Practical Technology

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Chrome on Linux: Rough, fast & promising


I’d been waiting for Chrome on Linux since Chrome first showed up. Chrome, if you haven’t tried it, is the speed-demon of Web browsers. I love it. But, until now, there really wasn’t a version that would run natively on Linux. Starting last night, June 4th, Google released developer’s versions of Chrome for Macs and Linux. They’re rough, really rough, but they’re also really fast. Here’s what I found in my first hours of working with Chrome on Linux.

I downloaded the developer release on two different Linux systems. One was running MEPIS 8 and the other had Ubuntu 9.04. Both are Debian-based Linux distributions, and I chose them for that since Chrome is currently only available in 32 and 64-bit versions in the DEB format. You can install DEB packages in Linux distributions that use RPM program packaging systems, but I didn’t want to introduce any more variables than possible in looking at alpha software.

In the event, while Chrome installed without a hitch in both, on MEPIS, it wasn’t able to connect with any network services, so I dropped looking at it on that Linux for now. On my Ubuntu 9.04 PC it was a different story. On this Gateway 503GR with a 3GHz Pentium IV CPU, 2GB of RAM, an ATI Radeon 250 graphics card, and a 300GB SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) hard drive, Chrome ran with blazing speed.

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