As a person that uses Linux as their primary desktop, I’ve been itching to get Google Chrome on my day-to-day Linux machine for the last two weeks.
Apparently there is now an option – though it’s not from Google and it’s the anti-thesis of how Linux apps should be built. CodeWeavers which is the lead commercial sponsor behind WINE (WINE is not a Windows Emulator) has created a Chrome for Linux using a combination of the open source code and the WINE libraries. They call it CrossOver Chromium.
In a nutshell – it’s basically making a Windows app run on Linux. It’s not a native app and it’s not for everyday use. In CodeWeaver’s FAQ on why they built CrossOver Chromium they state:
Why Did CodeWeavers Develop CrossOver Chromium?
CrossOver Chromium is a technology proof of concept to demonstrate
Wine’s capabilities for rapidly migrating Windows software to new
marketplaces,such as Linux and Mac.
For the record, I can also use WINE to run Microsoft’s Internet Explorer on Linux too – does that mean it’s an IE for Linux?
Let’s be blunt here. Google should have built Chromium using GTK+, Qt or some other cross platform graphics library. I don’t know what the performance impact might have been (maybe it would have made Chrome slower) but considering that Qt now fully supports WebKit (a Trolltech Qt engineer is the guy that started the KHTML project after all) I’m not sure why they didn’t go that route.