Sunday, August 28, 2011

google-chrome is in the tree

I got my commit access to gentoo-x86 last week, and the first thing I did was commit a package that nobody cares about: dev-python/PyRSS2Gen. Okay, so I was a little nervous. :) It does happen to be a dependency of a package I will be adding later.

You may be familiar with the work I have done in maintaining the google-chrome package in Kaleb's (belak) overlay. This is one of many google-chrome ebuilds that have been floating around the various overlays, but I like to think it has been kept most up to date, especially in the last 6 months or so. As a dev, I can move it to the official portage tree.

After a short licensing discussion on the dev mailing list, I added the EULA for Google Chrome to the tree. It is a fascinating read, full of terms and conditions that I'm sure somebody actually cares about. Unfortunately, the terms do not allow for free distribution of the software, so we will not be able to mirror it on

Last night, I committed ebuilds for all three Chrome release channels. The plan is to mirror the procedure followed by www-client/chromium: stable channel releases become  stable (arch) targets, beta channel releases go in ~arch, and the dev channel is hard-masked. I will wait the normal 30 days before doing the first STABLEREQ, but after that it should happen much more quickly since stable channel releases are (usually) security updates.

For those that are unaware, Google Chrome is an officially branded and pre-compiled version of www-client/chromium. If you have the horsepower or patience, I recommend using the source-based chromium package over google-chrome, for all of the usual reasons.

Chrome does have a couple proprietary components that are not included in chromium: one is an officially licensed PDF reader plugin, and the other is a bundled version of Adobe Flash (x86 only). I may end up dropping the bundled flash plugin; Gentoo provides up-to-date versions of Flash already, so there is no advantage to using the bundled copy.

Please report any bugs you find. I might not always be able to fix them (this is a binary package after all), but I will do my best.


  1. > Gentoo provides up-to-date versions of Flash already, so there is no advantage to using the bundled copy.

    Actually the bundled Flash is not identical to Adobe's build. If you're on x86, you definitely want to use it. On Windows, there is even a basic sandbox in place. I don't think Linux has changes of quite that scope, but it may grow one.

  2. Please drop build-in flash or make it optional because it allows to uninstall system-wide flash and have it for chrome only. This is how I would recommend to setup it for windows for sure.
    And as David mentioned above, it might be sandboxed on Linux in future too.

  3. actually I just tried and it fails to build.
    it would be a good idea to mirror deb packages,
    cause it fails with a 404 ;(

  4. Unfortunately, Gentoo cannot legally mirror the deb files.

    However, we will try to get Google to host the old files for some time after each release to prevent these 404 errors.

  5. You could probably use about:plugins to disable the internal flash if needed.

  6. Does google chrome support the netflix app for streaming movies natively?