Tag: Chromium

Custom Google Chrome settings for each computer user

Google Chrome on Linux has a number of useful options, for example:

  • launching a web browser in incognito mode
  • you can specify the path to the folder where the profile data and browser cache will be stored
  • you can select the type of password storage
  • proxy settings

Like many programs in Linux, Google Chrome supports command line options – all these settings can be specified when starting a web browser, but this is not very convenient. In addition to creating shortcuts, there is another convenient way to write settings for each computer user: all configurable flags can be specified in the ~/.config/chrome-flags.conf file, which is personal for each user.

You may have noticed information about this feature during the installation or update of Google Chrome:

==> NOTE: Custom flags should be put directly in: ~/.config/chrome-flags.conf
==> NOTE: The launcher is called: 'google-chrome-stable'

How to save settings in chrome-flags.conf file

To open (or create, if the file does not already exist) the Google Chrome personal settings file for the current user, run the command:

gedit ~/.config/chrome-flags.conf

To set the settings for another user, specify the full path to the file in the user's home folder:

sudo gedit /home/alex/.config/chrome-flags.conf

Chrome-flags.conf file format

The settings (options) discussed below can be used both in the command line to launch a web browser (the launcher is named “google-chrome-stable”, you can also specify these settings in the ~/.config/chrome-flags.conf file.

You can use the following formats:

  • each setting on a separate line
  • all settings are in one line, the settings are separated by spaces

Google Chrome options and settings on Linux

--user-data-dir=DIR

Specifies the directory that user data (your "profile") is kept in. Defaults to $HOME/.config/google-chrome. Separate instances of Google Chrome must use separate user data directories; repeated invocations of google-chrome will reuse an existing process for a given user data directory.

--app=URL

Runs URL in "app mode": with no browser toolbars.

--incognito

Open in incognito mode.

--new-window

If PATH or URL is given, open it in a new window.

--proxy-server=host:port

Specify the HTTP/SOCKS4/SOCKS5 proxy server to use for requests. This overrides any environment variables or settings picked via the options dialog. An individual proxy server is specified using the format: [SCHEME://]HOST[:PORT]

Where <proxy-scheme> is the protocol of the proxy server, and is one of:

  • http
  • socks
  • socks4
  • socks5

If the SCHEME is omitted, it defaults to "http". Also note that "socks" is equivalent to "socks5".

Examples:

Use the HTTP proxy "foopy:99" to load all URLs: --proxy-server="foopy:99"

Use the SOCKS v5 proxy "foobar:1080" to load all URLs: --proxy-server="socks://foobar:1080"

Use the SOCKS v4 proxy "foobar:1080" to load all URLs: --proxy-server="socks4://foobar:1080"

Use the SOCKS v5 proxy "foobar:66" to load all URLs: --proxy-server="socks5://foobar:66"

It is also possible to specify a separate proxy server for different URL types, by prefixing the proxy server specifier with a URL specifier. Example: Load https://* URLs using the HTTP proxy "proxy1:80". And load http://* URLs using the SOCKS v4 proxy "baz:1080": --proxy-server="https=proxy1:80;http=socks4://baz:1080"

--no-proxy-server

Disables the proxy server. Overrides any environment variables or settings picked via the options dialog.

--proxy-auto-detect

Autodetect proxy configuration. Overrides any environment variables or settings picked via the options dialog.

--proxy-pac-url=URL

Specify proxy autoconfiguration URL. Overrides any environment variables or settings picked via the options dialog.

--password-store=<basic|gnome|kwallet>

Setthepasswordstore to use. The default is to automatically detect based on the desktop environment. basic selects the built in, unencrypted password store. gnome selects Gnome keyring. kwallet selects (KDE) KWallet. (Note that KWallet may not work reliably outside KDE.)

--version

Show version information.

Environment variables

Google Chrome obeys the following environment variables:

all_proxy

Shorthand for specifying all of http_proxy, https_proxy, ftp_proxy

http_proxy, https_proxy, ftp_proxy

The proxy servers used for HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP.Note: because Gnome/KDE proxy settings may propagate into these variables in some terminals, this variable is ignored (in preference for actual system proxy settings) when running under Gnome or KDE.Use the command-line flags to set these when you want to force their values.

auto_proxy

Specify proxy autoconfiguration.Defined and empty autodetects; otherwise, it should be an autoconfig URL.But see above note about Gnome/KDE.

SOCKS_SERVER

SOCKS proxy server (defaults to SOCKS v4, also set SOCKS_VERSION=5 to use SOCKS v5).

no_proxy

Comma separated list of hosts or patterns to bypass proxying.

All Google Chrome command line options

Google Chrome has hundreds of undocumented command line flags that are added and removed at the whim of the developers. The above are relatively stable flags documented.

