I installed the latest Chromium build to try it out Aura, the new ToolKit from Google, that it will replace Chrome’s GTK2 under Linux.
What is Aura:
Aura is the UI stack that we currently ship in Chrome OS and are hoping to ship to Windows users in the M32 timeframe. It does not use native widgets and is GPU accelerated when available. The only native element is the toplevel window; everything inside is drawn by chrome, instead of by GTK+ or Win32. This lets us unify our interface code; the Linux UI should now stay up to date with the Windows version.
How this affects You:
We hope to ship Linux Aura in the M33 timeframe. We have just switch to aura as the default Linux configuration, so if you sync and build on linux, you should have Aura on by default. Now that it is on, we intend to ship next week’s dev channel with the new Aura interface code.
If you’re a user, please file bugs. The correct tags are “OS=Linux Proj-DesktopAura”. You can find a list of open bugs with those tags here.
If you develop chromiuim, please test your features on a tip-of-tree linux build or the next dev channel. I’m happy to do first round code reviews on anything that touches the new code paths.
Q: Why are we doing this?
A: We want to use the same interface stack across Windows, Linux and Chrome OS. Before Aura, all three ports used different interface code. Windows had HWND specific controls, the entire interface on Linux was drawn by GTK+, and Chrome OS did its own thing. This should make developing features for chrome much easier. On Linux, this also has the benefit of providing us with a path off of GTK+ v2, which has been unmaintained for years now.
Q: Does this mean we no longer link with GTK+?
A: No; we still link with GTK+, and use it for native file dialogs, IME support, and other system integration. GTK+ usage sits in a containment library and can’t be used outside of chrome/browser/ui/libgtk2ui/. GTK+ doesn’t do any drawing; we talk directly to the X11 server now and manage our own windows.
Q: Many Linux users won’t have decent drivers installed…
A: Our compositing experts have a software fallback, in case there is no usable GPU.
Download A Chrome WaterFall Build
Chromium Waterfall Builds are the latest and greatest working (and that’s a very loose definition of working) builds of Chrome, that bring the latest technologies, as the new Aura Toolkit. Latest build right now is 240534, but I think this is still GTK2, or Aura is just identical to GTK2. To be honest I didn’t really check on details of this version.
Why not an Unstable Chromium Repo?
Two Methods For Downloading
Personally I followed the 1st one. But second one should work just fine.
1. The Hard Way
This isn’t hard at all, but is harder than the second. Go to Chrome Build Tree.
Grab the latest working version, you will find it under the LKGR label, somewhere on right-top.
Then go to Google’s Data Storage.
Navigate to your Linux System Arch and find the LKGR version. Download the chrome-linux.zip file and extract it somewhere.
2. The Easy Way
Just open Chromium AppSpot.
This should auto-detect your system and download the corresponding version. It should be the same version as it was described in the previous method. Again just extract the zip somewhere.
Run Chromium Raw Build
Inside Chrome’s Folder (the one you just extracted) there is a “chrome” executable file. Run this with a terminal to see potential errors.
In Fedora 20 you should get two errors, which are normal, nothing really to worry about.
First it will complain that can’t find libudev.so.0. What you need to do is to link libudev.so.0 to libudev.so.1.4.0.
Open /lib64 (or /lib if you are using a 32bit system) with Nautilus as Super User
$ sudo nautilus /lib64
Find a file named “libudev.so” which is symbolic link to libudev.so.1.4.0. Copy this, paste it inside /lib64 and rename it to libudev.so.0.
Or from terminal.
$ sudo ln -s /lib64/libudev.so.1.4.0 /lib64/libudev.so.0
The second error you should receive is about something wrong with Sandbox, probably something with the SUID.
I won’t explain how Chromium Sandbox works in Linux, but you can check here.
To fix that you should run:
$ sudo chown root:root chrome_sandbox && sudo chmod 4755 chrome_sandbox && export CHROME_DEVEL_SANDBOX="$PWD/chrome_sandbox"
And run again Chrome from inside the download directory.
It should work now! By the way, this is Chromium and not Chrome. That means not Flash Player and not an embedded PDF Viewer!
I think Raw Builds don’t get auto-updated. For more please refer to Chomium Dev Channel.
Not Just Fedora
This is meant to work in every Linux system and not just Fedora, with maybe slightly changes in libraries versions. I wish I had 3 Laptops with Arch, Ubuntu and Fedora so I could try it out.
Any offers? ;) Nah, I’m just kidding!