What is a Chromium Browser

Chrome and Chromium: what are the differences?

Microsoft will use Chromium as a substructure for its Edge browser in the future. But what does this have to do with Google Chrome - and what exactly is Chromium? heise online explains the differences.

Chrome and Chromium - aren't they the same thing?

No. Chromium is an open source browser for Windows, Linux, macOS and Android, which is not intended for end users, but only for developers. There is no installer, just the source code and semi-official builds. Web developers who want to test the latest Chromium features should rather use the developer or "Canary" version of Chrome, advises Google.

Google Chrome consists mostly of Chromium (with the exception of the iOS version), but adds a few components to it - in particular an auto-updater, audio and video codecs, plug-ins for Flash and DRM-protected content, and Google logos . Chrome itself is not open source.

Is Chromium a Google Project?

Chromium was started in 2008 by Google, whose employees still contribute most of the code and control the project to this day. But not everything comes from Google: So far, almost 50 companies and 1,000 individual developers have been involved. Among the most notable contributors are Opera, Vivaldi, Yandex, BlackBerry, Facebook, Spotify, Akamai, ARM, HP, IBM, LG, Nvidia - and even Mozilla. Many of the individually listed developers can be assigned to Samsung, Amazon and Intel.

And what is blink?

Blink is the Chromium rendering engine - the core of the browser that interprets and displays the website source code. It split off from WebKit in 2013, more precisely from its component WebCore; Chromium replaced the other half of WebKit, the JavaScript interpreter JavaScriptCore, with its in-house development V8 right from the start.

WebKit started in 2001 as the basis for Apple's Safari browser and in turn goes back to the Linux KDE project KHTML (from 1998). Safari and Chrome have a common code base for the web standards, but have been developing separately from one another for years.

Which browsers use Chromium?

Chromium is so widespread not only because of the success of Google Chrome, but because it is now in the majority of all browsers. One reason for this is that, thanks to the Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF), Chromium can relatively easily become the basis of an in-house development.

The best-known Chromium browsers in this country after Chrome are likely to be Opera, Vivaldi and Brave, followed by Yandex Browser, Iridium, Iron and Torch. They'll soon be joined by Microsoft Edge for Windows. In addition, almost every Android browser is based on Chromium, among them some very popular worldwide: UC Browser, Samsung Internet, Edge for Android or Amazon Silk as well as the old Android browser replaced by Chrome. Chromium can also be found in application frameworks such as Electron or Qt.

After the imminent end of Microsoft's own browser engine, only a few browsers that are independent of Chromium will be left. Essentially, these are Firefox, Safari, all browsers for iOS that have to use Apple's WebView component, as well as some exotic ones such as Epiphany, Midori or Tor Browser.

How do Chromium-based browsers differ from one another?

In terms of surface and features, the Chromium browsers are independent of one another and cannot be recognized as such; they are very different from each other. There are even differences in how content is rendered. Most of these go back to manufacturers who lag behind in integrating the current Chromium version or who only distribute updates sporadically. In addition, the manufacturers compile with different settings or add their own code - for example Opera.

Read more about Edge and Chromium:


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