We are getting inconsistent installs of chromium on Ubuntu 20.04. This is with the debian wrapper chromium-browser overlaying snap chromium. We execute using chromium-browser, and do NOT specify --user-data-dir option.

I have inherited some installs and have done a couple myself. I install debian chromium-browser and later install snap chromium. I think the previous installs were done similarly.

In the previous installs that I have checked, the user profile (created by first execution) is in


In installs that I have done, the user profile (created by first execution) is in


In this case there is also a current/.config which contains some config, but not Default.

The chromium man page says user-data-dir "Defaults to $SNAP_USER_DATA/.config/chromium".

Questions please:

  • How can installs be giving such different results?
  • How can we get a consistent install with profile in .config/chromium rather than common?

Note that I've tried first execution on a fresh install with

chromium-browser --user-data-dir=~~/snap/chromium/current/.config/chromium/Default

but still ended up with Preferences under

  • 1
    Great investigation done there. It looks like a couple of bugs have been created in this transition. Please consider filing a bug report.
    – nteodosio
    Feb 24 at 23:28

1 Answer 1


It's likely that the difference is due to the (deb to snap) migration script having changed over the years. When we first announced and developed the migration Chromium was one of the first desktop applications to do the migration. As such the scripts were still a little new. So it's probably the ones that are different were upgraded to the snapped Chromium early on, before the migration scripts were changed. There's no facility in the migration script to move from the old directory structure to the new one, it just imports from your home directory (the traditional location for config) to the snapped config location.

  • Thanks, this is a likely explanation. I've confirmed that we have 2 sets of systems, lets call them "old" and "new". They get manual updates only. Both have the same chromium-browser deb, 1:85.0.4183.83-0ubuntu0-20.04.2. The old systems have chromium snap revision 2020 timestamp 2022-06-16. The new systems have chromium snap revision 2254 timestamp 2022-12-14. Is there any public change log for the chromium snaps? I know where to find the deb changes, but not for the snaps.
    – steve.sims
    Feb 20 at 2:40
  • 1
    The git repo is as good as I can find right now at: code.launchpad.net/~chromium-team/chromium-browser/+git/…
    – popey
    Feb 20 at 9:03

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