Google Chrome Linux – Developer Release

As soon as Google provided the developer release of Google Chrome for Linux a few weeks ago, I have been using it regularly as a replacement of Firefox 3.0 that has been my main browser on Linux Mint. Right from first use the speed of Chrome blew me away without even conducting any benchmarks. Chrome is visibly faster than the other browsers that I have installed on my Mint system. In spite of the developer’s warnings of not using Chrome on daily use systems,I have been using it regularly. Till date I have had only 1 crash and even the with plugins enabled, there have been no major disruptions of my regular gaming sessions on miniclip.com.

Of the 3 browsers in use on my arguably dated Acer 4520 running Linux Mint 7 (Firefox, Chrome and Opera), a regular SunSpider Javascript Benchmark gave me the result that the developer build 3.0.197 of Google Chrome was almost 7 times faster than Firefox 3.0 and almost 10.5 times faster than Opera 9.64. I seriously don’t even remember why I installed Opera on my system in the first place. It has not served me well at all. Anyway, back to Chrome.

The 3.0.197 build is the latest update that was delivered via synaptic and this build features all the options in the “Options” dialog. Nothing is showing up as “to be done” as it was in the first release. The download page still mentions that privacy features are yet to be fully incorporated, but I don’t really see anything left unchecked. Another important change is that the title bar was still showing in the earlier build above the tabs which is now not there any more (really wasn’t Chrome with the title bar still visible). Themes are also available and as simple to use as clicking on “Apply Theme” for instant gratification.

Some rendering bugs are still visible but not glaringly obvious. Like the absence of arrows at the end of scroll bars and borders of buttons not getting drawn properly. While there may be many more features in the internals of Chrome that are in process, the interface and performance that this dev release presents to the user is in no way lacking. I strongly recommend that linux users disregard the developer’s warnings and use this browser to really notice how fast their browsing becomes.

The next step will be the enabling of addons in Google Chrome for Linux. As of now I don’t think that they are available for the developer release of Chrome for Linux.

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