Linux-specific build instructions

Get the code

Get the Code. The general instructions on the “Get the code” page cover basic Linux build setup and configuration.

This page documents some additional Linux-specific build issues.


Due its complexity, Chromium uses a set of custom tools to check out and build. Here‘s an overview of the steps you’ll run:

  1. gclient. A checkout involves pulling nearly 100 different SVN repositories of code. This process is managed with a tool called gclient.
  2. GN / gyp. Cross-platform build configuration systems (GYP is the older one, GN is the one being transitioned to). It generates ninja build files. Running gn/gyp is analogous to the ./configure step seen in most other software.
  3. ninja. The actual build itself uses ninja. A prebuilt binary is in depot_tools and should already be in your path if you followed the steps to check out Chromium.
  4. We don't provide any sort of “install” step.
  5. You may want to use a chroot to isolate yourself from versioning or packaging conflicts (or to run the layout tests).

Getting a checkout

Prerequisites: what you need before you build.

Note. If you are working on Chromium OS and already have sources in chromiumos/chromium, you must run chrome_set_ver --runhooks to set the correct dependencies. This step is otherwise performed by gclient as part of your checkout.


The weird “src/” directory is an artifact of gclient. Start with:

$ cd src

Faster builds

See Linux Faster Builds

Build every test

$ ninja -C out/Debug

The above builds all libraries and tests in all components. It will take hours.

Specifying other target names to restrict the build to just what you're interested in. To build just the simplest unit test:

$ ninja -C out/Debug base_unittests

Clang builds

Information about building with Clang can be found here.


Executables are written in src/out/Debug/ for Debug builds, and src/out/Release/ for Release builds.

Release mode

Pass -C out/Release to the ninja invocation:

$ ninja -C out/Release chrome

Seeing the commands

If you want to see the actual commands that ninja is invoking, add -v to the ninja invocation.

$ ninja -v -C out/Debug chrome

This is useful if, for example, you are debugging gyp changes, or otherwise need to see what ninja is actually doing.

Clean builds

If you're using GN, you can clean the build directory (out/Default in this example):

gn clean out/Default

This will delete all files except a bootstrap ninja file necessary for recreating the build.

If you're using GYP, do:

rm -rf out
gclient runhooks

Ninja can also be used to clean a build with ninja -C out/Debug -t clean but this will not be as complete as the above methods.

Linker Crashes

If, during the final link stage:

LINK(target) out/Debug/chrome

You get an error like:

collect2: ld terminated with signal 6 Aborted terminate called after throwing an
instance of 'std::bad_alloc'

collect2: ld terminated with signal 11 [Segmentation fault], core dumped

you are probably running out of memory when linking. Try one of:

  1. Use the gold linker
  2. Build on a 64-bit computer
  3. Build in Release mode (debugging symbols require a lot of memory)
  4. Build as shared libraries (note: this build is for developers only, and may have broken functionality)

Most of these are described on the Linux Faster Builds page.

Advanced Features

Next Steps

If you want to contribute to the effort toward a Chromium-based browser for Linux, please check out the Linux Development page for more information.