Modifications to Google Chromium for removing Google integration and enhancing privacy, control, and transparency
Eloston docs: Clarify Debian source package building
To clarify confusion such as #521
Latest commit b80a0ec Sep 25, 2018

README.md

ungoogled-chromium

Bringing back the "Don't" in "Don't be evil"

ungoogled-chromium is Google Chromium, sans integration with Google. It also features some changes to enhance privacy, control, and transparency.

Motivation and Description

A number of features or background services communicate with Google servers despite the absence of an associated Google account or compiled-in Google API keys. Furthermore, the normal build process for Chromium involves running Google's own high-level commands that invoke many scripts and utilities, some of which download and use pre-built binaries provided by Google. Even the final build output includes some pre-built binaries. Fortunately, the source code is available for everything.

ungoogled-chromium is a set of configuration flags, patches, and custom scripts. These components altogether strive to accomplish the following:

  • Disable or remove offending services and features that communicate with Google or weaken privacy
  • Strip binaries from the source tree, and use those provided by the system or build them from source
  • Disable features that inhibit control and transparency, and add or modify features that promote them (these changes are minor and do not have significant impacts on the general user experience)

ungoogled-chromium should not be considered a fork of Chromium. The main reason for this is that a fork is associated with more significant deviations from the Chromium, such as branding, configuration formats, file locations, and other interface changes. ungoogled-chromium will not modify the Chromium browser outside of the project's goals.

Since these goals and requirements are not precise, unclear situations are discussed and decided on a case-by-case basis.

ungoogled-chromium is looking for contributors. See the Contributing, Reporting, Contacting section for more information.

Table of Contents

Features

A number of ungoogled-chromium's changes are subtle and evolve over time. As a result, it is best to consult the source code for complete and up-to-date information.

ungoogled-chromium selectively borrows many of its features from the following (in no particular order):

Most of the additional features are as follows:

  • Replace many web domains in the source code with non-existent alternatives ending in qjz9zk (known as domain substitution; see docs/design.md)
  • Strip binaries from the source code (known as binary pruning; see docs/design.md)
  • Disable functionality specific to Google domains (e.g. Google Host Detector, Google URL Tracker, Google Cloud Messaging, Google Hotwording, etc.)
  • Add Omnibox search provider "No Search" to allow disabling of searching
  • Disable automatic formatting of URLs in Omnibox (e.g. stripping http://, hiding certain parameters)
  • Added menu item under "More tools" to clear the HTTP authentication cache on-demand
  • Add new command-line switches and chrome://flags entries:
    • --disable-beforeunload - (Not in chrome://flags) Disables JavaScript dialog boxes triggered by beforeunload
    • --disable-search-engine-collection - Disable automatic search engine scraping from webpages.
    • --enable-stacked-tab-strip and --enable-tab-adjust-layout - These flags adjust the tab strip behavior. --enable-stacked-tab-strip is also configurable in chrome://flags Please note that they are not well tested, so proceed with caution.
    • --extension-mime-request-handling - Change how extension MIME types (CRX and user scripts) are handled. Acceptable values are download-as-regular-file or install-always. Leave unset to use normal behavior. It is also configurable under chrome://flags
    • --fingerprinting-canvas-measuretext-noise (Added flag to Bromite feature) - Scale the output values of Canvas::measureText() with a randomly selected factor in the range -0.0003% to 0.0003%, which are recomputed on every document initialization.
    • --fingerprinting-client-rects-noise (Added flag to Bromite feature) - Implements fingerprinting deception of JS APIs getClientRects() and getBoundingClientRect() by scaling their output values with a random factor in the range -0.0003% to 0.0003%, which are recomputed for every document instantiation.
    • --fingerprinting-canvas-image-data-noise (Added flag to Bromite feature) - Implements fingerprinting deception for Canvas image data retrieved via JS APIs. In the data, at most 10 pixels are slightly modified.
    • --max-connections-per-host (from Bromite) - Configure the maximum allowed connections per host.
    • --set-ipv6-probe-false - (Not in chrome://flags) Forces the result of the browser's IPv6 probing (i.e. IPv6 connectivity test) to be unsuccessful. This causes IPv4 addresses to be prioritized over IPv6 addresses. Without this flag, the probing result is set to be successful, which causes IPv6 to be used over IPv4 when possible.
  • Force all pop-ups into tabs
  • Disable Safe Browsing
  • Disable intranet redirect detector (extraneous DNS requests)
    • This breaks captive portal detection, but captive portals still work.
  • Add more URL schemes allowed for saving
  • (Iridium Browser feature change) Prevent URLs with the trk: scheme from connecting to the Internet
    • Also prevents any URLs with the top-level domain qjz9zk (as used in domain substitution) from attempting a connection.
  • (Iridium and Inox feature change) Prevent pinging of IPv6 address when detecting the availability of IPv6. See the --set-ipv6-probe-false flag above to adjust the behavior instead.
  • Support for building Linux packages for multiple distributions (work in progress)
  • Windows support
    • Does not set the Zone Identifier on downloaded files

