Installing Chrome on Old Debian Versions (Redirect from Installing Old Chrome Version on Debian).

In recent weeks I’ve been noticing some rather odd behaviour, of the Linux version, of the most up-to-date Chrome browser. In short, every time I launched the browser on my Debian 9 / Stretch computer, that has the Plasma 5.8 Desktop Manager, certain malfunctions would set in, specific to the desktop manager. I waited for several Chrome version upgrades, but the malfunctions persisted. And, as far as I can tell, the problem boils down to the following:

Google will only distribute the latest Chrome version, and when they tag the line which one is supposed to have in one’s Sources.list with ‘stable’, apparently, they mean both the Stable version of Chrome, And, for the Stable version of Debian. According to Google, Debian 10 happens to exist right now, because that is the “stable” version (of Debian), but, Debian 9 and Debian 8 don’t exist anymore. Except for the fact that many people could still have either installed.

 

And so, rather than to go the insecure route, and to install some outdated, non-official version of Chrome, I’d say that the best thing to do was to install “Chromium” instead, from the Debian repositories, which has always been the debranded version of Chrome, but, the version that is most compatible.

On my Debian 9 box, that would be the (corresponding) version ‘73.0.3683.75-1~deb9u1‘, as of the time of this posting. It’s a retro version, but not so deeply retro, that I’d fear for the security of my data. While I was at it, I installed ‘chromium-l10n‘ and ‘chromium-widevine‘, the last of which I happen to have the luxury, of being allowed to install, because that last package actually allows the browser to play certain DRM-ed content.

Now, I also have Debian 8 computers (which were called ‘Debian Jessie’), and am inferring that what was too recent for Debian 9, was also too recent for Debian 8. I’m inferring this, even though the same, recent Chrome versions showed no obvious signs of malfunctioning, under Debian 8. So, I kiboshed that as well. However, I think that the Chromium version that was up-to-date with Debian 8, was version 57 (+ something). That just struck me as too early a version to revert Chrome back to, and so what I did on that computer instead was, to install ‘Vivaldi 3.6‘ .

What this does is, to put me back into the situation, in which each of my main Linux computers has two mainstream Web-browsers installed, because I feel more secure with two of those.

Dirk

 

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