CodeWeavers, a company whose mission is to enable selected Windows programs to run seamlessly on Linux via WINE technology, has released a preliminary version of Google Chrome for Linux. It works!
In fact, here I am, writing this article using the WINE-based “CrossOver Chromium” version of Google Chrome on my Kubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) Linux system.
To be sure, Chromium doesn’t run natively on Linux, with the result that it lacks the look and feel of normal Linux KDE (Qt-based) or GNOME (Gtk-based) applications, and that it runs a big sluggishly. The latter point is made worse by the fact that Chrome itself is an early release from Google.
Little things are annoying, such as the inability to copy a block of text from one place to another by highlighting it and then pressing the middle mouse-button to paste it (i.e. the X-buffer copy/paste method). And, speaking of copy/paste, I also can’t copy a highlighted URL from Chromium’s address line using a right-click copy option. However, Ctrl-c followed by Ctrl-x works fine.
That said, Chromium certainly does work. I wrote and published this blog post using Chromium with no real hiccups, other than my copy/paste complaints.
Below are some screenshots of CrossOver Chrome in action on the Black Tower. Click each thumbnail for a larger view:
At this point I’d recommend CrossOver Chrome to anybody who wants to try out Chrome on their Linux system. Another reason to use it might be to take advantage of Chrome’s “incognito browsing” feature, in case that’s of interest.
Finally, it’s also a nifty demonstration of how well the WINE Windows API emulator works (I know: “WINE” stands for “WINE Is Not an Emulator). “The message,” says CodeWeavers CEO Jeremy White, “is very simply this: If you are a Windows software vendor, and you want to get your product into new markets, you should pay attention to Wine. Wine is a very powerful tool for bringing your product to new audiences in the Mac and Linux spaces. And in many cases Wine is faster and more economical than doing a native port.”
For more about Google Chrome, including a free Chrome download for Windows, visit Google’s Chrome website.
To download a free copy of CodeWeavers Chromium for Linux visit the Chromium page of CodeWeavers.com.