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.



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 ?