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Is there any way I can launch a new instance of Google Chrome from the command line? I'm not referring to opening a new window - I want a new instance. Here's why:

Suppose I open Chrome and navigate to a page somewhere. Then I SSH into the same account from somewhere else. When I run:


...all I get is a new tab in the existing window. This is absolutely useless when I'm connected via SSH.

How can I launch a separate instance of Chrome that runs in the same account, but is usable with SSH?

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Incognito mode? google-chrome --incognito ? – theTuxRacer Apr 16 '11 at 5:08
@Kaustubh doesnt help – trampster Apr 16 '11 at 6:03
up vote 19 down vote accepted

This is a known bug. A workaround posted there is to pass the argument --user-data-dir (with no directory) to start a new session.

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Thanks! I was looking for details on how to do that. I also posted it back at, which was the first StackExchange variant of this question I found. – justis Aug 3 '12 at 2:01
This no longer works with recent versions of Chrome, but you can effectively start with a "blank slate" new account by specifying a temporary or empty directory, e.g. chromium-browser --user-data-dir=/tmp – Dan Dec 3 '15 at 22:16

I do this

cd ~/.config/google-chrome
mkdir /tmp/chrome2
find . -print | cpio -mpdv /tmp/chrome2 # there was no cp -R in my day!
rm -fr /tmp/chrome2/Singleton*
rm -fr /tmp/chrome2/Session* 
google-chrome --user-data-dir=/tmp/chrome2/

Instead of the cpio/rm lines I'm using this now

rsync -av --delete --exclude=/Singleton* --exclude=/Session* ~/.config/google-chrome/ /tmp/chrome2/
share|improve this answer

Use --new-window parameter.


google-chrome --new-window
share|improve this answer ... not chrome ... – Mostafa Ahangarha Mar 18 at 10:24
@MostafaAhangarha thanks, I changed it to google-chrome – kimwue Mar 21 at 8:02
Read the question: I'm not referring to opening a new window - I want a new instance. – Mostafa Ahangarha Mar 21 at 8:29

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