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Google Upgrades Chrome To Beta For OS X, Linux 197

Posted by timothy
from the browsing-is-what-cows-do dept.
wkurzius writes with this nugget from Mac Rumors: "As anticipated, Google has finally released an official beta version of its Chrome browser for Mac. The initial beta version, termed Build 4.0.249.30, requires Mac OS X Leopard or Snow Leopard, and is only compatible with Intel-based Macs." And hierofalcon writes with word that Chrome has also been made available as an official Linux Beta.
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Google Upgrades Chrome To Beta For OS X, Linux

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  • by organgtool (966989) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @01:41PM (#30367496)
    I have been running one of the Chrome nightly builds on Leopard for several weeks and I am extremely impressed with its speed and stability. I have never had a single tab crash on me. I'm sure that people will complain about the lack of support for extensions compared to Firefox, and rightly so. But if you don't need many extensions, I highly recommend trying out Chrome.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Trev311 (1161835)

      I have been running one of the Chrome nightly builds on Leopard for several weeks and I am extremely impressed with its speed and stability. I have never had a single tab crash on me. I'm sure that people will complain about the lack of support for extensions compared to Firefox, and rightly so. But if you don't need many extensions, I highly recommend trying out Chrome.

      Or if you want to not give google more information you can wait until SRWare* or someone else releases it without all the tracking (and google updater) crap in it for Liunx/OSX. SRWare releases Chrome without the google-bits in it as Iron

    • just adding that bookmark sync is already implemented and other extensions are on the way

    • by Xerfas (1625945) *
      I have also tried it for a while and it works great in Leopard. Has never crashed for me, but firefox on the other hand has crashed a lot. Pages updates are a bit faster, sites like Facebook works better for some odd reason. They load a bit faster for me. I also recomment trying out Chrome if you use a Mac or Linux.
  • by friedmud (512466) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @01:48PM (#30367580)

    In my limited testing with it this morning... I think it is very promising... but I won't quite be switching from Safari on Snow Leopard just yet.

    My main gripe? Scrolling smoothness. It's a small thing... but the jarring scrolling of Chrome is enough to keep me on Safari.

    Other than that I really like the tab tear off system (much better than Safari since you can _reattach_ tabs back into the main window) and the integrated search / location bar (which seems to be able to read my mind...).

    Other than that they are very similar... can anyone spot big differences somewhere? I mean, these days, most browsers are the same. I used to use Firefox for the plugins... but now Firefox, Safari and Chrome all pretty much include the stuff I was using plugins for... so I go with Safari for how well integrated it is with OS X.

    I am glad Google is building a good browser... it will keep everyone on their toes (especially since Microsoft has pretty much bowed out of the next-gen browser market with their unwillingness to implement standards in a timely fashion).

    • by mdf356 (774923)

      Whereas I will switch from FF unless I find something wrong that hasn't shown yet. The only thing I see wrong at the moment is that the "change fonts" preference is greyed out on Mac, and I want a bigger default font size. command+'+' will work for now, though.

      Hmm /. shows another annoyance: the "I'm waiting" cursor is kinda ugly.

      • by Sancho (17056)

        There's nothing wrong with Lynx. It's just that you can get more from a graphical browser like Safari.

        Chrome is quick. Or it appears quick. I guess it could all be smoke and mirrors, but what ultimately matters is the end user experience, and it seems faster to me. That's not something wrong with Firefox, it's something extra with Chrome.

    • Other than that I really like the tab tear off system (much better than Safari since you can _reattach_ tabs back into the main window) and the integrated search / location bar (which seems to be able to read my mind...).

      Firefox does both of those quite nicely, does it not?

      I use Firefox for the extensions, no doubt. But I also like its speed and stability (version 3 was the one that made the biggest difference, IIRC).

