How to install Google Chrome 28+ on CentOS 6
folks apparently think that the world's
most popular commercial Linux (Red Hat Enterprise Linux aka
and its free equivalents
(e.g. CentOS and
are no longer worth supporting at all w.r.t. their
Google Chrome browser.
Yes, they've dropped support for version 6.X of the above RHEL-based platforms
from Google Chrome 28 onwards,
despite the OSes being the latest release and fully
by their respective maintainers until November 2020! It's equally bad that the
Mozilla Firefox and
Opera browsers run happily on the
platforms, providing short shrift for any excuses the Google folks have come up
with to justify their somewhat blinkered support stance.
from regularly pulled source code in the past for
and it's a tough job
on that platform and I didn't want to do it again for
Luckily, there is a solution to this and it's not rocket science or
that original either. You need to grab libraries from a more recent Linux distro, put
them in a tree (/opt/google/chrome/lib) exclusively picked up by Google Chrome
and then you can indeed run Google Chrome on CentOS 6.4 or later.
I've picked Fedora 15
to extract the libraries from because they're
close to CentOS 6's libraries and the newest ones to actually work
with the latest Google Chrome release on CentOS 6. Before you ask,
I've tried the Fedora 16 libraries and the Google Chrome binary crashes using those.
Without further ado, I present to you...
4.50 (11th December 2013 - save/unset/restore LD_PRELOAD env var, re-download if a previous
RPM download has the wrong cksum/size)
It's a bash shell script, so you run it as root as follows:
chmod u+x install_chrome.sh
The script has optional command line arguments - here's the output of "./install_chrome.sh -h":
Syntax: ./install_chrome.sh [-b] [-d] [-h] [-n] [-q] [-s] [-t tmpdir] [-u] [-U]
-b (or --beta) will switch to beta versions (google-chrome-beta).
-d (or --delete) will delete the temporary directory used for downloads
if an installation was successful.
-h (or -? or --help) will display this syntax message.
-n (or --dryrun) will show what actions the script will take,
but it won't actually perform those actions.
-q (or --quiet) will switch to "quiet mode" where minimal info is displayed.
Specify -q twice to go completely silent except for errors.
-s (or --stable) will switch to stable versions (google-chrome-stable),
which is the default if -b or -U haven't previously been specified.
-t tmpdir (or --tmpdir tmpdir) will use tmpdir as the temporary directory
parent tree rather than $TMPDIR (if set) or /tmp.
-u performs an uninstallation of Google Chrome and chrome-deps rather the
default action of an installation.
-U (or --unstable) will switch to unstable versions (google-chrome-unstable).
I would recommend you read the comments at the top of the script and inspect the
code carefully since you need to run it as root. It will perform a fair
number of downloads to obtain what it needs and if it finishes successfully,
you should be able to run the "google-chrome" command (or select it from
the Internet category in your GNOME main menu) as a non-root user.
- Version 4.50 (11th December 2013):
If Google Chrome execs a helper app and that app then execs another sub-process,
then LD_PRELOAD would mess up that second sub-process. This has been fixed
by saving, unsetting and restoring LD_PRELOAD around the point where the
helper app is exec'ed (an example would be file-roller viewing .tar.gz downloads).
Previously downloaded F15 RPMs are now checksummed and size-checked on subsequent
script runs. If they don't match, they are deleted and re-downloaded.
This is a special non-raw-orphan-kitten-eating release just for a certain
CentOS mailing list member :-)
- Version 4.41 (9th December 2013):
A user reported that glibc-devel wasn't present (causing the gcc compilation
to fail), so I've added this in as a dependency. Removed the SELinux warning
at the end of the script because enforcing mode seems to not upset nacl_helper
in recent Google Chrome releases. Fedora 15 RPMs have moved to the archive
site, so adjusted the code to only download from the archive site. Primary
testing is now with CentOS 6.5 and Scientific Linux 6.4.
- Version 4.40 (5th October 2013):
The same user who reported the 4.30 issue found another missing symbol,
this time in the Fedora 15 libgtk-x11-2.0 library. The symbol is defined in the
Fedora 15 libgdk_pixbuf-2.0 library, so that is now extracted from the
additionally downloaded Fedora 15 gdk-pixbuf2 RPM. The chrome-deps RPM is
therefore now at version 1.03.
- Version 4.30 (4th October 2013):
A user reported a missing symbol that was tracked down to the Fedora 15
libgio-2.0 library. That library and its libgobject-2.0 dependency are now
additionally extracted and included in the chrome-deps RPM (which was bumped
to version 1.02).
- Version 4.20 (22nd August 2013):
If possible, use "yum check-update google-chrome-stable" ahead of the OmahaProxy CSV
site to look for updates. Any newer version can be installed rather than insisting
on the exact OmahaProxy version (after a full day being out-of-date after the
Google Chrome 29 launch, we can't trust it not to happen on each new release).
