'chromium' is the fully open source version of Google Chrome. It uses a seperate instance of WebKit in each tab to render HTML quickly while maintaining stability. This approach, compared to the usual shared memory approach, uses more memory when many tabs are open, but it has much nicer memory management features: memory is freed when tabs are closed and it's easier for the OS to swap out/sleep entire processes. Also crashes are less spectacular. The bundled flash player that comes with chromium on linux is pretty nice to boot.

As of spring 2010, you can get chromium on debian-based systems by adding the ppa:chromium-daily/beta and apt-getting 'chromium-browser' (NOT 'chromium').


I usually install:

quicktabs uBlock Origin Fix Chrome Middle Click Behavior browserpass JSONView vimium (see below)


One feature I haven't really gotten the hang of in chromium (but that I like a lot) is the way search works in the location bar: as usual for modern browsers any non-standard-url looking string gets sent to google, but if you start a domain like, at some point a message will indicate that you can hit Tab to enter a search string for the domain search engine (not '' on google, it's actually linked to the (horrible) wikipedia engine).


The vimium plugin is pretty good; I changed the mappings so that shift-h,l scroll the page and regular h,l go forward/backwards in history because I go back so often and reaching for backspace is a pain:

map h goBack
map l goForward
map H scrollLeft
map L scrollRight
map d removeTab
map u restoreTab

Flash Block

Note: pretty sure this isn't necessary circa 2018)

I still use flash block to disable flash by default; an indicator pops up and I can enable flash for an entire page which is nice for sites that have hidden flash (like hulu).


  • `#show-saved-copy`: enable primary
  • `#pause-background-tabs`: enabled
  • `#expensive-background-timer-throttling: enabled