There are instructions for other platforms linked from the get the code page.
Are you a Google employee? See go/building-chrome instead.
A Mac, Intel or Arm. (More details about Arm Macs.)
Xcode. Xcode comes with...
The macOS SDK. Run
$ ls `xcode-select -p`/Platforms/MacOSX.platform/Developer/SDKs
to check whether you have it, and what version you have.
mac_sdk_official_version in mac_sdk.gni is the SDK version used on all the bots and for official builds, so that version is guaranteed to work. Building with a newer SDK usually works too (please fix or file a bug if it doesn't).
Building with an older SDK might also work, but if it doesn‘t then we won’t accept changes for making it work.
The easiest way to get the newest SDK is to use the newest version of Xcode, which often requires using the newest version of macOS. We don‘t use Xcode itself much, so if you’re know what you're doing, you can likely get the build working with an older version of macOS as long as you get a new version of the macOS SDK on it.
An APFS-formatted volume (this is the default format for macOS volumes).
$ git clone https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromium/tools/depot_tools.git
depot_tools to the end of your PATH (you will probably want to put this in your
~/.zshrc). Assuming you cloned
/path/to/depot_tools (note: you must use the absolute path or Python will not be able to find infra tools):
$ export PATH="$PATH:/path/to/depot_tools"
chromium directory for the checkout and change to it (you can call this whatever you like and put it wherever you like, as long as the full path has no spaces):
$ mkdir chromium && cd chromium
fetch tool from
depot_tools to check out the code and its dependencies.
$ caffeinate fetch chromium
caffeinate is optional, but it will prevent the system from sleeping for the duration of the
fetch command, which may run for a considerable amount of time.
If you don't need the full repo history, you can save time by using
fetch --no-history chromium. You can call
git fetch --unshallow to retrieve the full history later.
Expect the command to take 30 minutes on even a fast connection, and many hours on slower ones.
fetch completes, it will have created a hidden
.gclient file and a directory called
src in the working directory. The remaining instructions assume you have switched to the
$ cd src
Optional: You can also install API keys if you want your build to talk to some Google services, but this is not necessary for most development and testing purposes.
Chromium uses Ninja as its main build tool along with a tool called GN to generate
.ninja files. You can create any number of build directories with different configurations. To create a build directory:
$ gn gen out/Default
Defaultwith another name, but it should be a subdirectory of
gn helpon the command line or read the quick start guide.
Full rebuilds are about the same speed in Debug and Release, but linking is a lot faster in Release builds.
is_debug = false
args.gn to do a release build.
is_component_build = true
args.gn to build many small dylibs instead of a single large executable. This makes incremental builds much faster, at the cost of producing a binary that opens less quickly. Component builds work in both debug and release.
symbol_level = 0
in your args.gn to disable debug symbols altogether. This makes both full rebuilds and linking faster (at the cost of not getting symbolized backtraces in gdb).
You might also want to install ccache to speed up the build.
Build Chromium (the “chrome” target) with Ninja using the command:
$ autoninja -C out/Default chrome
autoninja is a wrapper that automatically provides optimal values for the arguments passed to
You can get a list of all of the other build targets from GN by running
gn ls out/Default from the command line. To compile one, pass the GN label to Ninja with no preceding “//” (so, for
autoninja -C out/Default chrome/test:unit_tests).
Once it is built, you can simply run the browser:
Every time you start a new developer build, you may get two system dialogs:
Chromium wants to use your confidential information stored in "Chromium Safe Storage" in your keychain., and
Do you want the application "Chromium.app" to accept incoming network connections?.
