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CodeWeavers Package Google Chrome For Linux and Mac 239

jfbilodeau writes "The fine folks at Codeweavers performed an 11 day experiment in getting Google Chrome working on Linux and Mac. Their efforts resulted in the Chromium proof of concept. 'Not only does this give Mac and Linux users a chance to see what all the hype is about, it also lets the world see just how far Wine has come and how powerful it truly can be. In just 11 days, we were able to bring a modern Windows application across to Mac and Linux.' Caveat: their implementation is free as in beer but not free as in speech."
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CodeWeavers Package Google Chrome For Linux and Mac

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  • Predictable, Really. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mfh ( 56 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @03:34PM (#25015491) Homepage Journal

    Google's vision isn't truly understood by everyone, IMHO. Google knew that the Open Source community would fork and port Chrome anyway and that freed up time for developers to work out the system bugs and get the thing live. Releasing the source code is a redeemable action from the many gripes that flooded about Google not offering Linux or Mac support in Chrome on launch, among other [] things.

    Now I personally would like to see a fork that would upgrade Chrome to remove any significant Windows reliance. I don't trust Microsoft to put my interests first and therefore I don't like the idea of a browser that relies so heavily on Microsoft for security.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      free as in beer
      but not free as in speech

      What of free from fear
      Of corporate over-reach?

      • by gardyloo ( 512791 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @03:46PM (#25015663)

        free as in beer
        but not free as in speech

        What of free from fear
        Of corporate over-reach?

        Yeah! Opera gives you corporate reach-around!

        • I'm confused... isn't chrome OSS to begin with? How is codeweavers' project closed?

          Or am I confusing open licensing with something (sorry) "viral" like gpl?

      • by plover ( 150551 ) * on Monday September 15, 2008 @05:41PM (#25017241) Homepage Journal

        free as in beer but not free as in speech

        What of free from fear Of corporate over-reach?

        I'm getting pretty sick of the whole "drunk as in beer, not as in scotch" disclaimer crap. Everything has its limits, and petty squabbles about "mine is freer than yours" serve only to enrage a flock of wannabe first amendment lawyers. They fill the blog'O'sphere with masturbatory rants about "you published your peanut butter without my chocolate disclaimer!"

        Can't we find something better to squabble endlessly about? Like why Firefox's spell checker didn't complain about the word "masturbatory"?

        • Masturbatory is the correct spelling.
        • Mine's a Macallan 12-year-old.

        • by MarkusQ ( 450076 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @01:07AM (#25021511) Journal

          Your annoyance is misplaced.

          The speech/beer convention was devised as a patch for a bug in the English language. One word, "free", has two distinct meanings. Normally people deal with these cases by using context ("Some atoms are ionized but most are unionized" vs. "Plumbers in many areas are unionized") but in this case both meanings are plausible. The two types are free are distinct, software could be free in either sense, yet English (unlike most other languages) gives us only one preferred word for both meanings.

          This resulted in numerous exceedingly tedious flame wars that ended, if at all, with a lame "Oh, that's not what I thought you meant--why didn't you say so in the first place?"

          Clarifying which homonym is intended right up front may annoy you, but trust me, it is far, far better than the alternative.


    • Duly impressed in their success in porting in less than two weeks, I downloaded the Mac port. Alas, the joy is short-lived. It's terribly slow, locked up for short periods a couple of times, and had a generally poor user experience. It was not dock-aware, had odd-looking widgets that looked poor compared to Firefox or Safari, and didn't integrate with the OS at all. I suspect that's par for the course for a Wine-ported app, but the end experience is worse than running Chrome in Parallels desktop in Cohe

      • by misleb ( 129952 )

        Doesn't Wine on the Mac use X? Or does it translate to Cocoa? X apps on a Mac are aweful. Though sometimes handy... such as in the case of managing VMware Server from a Mac workstation by running the Linux admin tool and displaying locally.

      • by multipartmixed ( 163409 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @06:06PM (#25017599) Homepage

        > I suspect that's par for the course for a Wine-ported app

        Wine apps are/can be much better than that on Leopard. I only have one data point, but I use it _extensively_ and it works super-well. And stably. And actually, maybe even better than on Windows.

