Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Google Chrome: Plan B

A few of you have asked me how to track a specific Google Chrome release channel in Gentoo. My original plan was to leverage keywords by stabilizing the stable channel, leaving the beta channel in ~arch, and hard masking the dev channel.

We stabilized Google Chrome 14 in portage over the weekend. Afterwards (today), Markos (hwoarang) raised concern over the fact that Google immediately removes the deb files from their server after a version bump. This is troublesome since we cannot mirror the files because of Chrome's EULA.

This issue had been brought to my attention before, but it did not really sink in until it was pointed out that this breaks the stable portage tree. Google did another stable channel release today, so I have removed the stable keywords just two days after they were added.

The new plan is this: Each Chrome release channel gets its own slot, and each slot blocks all other slots. All slots will be keyworded ~arch, but the dev channel will remain hard masked. To choose your release channel, unmask/emerge google-chrome with the appropriate slot.

For example, to install the stable channel, add www-client/google-chrome:stable to package.keywords and emerge google-chrome:stable. For the beta channel, use google-chrome:beta, and google-chrome:unstable for the dev channel.

You may need to uninstall your current version of google-chrome first if portage complains about blockers. Sorry about that.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hi, does it change anything for people that use www-client/chromium? :)

  3. Nothing changes on the Chromium side.

  4. Silly developers....

  5. Thanks a lot for your work on this, is highly appreciated for systems that need hours to compile chromium

    Have you tried to contact upstream about they removing old versions? Maybe chromium maintainers know about it :-/

  6. Paweł Hajdan (phajdan.jr) has a closer relationship to Google than I do. He has asked the Chrome release manager about this.

    The response was "maybe in the future"; this doesn't rank very high on the priority list.

  7. Super new to gentoo. Looking at installing Google Chrome. (I'm working on a customer sysrescue-cd). I added www-client/google-chrome:stable to /etc/portage/package.keywords and then ran emerge google-chrome:stable. I got, 'emerge: there are no ebuilds to satisfy "google-chrome:stable".' To clearify, I am doing this while chrooted into the system.