Chromium Install

By default, ArchiveBox looks for any existing installed version of Chrome/Chromium and uses it if found. You can optionally install a specific version and set the environment variable CHROME_BINARY to force ArchiveBox to use that one, e.g.:

  • CHROME_BINARY=google-chrome-beta

  • CHROME_BINARY=/usr/bin/chromium-browser

  • CHROME_BINARY='/Applications/'

If you don’t already have Chrome installed, I recommend installing Chromium instead of Google Chrome, as it’s the open-source fork of Chrome that doesn’t send as much tracking data to Google.

Check for existing Chrome/Chromium install:

google-chrome --version | chromium-browser --version
Google Chrome 73.0.3683.75 beta     # should be >v59

Installing Chromium


If you already have /Applications/, you don’t need to run this.

brew install chromium


If you already have chromium-browser >= v59 installed (run chromium-browser --version, you don’t need to run this.

apt update
apt install chromium-browser
# or on some systems:
apt install chromium

Installing Google Chrome


If you already have /Applications/Google, you don’t need to run this.

brew install google-chrome


If you already have google-chrome >= v59 installed (run google-chrome --version, you don’t need to run this.

wget -q -O - | sudo apt-key add -
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64] stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome.list'
apt update
apt install google-chrome

Troubleshooting Chromium Install

If you encounter problems setting up Google Chrome or Chromium, see the Troubleshooting page.

Setting Up a Chromium User Profile

You may choose to set up a Chrome/Chromium user profile in order to use your cookies/sessions to log into sites behind authentication/paywall during archiving.

You must set up the profile using the exact same version of chrome that ArchiveBox is running (which can be found with archivebox version). You can download old versions of Chrome in order to match it from

General steps:

  1. Install desired Chromium version in new directory ./data/chromium inside your data folder on the host (outside Docker)

  2. Open the Chromium binary directly on the host if possible, or run vncserver as archivebox user and run chromium in VNC session to generate cookies, then close VNC session (detailed instructions here)

  3. Add the config to docker-compose.yml to mount the ./data/chromium volume and environment variables telling ArchiveBox to use it docker-compose.yml:

          - CHROME_USER_DATA_DIR=/data/chromium/.config/chromium
          - CHROME_BINARY=/data/chromium/chrome
          - ./data:/data
          - ./data/chromium:/data/chromium
  1. Set the permissions on the chromium dir

docker-compose run --rm archivebox /bin/bash
# then inside of docker run these:
chown -R archivebox:archivebox /data/chromium/
chmod -R ugo+rwx /data/chromium

The new profile is now generated and used by same instance of Chrome on docker host and container.

Each step is crucial, especially the permissions and matching the binary inside of Docker and outside.

More info and troubleshooting steps: