Finally, Google released early developer versions of their highly regarded Chrome web browser for Linux and Mac. It means that you can now run Chrome natively on these two platforms but with insufficient features and software instability.

Currently, Google Chrome can be installed on 32 or 64 bit Ubuntu 8.04 or later, or 32 bit Debian 5. Support for other Linux distributions should come soon.

I tested Chrome on Ubuntu 9.04, and I must say that it really is built for speed. Although not noticeably faster than my current version of Firefox (3.0.10), I'm still impressed. Because at this early stage of development, Chrome has shown that it has what it takes to dominate the browser market.

So how unstable and incomplete is this developer version of Chrome? --At first, I didn't really notice its instability since it didn't crash on me. But upon checking my system stats, I found out that it is still (understandably) resource hungry as it is not efficient in utilizing RAM and CPU.

As noted on The Chromiun Blog, here are some of the things that the current version of Chrome for Linux can't do: play Flash videos; change privacy settings; set default search provider; print; Of course, support for Google Chrome extensions is still missing.

For your eyes only, here are some screenshots of Google Chrome on Linux in action and rendering some of my favorite Linux-related sites:

For me, Chrome will remain as an alternative to Firefox until maybe it gets everything polished, and until some useful plugins are available and are well-supported.

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