SRWare Iron

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SRWare Iron
Iron logo.png
Iron 14.0.850.0 on Puppy Linux 5.2.8 Lucid Puppy showing the new tab page.
Iron 14.0.850.0 on Puppy Linux 5.2.8 Lucid Puppy showing the new tab page.
Initial release18 September 2008; 10 years ago (2008-09-18)[1]
Stable release(s) [±]

69.0.3600.0 (October 10, 2018; 35 days ago (2018-10-10)[2]) [±]


69.0.3600.0 (October 20, 2018; 25 days ago (2018-10-20)[3]) [±]


69.0.3600.0 (October 20, 2018; 25 days ago (2018-10-20)[4]) [±]

61.0.3200.0 (October 8, 2017; 12 months ago (2017-10-08)[5]) [±]
Development statusActive
Operating systemWindows 7 and later, OS X 10.9 and later, Linux, Android 4.1 and later
Size47.9 MB (Windows), 45.1 (Android)
TypeWeb browser
LicenseBSD license

SRWare Iron is a free web browser, and an implementation of Chromium by SRWare of Germany.[6] It primarily aims to eliminate usage tracking and other privacy-compromising functionality that the Google Chrome browser includes.[7] While Iron does not provide extra privacy compared to Chromium after proper settings are altered in the latter, it does implement some additional features that distinguish it from Google Chrome.[1][7]

Development history[edit]

Iron was first released as a beta version on 18 September 2008,[1] 16 days after Google Chrome's initial release.

On 26 May 2009 a Preview-Release (Pre-Alpha) of Iron came out for Linux.[8] And on 7 January 2010 a beta version for macOS was released.[9]

On 11 August 2010, Microsoft updated the website in order to include Iron as one of the possible choices.[10][11]

More recent versions of Iron have been released since then, which has gained the features of the underlying Chromium codebase, including Google Chrome theme support, a user agent switcher, an extension system, integrated Adblocker and improved Linux support.[1]

Differences from Chrome[edit]

The following Google Chrome features are not present in Iron:[12][13][14]

  • RLZ identifier, an encoded string sent together with all queries to Google.[15]
  • Google search access on startup for users with Google as default search.[15][16]
  • Google-hosted error pages when a server is not present.
  • Google Updater automatic installation.
  • DNS pre-fetching,[17] because it could potentially be used by spammers.[18][19][20]
  • Automatic address bar search suggestions.
  • Opt-in sending of both browser usage statistics and crash information to Google.
  • Google Native Client.[21]

Added features include:

  • An ad blocker.
  • A user agent switcher.
  • Opt-in blocking of other background communications, such as extension, GPU blacklist, and certificate revocation updates.[22]
  • Increased number of recent page thumbnails shown on the New Tab page.


According to Lifehacker, Iron doesn't really offer much you can't get by configuring Google Chrome's privacy settings.[23] According to others, it is scamware or scareware,[24] since the developers bring up non-existent issues about Chrome to claim Iron solves it.[12]

Although SRWare has been claiming "Iron is free and OpenSource",[25] this wasn't true from at least version 6 on until mid 2015, as the links given by them for the source code were hosted in RapidShare and blocked by the uploader.[26][27][28] SRWare Iron "is entirely closed source and has been since at least version 6".[21] According to Lifehacker, as of October 2014 SRWare Iron was "supposedly open source but haven't released their source for years".[23] In 2015, SRWare resumed releasing what they claim is the source code for the browser, although not stating on their page what version the source code is from.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d SRWare. "SRWare Iron - The Browser of the Future". Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  2. ^ "New Iron-Version: 69.0.3600.0 Stable for Windows". 2018-10-10. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  3. ^ "New Iron-Version: 69.0.3600.0 Stable for Mac". 2018-10-20. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  4. ^ "New Iron-Version: 69.0.3600.0 Stable for Linux". 2018-10-20. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  5. ^ "New Iron-Version: 61.0.3200.0 Stable for Android". 2017-10-08. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  6. ^ "SRWare Iron - The Browser of the Future". Retrieved 2014-04-24.
  7. ^ a b SRWare (n.d.). "SRWare Iron: The Browser of the future - Overview". Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  8. ^ "Iron Pre-Alpha for Linux Download". Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  9. ^ "New Iron-Version: 4.0.275 Beta for MacOS". Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  10. ^ Kai Schmerer (10 August 2010). "Microsoft aktualisiert Browser-Auswahlbox" (in German). ZDnet. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
  11. ^ (n.d.). "Choose Your Browser". Archived from the original on 8 February 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  12. ^ a b SRWare. "SRWare Iron - The Browser of the Future". Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Privacy, unique IDs, and RLZ - Google Chrome".
  14. ^ "Google Chrome Privacy Whitepaper". Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  15. ^ a b "Google Chrome, Chromium, and Google". Retrieved 28 January 2010. See Which Google Domain
  16. ^ "View of /trunk/src/chrome/browser/google/". Archived from the original on |archive-url= requires |archive-date= (help). Retrieved 15 November 2010. Source code comment on line 31
  17. ^ "Chromium Blog: DNS Prefetching (or Pre-Resolving)". Chromium Blog. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  18. ^ Srinivas Krishnan, Fabian Monrose (2010). "DNS prefetching and its privacy implications: when good things go bad". USENIX.
  19. ^ Mike Cardwell. "DNS Pre-fetch Exposure on Thunderbird and Webmail". Retrieved 2013-09-25.
  20. ^ SRWare. "SRWare Iron - Frequently Asked Questions". SRWare. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
  21. ^ a b "The Private Life of Chromium Browsers". Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  22. ^ SRWare. "New Iron-Version: 13.0.800.1 Stable for Windows". Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  23. ^ a b Alan Henry. "The Best Privacy and Security-Focused Web Browsers". Lifehacker. Gawker Media. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  24. ^ SRWare Iron Browser – A Private Alternative To Chrome?
  25. ^ SRWare. "SRWare Iron download page". Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  26. ^ SRWare Iron source code - Part 1
  27. ^ SRWare Iron source code - Part 2
  28. ^ SRWare Iron source code - Part 3
  29. ^ SRWare. "SRWare Iron - The Browser of the Future". Retrieved 21 July 2015.

External links[edit]