Switching Linux Web Browser To Google Chrome

I finally broke down and decided to switch to using the Google Chrome web browser on my Linux platforms instead of Mozilla Firefox. Installation was easy; just download the appropriate RPM or DEB from the Google Chrome download area and install it.

Reading an EULA is, as always, interesting and Google Chrome’s EULA was no different Turns out that Google Chrome is licensed under the infamous AVC patent portfolio and under an Adobe license for a Flash player plug-in which includes the following clause

The Chrome-Reader Software may not be used to render any PDF or EPUB documents that utilize digital rights management protocols or systems other than Adobe DRM

Another interesting paragraph in the EULA is the following:

20.2 From time to time, Google Chrome may check with remote servers (hosted by Google or by third parties) for available updates to extensions, including but not limited to bug fixes or enhanced functionality. You agree that such updates will be automatically requested, downloaded, and installed without further notice to you.

However, you can disable the automatic updating feature by touching /etc/default/google-chrome before installed the Chrome package. If you forget this step when installing Chrome, you can always disable the chrome repo, e.g. /etc/yum.repos.d/google-chrome.repo for Fedora/Centos/Redhat.

So why did I switch from Firefox? For one thing, the Firefox interface is becoming too cluttered and tired looking. More annoying however was the fact that Fedora, which is the main GNU/Linux distribution which I develop on, used to install numerous language plug-ins by default. That seems to have stopped recently. However, I am very happy with both the performance and uncluttered look and feel of Google Chrome and see no reason to switch back to Mozilla Firefox.

I suspect that unless the leadership of the Mozilla Firefox development changes, Mozilla Firefox’s share of the web browser market has peaked and will slowly decay as Webkit-based browsers such as Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Opera mature.

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