The Linux Mint makers are now packaging the Chromium browser themselves. This became necessary because the Ubuntu substructure only offers a snap package.
Canonical uses Ubuntu increasingly to its in-house snap format. In this way, the company primarily wants to offer software that requires frequent and fast updates. This includes in particular the free Chromium browser, which is now only available as a snap package. However, the Linux Mint makers reject Snap and the associated Snap Store controlled by Canonical. In Linux Mint 20, they have therefore disabled the entire snap system by default. If you want to use the package format, you have to install the corresponding tools manually.
In order to be able to continue to offer Chromium to its users, the Linux Mint team is now creating and maintaining its own Chromium package, which can be found in the in-house repositories ready. The “chromium” package is available. not only under Linux Mint, but also in the Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) based on Debian GNU/Linux 10. Debian 10 offers its own Chromium package in its repositories. However, since the browser version it contains is slightly behind the current development, the Linux Mint team has decided to also offer its own package in the LMDE.
Own Build server for the package
The Linux Mint team has set up its own build server for creating the Chromium package. In it, a Ryzen 9 3900 processor with 128 GB of main memory automatically translates the current Chromium source code into a suitable package in less than an hour. Without this powerful helper, compiling could take up to six hours, as the Linux Mint developers explain in a blog post.
Outlook for further innovations
The blog entry of the Mint team In addition to the announcement about Chromium, it also includes insights into the work on other innovations. Among other things, the developers with “Hypnotix” created a client for playing Internet television (IPTV). Linux Mint users can install the alpha version of the client via the provided package. Hypnotix is currently tapping into the FreeIPTV service, which in turn offers various TV channels as a stream. However, it is not yet certain whether Hypnotix will be included in future Linux Mint versions.
With regard to the upcoming version of the Linux distribution, the developers have announced that users will be able to add files to the add favorites. The file manager in the favorites section, the file open dialogs and the sub-item “Favorites” allow quick access. in the “File” menus. Cinnamon also has a new “Favorites” applet to go with it.