Setting Chromium flags via Plasma app launcher

Ave Milia avemilia at
Tue Sep 10 13:03:17 BST 2019

On Tuesday, September 10, 2019 11:23 AM, René J.V. Bertin <rjvbertin at> wrote:

> [latin]Ave[/latin] ;)
> Stop fighting, create a wrapper script that sets the env. variable or adds the argument, put it in /usr/local/bin and make sure the application launcher doesn't hard-code the path. I do this kind of thing all the time with the Lancelot launcher (I'm still rocking a KDE4/Plasma4 desktop); sadly it appears no one migrated that launcher to KF5.
> There may also be a possibility to create a custom .desktop entry in ~/.local/share/applications, and set the argument you want in there. Or you put it on your desktop.

Thank you for the reply. In fact, here is ~/.local/share/applications/chromium-browser.desktop that the application launcher currently uses:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment[en_IE]=Browse the World Wide Web
Comment=Browse the World Wide Web
Comment[en_US]=Browse the World Wide Web
Exec=chromium %u
GenericName[en_IE]=Web Browser
GenericName=Web Browser
GenericName[en_US]=Web Browser

I have also tried

Exec=CHROMIUM_USER_FLAGS="--disable-font-subpixel-positioning" chromium %u

which of course failed too.

One thing that works for now is putting

export CHROMIUM_USER_FLAGS="--disable-font-subpixel-positioning"

directly into /usr/bin/chromium (sorry, this is a cross-post from opensuse ml, so I forgot to specify that it's a shell script that, besides other work, appends all flags found in CHROMIUM_USER_FLAGS to vendor-specific (in this case opensuse) launch flags).

Even though it works, this solution is not scalable.

I am probably missing something crucial about .desktop files, application launcher or bash scripts.

> Lastly, have you checked if there's no way to toggle the setting via about:config or the equivalent of the "experiments" that Google Chrome has?

Yep, AFAIK this flag is the only way. In fact, it's a bug abuse[0].

> (Or ... install the Firefox Developer Edition and use that, I've found it to be considerably faster ;))

Unfortunately, not on my machine: chromium starts faster, loads page elements faster, has better plugin support (after FF killed XUL, developers neglect testing and porting their plugins for FF, which leads to all sorts of unusable plugins), does not have an annoying window resizing bug (when FF is in fullscreen and is closed, it reopens in fullscreen, but the content frame is rendered only on some small piece of the screen, which is fixed by manually toggling "restore" button). Furthermore, FF (and Thunderbird) developers do all sorts of mental gymnastics to not do something that users highly request, but what the developers feel like working on (see e.g. [1],[2] and numerous other 10+yo bug reports), even if a feature is essential. Added to multiple[3] recent[4] "oopsies", I have serious trust issues with the direction FF is moving.

The only thing that chromium does slower is when pressing the "sandwich" button it takes bizarre ~5 seconds for the menu to appear.

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Ave Milia

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