        The app? ies4osx [] under Darwine. Specifically, I am running Internet Explorer 6.0 for web-dev testing.

        The ONLY complaint I have is that it's under the "X" program, instead of it's own program, so I can't cmd-tab to it effectively. Web I'm doing web-dev, I also run Xemacs, so I have to ctrl-tab to get to IE, then cmd-tab to get to Safari and Firefox.

        And it's such a small complaint that I haven't even googled for a solution yet.

    • It's a hack! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by feranick ( 858651 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:18PM (#25016125)
      Although predictable (they did the same with Picasa...), it's just really a hack. I mean, as good as Wine is, it will never compete with a browser which is designed to run natively on a platform. I am curious to see benchmarks on JavaScript performance and stability, for example. If Chrome wants to be a real competitor in the browser war for Macs and Linux, it can only be it with real, officially supported versions. Otherwise it's just a pointless showcase.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by XanC ( 644172 )

        as good as Wine is, it will never compete with a browser which is designed to run natively on a platform

        I don't know that that's true. WINE is not an emulator, it's an implementation of the Windows API. It's certainly possible for it to be a better-performing implementation.

        If you were talking about virtualization, or even pseudo-virtualization like VMWare, where I/O is the serious bottleneck, then you'd be right.

        I'd definitely like to see the benchmarks you suggest.

        • by cmacb ( 547347 )

          It may not be an emulator, but this thing runs as slow as hell on my Debian system. I'm not sure an emulated version of Windows wouldn't be better... but I don't run such things.

          I have seen a few things that probably run faster on WINE than they would on native Windows. This just happens to not be one of them. Picasa is so-so. Not great, but usable. This (Chrome) for me isn't usable as a regular browser, beyond just seeing what it looks like.

          I'm glad they did this, because otherwise I'd have to convinc

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by blumpy ( 84889 )

        it's just really a hack. I mean, as good as Wine is, it will never compete with a browser which is designed to run natively on a platform.

        WINE is an implementation of the Windows API. This implementation is native, so you can say that applications are in fact running natively.

        Copy and pasted from Wine faq:

        4.3. Is Wine slower than just using Windows?

        Actually, Wine is sometimes faster. The speed of an application depends on a lot of factors: the available hardware and their drivers, the quality of the code in the APIs the application uses, and the quality of the code in the underlying operating system.

        Driver code matters a lot. If you

    • Since I can't code my way out of a wet paper sack I would pay to have some changes made to Google's browser.

      1. Use OS widgets/themes/colors. Apps should ALWAYS follow the OS UI!
      2. Have a title bar that acts like a title bar.(goes with above)
      3. Status bar. I want to see every URL before I click on it.
      4. More options for javascript (like turn off 3rd party scripts)
      5. Ability to turn off plugins and crap. (I hate flash!)
      6. Remove Google crap (google updater, etc)
      7. Add the ability to start chrome with last ses

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Is there anything that you would want to use chrome for? I think firefox ( or iceweasel if you are so inclined) does, or has plugins that do everything you listed. So someone who wants those features could pay some company to modify Chrome, or they could just download a working version for free. Anyone want to take any guesses as to which is more likely to happen?
  • Yeah! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15, 2008 @03:41PM (#25015595)

    Giving Google all your data is not just for Windows users anymore!

  • TANSFAAFB! (Score:3, Funny)

    by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @03:42PM (#25015615) Homepage Journal

    There ain't no such thing as a free beer!

  • ...if Codeweavers stuff was licensed for google to put Chrome out for Linux/Mac before the native versions are done, considering he Linux versions of Google Earth and Picasa are actually just the windows versions wrapped in with compatability code (either from wine or Codeweavers).
    • by dkegel ( 904729 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @03:49PM (#25015725) Homepage
      Dangit, I wish people would stop spreading the false meme that Google Earth has anything to do with Wine! It's native!
      • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @03:54PM (#25015793)

        What I'd like to know is why .kml/.kmz files created by Google Earth are incompatible with Google Maps.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          They aren't, it's just that Maps supports a smaller set of features than Earth does (because DHTML is less powerful than OpenGL for rendering).

