Call for testing: chromium snap using the gnome-3-28 extension

The latest chromium stable update (86.0.4240.183) has been rebuilt against the gnome-3-28 extension and is now available for testing in the candidate/gnome-3-28-extension channel. To get it, issue the following command in a terminal:

snap install|refresh chromium --channel=candidate/gnome-3-28-extension

This revision was built against snapcraft 4.4, taking advantage of the new mechanism to pre-generate font caches at install time (rather than build time), thus speeding up significantly cold boot startup time.

Of interest is the de-duplication of common GNOME libraries and their dependencies, resulting in a much slimmer snap (122MB, versus 252MB when not connecting to the gnome-3-28-1804 platform snap).

Please test and report any regressions here, or by filing a bug. Thanks for your help!

EDIT: for details about the investigation that triggered this change, read Igor’s excellent blog post.

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I’m using this version of Chromium (which I got from stable itself). If there are any particular tests to be done, please let me know. Otherwise from normal usage, following are my observations.

  • I can confirm that chromium now launches way faster than it used to. Sincere thanks to all who worked on it. On my PC (4G RAM, Celeron N3060) on cold boot it took 13s to launch and subsequent launches within 1-2s. If there is any specific command to know exact time, please let me know.
  • I see two issues but not sure if it is snap related (I don’t have access to traditional package chromium)
    1. The ‘Show bookmarks bar’ in settings is disabled but when I open a new tab, the bookmarks bar is displayed but when a webpage loads the bookmarks bar disappears.

Settings:

New tab:

When a page is loaded:

  1. Is the default font hinting set to ‘none’ in chromium GUI? It’s bit distracting, if not an eye strain to look at jarred fonts. Is there anything that can be done about it?

The version number is the same, but if you’re tracking the stable channel, you’re not using the revision with the improvements being discussed here.

  1. Seems to be working as intended to me: the bookmarks bar is shown in the new tab page, regardless of the setting.

  2. Font hinting should work, it’s not specifically disabled in the chromium snap or anything like that. What is your desktop environment, and default system font for window title and content?

As @oSoMoN says, this is a normal part of the new tab page. If you don’t like it, you could set a custom new tab page with an extension. Message me if you are interested for more details.

@oSoMoN I use beta channel on my main home computer. I would test a beta channel build if you made one :smiley:

Noted. I switched to candidate now. No issues so far on casual use.

Thanks @oSoMoN and @elcste. I didn’t know about it. I also confirmed later on LinuxMint (which has a chromium deb pkg now) and it is same. I thought I found a bug :rofl:

I’m on Ubuntu MATE and use DejaVu Sans with hintslight. It is just the chromium GUIs (tab names, context menu, main menu/settings). Not a big deal, just an observation.

Building chromium is resource-hungry, so I think we’ll stick with a candidate build for now.
When I’m sufficiently confident that there are no regressions, this will be applied to all branches, of course.

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Are you observing the same problem with the chromium snap in the stable channel?
Can you please file a bug to track the problem?

Yes, it is same on chromium from stable channel as well. Looks OK on deb pkg (LM). Also, same page renders OK (hintslight) on Firefox.

When I check /snap/chromium/1382/etc/fonts/conf.d it has 10-hintin-slight.conf. I’m in doubt. Please check attached screenshot if it looks OK and I’m just mistaken. Also, is hinting OK on your PC?

Ok, so this is not specific to the revision of chromium built with the gnome-3-28 extension, which is the topic of this thread. Please file a bug to track and investigate the problem separately. Thanks!