I am looking to run a couple web pages as desktop applications in Gnome shell. These are the requirements:

  1. It must run with Google Chrome.
  2. It must be available as a separate app icon when pressing Alt+Tab.

I have looked at a program called Webby, but it does not seem to use Google Chrome as the underlying browser. So far I created my .desktop file and have been able to get the application and icon to show in the launcher:

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=google-chrome-stable --app=https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox

This works and allows me to launch the application in a separate window, however, when I press Alt+Tab everything is still combined under the google chrome icon. I have tried creating a symlink as well for the exec path, this didn't work either. Anyone have any ideas?


2 Answers 2


This might not be what you're looking for. But if you want to pin a Google Chrome website to the desktop as a web application you can do the following:

  • Click the 3 dots on the top-right corner
  • Click More tools
  • Click Create shortcut...
  • Select the Open as window checkbox

Hope I helped!

Chrome > Version 70

Update for new versions of Chrome, where no Open as window checkbox appears:

  • Click the 3 dots on the top-right corner
  • Click More tools
  • Click Create shortcut...
  • Click Create
  • Navigate to chrome://apps
  • Right-click on the new app
  • Click Open as window
  • 1
    And how do I remove this?
    – Gocht
    Dec 13, 2017 at 21:16
  • 1
    @Gocht you should be able to see apps created this way and remove them from chrome://apps/ Aug 6, 2018 at 16:34
  • 1
    The 'Open as window' does not show anymore (ubuntu 18.04). How can I force it? Oct 24, 2018 at 19:22
  • 1
    @ronenmiller Regarding your edit suggestion, it would be better to post a separate answer, and you can link to this answer if it helps.
    – wjandrea
    Oct 25, 2018 at 18:06
  • 1
    not working in Ubuntu 20.04 and latest Chrome. The launcher icon is merged together. Can you update the answer?
    – Jake
    Nov 23, 2021 at 11:44

After clicking the 3 dots in the upper-right corner of Chromium or google-chrome, click More Tools > Create Shortcut... > Create

Which also creates a desktop shortcut but it won't work until this trick is done.

Here I show you how to make Instagram a desktop app.

We can see this code after creating a shortcut from chromium and opening it in a text editor

#!/usr/bin/env xdg-open
[Desktop Entry]
Exec=/snap/chromium/2033/usr/lib/chromium-browser/chrome "--profile-directory=Profile 1" --app-id=maonlnecdeecdljpahhnnlmhbalehlm

Just change

/snap/chromium/2033/usr/lib/chromium-browser/chrome or


to chromium, google-chrome, or google-chrome -incognito

If you create multiple profiles in Google Chrome, you can write like this

google-chrome --profile-directory='Default' or

google-chrome --profile-directory=Profile 1" -incognito

For example

Exec=/snap/chromium/2033/usr/lib/chromium-browser/chrome "--profile-directory=Profile 1" --app-id=maonlnecdeecdljpahhnnlmhbalehlm

will be

Exec=google-chrome --profile-directory=Profile 1" -incognito --password-store=basic --app-id=maonlnecdeecdljpahhnnlmhbalehlm

I used --password-store=basic to ignore keyring password.

For icon, I downloaded the Instagram app icon from online and showed the location like this and it worked immediately


Now you can pin this shortcut to your panel too

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