Call for testing: chromium-browser deb to snap transition


(cross-posted on the Ubuntu Community Hub)

The chromium browser has been available as a deb package for all supported Ubuntu releases and as a snap since version 60, and the time has come to start transitioning away from the debs.

In a first step, the transition will be happening exclusively for Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) users, and once I’m confident it is rock-solid it will be rolled out to stable releases, starting with disco and then the LTSes.

How does that work? The deb packages have been updated in eoan to install the stable snap on upgrade or new install (credit for the original implementation goes to the LXC team). Special care has been taken to not break existing workflows and to make the transition seamless:

  • when running the snap for the first time, an existing chromium user profile in $HOME/.config/chromium will be imported (provided there is enough disk space)
  • the chromium-browser and chromedriver executables in /usr/bin/ are wrappers that call into the respective snap executables
  • chromedriver has been patched so that existing selenium scripts should keep working without modifications
  • if chromium was the default browser, the chromium-browser wrapper will take care of updating it to the chromium snap
  • similarly, existing pinned entries in desktop launchers will be updated to point to the snap version (implemented for GNOME Shell and Unity only for now, contributions welcome for other desktop environments)
  • the apport hook has been updated to include relevant information about the snap package and its dependencies

If you live on the edge and are running Ubuntu 19.10 already, I would appreciate your feedback on this transition. Please share it here, or file bugs with ubuntu-bug chromium-browser.


Request: auto-connection of removable-media for chromium

Well 32bit snap version is crashing for me.

But why deb is being replaced with snap in the main archive ? I use Pop_os/Ubuntu-Mate and it doesn’t even have snap. How do I continue using/testing chromium deb ? Can you provide a PPA ?


Can you provide details about that crash? Which version of Ubuntu, which channel of the chromium snap, what desktop environment, does it crash right away at startup or are there a specific set of actions/pages that trigger the crash?

Technically, chromium is in universe, not in main (see this documentation). The deb packages won’t disappear, but they are becoming transitional packages that install the snap when installing/upgrading.

I’m not sure about Pop!_OS, but I’m pretty sure Ubuntu Mate supports snaps as first-class citizens.

Once the transition is complete there won’t be a PPA maintained by the Ubuntu desktop team, because one of the goals of this transition is to relieve some of the packaging/maintenance work.


Ubuntu 18.04 install Unity 7 and i have some Apparmor denied (Core: 16-2.40~pre1):

[ 875.534615] audit: type=1400 audit(1562746633.595:185): apparmor=“DENIED” operation=“file_mmap” profile="/snap/core/7343/usr/lib/snapd/snap-confine" name="/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/" pid=5956 comm=“snap-confine” requested_mask=“m” denied_mask=“m” fsuid=0 ouid=0

[ 875.857780] audit: type=1107 audit(1562746633.919:186): pid=1109 uid=103 auid=4294967295 ses=4294967295 subj==unconfined msg='apparmor=“DENIED” operation=“dbus_method_call” bus=“system” path="/" interface=“org.freedesktop.DBus.ObjectManager” member=“GetManagedObjects” mask=“send” name=“org.bluez” pid=5956 label=“snap.chromium.chromium”

All seems to work so far.


These denials should be harmless indeed.