Chromium VS Chrome – Which Browser Should You Use?

Google Chrome is a web browser developed by Google. If you have used the Chrome browser of Google, you have probably heard or read about “Chromium.” Chromium is an open-source web browser maintained and developed by The Chromium Project. When Google launched Chrome, they open sourced most of its software to the Chromium project. Chrome contains all the features of Chromium and added new features like built-in PDF viewer, Flash player, and automatic updates.

Chrome and Chromium are linked to each other since Chrome is using the source code of Chromium. Google also added more features to Chrome and it supports additional video formats. You can easily identify one from the other by checking their logo. While Chrome has red, yellow, green, and blue colors, the logo of Chromium only has blue. Aside from the logo, there are many differences between Chromium and Chrome.

Differences between Chromium and Chrome

Differences between Chromium and Chrome

While Google Chrome is available for Windows, Android, Mac, Linux, and iOS, Chromium has not release official binaries. You can find downloadable binaries from Ubuntu and other websites. The reason why Chromium users cite for their preference is for better privacy. Which one is better? Let’s take a closer look at the differences between these two popular browsers.

Project – Chromium vs. Chrome

Most of Chrome derives from Chromium Project. Open-source projects let anyone to view and customize the program and its goal is for everyone to work together to develop the best application. This method allows developers to make new applications. Chromium is the open-source project from which Chrome is based.

Google has sponsored Chromium, together with other browsers. Those who want to develop webs may take a look at Chromium. Those who just want to browse the internet, just use Chrome.

Crash Reporting and Usage Tracking

Google has added crash reporting, which Chromium does not have. Chrome has options to send usage statistics and it sends data to Google servers. If you want to enable crash reporting in Chrome, all information about the crashes will be sent to Google automatically. If you are using Chromium, crashes are not presented and you will have to trace what is wrong with your browser. If you do not know how to pin down the bug, it is best to use Chrome.

Chromium also does not have usage-tracking or user metrics which is a feature included in Chrome. It is an optional feature that sends information, including device information, settings, viewed websites, and more. This method makes it easier for Google to provide advertisements, suggestions, and results that you are interested in. You can disable usage tracking and crash reporting from Settings.

Automatic Updates

Chrome has Google Updates that can automatically browser to the latest version. Automatic update is not yet available for Chromium. Some updates are available via package repositories on Linux distributions. Also, the automatic updates are also available on other apps developed by Google, including Google Earth.

Adobe Flash Plugin

Chrome has a sandboxed Pepper API (PAPPI) flash plug-in. This updates automatically along with the browser. It is also the only method to have the most modern version of Flash on Linux. It is better to have the sandboxed PAPPI Flash plugin than using the older NPAPI. You can also install PAPPI Flash plug-in to Chromium by getting it from Chrome.


Chrome includes a randomly generated token that is sent to Google after the completion of installation. This technique measures the rate of success of Chrome installations. Google also provides RLZ identifier that tracks a user when using the address bar and search. It stores data to measure the success of promotional campaigns. If you are worried about your personal information, RLZ identifier does not include any personal data and is very safe to use. When using Chromium, you are providing developers less information.

Media Codec Support

Chromium has HTML5 video and audio codec support, but is limited only to non-proprietary codecs like VP9, Vorbis, Theora, WebM, and more. Google Chrome includes licensed codecs for proprietary media formats which gives users access to more media content. This includes MP3 formats, H.264, and AAC.

Installation Binaries

Chrome provides executable binaries for all big platforms like Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. 64-bit and 32-bit binaries are also offered where applicable to make it easier for users to download and install the software.

When it comes to Chromium browse, the official website offers the source code. The instructions are also included on how to compile and create the application. The instructions are available for Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, iOS and Android. Third parties also provide Chromium binaries.


Chromium and Chrome are available not only for desktops and laptops but also for smartphones and tablets. Chrome is now used as the default browser on Android devices and is also available for non-RT Windows 8 as a traditional app. Chrome app is also available to download on iOS devices. Because Chrome is available on almost all devices, there are more features included in this browser, such as syncing. Chrome users can easily access their open tabs from one device to another as long as their accounts are signed in to the browsers.

Chromium is also available on smartphones – Android, Meomo 5 mobile OS for Nokia, and Meego’s netbook version.

Operating System

The operating system of Chromium is based on Linux kernel and it uses Google’s Chromium browser as the main user interface. It supports web applications and users who spend most of their time on the internet can find Chromium useful.

Chrome Operating System is a customized version of Chromium. It is designed by Google and uses Google Chrome as the main user interface. It also supports web applications, Chrome Apps, Android Applications, Integrated Media Player, File Manager, Virtual Desktop Access, and Remote Application Access.


Google Chrome is viewed by most users to have a high reputation for security. However, many security professionals believe that Chromium is better when it comes to privacy. Since Chrome is already a customized version of Chromium, it can also be less secured at some point. Since the code of Chrome is more involved to integrate with numerous third-party products, it becomes more complex.

The integration with Chrome with others cannot be viewed as the elements are not parts of the open-source. Some people are not sure if there are weaknesses in Chrome when it comes to security. Anyways, many users and experts believe that Chrome and Chromium provide almost the same security. The difference is that users only provide less tracking information when using Chromium.

Which Browser Should You Use

Which Browser Should You Use?

It is hard to choose between the feature-rich Chrome and open source Chromium. Chromium is great as it allows Linux distributions that need open-source software in packaging up web browsers that are similar to Chrome. Those distributions can use Chromium as the default browser instead of Firefox.

Many Linux users also use Chrome instead of Chromium as it provides a better Flash Player. Chrome also supports more media content online. It can also stream Netflix videos that require H.264 support for HTML5 video, which Chromium does not support.

If you are still in doubt, here is a list of the differences between Chrome and Chromium.


  • Blue logo
  • No reports for user metrics
  • No reports for crashes.
  • Audio and Video Codecs include Theora, Opus, Vorbis, VP8, VP9, and WAV. It may also vary by distro.
  • Chromium supports NPAPI (unsandboxed) Flash plugins.
  • Users can modify codes by distributions.
  • Sandbox and packaging depend on distribution.
  • Google API keys depend on distribution.
  • New release testing is based on distribution.
  • Profile is kept in ~/.config/chromium
  • Cache is kept in ~/.cache/chromium


  • Colorful logo
  • Can enable user metrics
  • Can enable report crashes.
  • Audio and video codecs include AAC, MP3, Theora, Vorbis, WAV, H.264, VP8, VP9, and Opus.
  • Sandboxed PPAPI Flash plug in
  • Chrome developers test its code
  • Releases are tested first before sending to users
  • Google adds Google API keys
  • Single deb/rpm package
  • Sandbox is always enabled
  • Profile is kept in ~/.config/google-chrome
  • Cache is kept in ~/cache/google-chrome


So, should you use Chromium or Chrome? In general, users should choose Chrome or Chromium according to their needs and preferences. For example, open-source developers may opt for Chromium if they like to make changes with the source code and modify their own distribution.

People who just want to browse the internet, watch online movies and read documents, they should use Chrome. This browser includes more features such as PFD viewer, Adobe Flash plugin, and more. If you are using Mac or Windows, Chrome would be a better option as Chromium does not have automatic updates.

For those who are using Linux, Chromium might be a great option. However, it does not have Adobe Flash plugin, PDF reader, and other media codecs. It also does not update automatically. Linux distributions may provide modified Chromium with some missing features. Of course, Linux users can install Google Chrome if they want to. The users who need to make a choice here are those who are using Linux.

To download Chrome, click here

To download Chromium, click here

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