      Some of the Firefox extensions I use are really handy to have. As I’m sure you’d expect, I use AdBlock Plus and couldn’t live without it. However, Download Statusbar, Video DownloadHelper, FireFTP, RefControl, Screengrab, Tab Mix Plus, and User Agent Switcher are some more extensions that I ha

      • by friedmud (512466)

        Out of all of those plugins... the one I thought I would miss the most is Download Statusbar... but as it turns out Stacks mostly serve the same purpose. Being able to expand my Download Stack and see the progress of all of my currently downloading files (displayed as a moving progress bar _in_ the file icon itself no less!) mostly does the job that Download Statusbar used to...

        The other thing that Statusbar was good for was double clicking files after they had finished downloading... so you didn't have to

        • I just download all my files to the desktop. I move them later, or drop them in the Recycle Bin if I’m done with them.

      • by Sancho (17056)

        Other than that I really like the tab tear off system (much better than Safari since you can _reattach_ tabs back into the main window) and the integrated search / location bar (which seems to be able to read my mind...).

        Firefox does both of those quite nicely, does it not?

        I didn't know that you could reattach tabs to Firefox. I always seemed to have trouble with it on OS X, but I did finally manage to do it.

        The tab management is kind of weak on Firefox, anyway. With Safari, you can pull off the tab without e.g. restarting a Flash video. Not so with Firefox. Furthermore, Firefox always seems to create the new window in the "new window" position, rather than wherever I've dragged the mouse pointer. It's a minor annoyance, but it's there.

        Really, the only extension I use on

        • With Safari, you can pull off the tab without e.g. restarting a Flash video. Not so with Firefox.

          Yeah, I did notice that. The page isn’t re-rendered, but the Flash objects are restarted. Minor annoyance, though.

      • by macshit (157376)

        Another reason I like recent FF better is that it apparently respects the settings in ~/.fonts.conf, whereas google chrome (currently) seems to just ignore them. Since I can get much better rendering for some fonts (typically CJK fonts) by such tweaking, chrome looks uglier in comparison.

        Also, chrome seems to steal keystrokes it shouldn't -- in particular in text-boxes, if you have gtk's "emacs bindings" mode on, ^N should just move to the next line; in FF it does, but google steals that for its global "n

    • by samkass (174571)

      Other than that I really like the tab tear off system (much better than Safari since you can _reattach_ tabs back into the main window)

      You can do this in Safari, too. Just have the tabs always visible and drag the tab (not the title bar) back into the main window.

      • by friedmud (512466)

        Ah - but this is only if you can see the tabs.... which you might not be able to do if there is only one tab open (and you don't have tabs always being displayed since it's a waste of space).

        You are technically correct though.

        I just find the tab reattachment system in Chrome to be quite a bit more elegant.

        • by Sancho (17056)

          It's definitely smoother. However since you always see tab bars with Chrome, that's possibly one reason why reattachment is easier. Actually, without dragging the tab specifically, you might reattach when you didn't mean to just while you're reorganizing your windows.

    • by g0at (135364)

      much better than Safari since you can _reattach_ tabs back into the main window

      Unless I am misunderstanding you, this is possible in Safari (though potentially inelegant). Tabs can be dragged to, from and between any two tabbed windows. If you have only a single document window, though (i.e. one or no tabs showing, depending on your prefs setting), you must first induce the display of a new tab before being able to drag the principal document.

      -b

    • My main gripe? Scrolling smoothness. It's a small thing... but the jarring scrolling of Chrome is enough to keep me on Safari.

      I'm trying out Chrome OS X right now and I've noticed the same problem. In Safari, I tend to read as I scroll but I can't do that with Chrome--it would give me a headache. Otherwise, it seems okay.

    • I am glad Google is building a good browser... it will keep everyone on their toes (especially since Microsoft has pretty much bowed out of the next-gen browser market with their unwillingness to implement standards in a timely fashion).

