the repository:

sudo apt update

By following these steps, the issue of conflicting Google Chrome repositories should be resolved, and you’ll continue to receive updates for all three browser versions.


In conclusion, installing Google Chrome on Debian Linux is a straightforward process that can be accomplished by following a few simple steps. It is important to remember the different versions of Google Chrome available and to choose the appropriate one based on individual preferences and needs. Regularly check for updates and troubleshoot any issues with multiple sources.list files are important considerations for ensuring a smooth and optimal user experience. With these tips and guidelines, users can confidently install and use Google Chrome on their Debian Linux systems.

Additional Resources and Relevant Links

Below is a curated list of resources and links to help you install and use Google Chrome on Debian Linux.

1. Official Google Chrome Website

Visit the official Google Chrome website to download the latest browser version and learn about its features.

2. Debian Forums

Debian Forums is a community-driven platform where users can discuss various topics related to Debian Linux, including the installation and usage of Google Chrome.

  • Debian Forums: Browse and participate in discussions about Google Chrome on Debian Linux, ask questions, and seek assistance from experienced Debian users.

3. Google Help Forums

Google Help Forums offer a dedicated platform where users can ask questions, share knowledge, and find solutions related to Google products, including Google Chrome on Linux.

  • Google Chrome Help Community: Join the Google Chrome Help Community to get answers to your questions and find resources specific to using Google Chrome on Debian Linux and other Linux distributions.

Share to...