If you are interested in a complete list of Chrome and Chromium flags, then you can refer to these lists:

Another way to view the complete list of flags is to find the chrome_switches.cc file (path ./chrome/common/chrome_switches.cc) in the source code of the web browser.

All chrome://* pages. Most useful chrome:// pages

You may have noticed in Google Chrome pages whose URL starts with chrome://, for example, chrome://downloads. What are these pages? How can I find all their addresses? Which ones are really useful? This article will answer all of these questions.

What are chrome://* pages for?

chrome:// pages perform one or another function for the user when the output is large enough (for example, the list of downloads, the history of visited pages), and also provide access to the internal options of the web browser.

How to find out all pages like chrome://*

To list all addresses that start with chrome://, in the address bar of your web browser, enter:

chrome://about

There are quite a few of them – you can start getting to know them yourself by simply clicking on the links, or continue reading – we have selected for you the most useful and interesting service pages of Google Chrome.

Daily tasks

chrome://about

chrome://chrome-urls

Show all chrome://* pages.

chrome://apps

Lists applications

chrome://dino

Offline running dinosaur game

chrome://downloads

Download List

chrome://help

Links to help pages

chrome://history

History of visited pages

chrome://bookmarks

Bookmark manager

chrome://extensions

Managing Web Browser Extensions

chrome://settings

Web browser settings

chrome://new-tab-page

chrome://newtab

New blank tab

Browser fine tuning

chrome://omnibox

Omnibox (address bar, search bar) settings

chrome://flags

Experimental flags (capabilities) of the browser, here they can be turned on or off

Computer hardware

chrome://inspect

Detecting (network) USB devices and configuring port forwarding

chrome://device-log

A plug log and other events with devices

chrome://gpu

Information about the used video card and software extensions and settings

chrome://bluetooth-internals

Information about Bluetooth, including a list of devices previously connected to the computer (and not necessarily they were somehow used with a web browser).

chrome://usb-internals

Data on USB devices connected to the computer

Information

chrome://indexeddb-internals

Web Browser Database Information

chrome://predictors

URL auto-completion list

chrome://media-engagement

Ranking sites by user engagement

chrome://crashes

Web Browser Crash Information

chrome://management

Checking if the web browser is controlled externally

chrome://components

List of software components of the web browser

chrome://discards

In opens tab with engagement information

chrome://discards/graph

The graph of the relationship of open tabs

chrome://discards/database

Information about open tabbed audio usage, last download, and more

chrome://histograms

A variety of histograms

chrome://process-internals

Internal web browser process data

chrome://policy

Policy Information

chrome://quota-internals

Information about cached site files

chrome://safe-browsing

Information about the settings for safe opening sites

chrome://sandbox

Sandbox status

chrome://signin-internals

Internal account login information

chrome://translate-internals

Internal information about the translator's work

chrome://suggestions

Pages that are shown on the main window of the web browser, suggested pages

chrome://system

System diagnostic data

chrome://version

Details of the web browser

Browser messages

chrome://interstitials

List of browser messages

chrome://network-errors

List of network errors

Tools

chrome://net-export

Maintaining and saving a log of network activity

chrome://net-internals

Internal network settings

chrome://net-internals/#dns

Reset browser DNS cache

chrome://net-internals/#sockets

Resetting sockets

chrome://site-engagement

User engagement when browsing sites

chrome://sync-internals

Internal sync data. A sync dump and sync search tool

chrome://tracing

Process tracing

chrome://user-actions

Display of ongoing user actions

How to change the language of Google Chrome and Chromium on Linux

If you look at the process of changing the language in Google Chrome or Chromium in Windows, then everything is quite simple there: you need to enter chrome://settings/languages in the address bar of the browser, or you can use the menu: Settings → Advanced → Languages. Then expand the “Language” item, select the desired language and click on the three vertical dots opposite it. Then just click “Display Google Chrome in this language”:

But if you open Google Chrome or Chromium in Linux, then the inscription “Display Google Chrome in this language” is missing:

The inscription “Display Google Chrome in this language” not showing

Since Google Chrome and Chromium on Linux lacks the “Display Google Chrome in this language” menu, the question arises – how to change the browser language in Linux?

Apparently, it is impossible to change the language in the graphical interface – but it can be done on the command line.

To change the language, you need to assign the appropriate value to the environment variable LC_MESSAGES. For example, changing the language to English:

export LC_MESSAGES=en_US.UTF-8

Changing the language to Russian:

export LANG=ru_RU.UTF-8

Change language to French:

export LANG=fr_FR.UTF-8

After that, launch the Chromium browser:

chromium

Or Chrome:

google-chrome-stable

In order not to remember and not to enter commands on the command line every time, you can create a file chromium-en.sh and copy into it:

#!/bin/bash

export LC_MESSAGES=en_US.UTF-8
chromium

If you want Chrome to start this way, replace chromium with google-chrome-stable.

