You can have so much more use and more fun with a Raspberry Pi once you hook it up to a web browser – you’ll have the whole internet in your hands and there’s just about no limit to what you can discover.
In recent years, Google’s Chrome has become one of the most popular browsers across the globe. Unfortunately, however, it isn’t supported by Raspberry Pi’s software. And that goes for every version of Raspberry Pi.
However, I’m pleased to report that we can get around this. There is an open-source version of Chrome that is supported by Raspberry Pi hardware, called Chromium. And in this article, we’re going to show you how to install it.
Before You Start
But before you get started, there are several important points to note…
- Because Chromium is an open-source web browser, it misses out on some of the capabilities of a regular web browser like Chrome.
For example, you can’t use it to watch streaming services, such as music streaming by Spotify, or movie streaming by Netflix and other streaming sites.
This is because these sites use proprietary libraries that are used for digital rights management.
However, all is not lost because although it’s not the full Chrome browser, you can still take advantage of its HTML, CSS and JS engine.
- The next point to note is that the Chromium web browser is already the default browser in the desktop version of Raspberry Pi OS Stretch, and with its later versions.
So if you already have the Raspberry Pi OS stretch or later, then you don’t need to follow the instructions in this article, and you can go straight to using Chromium on your Raspberry Pi.
You will need three items, which are as follows:
- Raspberry Pi
- Micro SD Card
- Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable
The following items are optional, but do make things just that little bit easier:
- USB keyboard
- USB mouse
- HDMI cable
How To Install The Chromium Web Browser On Your Raspberry Pi
Now that we’ve made those few points before we start, we can now move on to what you came here for, learning how to install the Chromium web browser on your Raspberry Pi.
The good news is that the Chromium web browser is available through the Raspberry Pi OS repository.
(The reason that it’s such good news is that the app comes in at over a whopping 10 GB, so if it wasn’t available through the repository, it would have taken a considerably long time to retrieve.)
And the even better news is that this particular build of Chromium available on the Raspberry Pi OS repository has several special optimizations for the Raspberry Pi already compiled into it.
Anyway, here goes…
Before you can install the Chromium web browser, you first need to update the package list. And to do this, you need to enter the following command:
sudo apt update
The next thing you need to do is upgrade all of your installed packages. And in order to run a full upgrade, you should use the following command below:
sudo apt full-upgrade
At this stage, you will now be ready to install the browser. And it’s just as easy and straightforward as all the other steps so far. All you have to do now is to run the following command on your Raspberry Pi:
sudo apt install chromium-browser -y
And once you have run this third and final command, you are now free to run the open-source version of the Chrome browser, Chromium.
Just so you know, there are two different ways that you can launch Chromium on your Raspberry Pi (see also ‘Raspberry Pi WiFi Setup: Here are 5 Methods for Raspbian‘).
Either through using the command line interface or through the use of a desktop. Here, we will be covering both. Please feel free to scroll to the section that suits your particular setup.
How To Run The Chromium Web Browser Using The Command-Line Interface
There are a number of benefits to using the command line interface for launching Chromium. For example, you can control the behavior of the browser by passing flags, so you can do things like switching it to over kiosk mode.
Anyway, here’s the only step you need to follow:
In order to Launch Chromium, simply input the following command:
And that’s it – you can start using it straight away.
How To Run The Chromium Web Browser Using The Desktop
As with launching Chromium via the command line, you can also run it on a desktop in just one easy step…
All you have to do is head over to the taskbar and click on the globe icon.
(You can also find Chromium on the Start Menu, but this way is even quicker.)
Can You Install Google Chrome on Raspberry Pi?
Unfortunately, there are no builds of the full Chrome web browser for any ARM-based desktop (with the exception of Chromebooks), including on all current versions of Raspberry Pi hardware (see also ‘How to Set Up OpenMediaVault on Raspberry Pi‘).
This is why we’ve instead provided instructions on how to install and run the Chromium web browser, which is basically an open-source version of the Chrome web browser.
Although Chromium doesn’t offer quite as many features as Chrome, (like the streaming of music and movies) it still packs a punch. And you can still take advantage of its HTML, CSS and JS engine.
So, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll have learned that although you cannot install the full version of the Chrome web browser on your Raspberry Pi, you can enjoy the open-source version of it instead, Chromium.
And you’ll also have learned that if you have the Raspberry Pi OS stretch version or later, then already have Chromium set up as the default browser.
Installing and running Chromium is quick and easy, whichever way you do it, and this guide has covered everything.
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