Google Replacing GTK2 With Aura In Chrome 35
Written by Michael Larabel in Google on 11 March 2014 at 10:16 PM EDT. 40 Comments
Google will finally be migrating from GTK2 to their own Aura UI code with a target of Chrome/Chromium 35.

We have known going back to October of last year that Google has been aiming for their Aura UI on Linux and the initial target was for version 33, but now it looks like version 35 is when the GTK+ interface will be replaced.

Google's Elliot Glaysher sent out a mailing list post this week encouraging Linux users to install google-chrome-unstable for testing out the new interface.

For why the GTK+ interface is being replaced, there's several reasons. One of the big reasons is that the Aura user-interface is universal across Chrome's supported platforms (sans OS X). The Aura stack runs on Windows, Chromium OS, and Linux so it's easier to ship features for this UI. Additionally, the Aura interface will correct some long-standing performance issues with Chrome/Chromium on Linux, especially with being able to better utilize the GPU on Linux. In particular, the Aura-based Chrome browser will now use one OpenGL context per-window rather than per-tab.

Fortunately, Aura already works on Wayland and should Aura on Linux should be in good shape by the time Chrome 35 ships although additional testing is requested by the Chrome/Chromium Linux community. Those wanting to find more background information on Aura can visit

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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