Clearing the air around Ubuntu and Chrome

May 17, 2010

Reports of the popular Linux distro ditching Firefox get clarified

Reports that Ubuntu would ditch longtime default browser Firefox for Google's Chrome browser were put to rest with a resounding "sort of."

A recent blog post by Ubuntu Community team member Jorge Castro explained that while Canonical has considered a Firefox alternative, it isn't Google Chrome, but rather Chromium, the open source version of the Chrome browser.

Castro was also quick to dispel any rumors that the potential browser switch was for the desktop build of Ubuntu. If Chromium is chosen, it will only affect the netbook edition of Ubuntu 10.10.

Again, this is all potential. The distribution models for Chromium and Ubuntu are largely dissimilar, so coordinating a chromium release so that it can be packaged in Ubuntu Netbook Edition is its own challenge. The Mozilla Foundation is also prepping a faster, sleeker version of Firefox for a fall release as well, so at this point its anyone's game.

More on the story as it develops.

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  • Well, I don’t think much

    Well, I don’t think much can be said regarding this as it is something yet to be found out with their next version release. However, even if Linux were to ditch Firefox for Chrome, I don’t think I will find that frustrating since Chrome suits Linux more. Firefox, as CGA said, has become more or less like a resource hog which is not the case for Chrome, at least for now. Firefox certainly is the best browser out there in all terms but for Linux, Chrome could be more convenient.

  • Firefox Alternative

    I'm not surprised that Canonical is looking for an alternative to Firefox, at least not on a Netbook platform. I love what Firefox (Mozilla et al) has done for us all, Web in primis. I love it as a browser and as Free Software (I even kind of understand the trademark issue too) but unfortunately Firefox has become a resource hog. Even if they managed to make it lighter with later versions. Can't wait to see how slick and light is the version you mention in the article, let's see...

    As for things are now, the only thing that keeps me from switching to a WebKit based browser (rekonq is my choice since I use KDE SC 4) are the Firefox extensions. Mainly at work, with Nagios extension and all the extensions I need at work.

    They'll be hard to match, on a quantity matter, but as soon as rekonq get extensions included (I hope they include at least Xmarks and something like Read it Later) I'm going to switch.

    All in all, I hope that Firefox will triumph on all browser for what it means in terms of visibility for Free Software and for itself too (Mozilla et al) but I still think I'm going to switch.


  • Competition

    If Canonical chooses to switch to Chromium for 10.10 netbook edition, it doesn't lock users out from downloading Firefox or any other browser they desire. But if the switch inspires the Mozilla Foundation to improve the functionality, speed or features in a netbook-optimized release, then the end user wins. Castro's blog essentially said the same thing: that competition is good. I look forward to seeing what happens.
  • Change is good but makes no difference

    It's always good to have some changes in a distro. Not everybody likes changes tho. Anyway this kind of change really doesn't make a difference. I use both Firefox and Chrome on my install so It doesn't really matter and I'm sure that is the same for most people.
  • Meh.

    I mostly use Epiphany anyhow. But it's nice having Chrome and Firefox as alternatives. One of my favorite things about Linux is the freedom of choice and the simplicity involved in using multiple programs. I don't see how it'll matter much which browser they put in by default.
  • Well, it better shouldn't

    I am already trying Arch and been loving it. If they do change it then it will be the last time I will use Ubuntu. Enough pointless changes already.
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