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What are the differences between Google Chrome and Chromium (especially with respect to privacy)?

The Google Chrome Privacy Notice lists the information Google receives when you use Google Chrome. Are these disabled by default in Chromium? I don't want Google to know every letter I type in the address bar...

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Seems silly, but it's a good question. +1 – Sasha Chedygov Dec 10 '10 at 21:23
@Sathya: The question Google Chrome vs Iron Privacy is closer, but you'll see they're not duplicates. – Julienne Goldberg Dec 10 '10 at 21:29

Just for clarification: At you can find a detailed blog article about the relationship between Chrome, Chromium and Google from 2008

Chromium is the name we have given to the open source project and the browser source code that we released and maintain at One can compile this source code to get a fully working browser. Google takes this source code, and adds on the Google name and logo, an auto-updater system called GoogleUpdate, and RLZ

Since 2008 Google has added more stuff which isn't included into Chromium, mostly to avoid copyright issues. Some popular things are: MP3 and AAC support, a Flash player plugin and a native PDF viewer

But what is this RLZ?

RLZ is a library that is built into Google Chrome. It's a tracking ID which contains non-identifying information about where Chrome was downloaded from and the installation date. Everytime you do a Google search from the Google Chrome address bar, an RLZ parameter is included in the URL. Google says this cannot be disabled as long as you use Google as your default search provider.

However, you can try to disable the RLZ by creating a new Google search as default (untested)


If there aren't more differences, can I do more to protect my privacy?

  • Turn off Instant search. If you don't, everything you type into the address bar is send to Google immediately

  • Turn off Google Sync. If you don't, every bookmark, passwords and extensions are saved in the cloud on Google servers. Obviously, this is necessary to sync your data across multiple machines. However, you can encrypt your data with a personal pass-phrase. And no, Google employees cannot see your passwords

  • Turn of location tracking

  • Disable all 5 options in the Under the Hood » Privacy section. All options are explained at the same blog post I mentioned earlier.

    enter image description here

    Regarding Phising and malware protection: Disabling it means that you will not be warned before you visit a suspected phishing website, or a website suspected of downloading and installing malware onto your computer.

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Google Chrome is the Chromium open source project built, packaged, and distributed by Google.

You can find a list of what Google added to Chrome here.

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Chromium are just the beta builds of Chrome that are not really released to the public at large, but are available via a repository for nerds who want the latest daily build.

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Are you sure that's the only difference? I know that Chromium lacks the auto-update feature, and obviously lacks Google's branding. What about the things listed in the Google Chrome Privacy Notice, like the Suggest feature? Are these disabled? – Julienne Goldberg Dec 10 '10 at 21:09
That's not really the difference. I don't know enough to really give a good answer, but I am fairly certain Chromium is the actual project its self, Chrome is a branch of Chromium that Google distributes as a consumer product. Chromium can be forked by anyone, but 'Chrome' is just Google's official version. Chrome has beta/dev/canary builds that are all 'Chrome'. – zeel Jan 15 '14 at 16:12
This answer isn't accurate at all. – Brad Jan 16 '14 at 4:48

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