As I mentioned in my first look at the Chromium browser, its development is proceeding at a rapid pace, with new builds of the open-source project being created multiple times a day—on June 18th, for instance, 25 new builds were posted.
If you’re trying to keep up with development, or even just want to grab a new build once or twice a day, it’s something of a pain to dig through the massive build directory each time you want to upgrade.
Thanks to a shell script from Mac OS X Hints contributor oblahdioblidaa, and a simple Automator application that I wrapped around the shell script, the process has been greatly simplified (though not fully automated).
The following directions apply to OS X 10.5; I’m not sure if they’ll work in OS X 10.4.
Launch Automator and create a new Custom workflow; this will open a blank template for you to work with. Drag in the following actions to create the workflow (alternatively, you can download my finished workflow):
Utilities -> Ask for Confirmation. This is optional, but I like to confirm that I really want the newest version before it runs. In the action, enter whatever text you want in the two boxes—the top line will be the bolded text in the dialog, and anything below that shows up in plain text. I have the top line set to “Download the latest Chromium build?,” and the explanatory text to “If you click OK, the latest version of Chromium will be downloaded.”
Utilities -> Run AppleScript. In the script box, erase everything that’s there, and replace it with this one line: tell application "Chromium" to quit. This will simply quit Chromium if it’s running, so that the program can be replaced with a newer version. If Chromium’s not running, nothing will happen.
Utilities -> Run Shell Script. Set the Shell pop-up to /bin/bash, and the Pass Input set to “to stdin.” For the script itself, replace the text that appears there with the following:
In summary, the above script does the following: creates a temporary directory, figures out the latest build number, then downloads that build. It then unzips the download, moves the program into the Applications directory, and then removes the temporary directory (along with the files in that directory).
Utilities -> Ask for Confirmation. Again, this step is optional, but as the previous step can take some time to complete, I use this step to let me know when it’s done. For the first line, I use “All done!,” with “The latest build has been installed.” in the second box.
Once you’ve created the workflow, you can test it by clicking the Run button. When everything’s done, you should find Chromium sitting in your Applications folder. The last step is to save your workflow as an application, making it a simple to run whenever you want to. Select File -> Save As, give your program a name (Get Latest Chromium), and set the File Format pop-up to Application.
Now, whenever you want a new Chromium build, just run your program, wait a few minutes, and you’re done. If you’d like to fully automate this, you could use a program like Cronnix or Lingon to schedule it. Alternatively, if you’re Unix-savvy, just create the shell script portion of the workflow as a standalone shell script, then schedule it with cron or launchd. Personally, I don’t need to get newest builds regularly, so I just run the application whenever I want to update.
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