Make this file executable. After that, you will be able to launch the web browser in the language you need with a double click.

For Chrome, there is an additional ability to change the language without changing the value of the LC_MESSAGES variable – you can use the --lang option, after which specify the two-letter code of the desired language:

google-chrome-stable --lang=en

Please note that if the web browser is already open, then regardless of the specified option, a new window will be opened within the current session, that is, with the same interface language with which the first window was opened.

Is it possible to change the language of Google Chrome and Chromium on Linux in the GUI?

All attempts to find an option to change the language in the Web Browser Settings or in the experimental settings available in the chrome://flags/ tab were unsuccessful. Apparently, it is impossible to change the browser language in the graphical interface. If you know this method, then write it in the comments!

Chromium will no longer sync passwords - what should Linux users do?

Chrome and Chromium on Linux

Everyone knows the Google Chrome web browser. Chromium is at its core. That is, Chromium is the open source web browser that Google builds on the Chrome web browser, adding proprietary (i.e. closed) code to it.

The Chrome browser is distributed by Google itself as compiled files. The Chromium browser is available as open source. For this reason, Chrome is popular among Windows users - most Windows users install binaries compiled by the authors on their system and do not see anything strange in this.

It's a little different on Linux. Linux users also download and install compiled packages, but compilation is done by the distribution maintainers using the source code of the programs. This is in line with the spirit of Linux and its licenses. Closed source packages are placed in separate repositories (package sources for installation).

For this reason, it is Chromium that is prevalent among Linux users, and Chrome is often absent from the repositories. But until recently, browsers were almost identical, so you could use Chromium just like Chrome.

The Chrome/Chromium web browser makes extensive use of Google's APIs. These APIs include, for example, password and bookmark synchronization. But Google announced that from March 2021, some APIs will be available only in the Chrome web browser, but will be disabled in Chromium, as well as in all third-party browsers that use Chromium as their basis. Disabled APIs include password synchronization.

I don't mind third-party web browsers - just imagine that if you log into your Google account on a third-party browser, thanks to the password synchronization function, it gets access to all (!) your passwords on all (!) websites. Many untrustworthy Chromium-based web browsers have sprung up about the creators of which cannot be found and whose source code is not published (sometimes despite their assurances).

But what's really annoying is that important functions will no longer work in Chromium too. From a full-fledged alternative to Chrome, Chromium has now become a web browser with limited functions.

If you don't use password sync, then you have nothing to worry about

Despite the anger of the maintainers of some distributions and threats to stop supporting or even kick the web browser out of the repositories, apparently no one will do it. Therefore, if you do not need the function of synchronizing passwords and bookmarks, then you can safely continue using Chromium on Linux.

But what about Linux users who use Chromium and need password sync and other features? Let's consider several options.

1. Stop using the password sync feature in web browsers

Yes, the fact that all your passwords are stored by strangers is bad, to put it mildly. But it's super convenient if you have more than one device (computer, phone, tablet, second computer, more virtual computers…). But if you think about it, it's like giving the keys to your apartment to an outsider, so that when you appear, he opens and closes the door to your apartment, and you don't have to climb into your pockets for keys. Conveniently. But you have no idea what happens to your keys while you are away.

Therefore, one option is to continue using Chromium, but stop using the password sync feature.

2. Switch to Firefox

Firefox is open source and also has a password sync feature. If you want to show Google that you are not satisfied with this change, you can switch to Firefox. Just in case - if your passwords are synchronized using Firefox, then it is no better or worse than if they are stored by Google.

3. Install Chrome on Linux

In fact, installing Chrome from Google itself on Linux is trivial. So you can go the same route that most Windows users do - just install a web browser with proprietary code.

In Debian, Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Kali Linux and their derivatives, to install Google Chrome, just run the commands:

wget https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i ./google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb
sudo apt install -f

That's all! At the same time, during the installation of the web browser, the Google repository will be added to the list of repositories and Chrome will be updated along with the rest of the packages in the system.

In Arch Linux, Manjaro, BlackArch and their derivatives, to install Google Chrome, just run the command:

pikaur -S google-chrome

If you have not yet installed pikaur, then install it according to the instructions “Automatic installation and update of AUR packages”.

To update a web browser package, you will need to run a system update using pikaur - this command is to update both packages from the system repositories and from the AUR:

pikaur -Syu

4. Extensions for synchronization with encryption (Bitwarden)

You can install an extension like Bitwarden and continue using Chromium.

Bitwarden uses end-to-end encryption, meaning passwords are synchronized encrypted. Moreover, the source code is open even for the server, that is, you can synchronize without any third-party participants at all.

Bitwarden works with almost any device and browser you can think of: Windows, Mac, Linux; iOS and Android; Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge and many other niche browsers. This gives you freedom of movement, unlike browser password managers.

Conclusion

Which option did you choose or, perhaps, made some other decision?

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