Chrome vs. Chromium: Know the Difference

  • Ethan Smith
  • 27 Nov 2021

Chromium and Google Chrome are closely related. What are these two projects, and what are they for? In short, Chrome is based on Chromium and enhanced with proprietary features like automatic updates, plugins, codecs, and more.

The interfaces of these two browsers are very similar. There are slight differences in the default enabled features and the "Share" button at the end of the Chrome address bar. They provide an almost identical experience. In terms of performance, Chrome surpasses Chromium on simple tests. However, a lot depends on the system resources and background processes, so there is no clear winner.

The bigger differences lie in a code. Chromium is an open-source browser that allows experienced users to customize it for their own needs. Based on this data, browsers such as Edge, Brave, and Vivaldi are made. You cannot do the same with Chrome. It uses a closed code and collects and transfers information about users to Google. If you do not want your data to be collected and are ready to work on stability, Chromium without Google elements is your option.

Differences in functionality follow from different codes. Chromium does not support Google account sign-in and data sync, which is in Chrome. The latter also comes with media codecs and plugins, some of which you won't be able to embed in Chromium. Some modules can be installed in Chromium, but you have to do it manually. Although for some platforms like Apple Music, you won't need to do it.

Of course, the differences between these projects also relate to their availability and installation. While you can find Chrome for almost all platforms, Chromium is a little more complicated. For example, you will have to tinker to install it on Linux, where the system recognizes it as a Snap app, and update it manually.

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