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when I tried opening google-chrome in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, I received the following error:

[] Creating shared memory in        /dev/shm/ failed: No such file or directory
   [] Unable to access(W_OK|X_OK) /dev/shm: No such file or directory
   [] This is frequently caused by       incorrect permissions on /dev/shm.  Try 'sudo chmod 1777 /dev/shm' to fix.

However, when I tried

sudo chmod 1777 /dev/shm

, I discovered that /dev/shm did not in fact exist. I don't know what happened, and how to fix this?

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Since 11.10 Ubuntu migrated to /run/shm instead /dev/shm, see here.
To solve the problem, you can do a softlink like this:

sudo ln -s /run/shm /dev/shm
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