Install and Run Chrome as root in Ubuntu Linux

This tutorial explains how to install the Google Chrome in Ubuntu Linux and once the Chrome is installed, how to run it under the root user account.

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Google Chrome is one of the most popular web browsers. Just like the other applications, we cannot install it from the Ubuntu Software Center. We have to download and install it manually. Before we learn how to do this, let’s quickly understand why is the Chrome not available in Ubuntu Software Center?

Chrome is developed by the Google. Google does not allow third parties to distribute it. Besides this, to download and use the Chrome, a user has to agree with the Google's restrictive "End User License Agreement" (EULA). Google's restrictive license does not allow Ubuntu to distribute the Chrome from its official repositories.

Installing Google Chrome in Ubuntu Linux

Since Chrome is not available in Ubuntu’s official repositories, it cannot be installed from the Ubuntu Software Center. We have to manually download and install it. There are two ways to do this; through the CLI prompt and through the GUI interface. Let’s understand both methods in detail with examples.

Installing Chrome from the CLI prompt
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To install Chrome from the command line, connect the system with the Internet and run the following command.

$wget https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb

This command downloads the latest stable version of Chrome in the current directory.

download chrome

Once installer package file is downloaded, run the following command.

$sudo dpkg -i google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb

This command installs the Chrome from the downloaded installer package file.

install the chrome cli prompt

Installing Google Chrome from GUI Interface

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To install the Google Chrome from GUI interface, download the latest stable version from its official site.

download chrome from google site

Once downloading is finished, open the folder which contains the downloaded file.

open the download folder

Select the downloaded file, and do right click. From right click context menu, click the option "Open With Software Install".

open with software center

This opens the downloaded file in the installation wizard of Ubuntu Software center. To start the installation, click the Install button.

start installation

To authenticate the installation, type the super user password.

authenticate the installation

Upon successful authentication, wizard starts the installation. Usually, installation takes less than a minute.

installing chrome from gui

Starting Google Chrome

Once Chrome is installed, it can be started from both methods; command line and GUI interface. To start it from the command line, use the following command.

$google-chrome

Following two options will be displayed if Chrome is started for the first time.

  • Make Google Chrome the default browser
  • Automatically send usage statistics and crash reports to Google

starting chrome from command prompt

By default, both options are selected. If you don’t want to set the Google Chrome as the default browser, unselect the first option. Same way if you don’t want to send the crash reports and usage statistics to Google, unselect the second option.

After making your decision, click the OK button to start the Chrome.

google chrome started from cli

Just like the command prompt, we can also start the Chrome from the GUI interface. To start it from GUI interface, click the Dash button. In search box of the opened window, search the keyword "Chrome". From search result, click the Chrome.

starting chrome from gui

This will launch the Google Chrome.

chrome started

Running Chrome as root

To enhance the system security, by default, Chrome does not start under the root user account. Following error is displayed when Chrome is started under the root account.

ERROR:zygote_host_impl_linux.cc(89) Running as root without --no-sandbox is not supported. See https://crbug.com/638180.

run chrome as root error

To run Chrome as root, open the file /opt/google/chrome/google-chrome for editing.

open configuration file for editing

Append the following configuration values in the last line of the file.

--user-data-dir --test-type --no-sandbox

After editing, last line should look like the following line.

exec -a "$0" "$HERE/chrome" "$@"--user-data-dir --test-type --no-sandbox

configuration file updated

Make sure you add all three options of configuration values. Skipping second option (--test-type) will through the following error message when the Chrome will run.

You are using an unsupported command-line flag: --no-sandbox. Stability and security will be suffered.

--no-sandbox error

To run Chrome as root without any error messages, add all three options as explained above and save the file.

Once the configuration file is updated with these options, you can run the Chrome as root.

chrome running as root

Removing Chrome from CLI prompt

To uninstall Chrome from the command prompt, run the following commands.

$sudo dpkg -l |grep google
$sudo dpkg -P google-chrome-stable

First command prints the package name of Chrome.

Second command removes the package of Chrome.

uninstalling chrome from command prompt

Uninstalling Chrome from GUI interface

To uninstall Chrome from the GUI interface, open the Ubuntu Software center. In search box of Software center, search the keyword Chrome. From search result, click the Google Chrome.

removing chrome from gui

On detailed information screen, click the Remove button.

remove options

Click the Remove button again to confirm the removal of Chrome.

confirm remove

In few seconds, Chrome will be removed from the system.

That’s all for this tutorial. If you like this tutorial, please don’t forget to share it through your favorite social channel.

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