What is the difference between Chrome and Chromium?

By Tobenna Nnabeze | October 2, 2019 |

greater than 4 minutes

Everyone is undoubtedly familiar with Chrome, the proprietary web browser developed and maintained by Google. It was introduced in 2008.

However, not many people are conversant with Chromium. Some would like to know whether it is affiliated with Chrome (since it has the same logo, but with a blue color), while others wonder whether or not it is a malicious program.

Today, we’ll uncover the facts. So please keep reading to find out what you need to know.

What Is Chromium?

Chromium is a free and open-source web browser that is maintained by the Chromium Project. Open-source means that developers are allowed to modify the source code. However, only trusted members of the Chromium Project development community are allowed to do this.

Chrome, on the other hand, is based on Chromium – Google developers added their proprietary code to the Chromium source code. What this implies is that Chrome has a number of features that are absent on Chromium (for instance, it supports more video formats and installs updates automatically).

Note: The same scenario applies with the Chrome OS (the operating system for Chromebooks). Google developed it from the Chromium OS, which is also an open-source project.

What’s the Difference Between the Chromium Browser and Google Chrome?

While Chrome is built on the Chromium source code, it is expected that Google will have added more than a few improvements. So let’s take a look at how the two browsers differ:

  • Google Update: On macOS and the Windows OS, when you download Chrome, you get an additional background app that updates the browser automatically (On Linux, however, an update is done using the standard software management tools).

Chromium lacks this automatic update feature. You’ll have to get updates manually. However, since it comes directly from the Chromium Project source code, updates are made available more frequently and the browser constantly changes.

  • Adobe Flash (Pepper API): Chrome comes with a sandboxed PPAPI Flash plug-in which is updated periodically with the browser. This plug-in is often preferable to the older NPAPI Flash plug-in that’s available on the Adobe website.

Chromium, on the other hand, does not support Flash natively. But you can get the Pepper API (PPAPI) Flash plugin from Chrome and install it on Chromium.

  • Closed-source media codecs: Chrome has MP3, AAC, and H.264 support.

Chromium, on the other hand, only includes the free and basic codecs like Theora, Opus, WAV, VP8, VP9, and Vorbis, which can also be found on Chrome. This means that you get to enjoy more media content on Chrome.

To stream videos on sites like YouTube or Netflix using Chromium, you’ll have to install the necessary codecs manually.

  • Extension restrictions: While Chromium allows outside extensions, Chrome only accepts those hosted on its Web Store. But you can gain more freedom by enabling the developer mode in Chrome.
  • If you cannot resolve the
    problem yourself, you can
    ask our certified PC technicians for immediate assistance in the chat right on this page.
  • Crash and error reporting: On Chrome, you can choose to send reports to Google when there’s a crash or other errors so that they can analyze the statistics. This crash reporting feature is not present in Chromium, which means you’ll have to perform a bug trace yourself.
  • Security Sandbox: Although the security sandbox mode is available on both Chrome and Chromium, the feature is often turned off by default in some Linux distributions of Chromium (NB: Go to about:sandbox to check whether or not it is enabled).

Note: Although Chromium is not branded by Google, it still has many features which depend on Google’s servers. They are enabled by default. For instance, anti-phishing, prediction, a service that corrects a mistyped web address, and many more (You can find them listed on the Settings page). You can also log in on Chromium with your Google account and sync your data.

Which Is Better, Chrome or Chromium?

Is Chromium better than Chrome? The answer depends on what you need in a browser. Chromium is a good choice if you are an advanced user and prefer open-source software.

RECOMMENDED

Resolve PC Issues with Auslogics BoostSpeed 11

Besides cleaning and optimizing your PC, BoostSpeed protects privacy, diagnoses hardware issues, offers tips for boosting speed and provides 20+ tools to cover most PC maintenance and service needs.

  • 10 years on the market
  • 5-star awards from industry experts
  • Over 15 000 000 user downloads
FREE DOWNLOAD

But if you need a browser that doesn’t require any special configuration, then Chrome is for you. It has the added advantage of allowing you to enjoy more media content online and access websites that require Flash.

FAQs:

Does Chrome Track My Information?

Chrome has a user-metrics feature that sends information to Google about how you use different components of the browser. This enables them to make certain decisions to improve user experience.

Also, Chrome used to come with a unique client ID. But Google discontinued this in 2010.

Does Chromium Use Less Memory Than Chrome?

Some users report that the memory usage is about the same for both browsers. However, that of Chromium is expected to be slightly smaller since it communicates less with Google.

How Can I Get Google Chrome?

You can install Chrome from the Google Chrome download page (https://www.google.com/chrome/).

How Can I Get Chromium?

If you are a Mac or Windows user, you can get official Chromium builds here. But you should keep in mind that they are bleeding-edge-only and won’t be updated automatically.

If you are a Linux user, you can go through the Linux distribution’s software repositories to install Chromium directly.

Pro tip: Do you often encounter program or system glitches and crashes? We recommend you use Auslogics BoostSpeed to run a full scan. The tool will fix these issues automatically and restore the stability of your PC. It also clears out junk files and configures your system to achieve faster speeds.

Fed up with your slow PC? Tired of waiting for Windows to start up? Take a look at the most common reasons behind poor performance and the best ways to deal with them here.
Share it:
Do you like this post?
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...

GET LIVE HELP WITH PC ISSUES

Call us toll-free

US & Canada 1-888-257-4137

UK 1-800-041-8199

Australia 1-800-370-543

Chat with us online

Prefer us to call you back? Give us your phone number via chat

Fix your PC in THREE easy steps

Step 1

Call us or chat with us. Our agents are online around the clock

Step 2

We will remotely access your device, provide you with free diagnostics, and discuss repair options

Step 3

Sit back and watch. Most problems will be fixed immediately within less than an hour

Watch how it works or learn more about our service here
19.95$

Want to get hot news and useful PC tips?

Sign up for our newsletter today and get your free license key for Bitreplica.

Please enter a correct email address
Done! Great to see you among our subscribers!
Subscribe now
Back up important files or the entire PC with this simple tool and keep your data protected from accidents.
IMPORTANT: Auslogics values your privacy and will not disclose your information to any third parties. Every email includes an unsubscribe link, so you may unsubscribe any time. All personal data you provide to us is handled in accordance with applicable laws, including the European GDPR. Please see our Privacy Policy for more details.