      What I find interesting is just how rapidly this is happening! For our intranet-style application, we've pretty much dropped support for IE altogether, telling our customers to use Firefox, Safari, or Chrome - pretty much "anything but IE". We just write standards-compliant

  • by courcoul (801052) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @01:54PM (#30367660)

    Beware that the first time you run Chrome, it will install their Keystone auto-update facility, with which Google feels free to update whatever they want, whenever they want and however they want. Even when you're not running the browser, as the Keystone agent will launch itself automatically at system boot.

    You have been warned.

    • by ArsonSmith (13997)

      If you're not willing to update, what are you trying to hide?

    • by Temporal (96070) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @03:14PM (#30368912) Journal

      You make it sound evil. Most people don't want to be nagged with constant update reminders. In fact, most people will ignore those reminders, leaving them vulnerable to security exploits. Hence, Google has built an updater which can automatically install updates in the background. Remarkably, it manages to do this without ever asking you to reboot or even to restart the program being updated, which cannot be said of any other software updater I've ever seen.

      • by clone53421 (1310749) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @03:30PM (#30369112) Journal

        The complaint is that it is a separate updater process, it runs itself at boot time, and it is difficult to prevent it from doing so.

        Firefox, by comparison, updates itself when it starts up, and periodically checks for updates while you are online.

        • The advantage of googles is that you can use 1 updater for every google product. Not that it makes it a good thing. What they should do is install an updater and have each one of their products call that updater to run while you are using a google app. That way it's not running when no google products are open. Although in my case there is always at least one google product running.
          • The advantage of googles is that you can use 1 updater for every google product.

            That is an advantage for Google, not necessarily for me as a user.

            What they should do is install an updater and have each one of their products call that updater to run while you are using a google app.

            Yeah, that could work.

          • by Rich0 (548339)

            My that logic my windows box with apps from 50 apps from 47 different companies should have 47 different background services running looking for updates, and that should be fine since at least it isn't 50?

            Windows needs a package manager, which apps can register themselves with. On linux, apps shouldn't be downloading updates at all unless users OK it - that is the distro's job.

            Google does the same thing with their android SDK now. Why is it that every application needs its own package manager now?

            • Hey, i'm not saying a package manager is not a good idea (which is what chrome does on ubuntu, it adds to your apt sources) I'm just saying it's better to have a application for all your google apps, then each app check for it's own updates. Its even better if that app doesn't run as a daemon, but runs only when you open a google application.
        • Google's Keystone agent launchd object resides at ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.google.keystone.agent on OS X. You can remove this file, but I assume Chrome will re-create it. Open it up with TextEdit and change the ProgramArguments string to "/dev/null" and you're done.
      • I like being up to date, but I do not like unchecking "Automatically check for updates" during the install and still having an updater app run at boot time. Why can't the apps (chrome, picasa) just check themselves when they run like firefox? Why do I need yest another process always running to do it?
  • Iron. (Score:2, Informative)

    by nawitus (1621237)
    If you don't want to be spied by google every second, download the Iron browser. It's based on Chrome code base, but has spying disabled.
  • The main big issue, is how the company doesn't have an official policy towards local app development.

    When it comes to Google's web apps, you can expect AJAX, DHTML, clean and simple look, etc. OTOH, they local apps all look developed by different companies. They are developing apps in .net (which doesn't make any sense considering where google is standing right now, specially towards microsoft). Their so called "ports" are pathetic. All they do is recompile their apps with the WINE libs. Picasa is an exampl

    • I don't know what made them do Chrome as they did, since that was in house; but the answer in many cases is "because they just bought the product from somebody else".
    • by caseih (160668)

      I agree that Google's non-web app development record is spotty. But in fairness Google didn't write most of the apps that you're complaining about. They came from other companies as the result of purchases. Some apps, like Google Earth, were already written in Qt and thus ported easily. Other apps not so easy to port. Google only offered Picasa on Wine because there was some demand for a linux version (not enough to warrant a native port by the original company, obviously) and that was the best way to

      • by RiffRafff (234408)

        Well, add another Linux user to the demand for a native port of Picasa. Picasa under WINE sucks, especially with its brain-dead directory system.

