Install Google Chrome on Linux (and why you should)

Jack Wallen
Jun 6, 2009
Updated • Dec 28, 2012
Google Chrome

So the developers of Google Chrome have released a "developer only" version of Chrome saying you should NOT install it unless you are a developer. They warn you short of saying that the developer release of Google Chrome will ruin your love life, steal your cash, and flirt with your mother. With this warning I assume most people shy away from installing on Linux.

I ignored the warning. I'm glad I did.

Let me preface all of this by saying I have been using Firefox since the alpha days. So I guess you'd consider me a Firefox Fanboy. I've tried all of the other Linux browsers and none of them have even so much as tempted me to give them continued use. That is, until Chrome. Chrome is a different story all together, one that just might have me using this browser for all of my browsing needs - when it is finalized. Until then I'll just play with it. And you should to. Here's how.

First and foremost this will only install on a Ubuntu or Debian-based distribution. I have heard tell that even the Ubuntu installation doesn't load CSS well. I can say, with absolute certainty that my Elive+Compize distribution handles Chrome very well. So how did I install it? You won't believe how easily.

  • Go to the Linux dev channel.
  • Click on either the 32 bit or the 64 bit version (which ever will match your architecture.)
  • Accept the terms of service.
  • Go to the directory the file was downloaded into.
  • Issue the command sudo dpkg -i google-chrome-unstable*

Once the installation command has finished you are ready to run the browser. For Elive+Compiz a menu entry was created in the Internet subdirectory of the main menu. If you can't find this entry you can open up a terminal window and issue the command:


When you first run the browser you will be asked if it can send crash reports to the developers. I checked "yes" so to help them out as much as possible. I installed Chrome Friday evening and have been using it quite a bit (I am writing this article with it) and have yet to have one crash.

That's it. If you're lucky you'll have the same luck and get a working Google Chrome browser on Linux. And when you do you'll be glad you bothered to install it. Why? If this developer release is any indication on how Chrome is going to work on Linux I am amazed. There are a few shortcomings (it can't detect flash that is installed and some formatting isn't correct), but as for speed - Firefox and Opera can't touch it.

Final thoughts

I haven't really bothered to get in deep with some of the niftier features of Chrome yet. What I really wanted to do is see if it would install and work. It did and it does - and does beautifully. If you're wanting to see what the future of Linux web browsing is like, or you just need more speed than you can eek out of Firefox, ignore the developer warnings and install Chrome on your Ubuntu or Debian box.


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  1. FFF said on April 3, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    your the best dude, it works just perfect!!
    Better than firefox… //Firefoxfanboy

  2. k3mist said on February 4, 2010 at 4:47 am

    Can’t believe how much faster and just overall better chrome is on linux than firefox. The difference is noticable immediately. I’m a web developer and pretty sure at this point with google’s developer tools now on linux, I’ll never be going back to firefox. Running Karmic 9.10

  3. deblo said on December 21, 2009 at 1:40 am

    I started following the Chrome install instructions on my LinuxMint distro, as detailed above. I clicked the “Try Chrome by Google” button at the end of the article, and I clicked the 32bit debian-ubuntu button. The browser installed automatically. I didn’t even need a command prompt.

    Wow, Chrome is way faster than FF.

  4. Ryan Northrup said on December 20, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    Just installed the Ubuntu/Debian beta (x86). So far works like a charm, but I’ve noticed a couple of little things:

    1) In order to select the entire URL in the top bar, you have to click and drag. In the Windows version, you just have to click.

    2) I was going to report that as a bug (since I don’t think Google would purposely drop things like that), but there is no bug report option in the Page menu; likewise, all the support Google provides is for the Windows version, so us Linux users (and the Mac users, too, as far as I can tell) are on our own.

    Otherwise, it’s working great, with the same awesome speeds compared to Firefox as it does compared to Internet Explorer on Windows.

  5. Zsolt said on December 12, 2009 at 6:40 am

    Well this browser really rocks. Ridiculously fast when loading pages. With low-performance hardware you get troubles when scrolling in linux browsers, but this one is awesome. Install the smoothscroll extension and you will have the most beautiful browsing-experience. You can set the speed and the reaction time. Thanks for this, it’s the first 100% linux browser.

