As the question title says it all, I read Google support, I read few things here and there, the only thing they say is it's for developers and it is updated at a rapid speed, but how exactly is Chrome Canary different from Google Chrome?


2 Answers 2


Chrome has four release channels – stable, beta, dev and canary. Stable is the regular Chrome most users use. Canary is simply a much newer release that's not as well tested, but has the latest shiny stuff. After a while, the version that was released in the canary channel gets any bugs that are found fixed, then filters downward to dev, and then to the beta and stable releases. Other than the lack of testing, and possibly not having all the bugs fixed, canary is merely Chrome FROM THE FUTURE (except for those features that might get scrapped due to lack of quality).

In short, you get cool stuff, but it might crash horribly. On the other hand, you don't have to use it as a primary browser (in fact, you cannot set it as default). It's mainly useful if you like living dangerously and want to test bleeding edge features.

  • 1
    So in short its a browser to test latest stuff like CSS3 properties..
    – Mr. Alien
    Apr 13, 2013 at 9:47
  • 2
    Pretty much, or anything else new that's in chrome, if you're too lazy or unable to compile the latest nightlies.
    – Journeyman Geek
    Apr 13, 2013 at 9:48
  • 1
    Atlast I got some friendly explanation, and it's new, and I guess it's poorly or not at all documented as you said it's new, anyways thanks ;) +1
    – Mr. Alien
    Apr 13, 2013 at 9:50
  • Its always 'new' - if you're familiar with debian, its kinda like 'sid', with dev being testing, and release being stable. I've been running canary since its first release I think - about 2010
    – Journeyman Geek
    Apr 13, 2013 at 10:42
  • 4
    Once I saw what it was, I understood the name. For those not familiar with the metaphor, coal miners would take a canary (a small bird) with them into a mine. If there were a poisonous gas, like CO, it would kill the bird sooner than it would kill the men, giving the men a chance to escape. So, if an error kills Canary, at least Chrome won't die!
    – TecBrat
    Aug 25, 2016 at 18:10

From Get on the bleeding edge of the web:

Google Chrome Canary has the newest of the new Chrome features. Be forewarned: it's designed for developers and early adopters, and can sometimes break down completely.

Canary is a version of the Chrome browser that is released daily, and automatically, for the Mac and Windows platforms. To get an idea of what Canary is, one can take a look at Chrome's assembly line.

Chromium is the source of the four versions of Google Chrome: Canary, dev, beta, and stable. Chromium is being continuously built and checked by an automated process, the BuildBot, which is overseen by human sheriffs, usually developers. (Chromium lacks Chrome's proprietary features.)

According to Chrome Canary for developers, "A new Chrome Canary build is available daily (we cut at 2am PST and take the best of last 40 revisions, to be specific)" and according to Google Chrome: How does the Chrome team ensure the stability of the canary channel?, "Canary Chrome contains the very latest state of our source tree, and is automatically built and shipped to users every day, usually without any human oversight at all."

However, features that appear in one day's Canary may or may not present in the next day's version and may or may not carry forward to the dev version of Google Chrome. Dev, after testing, is promoted to beta which is mostly what the stable version is after some polish. According to the cadence, while Chromium is built continuously, and Canary is built daily from Chromium builds, the dev, beta, and stable have a life of about six weeks (with bug and security fixes).

The important thing to note is that Canary is installed totally separately with its own profile and can coexist with a dev or beta or stable installation. One Chrome developer prefers having Canary and Stable:

I recommend running Chrome Stable and Canary. That’s how most of the Chrome Developer Relations team does it.


(Canary was chosen because caged canaries were carried by miners to test the quality of air underground.)

  • can i run diff. versions ? i mean canary and chrome Jun 3, 2014 at 5:49
  • 1
    @vishalsharma If you mean by 'diff' is tool to compares files, you might want a hard time.
    – mr5
    Jan 30, 2015 at 13:35
  • @mr5 , no i mean because canary is early release (not well tested ), i can use that for newer stuff i want to learn and stable for the applications i am working on... I hope you get my point Feb 1, 2015 at 10:50
  • @vishalsharma I haven't done it but have seen both working side by side on a coworkers computer. FYI.
    – joedragons
    Jun 29, 2015 at 16:00

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.