How to install Chromium from Ubuntu repos in Linux Mint 20 Ulyana

  2 years ago

     Installing Chromium in new Linux Mint 20 is not as easy as before. This is mostly because of ideological conflicts between Linux mint developers and Ubuntu developers. As you may know, Ubuntu 20.04 is the base package of Linux mint 20. Ubuntu now uses snap installation of chromium even if you are using APT. Linux mint developers believe that it is unethical to use such a contraversial package management system like snap without end user’s explicit approval.

     Since Linux mint removed snap support in Ulyana, it is not possible to install Chromium browser from ubuntu repositories. To remove any further complexities, Linux mint 20 uses a dummy package “chromium-browser” from ulyana repositories. Which not only blocks default ubuntu installation, but also gives some directions on installing chromium as the description of the package.

     However none of the official solutions gives optimal chromium experience we had in previous distros. One may feel that installation from Debian Buster repo is safe among the options, but that package is not stable at all.

     If you are a chromium user for years, you may want that default chromium from ubuntu repo experience. This can be achieved in 4 simple steps.

Step 1

     Open /etc/apt/ folder. Right click preferences.d folder and select Open as root menu item. Enter your password. This will grant required root access for editing the apt preference directory.

Step 2

     Right click nosnap.pref file, and rename it to nosnap.pref~. This will disable the preference which prevent us from installing snap. You may re-enable the preference by simply renaming the file back.

Step 3

     Right click in preferences.d folder and select Create New Document > Empty Document menu item. Name it as something like ubuntu-chromium-browser.pref and open it in Xed or any other editor with elevated access. Pin packages and pin-priority in that file as given below:

Package: chromium-browser*
Pin: release o=linuxmint,c=upstream
Pin-Priority: 1

Package: chromium-browser*
Pin: release o=Ubuntu
Pin-Priority: 900

     This will prioritise chromium-browser package from ubuntu repository than the dummy chromium-browser package from Linux mint’s ulyana’s repository.

Step 4

     Open your Terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T). And run following commands one after another.

$ sudo apt remove --purge chromium-browser

$ sudo apt update

$ sudo apt install snapd

$ sudo apt install chromium-browser

     These commands will execute the actions - remove the dummy package from ulyana repo, populate APT cache, install snap, and then install Chromium browser from ubuntu focal repo - consecutively.


      You are all set with Chromium browser that comes with Ubuntu. Remember this will enable snap and this will use snap to install Chromium browser. If this is against your concepts, don’t follow this way. It is also not possible to predict any future complexities of enabling of snap. Be careful.

     Please be aware that profile folder in earlier pre-snap installation was located in ~/. config/chromium/ folder, but in snap installation it is located at ~/snap/chromium/. If you have enabled sync in chromium and wish to use same sync account, then this is a non-issue because every bookmark, addon and other customizations you've done in your previous installation will automatically shift to new profile.

     Happy browsing. 

vdbhb59 1 year ago

I too do not wish for Snap packages, as I fully distrust them. No integrity left in those and the developers/maintainers are full bound arrogant and egoistic nomads.

0bWAN 2 years ago

Personally, I agree with the developers position on snap. I'm also having some misgivings about flatpak as well. Seems like a lot of time for what was/is already working just fine. Sometimes it seems we've lost the simple philosophy of "If it ain't broke - don't fix it". JMHO