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 Post subject: [One] Getting/Using Chromium
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 9:00 am
Posts: 744
Location: Atlanta Ga
Class: Chromium installation and usage
Difficulty: Piece of cake
Time: Probably about ten minutes to get started, all told
Desirability: If you're using Peppermint One, and want to try or install Chromium, you've come to the right place!

So, the cat's out of the bag. Peppermint ICE will ship with Chromium as the default browser. In preparation for this auspicious event, we have decided to put together a quick guide to installing and using Chromium on Peppermint One. I must give credit to Rich_Roast as he did a fair amount of work on this how.

Installation and First Time Run

Chromium is available from the repositories under the package name 'chromium-browser'; you may use any method (software manager, Synaptic, apt) to download and install it.

If you're installing Chromium yourself, upon running it for the first time, it will pop up a dialogue asking if you wish to import settings from Firefox and set Chromium as your default browser. Chromium might not be able to achieve this last task on LXDE, and instructions are provided below to make up for this.

On first time run, Chromium opens up two tabs, one providing a brief introduction to the browser, the other one at Google.com. If you wish to theme Chromium, now might be a good time to do it by clicking on the link at the bottom of the introduction page. It takes you to a gallery of online themes gallery where you can pick some replacement for the really bright blue default theme. The gallery is pretty self explanatory - click the install button for a theme you like and it does everything else.

An alternative to theming Chromium is simply to tell the browser to use the GTK theme - this makes it synchronise its look to the colours on your desktop. To access this option, click the wrench at the top right of the browser, select Options, then the second tab of the dialogue that pops up. At the bottom there is the option to use the GTK theme.

Image

As the Google page advises, almost all navigation and searching is done in the single, unified address bar. You may enter Google searches, urls and bookmarks into it, and Chromium takes care of the rest. To change the search engine Chromium uses, you may choose or add a new one from the General tab of the options menu.

That's about it for starting with; Chromium is really quite intuitive as a browser and the best way to learn is just to navigate around with it.

Setting Chromium as default browser

This is straightforward.

Menu -> Preferences -> Preferred Applications, and pick Chromium in the web browser part of the dialogue, from the drop down selection box.

Note that a very few applications may not recognize this setting, in which case they may ordinarily be configured explicitly through their own UI to open links in Chromium.

Proxy

If you're using a proxy server to connect to the Internet using Chromium on Peppermint OS, a couple of extra steps are required. The easiest way to enable proxy support on Chromium is to launch it with the appropriate command line option. We'll just skip to altering the .desktop entry for it, so that it will launch this way from the main menu.

Using any method, as root, open /usr/share/applications/Chromium Web Browser.desktop. Now, if you want to have a separate launcher for your proxy enabled Chromium, save it under a different name, e.g. Chromium Web Browser (Proxy).desktop. If taking this path, also edit the line

Code:
Name=Chromium Web Browser


To reflect how you want the name of the entry to appear in your menu.

In any event, scroll down to the Exec line and modify it to this:

Code:
Exec=chromium-browser --proxy-server=host:port %U


Replace host with the address of your proxy's host, and the port number in place of port. You should now be ready to go.

"Chromism"

Like Prism, but wish they were Chromium? Now you can! Visit the page you would like to make into an application, and click the page icon at the top right (the one just to the left of the wrench), and select Create application shortcuts. Chromium will ask you whether you want the launcher in the menu, the desktop or both. That's it.

Chromium doesn't have a custom front end like Prism on Peppermint OS, so you are not given an option to choose the name of your new launcher at creation time. Chromium will name the new application according to the Title element of whatever page you are creating an application from - this can lead to outlandishly long entries in your applications menu. Not to fear; Chromium puts its applications in ~/.local/share/applications/ . Open the .desktop file corresponding to your "Chromism" for editing using any method and change the

Code:
Name=


to your liking.

"Chromisms" work in the same way as Prism apps, with the addition that there is a reasonably well featured right-click context menu with navigation and developer options.

Bookmarking

For regular bookmarks, it is sufficient to click the star to the left of the address bar to bookmark a page. The bookmark manager is located in the wrench menu. Hotkeys: ctrl+d to add a bookmark, ctrl+shift+b to manage bookmarks, ctrl+b to toggle the bookmarks bar.

Incognito browsing

Similar to "private" browsing in Firefox, Chromium supports browsing without saving history and so on, for when you want to buy a present for your wife, for example (ahem). Open an incognito window from the wrench menu, or use the hotkey combination ctrl+shift+N, or simply right clicking on a link and selecting 'open in incognito window'.

Bookmark Sync

An interesting feature for users with more than one computer or device is the ability to automatically synchronize Chromium's bookmarks between them. For this, you will need to sign up for a Google account if you do not currently have one.

Armed with your account, click the wrench and select 'Set up Sync'. Simply enter your Google credentials into the dialogue and Google and Chromium take care of the rest. Naturally, you will need to repeat this procedure with each computer or device you are using Chromium on.

(It works by maintaining a Google Doc with your bookmarks and updating and downloading it as needed. In this way, it is interesting for single-machine users, too, since it backs up your bookmarks in this way, thus alleviating the need to export bookmarks during system upgrades).

Extensions

Google supports extensions, and more than a few have been developed. If Chromium is lacking some functionality that you desire, or you remember a Firefox extension that you liked, then the thing to do is choose the extensions option from the wrench menu. This will navigate you to a page either containing extensions you have installed, or a page offering to take you to the gallery if you haven't (both pages link here).

Installing extensions couldn't be easier, click on the link for the one you want from the gallery and then the blue install button. Chromium will take care of the rest. Unlike Firefox there is no need to restart Chromium as your extensions are ready to use as soon as you install them.

Task manager

One of the things Chromium likes to boast about is that each tab is run as an independent process from the others. This means that if one tab should crash you just lose that tab and not the entire browser, along with that CV you've been working on in Google Docs for the past hour (although Google Docs autosaves, well, you get my point). If an individual tab starts playing badly and you need to kill it, Chromium has its own task manager for this purpose. Access it through the page menu, or by hitting shift+escape. For the interested, there is also a "nerd stats" page accessible through the task manager or at about:memory, which displays a snapshot of individual memory usage by each process running.

Developer Tools

If you're a developer already you probably know about this, but Chromium boasts its own set of developer tools, which work in a similar sort of way to the Firebug extension for Firefox. Access them through the page menu or with the hotkey combination ctrl+shift+i.

Hotkey reference

Hotkeys are not case sensitive, with the "exception" of ctrl + + on the number bar of the keyboard for zoom in (so, laptop users, do ctrl+shift+ =).

Alt+left: Back
Alt+right: Forward
F5 or Ctrl+R: Reload
Ctrl+ +, Ctrl+ -, Ctrl+ mousewheel: Zoom in and out
F11: Full screen browsing
F3 or Ctrl+F: Find on page
Ctrl+T: new tab
Ctrl+tab: move between tabs adding shift will scroll the opposite direction
Ctrl+F4 or Ctrl+W: close a single tab
Ctrl+N: New window
Ctrl+Shift+N: New incognito window (see above)
F6 [i]or
Ctrl+L: Enter url, search or bookmark into url bar.
Ctrl+D: Bookmark present page
Ctrl+B: Toggle bookmark bars
Ctrl+shift+B: Bookmarks manager
Ctrl+H: History
Ctrl+J: Download manager
Shift+Escape: Chromium task manager (see above)
Ctrl+u: View source
Ctrl+i: Developer tools
Ctrl+j: Javascript console
F1: Help
Ctrl+Shift+Q or Alt+F4: Quit

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