I have been trying to understand if Google's Chrome web browser is truly open source. Some people claim that it is, while others claim that it integrates binary blobs for which the source is completely closed.

What is the truth on this?

1 Answer 1


Google Chrome is not fully open source, but closely based on the open-source Chromium project, which itself is built around the open-source Blink engine. Chromium still includes tight integrations with many Google services though. But Chromium is perfectly usable as a browser.

Other than Google Chrome, a large number of browsers and similar projects are based on the Chromium/Blink open source components, such as Brave, Vivaldi, Edge, and Electron.

  • Thanks. So are both Chromium and Blink 100% open source? Jul 2, 2020 at 17:09
  • 2
    @RockPaperLizard yes, Blink is a part of Chromium, and Chromium uses a wild mixture of (compatible) open source licenses for its various parts. Chromium is also packaged by the Debian project, which runs automated license checks and is very thorough about licensing status. Debian members also detected when some Chromium versions did download blobs with unclear licensing status.
    – amon
    Jul 2, 2020 at 17:19
  • Thanks amon. Does Chromium still download blobs, or is all the executable code now furnished with the distributed build? Jul 3, 2020 at 1:36
  • 1
    @RockPaperLizard That was a one-time incident, and Chromium is now free of blobs. I mentioned the incident to illustrate that the Chromium–Chrome split isn't always perfect, but that the Debian project is really really good at tracking license compliance.
    – amon
    Jul 3, 2020 at 9:54
  • Thank you! I appreciate your help. Jul 3, 2020 at 10:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.