Used some extra params to the OmahaProxy request to narrow the data down more
precisely. Google Chrome 29 doesn't wrongly output dbus messages like version 28
did, so the terminal warning was removed.
- Version 4.10 (8th August 2013):
Fixed Google Talk (Hangouts) plugin crash by unsetting LD_LIBRARY_PATH when
it's run (yes, for some reason, the plugin is built with an older toolchain
than Google Chrome itself). Some users are reporting i686 is used in their
RPM build path instead of i386 - I couldn't reproduce this, but I've added
code to work around this anyway. modify_wrapper no longer outputs anything
to stdout if it successfully updates /opt/google/chrome/google-chrome.
- Version 4.01 (30th July 2013):
Emergency 2-char bug fix because I found a 4th build environment that triggered
an rpmbuild bug (parses % directives on a commented line in a spec file).
Removed the two percent chars on a comment line and it works again. No idea
why my normal three build environments didn't show this problem (one of them
is literally a VM image of a clean desktop right after an CentOS 6 install).
- Version 4.00 (30th July 2013):
New chrome-deps RPM is built that includes 7 Fedora libraries (libdl.so.2 added
for this release), unset_vars.so (updated slightly) and a modify_wrapper script
that is run post-install to add code to /etc/default/google-chrome to modify
google-chrome if its LD_PRELOAD addition isn't present. modify_wrapper will
also enable the Google Chrome repo. Download/installation of
google-chrome-stable/chrome-deps dependencies is now prompted for.
Don't remove /etc/cron.daily/google-chrome or /etc/yum.conf.d/google-chrome.repo
any more. Added -t (temp dir parent location) option and also -s (stable),
-b (beta) and -U (unstable) options to switch release channels.
- Version 3.20 (27th July 2013):
Compile and install LD_PRELOAD functions that wrap around exec*() routines,
bringing in gcc as a new dependency. The functions save/blank LD_LIBRARY_PATH,
call the original routines and, if they return, restore LD_LIBRARY_PATH.
This is an initial effort to stop helper apps/plugins from crashing when
run from within Google Chrome.
- Version 3.11 (25th July 2013):
If SELinux is enabled, set appropriate SELinux contexts on Fedora libraries
in /opt/google/chrome/lib and that directory itself. If SELinux is enabled
and in enforcing mode, display a warning that permissive mode (with a reboot)
is required to get nacl_helper to run correctly.
- Version 3.10 (24th July 2013):
Use .so.0 extension (instead of .so.3 in earlier releases) for renamed Fedora
ld-linux library. Also changed references to ld-linux*.so.0 in ld-linux, libc
and libstdc++ Fedora libraries. Thanks to Marcus Sundberg for this suggestion.
Dependency list for Google Chrome RPM is now redhat-lsb, wget, xdg-utils
GConf2, libXScrnSaver and libX11 (1.5+). Hangs/errors occurred
with a CentOS 6.0 VM I ran Google Chrome under, but 6.4 is fine, so that's now
the mimimum OS version requirement (script offers to upgrade 6.0-6.3 to the
latest release - if declined, the script aborts).
- Version 3.00 (21st July 2013):
Added command line options at long last. -d will remove /tmp/chrome_install at the end of
the script. -h shows syntax help. -n displays a dry run of what it would do without
actually doing anything. -q reduces the output messages to the minimum needed and -q -q
silences the output completely apart from fatal errors. -u uninstalls the Fedora libraries
and the Google Chrome RPM. Abort script if it detects Google Chrome is running.
Display disk/file usage (only if files are present) for /opt/google/chrome and
/tmp/chrome_install at the start and end of the script. If it's defined, use $TMPDIR
instead of /tmp. Install Fedora libraries before the Google Chrome RPM (was the other
way around). Don't download Fedora RPMs and/or unpack them if the Fedora libraries are
already installed in /opt/google/chrome/lib - this speeds up second and later runs
(e.g. for Google Chrome upgrades) significantly.
- Version 2.10 (20th July 2013):
Can detect if Fedora 15 RPMs have been moved to the archive site and will
download from there instead if they have. Fixed incorrect check for lsb
dependency. Remove a cron file and repo file installed by the Google Chrome RPM.
Simplistic check that OS is an RHEL 6 derivative. Early exits now run clean
up routine. Downloads all go through one function that will restore any
pre-existing file if the download fails.
- Version 2.00 (14th July 2013):
32-bit support added thanks to prodding from Seva Epsteyn. Version check
both installed and downloaded Google Chrome against the OmahaProxy CSV list
and only download/install if out-of-date. Use updated Fedora 15 RPMs rather
than the original ISO versions. Warn if an enabled Google Chrome repo is
present. General code tidy ups and more/readable messages are output now too.
- Version 1.10 (13th July 2013):
Added auto-update check because the number of versions today is getting
somewhat crazy. Also fixed an incorrect skip of force-installing a downloaded
Chrome RPM (if any previous Chrome RPM had been installed, it would have
never installed a new one!).
