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Google Delivers Chrome Betas For Mac, Linux

Search giant rolls out long-awaited Web browser versions more than a year after availability of Chrome for Windows.

Web browser Google beta version operating systems

"There was nothing more excruciating for me as a kid than seeing the presents pile up under the Christmas tree but knowing that I couldn't open them until Christmas morning," wrote Brian Rakowski, a Google Chrome product manager on an official blog announcing Tuesday's releases.

"On the Google Chrome team, we've had the same feeling as we've been working to get betas ready for Mac, Linux and extensions. It's been a long time coming, but today we can check the top three items off our users' wish lists.

Initially scheduled for releases in the first half of 2009, the Mac and Linux betas follow Mountain View, Calif.-based Google's debut of Chrome for Microsoft Windows by more than a year. The 17.6-MB Chrome for Mac download is available at Google's Chrome Web site. The browser requires systems sporting Intel chips and running Mac OS X 10.5 or higher.

The Mac version of Chrome lacks certain features present in Chrome for Windows, such as Google Gears support, while other popular features from the Windows beta are present, like Omnibox, an address bar that allows users to both type in Web addresses and conduct searches.

Chrome for Mac is based on WebKit, the platform that's also underneath Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple's own Safari Web browser. Tuesday's release involved "73,804 lines of Mac-specific code and 29 developer builds," according to Google.

The Linux beta was, naturally, an open-source project -- dubbed Chromium by Google. Chromium developers deployed a full range of sharing tools such as public mailing lists and IRC channels to build the beta, according to Google.

Google Chrome for Linux is available for download at Google's Chrome site and is compatible with the Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and openSUSE operating systems. Google is also collecting community-supported versions of Chrome for other Linux distributions on the Chromium developer Web site.

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