Workaround to run chromium 92 installed via snap

I’ve been doing some browser tests and benchmarks again today, and noticed that chromium 92 from snap (edge channel) is faster than Debian’s chromium 90, partly because it ships the ANGLE renderer and Debian’s chromium can only use Desktop GL.

You can install snap via apt install snap and then install snap packages like chromium using a command like snap install --edge chromium. Packages will end up in /snap.

Unfortunately, when running chromium directly from the snap container, i.e. snap run chromium, it fails to use GPU acceleration, because the mesa in the snap is too old (it doesn’t recognize imx-dcss).

I discovered that you can still run the chromium installed via snap just fine like this:

cd /snap/chromium/current/usr/lib/chromium-browser
./chrome

You can also force GPU rasterization using the --enable-gpu-rasterization flag.

This version of chromium gives me 50 fps on WebGL Blobs and slightly faster JavaScript performance.

It also supports wayland (“Ozone”) natively, but that crashes when using the default GPU compositing. If you want to try the wayland native version, you can do:

./chrome --enable-features=UseOzonePlatform --ozone-platform=wayland --disable-gpu-compositing

Ideally, the GPU compositing problems with Ozone should be fixed, of course.

On a side note, with chromium 92 I was able to run Stadia. It even has a decent framerate at 720p software decoded, but my home internet connection’s ping is too high to play well (Vodafone LTE) – I will try again via VDSL soon.

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