A quick privacy note on Chromium

Yesterday, I became a bit peeved about the speed of page rendering in Mozilla Firefox as compared to Uzbl. While Uzbl is a fantastic browser, it is not my preferred choice for a daily-use browser (yet). Further, as it is built on WebKit, I figured that that might have something to do with its great speed. Seeing as Chromium is also built upon WebKit, but has a more polished and readily recognisable GUI, I decided to give it a go, and I emerged It is a very snappy browser indeed!

I did notice something about it though; privacy concerns. It seemed to be a pain to browse in a “more secure” style (and by “more secure,” I mean that–no browsing is completely secure for a multitude of reasons). After perusing the settings for a while, I noticed the “Incognito” mode for Chromium. I opened it up, and it seems to be a bit more secure than the regular browsing mode. However, it seemed like quite the burden to have to open up the browser and select that option every time I wanted to browse the web. Looking through the man page yielded no help, but I did find that incognito mode IS an option accepted at the terminal:

/usr/bin/chromium –incognito

or just

chromium –incognito

Using that option, Chromium will start in incognito mode automatically. Now, if you want your shortcuts to start in this mode as well, you will probably need to consult documentation regarding launcher modification in your window manager or desktop environment. If you use Openbox though, here is what you need your menu item to look like:

<item label=”Google Chromium”>
<action name=”execute”><command>/usr/bin/chromium –incognito</command></action>

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns regarding Chromium’s privacy or such, please post them below.

|:| Zach |:|


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  1. The latest build of Chromium pwns all.

    • Zach on Thursday, 11 February 2010 at 15:46
    • Reply

    Thanks for the recommendation. I will look into both of those browsers as well. Chromium does seem a little slim in the amount of options with which it presents the user, which is not a positive thing in my opinion.

    • lu_zero on Thursday, 11 February 2010 at 14:31
    • Reply

    You may want to try midori or arora, they are quicker to load than chromium. I’m surprised that you found uzbl fast, but probably they eventually fixed the issue that made it way slower on my system than the other webkit based browsers and even firefox.

    • Zach on Thursday, 11 February 2010 at 03:27
    • Reply

    Well the RLZ identifier was removed from the Chromium builds, but obviously, any information sent over the internet can be tracked at the site, ISP, or even the network level regardless of browser privacy settings.

    • Sid on Thursday, 11 February 2010 at 02:09
    • Reply

    But, does incognito mean, incognito to Google too ? Of course you don’t save anything you browse, but this has nothing to do with preventing Google from tracking you !

    • Zach on Wednesday, 10 February 2010 at 21:43
    • Reply

    Thanks a lot for those two shortcuts, Benedikt! 🙂

    • Benedikt Böhm on Wednesday, 10 February 2010 at 21:40
    • Reply

    Ctrl-Shift-N will open a new incognito window and there is also a menu item if you click the ‘customize and control chromium icon’ on the right of the toolbar

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