To avoid them, you can run Chromium with these command-line flags (but of course beware that they will change the behavior of certain subsystems):
Tests are split into multiple test targets based on their type and where they exist in the directory structure. To see what target a given unit test or browser test file corresponds to, the following command can be used:
$ gn refs out/Default --testonly=true --type=executable --all chrome/browser/ui/browser_list_unittest.cc //chrome/test:unit_tests
In the example above, the target is unit_tests. The unit_tests binary can be built by running the following command:
$ autoninja -C out/Default unit_tests
You can run the tests by running the unit_tests binary. You can also limit which tests are run using the
--gtest_filter arg, e.g.:
$ out/Default/unit_tests --gtest_filter="BrowserListUnitTest.*"
You can find out more about GoogleTest at its GitHub page.
Good debugging tips can be found here.
To update an existing checkout, you can run
$ git rebase-update $ gclient sync
The first command updates the primary Chromium source repository and rebases any of your local branches on top of tip-of-tree (aka the Git branch
origin/main). If you don't want to use this script, you can also just use
git pull or other common Git commands to update the repo.
The second command syncs dependencies to the appropriate versions and re-runs hooks as needed.
While using Xcode is unsupported, GN supports a hybrid approach of using Ninja for building, but Xcode for editing and driving compilation. Xcode is still slow, but it runs fairly well even with indexing enabled. Most people build in the Terminal and write code with a text editor, though.
With hybrid builds, compilation is still handled by Ninja, and can be run from the command line (e.g.
autoninja -C out/gn chrome) or by choosing the
chrome target in the hybrid project and choosing Build.
To use Xcode-Ninja Hybrid pass
$ gn gen out/gn --ide=xcode
$ open out/gn/all.xcodeproj
You may run into a problem where http://YES is opened as a new tab every time you launch Chrome. To fix this, open the scheme editor for the Run scheme, choose the Options tab, and uncheck “Allow debugging when using document Versions Browser”. When this option is checked, Xcode adds
--NSDocumentRevisionsDebugMode YES to the launch arguments, and the
YES gets interpreted as a URL to open.
If you have problems building, join us in
irc.freenode.net and ask there. Be sure that the waterfall is green and the tree is open before checking out. This will increase your chances of success.
git status is used frequently to determine the status of your checkout. Due to the large number of files in Chromium‘s checkout,
git status performance can be quite variable. Increasing the system’s vnode cache appears to help. By default, this command:
$ sysctl -a | egrep 'kern\..*vnodes'
kern.maxvnodes: 263168 (263168 is 257 * 1024). To increase this setting:
$ sudo sysctl kern.maxvnodes=$((512*1024))
Higher values may be appropriate if you routinely move between different Chromium checkouts. This setting will reset on reboot. To apply it at startup:
$ sudo tee /Library/LaunchDaemons/kern.maxvnodes.plist > /dev/null <<EOF <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd"> <plist version="1.0"> <dict> <key>Label</key> <string>kern.maxvnodes</string> <key>ProgramArguments</key> <array> <string>sysctl</string> <string>kern.maxvnodes=524288</string> </array> <key>RunAtLoad</key> <true/> </dict> </plist> EOF
Or edit the file directly.
$ git update-index --test-untracked-cache
If the output ends with
OK, then the following may also improve performance of
$ git config core.untrackedCache true
You can significantly speed up git by using fsmonitor. You should enable fsmonitor in large repos, such as Chromium and v8. Enabling it globally will launch many processes and probably isn't worthwhile. Be sure you have at least version 2.43 (fsmonitor on the Mac is broken before then). The command to enable fsmonitor in the current repo is:
$ git config core.fsmonitor true
If you're getting the error
Agreeing to the Xcode/iOS license requires admin privileges, please re-run as root via sudo.
the Xcode license hasn't been accepted yet which (contrary to the message) any user can do by running:
$ xcodebuild -license
Only accepting for all users of the machine requires root:
$ sudo xcodebuild -license
Chromium's checkout contains a lot of files, and building generates many more. Spotlight will try to index all of those files, and uses a lot of CPU time doing so, especially during a build, which can slow things down.
To prevent the Chromium checkout from being indexed by Spotlight, open System Preferences, go to “Spotlight” -> “Privacy” and add your Chromium checkout directory to the list of excluded locations.