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October 11, 2016updated 16 Feb 2017 3:33pm

What is Chromium?

Google draws heavily from the open source code to develop Chrome.

By James Nunns

Chromium is the open source web browser project that forms the code of Google Chrome.

The open source project is designed to be one of the building blocks for the company’s popular web browser. Chromium shares most its code and features with the Google web browser Chrome, although there are some differences such as in the licensing model.

Google helped set up the project with the aim of making the browser a tabbed window manager, or shell for the web. This may be why Chromium was chosen as the name, as it relates to the metal from which chrome plating is made.

 

How does Google use Chromium?

Chromium offers a minimalist user interface as part of its design in order to feel lightweight but fast.

Google uses the source code from Chromium and then adds functionality such as an auto-update system called GoogleUpdate, an integrated PPAPI version of Adobe Flash Player, RLZ tracking, and more.

The part of Chromium that is authored by Google is released under the BSD license, while other parts are under licenses such as the MIT License, the LGPL, the Ms-PL and others.

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So far in 2016 all of the releases of the open source web browser, starting with Chromium 50.0, have been security and bug fixes.

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