Chromium/Tips and tricks
- 1 Browsing experience
- 2 Profile Maintenance
- 3 Security
A number of tweaks can be accessed via typing about:xxx in the URL field. A complete list is available by typing about:chrome-urls into the URL field. Some of note are listed below:
- about:flags - access experimental features such as WebGL and rendering webpages with GPU, etc.
- about:plugins - view, enable and disable the currently used Chromium plugins.
- about:gpu-internals - status of different GPU options.
- about:sandbox - indicate sandbox status.
- about:version - display version and switches used to invoke the active
An automatically updated, complete listing of Chromium switches is available here.
Broken icons in Download Tab
If Chromium shows icon placeholders (icons representing broken documents) instead of appropriate icons in its download tab, the likely cause is that thepackage is not installed.
Chromium overrides/overwrites Preferences file
If you enabled syncing with a Google Account, then Chromium will tend to override any edits made by hand to the Preferences file found under
$HOME/.config/google-chrome/Default/Preferences. To work around this, start Chromium with the
$ chromium --disable-sync-preferences
If Chromium is started in the background when you login to your desktop environment, make sure the command your desktop environment uses is
$ chromium --disable-sync-preferences --no-startup-window
Chromium offers some command-line options to help control how efficient it is with system memory, by determining how often it should release memory back to the operating system. It is done with the flag
--memory-model=X, where X is one of the following:
- high - Never voluntarily relinquish memory.
- medium - Voluntarily reduce working set when switching tabs.
- low - Voluntarily reduce working set when switching tabs and also when the browser is not actively being used.
It is also possible to manually force Chromium to purge its memory. The flag
--purge-memory-button enables a button in the task manager (available in Tools > Task Manager, or by pressing Template:Keypress) to do this.
Scroll speed of mouse wheel
Adjust the scroll speed of the wheel mouse via the
$ chromium --scroll-pixels=200
Make sites like wiki.archlinux.org and wikipedia.org easily searchable by first executing a search on those pages, then going to Settings > Search and click the Manage search engines.. button. From there, "Edit" the Wikipedia entry and change its keyword to "w" (or some other shortcut you prefer). Now searching Wikipedia for "Arch Linux" from the address bar is done simply by entering "w arch linux".
Cache in tmpfs
To limit Chromium from writing its cache to a physical disk, one can define an alternative location via the
$ chromium --disk-cache-dir=/tmp/cache
Cache should be considered temporary and will not be saved after a reboot or hard lock.
Alternative way, in
tmpfs /home/<USER>/.cache tmpfs noatime,nodev,nosuid,size=400M 0 0
Profile in tmpfs
Relocate the browser profile to a tmpfs filesystem, including
/dev/shm for improvements in application response as the entire profile is now stored in RAM.
Use an active management script for maximal reliability and ease of use. Several are available from the AUR:
- Profile-sync-daemon wiki article for additional information on it. AUR - symlinks and syncs browser profile directories to RAM. Refer to the
- AUR - a similar utility which has been deprecated by its author, who recommends using AUR or AUR in its place.
Chromium uses Sqlite databases to manage history and the like. Sqlite databases become fragmented over time and empty spaces appear all around. But, since there are no managing processes checking and optimizing the database, these factors eventually result in a performance hit. A good way to improve startup and some other bookmarks and history related tasks is to defragment and trim unused space from these databases.
AUR does just this.AUR in the
Run in a Sandbox
Run chromium in a sandbox for added security:
$ chromium --enable-seccomp-sandbox
By default Chromium already sends an excessively detailed User Agent, as is viewable via the EFF's Panopticlick test. That alone makes each browser readily identifiable with high accuracy — and is further exacerbated by the use of non-stable versions, ones not recently provided by Google's release channels, ones customized e.g. by a distribution (such as the AUR's AUR), etc.
However, this User Agent can be arbitrarily modified at the start of Chromium's base instance via its
For the same User Agent as the stable Chrome release for Linux i686 (at the time of writing the most popular Linux edition of Chrome) one would use:
--user-agent="Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686) AppleWebKit/535.2 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/20.0.1132.47 Safari/536.11"
An official, automatically updated listing of Chromium releases which also shows the included WebKit version is available as the OmahaProxy Viewer.
Making it all persistent
export CHROMIUM_USER_FLAGS="--disk-cache-dir=/tmp --disk-cache-size=50000000"
Or add op to
# Default settings for chromium. This file is sourced by /usr/bin/chromium # Options to pass to chromium CHROMIUM_FLAGS=" --scroll-pixels=200 "