Chromium Browser Going Through Growing Pains In Ubuntu 14.04
Written by Michael Larabel in Google on 16 April 2014 at 09:00 AM EDT. 42 Comments
Google's open-source Chromium browser is in a bit of a bad shape for this week's release of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

Chromium 34 landed in Ubuntu 14.04 a short time ago and it's in the process of breaking NPAPI plug-in support for handling the Adobe Flash player plug-in and other common web plug-ins. Chad Miller, the Chromium package maintainer for Ubuntu and Canonical employee, wrote, "Chromium-browser in 14.04 is stuck in a bad position. First, upstream is killing* the old Netscape Plugin API as they rip out Gtk2 libraries and move to their internal toolkit, "Aura". NPAPI is still popular among poorly-updated plugins like Adobe's Flash*. Upstream hopes to have all of Gtk2 (and therefore NPAPI) removed by next major release, which is a few weeks away. Chromium source churns greatly, and maintaining distro patches to keep Gtk2+NPAPI isn't maintainable. So, some plugins are going to break. I picked the start of the Trusty's release as the time to have a kind of regression, instead of one month in as part of a security update. It sucks, but I think it's the better choice. The new internal toolkit has a few bugs, which you may see. I'm fixing and backporting fixes and I expect to see a week or two of ugliness, before it stabilizes to a great browser again."


So with Google developers right now introducing their Aura support on Linux for Chrome/Chromium and dropping the NPAPI interface, support for using old plug-ins is being lost and overall this initial chromium-browser package for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS might be a bit rough. Updates, however, will be coming down through the Trusty archive. For those needing Flash support in Chromium, there is the pepperflashplugin-nonfree package within multiverse that is Chrome's Pepper-based Flash Player. Of course, if installing the official Google Chrome browser releases, you're already in great shape.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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