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Where can I set CLI flags for Google Chrome on Unity?

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Do you mean how to set command line options for Chrome? – N.N. Nov 13 '11 at 9:33
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Look in /opt/google/chrome/google-chrome.desktop or /usr/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop for the following line:

Exec=/opt/google/chrome/google-chrome %U

Add the flag you need in there, save it, then run Chrome again and pin it to your launcher, that should do the trick.

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...just until the next upgrade overwrites it :( – törzsmókus Apr 28 '13 at 10:48
I’m still looking for a permanent solution to this. – törzsmókus Apr 28 '13 at 10:51

I'm running Xubuntu and I was trying to figure this one out as well. I tried the solution to edit the .desktop file. I haven't updated, but I have the same concern as you (will it get overwritten). I tried a different option where I added an alias to my .bashrc file.

alias chromium-browser="/usr/bin/chromium-browser [FLAGS]"
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  1. Edit /usr/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop
  2. Add the desired flags to the Exec line
  3. Run sudo chattr +a /usr/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop to prevent your change from being overwritten on update.
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This makes dpkg error out on upgrades of Chrome. unable to make backup link of './usr/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop' before installing new version: Operation not permitted followed by dpkg-deb: error: subprocess paste was killed by signal (Broken pipe) – Ivan Kozik Nov 13 '15 at 18:04
Run sudo chattr -a /usr/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop then do the dpkg update, then re-do the steps above. – matt2000 Nov 13 '15 at 20:45

For xubuntu/xfce4, though it might work similarly elsewhere:

cp /usr/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop

and modify the three Exec= lines in ~/.local/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop to include the arguments you want. Because it has the same filename, xfce4-whiskermenu will pick up only your modified google-chrome.desktop.

If Chrome is your default browser, another application opening a URL will still cause Chrome to launch without your arguments. To fix this, create a new file ~/bin/google-chrome with these contents:

/usr/bin/google-chrome YOUR_EXTRA_ARGS "$@"

and chmod +x ~/bin/google-chrome. Then, in Preferred Applications, set your Web Browser to Other... and enter:

/home/YOUR_USERNAME/bin/google-chrome "%s"

Also, to avoid having to change the arguments in four places in the future, you can point the Exec= lines in google-chrome.desktop to your /home/YOUR_USERNAME/bin/google-chrome.

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First, open up a terminal. Then type in google-chrome-(release-type) -(flag) Replace (release-type) with the release of google chrome you are using (stable,unstable,ect.) and (flag) with the flag that you want to run Google Chrome with.

To have the flags run when you click on the Google Chrome Unity icon in the launcher:

  • first install Unity Launcher Editor.
  • Open up a terminal window and type sudo apt-get install bzr.
  • When it is has finished installing, type bzr branch lp:unity-launcher-editor.
  • Next, launch Unity Launcher Editor by typing ~/unity-launcher-editor/unitylaunchereditor/
  • Now, click on the Google Chrome icon, and add the flag you want to run in the Command box.
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I want the flag to be used every time I open Google Chrome from launcher. – Ragnis Nov 12 '11 at 23:10
Isn't there just a .desktop file somewhere that I can edit? – Ragnis Nov 13 '11 at 10:41
I am not currently aware of a .desktop file you can edit. I would suggest you use Unity Launcher Editor as explained above to add CLI flags to the Google Chrome Launcher icon. – Aaron Hill Nov 13 '11 at 12:53
some problem with the project, answer need to be updated – Vaibhav Mishra Nov 5 '12 at 12:23

A way is to set flags in the environment variable CHROMIUM_USER_FLAGS:

export CHROMIUM_USER_FLAGS="insert_content_here"
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This could be flagged as low quality. It will better if you can add a reference for this? – Sneetsher Aug 25 '15 at 10:00
Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! I recommend editing this answer to expand it with specific details about how to do this. (See also How do I write a good answer? for general advice about what sorts of answers are considered most valuable on Ask Ubuntu.) – David Foerster Aug 25 '15 at 11:00
CHROMIUM_USER_FLAGS seems to have no effect on Chrome 46. – Ivan Kozik Nov 13 '15 at 19:16

For chromium, you can create a script in /etc/chromium-browser/customizations

For instance i have a script with one line

CHROMIUM_FLAGS="${CHROMIUM_FLAGS} --enable_hidpi=1 --process-per-site"

I imagine chrome has something similar.

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