Posted by CANbike on Thu, 3 Apr 2014

[Precise Puppy 5.7.1] Customize Chromium's Default Setup

A default configuration is applied when creating a new Chromium user profile or when running Chromium for the first time.

The following are brief notes taken for setting custom web browser preferences and policies while remastering Precise Puppy 5.7.1, as Can Bike OS: Kiosk Edition (5.7.1).


A master_preferences file contains the default browser settings which can later be altered by the user.

Documentation and a list of settings can be found at Chromium Project: Configuring Other Preferences. Note, the directories for Linux varies based on the distribution.

In Precise Puppy 5.7.1,

  • /usr/bin/chromium-browser is a script which executes the binary
  • Directory /usr/lib/chromium-browser/ contains the binary file chromium-browser
  • The master_preferences goes in directory /usr/lib/chromium-browser/

Set Preferred Default Fonts

The following example JSON markup sets Liberation as the preferred font.

   "webkit": {
      "webprefs": {
         "fonts": {
            "fixed": {
               "Zyyy": "Liberation Mono"
            "sansserif": {
               "Zyyy": "Liberation Sans"
            "serif": {
               "Zyyy": "Liberation Serif"
            "standard": {
               "Zyyy": "Liberation Sans"
         "minimum_font_size": 12,
         "minimum_logical_font_size": 12

Policy Files

Policies can be mandated settings or recommended settings configured by administrators.

Linux documentation can be found at Chromium Project: Linux Quick Start.
A descriptive list of policies can be found at the Chromium Project: Policy List.

In Precise Puppy 5.7.1, policy files are stored in the directories

  • /etc/chromium-browser/policies/managed/
  • /etc/chromium-browser/policies/recommended/

Set Startup URL

The following sets the browser tabs when Chromium is launched. It’s different from setting the homepage.

	"RestoreOnStartup" : 4,
	"RestoreOnStartupURLs" : ["file:///usr/share/doc/home.htm"]


Flags can specified from the command line to specify features. They can also be passed as default options via the file


For example, the flag --incognito causes the browser to launch directly in incognito mode. Adding it as default option in addition to the other flags (user-data-dir, start-maximized) results in,


# Default settings for chromium-browser. This file is sourced by /bin/sh from
# /usr/bin/chromium-browser

# Options to pass to chromium-browser
CHROMIUM_FLAGS="--user-data-dir --start-maximized --incognito"

Final Notes

Preferences, policies, and flags provide three different ways for adjusting Chromium settings.

In general, preferences keep state of a user’s settings. Policies and flags do not. However, policies can be mandated and enforced on an administrative level, while flags are passed and executed on a user level. Some flags, though, cannot be adjusted like preferences until the browser is closed.

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