- Version 1.02 (13th July 2013):
Added --no-check-certificate to wget command (my testing didn't need it, but
someone reported that their wget did need it). Also yum install wget if it's
not on the system.
- Version 1.01 (13th July 2013):
Fixed the bad variable that plagued version 1.00.
- Version 1.00 (13th July 2013):
Downloads latest Chrome and some Fedora 15 RPMs, installs lsb and
some extracted libraries from the F15 RPMs. Had a last-minute bad variable
added that broke the Chrome download completely. :-(
The TODO list
- The first-time install and run of Google Chrome on a non-KDE system produces
some xdg-mime errors. This is a bug in the xdg-utils package that I've
to Red Hat, so you'll have to wait for them to fix it.
- The pre-download RPM checksum/size validation should (very obviously) be
performed after the download as well, possibly with a number of download
retries too. This enhancement will be in the next script release.
The compatibility note
Please note that CentOS 6
references on this page should hopefully equally cover all RHEL 6
derivatives. Note that I only
use CentOS 6 myself so can't guarantee the compatibility with those other
derivatives, but I do actually perform brief testing on a Scientific Linux 6
VM as well. Oh and someone's bound to ask - no, the script won't work with
CentOS 5 or earlier.
Note that the RHEL 7 beta
that will eventually be the basis for CentOS 7 can run the latest Google Chrome out of the box
without requiring my script to be run first. I will still maintain this script after CentOS 7
comes out, both for existing CentOS 6 users and also as a standby in case Google break their
browser at some point on CentOS 7.
Any bugs, fixes, improvements or suggestions should be fed back to me,
Richard K. Lloyd, at email@example.com
but please note there is no warranty on this product whatsoever and the script
itself is in the public domain.
Bemusingly, one ultimate feedback was a tutorial
someone uploaded to YouTube!
The defence (no, it doesn't eat raw orphaned kittens)
Apparently one of the guys on the CentOS
really doesn't like my script, claiming that it "consumes raw orphaned kittens"
and "should be classified as a criminal offense". Here's my response:
- Yes, Fedora 15 RPMs are indeed no longer updated, but none of the later
Fedora releases have binary RPMs that work. There may be an alternative -
download equivalent source RPMs from the latest Fedora and attempt to build
the libraries from source. This is potentially a huge undertaking (tracking
RPM updates, jumps of major Fedora versions and a much larger - and possibly
fluctuating - dependency chain all give me nightmares!) and has no guarantee
of success. Building that much source code could also massively
lengthen the script running time and, no, I wouldn't
host the built libraries here (bandwidth and trust issues...).
- It's not clear to me at all why the LD_PRELOAD code I've written is "abuse".
It's needed so that anything exec()'ed by Google Chrome (e.g. helper apps)
doesn't use the Fedora 15 libraries that are intended strictly just to start up
Google Chrome (via LD_LIBRARY_PATH).
- To produce a single script that does everything (including root-only RPM
installs) obviously requires root access. Yes, in theory, you could skip
root-requiring actions if you're not root, but these are so intermingled in
the code flow (e.g. you need to install some prequisite RPMs and even upgrade
your OS if it's pre-6.4 before you even get to build the chrome-deps RPM),
that it would be extremely clumsy to try to split root vs. non-root actions.
- The script doesn't consume raw orphaned kittens - more like raw oprhaned
Google build systems!
The footnote: Google Music Manager rant
I just decided to see if I could upload some of my music collection to
Google Play Music.
And, no, I'm not paying £7.99 a month when I have a very large CD
collection, a fair amount of which I've ripped to MP3s already.
Firstly, you can't upload MP3s from any phone or tablet, even one
running Google's own Android OS or indeed a Chromebook running Chrome OS!
Considering a large number of Google Play
Music users will be playing back their music via an Android or Chrome OS device, it beggars
belief that there isn't a way to upload that very same music from the device
they'll listen to it on. Yes, I know Apple do the same obnoxious thing
with their dreadful iTunes software (the Windows version of that is one of
the most appalling pieces of software I've seen in years), but it still isn't
an excuse for Google to follow the same dismal path Apple has trodden all these
Eventually, I discovered that there's a
Google Music Manager
you can download for Linux and there's even debs/RPMs in the same manner as
Google Chrome has. Getting excited, I duly downloaded the Fedora 64-bit RPM,
but it has an even newer toolchain used to compile it than Google Chrome does!
And, no, you can't use a Fedora 19 VM to run
the Google Music Manager either because Google
won't let you, which is frankly ridiculous.
The solution I eventually found was on this German
blog - Google still has some older RPMs you can download and run on CentOS 6. The
for version 126.96.36.19925 seem to work OK on CentOS 6.4. They have lsb and qtwebkit dependencies and there's some log4cxx
message output on the console that you can ignore. The later 188.8.131.5218 and 184.108.40.20615 RPMs both crash
on CentOS 6.4. I would strongly recommend you keep a copy of the working 220.127.116.1125 RPM, because Google may delete
it at any time.