        Guess I don't have to worry about Chrome...not only does it not install automagically after download as advertised, but attempting to run it manually results in:

        Syntax error: newline unexpected

        Oh, well...

    • by Temporal (96070)

      Chrome on Linux does not use WINE. Have you tried it? None of the things you complain about are true of it.

      • by Hobophile (602318)

        The Chrome source code is actually a great set of documentation for GTK, since it uses a lot of advanced functionality and it is very well-indexed and easy to search.

        It was indispensable when I needed to add basic Unicode screen I/O to my application. By contrast, the gtk.org manuals were good for very little beyond identifying the functions to search for.

    • by sznupi (719324)

      Apart from buying apps together with small companies, mentioned by other posters, perhaps it's an effect of "20% time on personal project" policy at Google?

      If large proportion of their apps start that way, they might be stuck with independent decisions of initial dev who treated it like toy project.

    • They are developing apps in .net (which doesn't make any sense considering where google is standing right now, specially towards microsoft).

      Given the present anti-trust climate for Microsoft, I'm certain Google is safe from any encroachment on this side. They just have to shout "vendor lock-in! monopoly abuse!" if something threatening ever happens, and MS knows it.

      By the way, what Google applications are written in .NET?

    • Most of Google's local/native apps were not developed in house, and are the result of company acquisitions. For example, Picassa.

  • ./chrome: /usr/lib/libstdc++.so.6: version `GLIBCXX_3.4.9' not found (required by ./chrome)

    libnss3.so.1d => not found
    libnssutil3.so.1d => not found
    libsmime3.so.1d => not found
    libssl3.so.1d => not found
    libplds4.so.0d

    • Get with the times. RHEL 5 (even 5.4) is dreadfully ancient. Trying to use it with anything that isn't already explicitly packaged for it is asking for pain.

  • (Remember [slashdot.org], Iron is the no-phone-home, no-spyware, privacy-assured derivative of Chrome.)

    Despite that, I hope to see a version of Iron based on the upstream's beta soon. When it comes out, it would be announced on the SRware forums [srware.net].

    Also interesting: The Google Chrome download page [google.com] requires javascript!

    You need a JavaScript-capable browser to download this software. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser.

  • Linux RPMs were built targeting LSB 3.2
    lsb >= 3.2 is needed by google-chrome-beta-4.0.249.30-33928.i386
    I'll just add this to the list of reasons to upgrade this FC8 install. :p
  • Chrome for Linux (no idea about OSX, I don't use it) has been release quality for a long, long time now. I'm quite surprised that only now it's in Beta.

    • by jDeepbeep (913892)

      no idea about OSX, I don't use it

      I've been using the dev channel release for months now on Snow Leopard and had zero problems with it. It's been noticeably faster than FF but oc YMMV

  • Can't say why I would use this. If we get to the point where google is not longer standard compliant, and will not work equally well with any standard complete browser, then much of why I use google will be moot. Already the lame google definitions require me to use another service. In any case, I stopped using google apps when it became difficult to get to my free account.

    Sure, it might be cool on MS Windows, where IE really sucks and there is not free widely used stripped down browser, but on OS X we

  • It didn't take very long at all for me to grow dependent on the multitouch gestures in Firefox. Why in the world does WebKit not support the hardware on new Macbooks as well as Firefox? Three-finger swipe (back/forward and top/bottom of the page) and pinch-to-zoom are incredibly useful.
  • by Des Herriott (6508) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @08:49AM (#30376070)

    This one's a show-stopper for me (and, I suspect, others). Chrome offers to save your passwords but gives absolutely no protection on the saved password database. The discussion threads I've seen about this suggest that the Chrome devs don't even understand why this is such a serious problem. Chrome has a lot to like, but I'll be sticking to Firefox for now.

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