  6. eric said on December 10, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Installed google-chrome on Debian Lenny, but it’s only showing a empty window.
    No display of any website. Any solution ?

  7. geminijim said on December 5, 2009 at 12:43 am

    I just installed it on a Karmic Xubuntu qemu VM running in Slackware and it seems fine so far. I’ve only given the VM 512MB of memory and it’s otherwise a bit sluggish, but Chrome is faster than FF.

  8. cane said on November 29, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Installed on Debian Lenny 64 bit – works great. Also on Ubuntu 9.10 32 bit on 7 yo machine – works twice as fast as opera / ff. Amazing!

  9. prharcopos said on November 27, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    I totally agree!

  10. Johnny said on November 22, 2009 at 1:03 am

    Just a quick way to get Chrome running (with flash support) on Ubuntu Karmic

    1. Go to System > Administration > Software Sources.

    2. Open the TAB, Third Party Software. And click on add.
    Enter the following APT lines to the dialog:

    deb karmic main

    3. Clicka add again and enter :

    deb-src karmic main

    4. In the terminal, type:
    sudo apt-key adv –recv-keys –keryserver 4E5E17B5

    5. Install Chrome by entering the following (still in the terminal) :

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install chromium-browser

    Easy as pie and since you now got the key updating Chrome will be a breeze.

  11. The Viking said on November 21, 2009 at 1:09 am

    Over on Ubuntu 9.10, Pentium 4 with 512Mb, it works very well. Hasn’t crashed yet. On a similar Kubuntu, doesn’t work with some flash sites. I haven’t picked up why not, given the Kubuntu is of a similar vintage (the latest at this time), though it could be that I’m running it on a Pentium 3 with 384 Mb. Flash works on Firefox fine for the same site, so I don’t know what’s going on.

    Love the speed. Only 4 seconds to start, now that’s how programs SHOULD behave!

  12. Jack H. said on November 15, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Blazing speeds. Here are my specs:

    Dell Precision M70
    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala
    Method of Internet Connection: Wifi
    Password Protected Netowrk?: Yes

  13. Keith Smith said on November 1, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Installed amd64 on Ubuntu 9.04 on a whim.

    Memory Footprint blows FF3’s leaky setup. I used to restart FF3 once it gobbled a gig or two (ps -elf). The only thing I would like to have is a mozplugger type setup. Flash worked great for me. There is no question this is MUCH faster than FF3, and much more capable than Midori or other light weight browsers. The nice thing is closing a tab reduces the memory footprint. What an amazing concept. :)

  14. gerald said on October 28, 2009 at 12:59 am

    you’d rather fear that a brick out of the blue sky hits your head than that google finds and mis-uses your data!
    while this sounds like a short sweeping statement, it can be proved. by arguments. want tom hear them here?
    or via

  15. pete said on October 28, 2009 at 12:52 am

    Well, i rather stick to browsers like midori or opera or ff… and i actually wonder how many people also in the linux-world simply don’t think about googles data-colleting-habits…, which keep me away from them and their search engine: i want my screen ad-free, and other search-engines are also fine…

  16. none said on October 25, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Works Great on Linux Mint 7 Gloria. Just installed the deb and voila, functions perfectly. There’s an odd bug here or there, sometimes when i log onto my college internet through chrome, it doesn’t load any pages (perpetual loading sign) until i restart it. Other than that though, very smooth.

  17. Mihir Patel said on October 20, 2009 at 8:02 pm


    I read your post it’s very nice but i would like to suggest one link to Installing Google Chrome for Linux It’s Applied for Ubuntu and Fedora

    Visit this link :-

    Hope you all like it….


  18. David said on October 8, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Installed on Ubuntu 8, celeron 700mhz fresh install
    Downloaded and opened with package installer, installed the lib3 automatically, opened, and no flaws yet, a little lagey when opening options, by probably my cpu speed.

    It is much faster IMO then FF3 on a 700 mhz machine.


  19. gerald said on October 7, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    the functions are there. but it’s much slower than firefox (3.0)

  20. Vlad said on October 7, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    I would love to use Chrome on Linux, but currently it lacks a lot of functions

  21. Deitrich said on September 25, 2009 at 3:42 am

    Installed it on Ubuntu 9.04 64bit version. It is much much faster than Firefox. For so many computer programs I wonder ‘with processors able to do so many calculations per second why does this program run so slow.’ If it takes one second to bring up a web page how many thousands of calculations must a computer be doing to justify that time delay?

