Replacing Firefox with Google Chrome

Jim Campbell jwcampbell at
Wed Jan 13 16:57:06 UTC 2010

Hi All,

I wanted to suggest to the team that we switch from using Firefox to Google
Chrome as the default web browser for the Lucid release.

At UDS the Ubuntu Mobile team lead announced that they would be switching to
Google Chrome as the primary browser for the Lucid release for the Ubuntu
Netbook edition.  Most all developers at UDS were using Chrome, and in
informal tests Cody and I found it to use much less writeable memory than

For example, the other night, I started two new browser sessions - one with
Firefox and one with Google's Chrome Beta (not Chromium), and opened up four

   - Gmail
   - and

All browser extensions were removed (not just disabled).  Without doing any
additional surfing, Firefox was using 55 mb of writeable memory*, while
Chrome was using only 18 mb of writeable memory.  I've been using Chrome as
my default browser since UDS, and notice no performance issues.  It also
offers a wide range of browser extensions, so it would not represent any
major regression in terms of features.  Besides, any user who wanted to
install Firefox could easily do so.

With regards to the packaging, I'm sure we could tie-in with any final
packages that the mobile team wound up using (I'm not sure whether they
intend to use Chrome or Chromium).  Chrome will certainly be receiving
support throughout the LTS life cycle.

I know that Charlie had said that switching browsers for an LTS wouldn't be
a great idea, but given the points I've mentioned above, it seems one worth
considering.  What do you think?


* I checked this using the system resources app.  As Cody noted to me, you
need to make sure you're looking at writeable memory rather than the default
memory usage that gets displayed.
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