My impressions of Google Chrome so far
(This is in fact what motivated me to try Chrome to start with. I am relatively active on Flickr, so I really noticed when it suddenly became achingly slow. After working through a whole series of attempts to get a faster Firefox, I gave in and tried out the reputedly fastest browser. To my surprise it was indeed much faster.)
Using a bare Chrome install was a great way of finding out which bits of my Firefox interface I really need in order to feel effective. So far my necessary Chrome extensions are:
- MiddleButtonScroll, which does just what it says it does; it gives
you what Firefox calls autoscroll, where holding down the middle
mouse button lets you scroll the page around.
(No doubt everyone just uses their mouse wheel to scroll and doesn't care, but I'm still a holdout.)
- Smooth Gestures plus the Smooth Gestures plugin to make it work on Linux (it's covered on the main Smooth Gestures page). There are several gestures extensions for Chrome, but this was the first one I found that said it more or less works on Linux, which it does; there are issues, but nothing I can't live with for now.
(It turns out that for casual browsing I really want the ability to conveniently navigate purely with the mouse, including scrolling the page.)
(If I was trying to use Chrome full time in place of Firefox, I would also need to find some replacement for Stylish and ideally It's All Text as well. Or, as it turns out, I would just need to install Stylish, as it's already been done for Chrome.)
I'm using the official Google Chrome build, not Chromium. I installed
the 32-bit RPM version despite having a 64-bit machine, and I see no
reason to do otherwise unless you have unusual needs. For a start,
Flash just works (it's bundled into the RPM). I turned off the
package's automatic updates by the simple expedient of '
/etc/cron.daily/google-chrome'. To their credit, Google explicitly
tells you in advance that their package installs an auto-update process
and adds their repository to your
yum configuration, so I knew to go
(I'm aware that Google documents another procedure for turning the automatic update off. Per previous commentary, I'm a sysadmin so I feel much happier about code that isn't running at all.)
Sidebar: the Chrome yum repo configuration
The Chrome RPM doesn't contain an explicit
for their repository, apparently because Google is trying the heroic
task of building one RPM that can work on several different RPM-based
distributions with different ways of doing all of this. Instead it
is created by the cron script the first time it runs, which is a slight
problem if you turn off the cron script entirely.
To save any interested parties the job of reading the script's source,
here is the current
google-chrome.repo that the script creates (for
[google-chrome] name=google-chrome baseurl=http://dl.google.com/linux/rpm/stable/i386 enabled=1 gpgcheck=1
(Note that they use a somewhat different '
name=' value between their
website and what the cron script sets up.)