NOTE: Although it is the top priority to eliminate bugs and privacy-invading code, there will be those that slip by due to the fast-paced growth and evolution of the Chromium project.

Supported platforms and distributions

Currently, only desktop platforms are supported. Functionality of specific desktop platforms may vary across different releases. For more details, see Statuses in the Wiki.

Other platforms are discussed and tracked in GitHub's Issue Tracker. Learn more about using the Issue Tracker under the section Contributing, Reporting, Contacting.

Download pre-built packages

Contributor binaries

IMPORTANT: These binaries are provided by anyone who are willing to build and submit them. Because these binaries are not necessarily reproducible, authenticity cannot be guaranteed.

Visit the contributor binaries website for download links

Website source code and contribution instructions

The release versioning scheme follows that of the tags. Please see Getting the source code section for more details.

Alternative installation methods

Arch Linux: Available in AUR as ungoogled-chromium

macOS cask: Available as eloston-chromium

Getting the source code

Users are encouraged to use one of the tags. The latest tag may not be the applicable for all platforms. To determine the tag to use, please see the Status page in the Wiki.

Tags are versioned in the following format: {chromium_version}-{release_revision} where

  • chromium_version is the version of Chromium used in x.x.x.x format, and
  • release_revision is a number indicating the version of ungoogled-chromium for the corresponding Chromium version.

Not all tags are stable for all platforms. See the Statuses in the Wiki to determine the tag to use.

FAQ

See the frequently-asked questions (FAQ) on the Wiki

Design and implementation

See docs/design.md

Building

See docs/building.md

Contributing, Reporting, Contacting

Please submit feedback (i.e. problems, suggestions, and questions) to the Issue Tracker. The Issue Tracker is the main hub for development activity.

There are chat room options available via Gitter and Matrix.org (name ungoogled-software/lobby, which has bidirectional connection with Gitter). They are optional; it is only provided for those who prefer this format.

Subsections of this section:

How to help

Anyone is free to help others in need of support in the Issue Tracker.

Issues marked with the help wanted tag are changes that needs discussion or assistance.

  • If it requires new code, please read through the Submitting changes section below.
  • If you want to work on an issue, please state your intent to do so first to let others know.

If there are fixes, tweaks, or additions you want to make, continue onto the following section.

Submitting changes

Please submit all changes via Pull Requests.

Guidelines:

  • You are welcome to submit minor changes, such as bug fixes, documentation fixes, and tweaks.
  • If you want to submit a new feature, please read through the Criteria for new features below.
  • When in doubt about the acceptance of a change, you are welcome to ask via an issue first.

Criteria for new features

  1. New features should not detract from the default Chromium experience, unless it falls under the project's main objectives (i.e. removing Google integration and enhancing privacy).

    • For larger features, please propose them via an issue first.
  2. New features should live behind a setting that is off by default.

    • Settings are usually added via a command-line flag and chrome://flags entries. See the relevant section in docs/developing.md for more information.
    • Unless there are significant benefits, adding the setting to chrome://settings is not recommended due to the additional maintenance required (caused by the infrastructure that backs preferences).

NOTE: In the event that the codebase changes significantly for a non-essential patch (i.e. a patch that does not contribute to the main objectives of ungoogled-chromium), it will be removed until someone updates it.

Credits

License

BSD-3-clause. See LICENSE