    Well, with Chrome I wonder ‘What did they do, over at Google, to make this so much faster than the competition.’

    I really want to know how they made it so fast and why no-one else did the same thing sooner. It is not even done and it works great, except for flash. Thank you Google for not being lazy and rewriting old slow code. No doubt Chrome saved me many many seconds waiting for pages to load.

    Chrome should be a lesson for the entire software world. Rewrite old slow code where it matters.

    1. gerald said on September 25, 2009 at 8:06 am

      this is not my experience. installing chrome slowed down my machine considerably. i continue to use firefox 3.x. with the google toolbar i get what i love most from chrome.

  22. Anonymous said on September 18, 2009 at 8:23 am

    Easy to install? That’s not the Linux way! You should make everything as needlessly complicated as possible because it’s so poorly designed (patched?) that it requires hours of hacking just to run a program. Now THAT’s the Linux way!

  23. larzc said on September 3, 2009 at 6:38 am

    i am using kubuntu 9.04 kde exspansion, and it works perfectly for me. hasnt crashed once and my flash is working unlike the dev’s said it wouldnt work.

  24. g a gamauf said on August 31, 2009 at 8:23 am

    (Reading database … 46137 files and directories currently installed.)
    Preparing to replace google-chrome-unstable (using google-chrome-unstable_current_i386.deb) …
    Unpacking replacement google-chrome-unstable …
    dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of google-chrome-unstable:
    google-chrome-unstable depends on libnss3-1d (>= 3.12.3); however:
    Version of libnss3-1d on system is
    dpkg: error processing google-chrome-unstable (–install):
    dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
    Errors were encountered while processing:

    1. mike said on September 17, 2009 at 2:00 pm

      Hi gamauf,

      on Debian Lenny I had the same issue.

      Try running
      ‘apt-get -f install’
      which should delete the partially installed google-chrome package and update libnss3* to version
      Or, you can manually install the packages libnss3-1d and libnss3-dev.
      Again, I’m on Debian Lenny, YMMV.

      1. gerald said on September 17, 2009 at 5:22 pm

        and now chrome is installed?
        where do i find it?

  25. BroknDodge said on July 27, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Posting from Chrome on Ubuntu 9.04. Has worked flawlessly for the last month. Tried to install on my Slackware based VectorLinux laptop. Had to crack open the .deb and copy over the contents by hand. After making to appropriate simlinks, Google Chrome will run, but it crashes very early. Sometimes on the first page visited, sometimes on the third. But certain pages always crash chrome. This may be related to CSS, but i have noticed a problem with the SSL provided by Firefox. Still working on it tho, I’m sure I just missed some critical simlink from the .deb package.

  26. derDa said on June 11, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    with the latest version everything works fine, some design faults but looks lot better than the first version.

  27. Dotan Cohen said on June 9, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Works fine for me. Well, better than fine: it works fast! Posted from Chrome!

  28. Jim said on June 8, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    installed deb package on Ubuntu 9.04 32bit version ibm thinkpad r60e laptop and my experience has been amazing. no problems with xml or css layout, forms entry, no commenting issues (php & ajax), images display quickly and the pages just seem to pop instantaneously.

    haven’t tried video-intensive or flash-intensive sites – will try and post soon.

    Thanks so much for this blogpost – it’s improved my experience with Ubuntu greatly.

  29. Politux said on June 7, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Just installed Chrome on Debian 5.0 Lenny and it installed fine but won’t display any websites.

  30. Jared said on June 7, 2009 at 2:14 am

    I’ve been using the daily chromium builds via the PPA ( with no real issues for a while now on ubuntu 9.04.

  31. Jack Wallen said on June 7, 2009 at 12:15 am


    that’s a good idea. Everyone should report here if they’ve had any luck getting google chrome to work on Linux and what distribution they were using.

  32. derDa said on June 6, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    installed the 64Bit Version on latetst lenny whitout problems

    only one website works for me, on all other, (inclusive ghacks, google) wont work, it loads a second and displays the dark blue error page… :(

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