August 24, 2011

Fantastic Chrome Extensions for Linux Users

Google Chrome is not only the fastest loading and rendering browser available, it's also grabbing market share the fastest. And like all good browsers, Chrome offers thousands upon thousands of extensions that can be added to expand the functionality and fun of the browsing experience. Problem is, with so many extensions available, it's hard to know which ones are of the most interest to certain user groups. So, I took the time to dig through the piles to find what I thought to be the best collection of available Chrome extensions for Linux users. So, without further ado, let's get on with the list.

Proxy Switchy

Proxy Switchy! is an advanced proxy manager for the Chrome browser. Seeing as how many mobile Linux users tend to be more savvy than the average user, it only makes sense that a good portion of these users will require (or at least need) the use of proxies. Thing is, when you're mobile, you don't want to have to go through the process of having to manually switch proxies through the configurations. With Proxy Switchy! this task is made incredibly simple. Set up a list of proxies in the configuration and then select which proxy is necessary for a particular network or location.

Arch Linux Package Search

For those using Arch Linux, the Arch Linux Package Search extension might well be just the ticket for quick and easy package searching.

This extension searches the Arch Package Database, the ArchWiki, and AUR for packages available to the distribution. When the search is complete, the results are then displayed within a new tab. From within the extension it is possible to filter by repository, category, name, or name/description. The results will reveal plenty of relevant information to the package — such as location, description, and maintainer.

Remote Transmission

Linux users are famous for using bit torrent clients and/or servers. Why? To many, using Linux is almost synonymous for downloading ISO images. Of course not everyone has a T1 or cable connection getting speeds enough to download an ISO image of a distribution in five minutes or less.

For those, bit torrent is necessary and having a Chrome extension like Remote Transmission is handy. This extension allows the simple downloading of torrents with Transmission (including right-click to download with Transmission), managing torrents on a remote server, browser icon pop-up for viewing and managing torrents, desktop notification when torrent completes, quick toggling of Turtle Mode (speed limiting), and much more. For anyone that uses Chrome and Transmission, this is a must-have.


For those that use a distribution taking advantage of the power of Debian's APT, this Chrome extension is a must. What Apt-linker does is turn any line of text describing the installation of software via apt into a clickable link for the installation of software.

Apt-linker takes advantage of apturl to help make the life of the end user far easier. Currently this extension does not have support for the add-apt-repository command (which would be helpful when searching non-standard repositories with Chrome.

Copy Without Formatting

How many times I have copied text from with a browser only to have the Web-based formatting retained into the document the text is copied to. Copy Without Formatting solves this problem by allowing the user to copy unformatted text from Chrome using one of the following methods: Keyboard, mouse, or auto-copy. For the keyboard, the custom copy shortcut is Ctrl-Shift-C. From the mouse a floating button will appear after text has been selected. Click on that button and the unformatted text will be copied to the clipboard.

Bookmarks Bar Keyboard Shortcuts

This extension will make any keyboard jockey happy. Many Linux users (especially developers) do not like to take their fingers off of their keyboards. Why? Efficiency. Problem with browsers is that they generally require pointing and clicking.

With the Bookmarks Bar Keyboard Shortcuts it is possible to now quickly open the first ten bookmarks (from left to right on the bookmarks bar) using keyboard shortcuts. The shortcuts to use in Linux are Meta-1 through Meta-0 (some call this key the "Super" key.)

Chrome Sniffer

Anyone that needs to detect CMS and javascript frameworks on a site (whether a site the user is developing or any site), Chrome Sniffer is the extension to use. When a framework is detected on a site, an icon will appear indicating which framework is running. Chrome Sniffer can detect more than 100 different libraries, so you can be sure that if it's out there, Chrome Sniffer will know it's running.

Flash Control

The Flash Control extension is a content filtering system for Flash. This extension will prevent auto-spawning of Flash instances which will give the browser significant gains of improvement where flash is concerned. With Flash Control it is possible to:

  • Prevent Web page refreshing.
  • Prevent or allow per-session settings expiration.
  • Whitelist/blacklist sites for Flash playback.
  • Inactivity detection (disable Flash during idle periods.)
  • Auto-disable Flash in background tabs.

For any user that prefers to control ads and Flash, this is definitely a must-have.

Network And Internet Tools

Most Linux users are hard-core network users and those users want information (it's meant to be free right?). One outstanding extension that can help with the gathering of information regarding Web sites is Network And Internet Tools. This extension adds the ability to get the following information about a site in one click:

  • Whois
  • IP Address
  • Geo Location
  • Domain neighbors
  • Ping
  • TCP Ping
  • DNS Lookup
  • DNS Blackhole list
  • Traceroute

A handy extension for any Linux user who always wants as much information about a site as possible.

Screen Capture

When I need a screenshot I always fire up the GIMP. There are times, however, when I simply want a quick screenshot of a Web site and don't want to have to wait on the GIMP to load. For that there is the Screen Capture extenion. With this extension quick PNG screenshots can be captured from Web sites with plenty of features that allow snagging images in ways The GIMP (and other screenshot tools) can not manage. This extension is ideal for Web developers, or anyone that needs to be able to take fast screens of site. With this tool it is also possible to easily share screenshots through Picassa and Facebook.

More To Come

New Chrome extensions are created every day, some of which are either specific to or handy for Linux users. I hope this list offers at least one or two extensions that become valuable tools for you. Look forward to more must-have Chrome extensions in the future here on

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