Chrome 59 on Linux renders fonts differently than the rest of the system. This happens when you use subpixel hinting on your system. Chrome 59+ seems to ignore your settings. It can be fixed by tweaking the FreeType configuration. FreeType is a font rendering system used by most Linux distributions.
The issue can be fixed by setting an environment variable before launching Chrome:
export FREETYPE_PROPERTIES="truetype:interpreter-version=35" google-chrome
I'm using an Application Launcher in MATE desktop to start Chrome. To automatically set the environment variable, I created a wrapper script
chrome-wrapper.sh in my home directory and edited the launcher settings to invoke the wrapper script instead of
google-chrome directly. The full contents of the script:
#!/usr/bin/env bash export FREETYPE_PROPERTIES="truetype:interpreter-version=35" /opt/google/chrome/google-chrome &
With medium or full hinting this brings back skinny font rendering in the browser. Without the fix, the text looks similar to text on Windows 10.