Start Chrome with a temp profile & with preinstalled extension

Start Chrome with a temp profile

All Chrome Incognito windows share the same profiles, which make it harder when you need to debug a web application using  more then 2-3 accounts on the time. Using this script i create a temp profile folder and start chrome pointing to it. I also had to do a small change to the default Chrome installation to auto-install the AdBlock extension.

#!/bin/bash

BASE_TEMP_DIR=/tmp
TEMP_DIR=$(mktemp -d $BASE_TEMP_DIR/google-chome.XXXXXXX)

echo "Running Chrome with temp folder in: $TEMP_DIR"
google-chrome --user-data-dir=$TEMP_DIR --no-first-run

rm -rf $TEMP_DIR

Preinstall extension

Edit the file –

/opt/google/chrome/default_apps/external_extensions.json

I also removed all the default Google Apps, and replaced it content with

// Dictionary of default apps to install into new profiles.  Each entry maps
// the extension's id to its crx's path (relative to this file) and the version
// of the extension contained in the crx.
//
// When an extension is added or removed here, the two lists 'default_apps_list'
// and 'default_apps_list_linux_dest' in build/common.gypi must also be updated.
{
  "cfhdojbkjhnklbpkdaibdccddilifddb" : {
    // Load from a local file
    // "external_crx": "/path/to/file/adblock.crx",
    // "external_version": "1.0"
    
    // Install on launch
       "external_update_url": "https://clients2.google.com/service/update2/crx"
  }
}

Download Chrome CRX file

As for how to download the CRX file, a short Goggle search gave me this answer (which don’t work for me any more — Updated 2014-12-17),

wget http://clients2.google.com/service/update2/crx\?response\=redirect\&x\=id%3D[your-extention-uid]%26uc%26lang%3Den-US\&prod\=chrome

e.g - For AdBlock

wget http://clients2.google.com/service/update2/crx\?response\=redirect\&x\=id%3Dcfhdojbkjhnklbpkdaibdccddilifddb%26uc%26lang%3Den-US\&prod\=chrome

Some thing else you can do is to install the extension from Goggle App Store, and then in the extension page > Enable “Developer mode” > And use “Pack Extension”, which will create the CRX file for you.

Resources

  • http://www.chromium.org/administrators/pre-installed-extensions
  • http://peter.sh/experiments/chromium-command-line-switches/
  • http://stackoverflow.com/questions/7184793/how-to-download-a-crx-file-from-the-chrome-web-store-for-a-given-id
  • http://www.madhur.co.in/Reverse%20Engineering/Chrome/2011/06/03/reverseengineerchrome.html

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2 Responses

  1. Kamil says:

    You were the only person in whole internet to explain how to start Chrome with a preinstalled extension, thanks a lot!

    • Rabin says:

      glad I was able to help 🙂
      please not that you need a internet connection to download the extension you like to install, if you like it to work offline, you will need to install the extension and then copy the files (crx).

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