After blogging about Chrome yesterday, I just read that Chrome will arrive for Linux soon. Google has posted a development version of Chrome for both Linux and Mac (

Like any good hacker, after reading this piece of news, I moseyed on down to the dev site and pulled the latest and greatest code. It is a little odd (but not really surprising) that Google has its own set of wrapper scripts (depot_tools) that you need to use in order to get the code. Yeah, they have other purposes (code review, they say; I haven't checked it out), but it still seems odd to instruct people to:

$ gclient config
$ gclient sync

instead of

svn co chromium

The latter is familiar. The former is not. But I digress.

It took a while to pull down the full code base the tarball for which weighs in at an impressive 713MBm including platform specific code for all three platforms, sounds, textures, third party code, and tests. I built under Fedora 11 and had little difficulty. Here was the process I used (streamlined from the bumbling experimental style in which it was worked out):

  • Installed prerequisites as per the wiki article. The only way in which I differed from their instructions, was that I removed all of the architecture extensions from the arguments. So, glib2-devel.i386 became glib2-devel. This was because my computer is running as an i586 architecture with the repos set up to go to the architecture. Dropping the extensions installed the proper packages.
  • Installed depot_tools. I just downloaded it to a location in my home directory, unpacked, and added it to the path.
  • Installed gyp. Google is in the process of migrating  the build over to gyp.
  • Downloaded and unpacked the source tarball.
  • Navigated to the chromium/src/build directory
  • Ran gyp All.gyp
  • Ran hammer

This built a binary under chromium/src/sconsbuild/Debug. First impressions:

In all fairness, this is an incomplete developmental release. So Google protests about a thousand times before you get it up and running. Flash doesn't work. Don't know if Java works. Overall, things seem to work fairly well though. The most obvious, annoying thing is having the whole window flash green when opening up a new tab. It is nice to have it to play with, though. Watching pages and pages of compiler messages flow through my terminal made me vaguely nostalgic for Gentoo, where every single application had to be installed in like manner.

Fun project.