Google Chrome lands on Linux, Mac
Google at long last, has publicly made a build of its Chrome browser available for Linux and Mac users.
But don't get too excited yet- it doesn't work (well) yet.
When Google Chrome first debuted, it was Windows only with the promise of more platforms 'soon'. Now more than ten months later, neither Mac nor Linux versions are actually ready for public consumption, but they are getting closer.
For the Linux version, Google right now only has .deb package files for Ubuntu, so other Linux users will have to (try) build from source. That's right -NO RPMs!!
Plug-ins don't work, which means no Flash and no YouTube. Printing doesn't work (shouldn't that just be a CUPS thing?) and the browser seems to crash more often than it should, in limited testing I've done so far with it on Ubuntu Jaunty.
But it is here.
What the delay in the Linux and Mac version further reminds us - is that Windows is and was the first priority for Google Chrome. Developers made choices that make it better for Windows, but difficult to port for other platforms.
Had Google simply chosen a cross-platform GUI toolkit like GTK+ or Qt perhaps they could have had a single build for multiple platforms. Then again, Chrome on Windows wouldn't be as fast as it is now if they made that choice.
It is still too early to know if Chrome on Linux and Mac will actually be faster (or better) than Firefox or Safari on those platforms. That said, it will be interesting to see if, and how Google actually keeps the new Mac and Linux builds on the exact same pace as the Windows builds or if they will lag.