Deviations from Chromium (features we disable or remove)

Brian R. Bondy edited this page Dec 7, 2018 · 16 revisions

NOTE: this page is a work in progress! It should by no means be considered a "final" or exhaustive list of things we have removed.



Brave for desktop is built on top of the open-source Chromium project. We add features on top of what is already there and we also remove features or pieces of the code. These deviations we make that touch the core Chromium code are done via patching.

Chromium is not the same as Google Chrome. For some differences, see https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromium/src/+/master/docs/chromium_browser_vs_google_chrome.md.

How it works

If you wanted to do an audit of the code, you would start with the brave-browser repository. Our wiki has instructions about what steps need to be done to perform a build after cloning the source

Chromium source is fetched

The gclient utility (part of depot tools) will fetch the official Chromium source code. The tag that is fetched is captured in our package.json (for example, 70.0.3538.35). All of the source code will be downloaded into the ./src/ folder

Brave code is fetched

As part of the setup process, we also fetch our own code. The brave-core repository has the code that makes the browser Brave. The branch that should be checked out is also contained in that package.json. There is also a DEPS file in brave-core that pulls in sub-dependencies (such as the brave-extension)

Hooks are run

After the gclient sync runs and fetches all the code (including brave-core), the hooks are run. One of the hooks that runs applies the patches (which you can see here) that are contained in brave-core. If you'd like to know more details about HOW the patching works, you can take a peek at our patching wiki page

What Chromium features are removed for privacy/security reasons?

Services & Features We Disable Entirely

Services We Proxy Through Brave Servers

Google does not receive any information about which client is performing these requests (not even your IP address).

Comments

Some of the above (along with other issues) were previously tracked in https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/issues/13.

You may notice some requests to Google domains. Some of these, such as clients*.google.com and update.googleapis.com are needed to check for extension updates if you installed extensions. Our built-in PDF reader (PDF.js) only goes to our own extension server for updates.

How does Brave compare to ungoogled-chromium?

Description of ungoogled-chromium, per their GitHub page:

ungoogled-chromium is Google Chromium, sans integration with Google. It also features some tweaks to enhance privacy, control, and transparency (almost all of which require manual activation or enabling).

We have an issue captured for pulling in relevant patches from the ungoogled-chromium project. The ungoogled-chromium project similarly has an issue captured where they mention pulling in patches from Brave.

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