      • by ( 45841 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:21PM (#25016173) Homepage
        It may be native, but it still looks like wine. I can't understand why, since it's compiled against QT, that it can't pick up my widget styles.

        At least then it'd feel native.

        • Because QT widgets aren't the exact same shape/size as windows widgets so using them would result in things probably not looking right or fitting in the space provided.

        • by bcmm ( 768152 )
          Google Earth uses it's own compiled-in Qt, rather than the system's one.

          This is ostensibly because they have no idea how Linux works and think that this makes it easier to install, but is more likely because they couldn't be bothered with making sure it looks OK when the sizes of the widgets change like everyone else does.
      • I stand corrected insofar as Google Earth is concerned. I still wouldn't be surprised if they reached an agreement with Codeweavers and distributed Chrome for Linux/Mac using either what Codeweavers has now, or a future version of it.
      • by pato101 ( 851725 )
        Hmm, latest google-earth seems wineish to me (4.3.7204.0836 (beta)).
        The first one was wine.
        Then I tried for long a Qt one.
        This one looks like it is wine again! but your comment has made me check the things, and seems you're right after all:
        ldd googleearth-bin => (0xffffe000) => /usr/lib32/ (0xf7f61000) => /usr/lib32/ (0xf7e6e000) => /usr/lib32/ (0xf7cf9000) => /usr/li
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by XHIIHIIHX ( 918333 ) *

        Yeah, it's kind of like Word 6.0 for dos, which actually had all of windows 3.1 embedded in it.

    • by Ilgaz ( 86384 )

      No, they are Trolltech Qt Applications and they run using native OS X functionality.

      If people keep partying over non native Applications having same security risks and horrible programming model running on their OS, what you say will become reality.

      OS X is under way bigger threat than Linux because of the market, community profile and the CPU. PowerPC was stopping the Windows junk making their way to OS X, not anymore.

  • Native port? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by carrett ( 671802 ) <gmclean@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Monday September 15, 2008 @03:46PM (#25015667) Homepage Journal
    Good job getting it to work with wine, and verily I say that wine has come a *long* way since I started using it six years ago, but we all know what we'd really like to see: a native port of the application.
    • by dkegel ( 904729 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @03:52PM (#25015763) Homepage
      If anyone has some free cycles, please come help get the Linux port going. There's lots to do. See []
    • by Ilgaz ( 86384 )

      Chicken and egg thing, even hurting OS X users who has more support from commercial companies.

      If WINE and their commercial stuff like Cider has reached a point which allows an advanced windows application to be packed and ready to run in 6 days, companies won't spend too much time coding "real" stuff. They will keep shipping exe files masked as .bin or .app .

      Believe or not, Apple gaming became worse after Intel CPU and Cider introduced. It is a matter of time and politics to get Internet Explorer to OS X la

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've been playing with it (and am using it to post this response). On the plus side: it actually runs gmail and youtube usably. On the minus side: it has a number of cosmetic and speed issues. It will be interesting to see how long it takes the Wine community to fix the remaining bugs. Disclaimer: I'm a Wine developer, so I'm biased.
  • to have done that in 11 days.
  • by Rie Beam ( 632299 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @03:52PM (#25015755) Journal

    'In just 11 days, we were able to bring a modern Windows application across to Mac and Linux.'

    How long would it take to send it back?

  • by TheModelEskimo ( 968202 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @03:54PM (#25015797)
    Hello, non-Windows world! We greet you with our awkwardly modified code that NONETHELESS runs on your systems!

    BTW, we don't care about your hippy licensing schemes yet. Try back in 10 years.
  • First impressions (Score:5, Informative)

    by wigaloo ( 897600 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @03:57PM (#25015841)
    I just downloaded the Mac OS X version from the link in TFA, and am using it to submit this post. It works, although the response seems a little slow, particularly with scrolling and window resizing. The amazing thing is that I never would have known this was done under Wine -- there was nothing else to install beyond the browser package itself. Very impressive.
    • by rho ( 6063 )

      It's pretty easy to tell it's something other than a native Mac application. It has that raw look of an X app, which is appropriate I guess.

