Running additional Google Chrome profiles in Linux

Google Chrome supports running multiple profiles.

In newer versions of Google Chrome, you’ll be able to enable profiles by navigating to chrome://flags and enabling Multiple Profiles. Restart the browser, and you’ll have a switcher and multiple profiles which can be activated in different windows. This allows you to sync to different gmail accounts. For instance, if you have a personal account and a work or school account, each with different bookmarks… you can run two or three different profiles and have access to all of your data.

If you’re using an older version of Chrome or Chromium and you don’t have the Multiple Profiles option, you can use the switch


when opening the browser and the profile for your session will be pulled from the given folder instead of the Default folder. The folder specified should be created automatically. To be safe, I like to create the folder before providing it as an argument.

As explained here, the default directory is located at:

Google Chrome: ~/.config/google-chrome/Default
Chromium: ~/.config/chromium/Default

Open a terminal and create a new directory for your second profile. For instance:

mkdir ~/.config/google-chrome/work

Then, open Google Chrome with the switch:

google-chrome --user-data-dir='~/.config/google-chrome/work'  &

If this is a profile you’ll be using often, you can also create a menu entry under Applications -> Internet (‘Chrome|Work’, maybe?).

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