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First Run Customizations

Chromium can be customized to perform certain behaviors during its first run. The key to it is a special file named master_preferences that must exist before chrome first run in the same folder as the chrome.exe binary.

The master_preferences file is a text file of JSON format, which needs to contain some specific name/value pairs. A prototypical file is shown here (for a more exhaustive list consult the source code directly):


"homepage" : "",

"homepage_is_newtabpage" : false,

"distribution": {

"create_all_shortcuts": true,

"import_history": false,

"import_bookmarks": false,

"import_home_page": false,

"import_search_engine": false,

"do_not_launch_chrome": false


"first_run_tabs": [






There is one dictionary, called "distribution" and one list, called "first_run_tabs". Setting the home page behavior is done outside of these.

The home page settings control the following behaviors:

The distribution dictionary controls the following behaviors:

The first_run_tabs list controls the set of urls that are displayed in chromium when first run. If you want the default behavior the entire section can be removed. Each entry can be a standard url or you can use these special names to display special tabs: