How to Make Google Chrome Launcher Open New Window

I’ve used Google Chrome on Linux for quite a while now, mostly happily, but there is one thing I’ve always found extremely frustrating. I just fixed it, so I thought I’d share.

Here was the problem. I usually have a dozen or so Chrome windows open at once, each of which may have several tabs. These windows, spread across four desktops, represent work in progress for me, as I handle interruptions or set aside a task while waiting for a response, or whatever. OK, so when I click on the Chrome icon to open a new browser window, I don’t get one — Chrome instead finds my most recently touched browser window and adds a new tab to it. It doesn’t matter if it has been hours since I touched that window, or if the window is on a different desktop — that other window gets the new tab. So I have to pull the tab from the lucky window, iconize the old window again, move the new window to the desktop I was on, and switch back to that desktop myself. Aaargh!

I have a hard time understanding why the launcher would work this way. If I want a new tab in some Chrome window, I can simply press the new tab icon in that window. If I go to the panel and ask for a new browser, why would I want it to dig up some old window and add a new tab to that?

I had looked at the man page, but there was no switch for this behavior. But today I found an undocumented (why???) switch that does just what I want:


So I edited the properties for the Google Chrome launcher to add in the switch, and all is golden:



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