API Keys

When using a custom build, fork, or integration of Chromium, or if you're building ChromiumOS, you will need access to Google API for key functionality.

Note: Software distribution with keys acquired for yourself is allowed, but the keys themselves cannot be shared with parties outside the legal entity that accepted the API ToS. Keep in mind that a number of the APIs will have no or very limited quota and not all of the APIs have additional quota available for purchase.

Googlers only:

How-to: First, acquire API keys. Then, specify the API keys to use either when you build Chromium, or at runtime using environment variables.

Acquiring Keys

  1. Make sure you are a member of chromium-dev@chromium.org (you can choose not to receive mail).

    Note: the APIs below are only visible to people subscribed to that group.
  2. Make sure you are logged in with the Google account associated with the email address that you used to subscribe to chromium-dev.

  3. Go to https://cloud.google.com/console

  4. optional You may add other members of your organization or team on the Team tab.

  5. Open the APIs and Services > Library from the hamburger menu, search for all of the following APIs. For each of these APIs:

    1. Click on it
    2. Click Enable API button at the top
    3. Read and agree to the Terms of Service
    4. Check the I have read and agree to the <API name> Terms of Service checkbox
    5. Click Accept.

    List of APIs (if any are not shown, recheck step 1 above):

    • Cloud Search API
    • Geolocation API (requires enabling billing but is free to use; you can skip this one, in which case geolocation features of Chrome will not work)
    • Google Drive API (enable this for Files.app on Chrome OS and SyncFileSystem API)
    • Safe Browsing API
    • Time Zone API
    • Optional
      • Admin SDK
      • Cloud Translation API
      • Geocoding API
      • Google Assistant API
      • Google Calendar API
      • Nearby Messages API
  6. Go to the Credentials sub tab under the API & Services section in the hamburger menu.

  7. Click the Create credentials button then click on the OAuth client ID item in the drop-down list.

    • Click on the Configure consent screen button. Fill in the “product name” (anything you choose) and other details, then click on Save.
    • Return to the Credentials tab and click the Add credentials button again, then select “OAuth 2.0 client ID” from the drop-down list.
    • In the “Application type” section check the Other option and give it a name in the “Name” text box, then click Create.
  8. In the pop-up window that appears, you'll see a client ID and a Client secret string. Copy and paste those in a text file on your dev box then click OK to dismiss. A new item should now appear in the OAuth 2.0 client IDs list. You can click on the name of your client ID to retrieve the ID and secret at any time. In the next few sections, these values will be referred to as the Client ID and Client secret fields.

  9. Click the Create credentials button again on the same page.

    • In the pop-over window that shows up, click the API key button.
    • A pop-over should show up giving you the API key. Copy/paste in to a text file to save, although you will be able to access this as well.
    • Click OK to dismiss.

You should now have an API key and an OAuth 2.0 client ID in the Credentials tab. The next sections will refer to the value as the “API key”.

Note: Your keys are not for distribution, and should not be shared with others.

Providing Keys at Build time

If you are building Chromium yourself, you can provide keys as part of your build configuration, that way they are always baked into your binary.

Specify three variables in your args.gn file (edit by running gn args out/your_out_dir_here)

google_api_key = "your_api_key"
google_default_client_id = "your_client_id"
google_default_client_secret = "your_client_secret"

Providing Keys at Runtime

If you prefer, you can build a Chromium binary (or use a pre-built Chromium binary) without API keys baked in, and instead provide them at runtime. To do so, set the environment variables GOOGLE_API_KEY, GOOGLE_DEFAULT_CLIENT_ID and GOOGLE_DEFAULT_CLIENT_SECRET to your “API key”, “Client ID” and “Client secret” values respectively.

On Chromium OS to specify the keys as environment variables append them to the end of /etc/chrome_dev.conf:


Signing in to Chromium is restricted

Signing in to Chromium requires an OAuth 2.0 token for authentication. As this OAuth 2.0 token gives access to various Google services that handle user data (e.g. Chrome sync), for security and privacy reasons the generation of this OAuth 2.0 token is restricted. This means that signing in to Chromium is restricted (as the OAuth 2.0 token cannot be generated). In order to sign in to Chromium builds, please add your test account to google-browser-signin-testaccounts@chromium.org (accounts in this group are allowed to get access tokens bypassing the restriction above).

Note: Starting with Chromium M69, when the browser is set up with an OAuth 2.0 client ID and client secret, signing in with your Google Account to any Google web property will also attempt to sign you in to Chromium (which will fail as explained above). To avoid such errors, remove your OAuth 2.0 client ID and client secret from your build to stop generating tokens when users sign in to Google web properties (remove google_default_client_id, google_default_client_secret from gn args and GOOGLE_DEFAULT_CLIENT_ID and GOOGLE_DEFAULT_CLIENT_SECRET from your environment settings).

Getting Keys for Your Chromium Derivative

Many of the Google APIs used by Chrome are specific to Google and not intended for use in derived products. In the API Console you may be able to purchase additional quota for some of the APIs listed above. For APIs that do not have a “Pricing” link, additional quota is not available for purchase.

Polyfilling chrome.identity API in Your Chromium Derivative

The default Chromium chrome.identity.getAuthToken API that extensions may call to obtain auth tokens will fail outside of Google Chrome as the implementation uses restricted APIs.

A prototype CL for Chromium embedders might use to replace the implementation with one not dependent upon private APIs can be found attached to this post.