      It's interesting. I'm happy they did it as a proof of concept. Good for them. I'd rather drink paint than use it, though.

    • by stevied ( 169 )

      The size of the package might be a clue. I hope the original isn't 34Mb ..

    • by k1e0x ( 1040314 )

      Linux version on Ubuntu is rather ugly.

      It works alright and I'm posting with it but its missing the correct font encoding.

  • 11 days? (Score:2, Informative)

    It may have taken 11 days for code weavers to package it (that really isn't supposed to be flaming code weavers, i have nothing against them.) but it didn't take near that long to have a working Chrome in wine. It was drastically less than 48 hours after release in actuality. I was one of the early ones working towards a solution with bug reports, and i remember waking up to an AppDB report of a functional browser albeit with a few tweaks, but working nonetheless. Just saying, Thanks to the awesome commun
    • Oh, yes, it did! (Score:2, Informative)

      by dkegel ( 904729 )
      Codeweavers was behind a lot of the patches that got it to the point you describe. And, importantly, they went further and managed to get gmail working. If they hadn't insisted on getting that working, they could have packaged it in two days. You might not have noticed their contributions because most of the improvements went straight into the public winehq tree.

      That said, the wine community in general did contribute a lot to this, too.

  • Linux: no video!

  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:09PM (#25015999) Homepage Journal

    I wish CodeWeavers would go and get Google SketchUp, their "easy 3D drawing" program, to work on Wine for Linux. Because that's the only way to make models to export into Google Earth (Earth does have a Linux version, SketchUp does not).

    There's all kinds of crashing problems with SketchUp on Wine in simple things like opening/saving/exporting files, corrupted cursors and icons, which a team like CodeWeavers could probably straighten out pretty quick. Since Google hasn't shown any progress towards releasing a Linux version of SketchUp, someone else has to do the work.

  • by ( 45841 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:15PM (#25016085) Homepage
    My God...

    ... It's full of ads!

  • by jeremy_white ( 598942 ) * on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:21PM (#25016167) Homepage
    In case anyone is interested, the important parts of this work are available in a Free form, one way or the other. We're using a build of Wine equivalent to WineHQ of about mid week last week, along with a few patches that haven't been committed yet. I've sent along a few more details to the Wine devel mailing list [].
  • Of course this is all a useless exercise for the purposes for which Chrome would really be useful: running google apps. Without SSL support working in Wine, I can't even log in. Until SSL works, chrome under wine is a mere curiosity, and a wine technology demo as Codeweavers says.

  • It's slow, slow to redraw, the fonts run off the buttons, etc. Try using gmail, or using Slashdot's javascript commenting system, and you'll hate yourself. I'm glad I saw coworkers running it, and I've run it in virtualization -- otherwise I'd think Google Chrome sucks. I'm glad to see that CodeWeavers made some strides with it -- when I tried, I finally got it to run, but it wouldn't load any sites -- but it really is just a proof of concept. I hope that the native port picks up some steam.
  • Now I, a poor Linux user, can give Google [] my confidential business data, bank account details, medical information, personal preferences in pornography and DNA code! And it'll all be entirely confidential between me and their marketing department!

    But they're still not evil. If they were evil, I'd have to search using Windows Live.

  • by Ian Alexander ( 997430 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:44PM (#25016521)
    At least on the URL bar. I just downloaded and tried out their Linux port and the font in the URL bar looks like ass.

    Case in point: []

    Ah well. I guess it'll give me something to play with until Google puts out an official Linux build.
  • No good in Linux.

  • In just 1 day I had an Adventure: Colossal Caves port for Win16 running on Wine, by telling Wine to run it. Wine has come far when you don't need to make a whole dev team spend a week and a half fucking with it to make a single app work.
  • Free beer still tastes the same.

He's like a function -- he returns a value, in the form of his opinion. It's up to you to cast it into a void or not. -- Phil Lapsley