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Create a Fluid-style app launcher for single-window Chrome instances on OSX
echo "What should the Application be called (no spaces allowed e.g. GCal)?"
read inputline
echo "What is the url (e.g."
read inputline
echo "What is the full path to the icon (e.g. /Users/username/Desktop/icon.png)?"
read inputline
chromePath="/Applications/Google Chrome"
# various paths used when creating the app
# make the directories
mkdir -p "$resourcePath" "$execPath" "$profilePath"
# convert the icon and copy into Resources
if [ -f "$icon" ] ; then
sips -s format tiff "$icon" --out "$resourcePath/icon.tiff" --resampleHeightWidth 128 128 >& /dev/null
tiff2icns -noLarge "$resourcePath/icon.tiff" >& /dev/null
# create the executable
cat >"$execPath/$name" <<EOF
exec "$chromePath" --app="$url" --user-data-dir="$profilePath" "\$@"
chmod +x "$execPath/$name"
# create the Info.plist
cat > "$plistPath" <<EOF
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" “”>
<plist version=”1.0″>

Gmail works quite well in this and copy/paste images works. Nice! Thanks much.

guyjz commented Apr 25, 2012

Hmm.. this works great for the dock icon, but doesn't affect the icon that appears when command-tabbing between apps.

It does, but it's not consistent. It reverts after a while. I haven't locked down when it comes back except for after a reboot. I tend to leave it running for long periods of time. If I think about it and notice a pattern I'll add it to this.

On a different note, is there any way to get the address bar to show? I didn't notice anything in the script that looked like it should disable it. Maybe something is needed in the plist. This is a minor minor minor issue. If you have some ideas on what to look at I can search for it.


demonbane commented May 3, 2012

I've had that same thing happen from time to time. It appears to be related to opening new tabs/new windows within that session, but I can't consistently replicate it. Sometimes it falls back to the standard Chrome icon and other times it doesn't.

guyjz commented May 3, 2012

It consistently doesn't work for me at all. I.e. the icon in the app-switching overlay when command-tabbing invariably shows only the generic chrome icon. Which makes it very annoying and difficult to navigate using the keyboard between several such apps...

I'm using chrome 19 (beta) in case that makes any difference.

Perhaps. Mine was generated with one of the versioni 18 builds. It always starts at least with the new icon. Have you gone back to the app with get info and pasted in the icon you want to use?

guyjz commented May 3, 2012

How can I paste an icon there if it was created from a png file?

It already appears fine in the get info box:

Does it work as a standard Chrome application shortcut?

guyjz commented May 3, 2012

Which would make sense. I actually didn't know about Chrome application shortcuts until I did a little digging around and saw it available. But for Windows. Not for Mac. Of course. Which is why this gist is here. :) If the site is public I could try it out on my build and let you know if it works. Is it And is that .png around somewhere? (OT: looks pretty neat if that is the one you're looking to use.)

guyjz commented May 3, 2012

Must be something about the build of Chrome you're on then. That worked for me. The icon shows up in the app switcher with command-tab, shows up in Alfredapp's app list when typing asa…, etc.

Aha, the problem is that some people are using input images that aren't square.

This should fix the problem:
sips -s format tiff $icon --out $resourcePath/icon.tiff --resampleHeightWidth 128 128 >& /dev/null

I created a gist of the fixed version:

Thanks for the script!

That's awesome thanks for sharing this !
I started to use application shortcuts on windows a while ago and was really unhappy not to be able to use them on my mac.

nine9ths commented Feb 1, 2013

Does the result of this script store cookies separately from the main chrome app as you can do with the paid version of Fluid or are they shared?

@nine9ths: it looks like they're separate, I have to lot in to each

larki commented May 21, 2013

Hi, great script! I have one problem though (besides the icon sometimes resetting to the standard chrome icon): I would like to assign the app to a specific desktop. To do that you can right click on the icon in the dock, go to options and choose "This desktop". This works for every app, except for the one created with your doesn't give me the option "this desktop". Any idea how to fix this?

Hey, good job! Unfortunately it doesn't work for Chrome Extensions, like the Any.Do app. It opens the "oops, couldn't open.." window. First I thought it might be the string being handled wrong, so I hard coded it into the script and could even see the right URL in the Menubar while loading. But again "oops.." Any thoughts about it?

Edit: my fault - of course it doesn't work. The created app is not aware of any installed extensions, because it's working with a new profile. I had to install the extension to the newly created profile.


demonbane commented Aug 7, 2013

This has been updated. I added @sanfordredlich's fix for non-square images and also added the ability to use an app name with spaces in it.

dep commented Aug 27, 2013

This works great but sometimes the App icon gets lost and the Chrome icon will show up in its place. Very odd. Though looks like this issue is already well mentioned here.

ivotron commented Oct 6, 2013

One of the ways of consistently losing the customized icon is by downloading a file or invoking the "open file" dialog. I reported the issue here:

The problem I am encountering with the app shortcuts created with this script is that my main Google Chrome installation thinks that it is already running when one of the app shortcuts is running, so it will not launch. Maybe there is a setting for Chrome that allows for multiple copies of Chrome to run simultaneously?

eerne commented Jan 2, 2014

If profile data is stored within the application itself it is not possible for non-admin users to run it. Changed the script to store the profile data in the users home directory at "~/Library/Application Support/<appname>/<randomnumber>/".

Just, thank you. I've been struggling with for days because it's user agent does not support Wunderlist. With this script I created a wunderlist standalone app in 1 minute. Thank you so much.

viraf commented Feb 11, 2014

Is there a way to get notifications & app name in the menubar working ?

Sorry to ask stupid questions. but how do I make an app out of that code?

You can follow this video on Lifehacker, but download the script here and extract it. It's a good idea to create a folder called "Scripts" and place things like this in there. I also have a subfolder called App Icons. Basically you extract file, open terminal and follow the video instructions.

is there any way to have chrome to open new windows in a tab? not liking the 'new window' bit...

kevnk commented Sep 17, 2014

Thanks so much for this—now I can use chrome extensions in a FluidApp-esque fasion! Good work!

Thanks for the awesome script! Does anyone know how to make the tab bar show in the ssb? Using this to make a standalone Gmail :)

The instructions still say that the app name can't include spaces while that's no longer true

kylamct commented Mar 3, 2015

why does this open in a different profile? how can I get it to open in my default profile?


This is a great script! I would like to use 1Password within the app. Could anyone suggest how I can install the add-in. I can't get an address bar to go to the site. (I know that is the point of the script.) Thank you.

nhodges commented Apr 14, 2015

@lkingsella Open your app, press CMD + N (or CTRL + N on Windows) to open a new window with the same profile, then install the 1Password extension.

@nhodges, THANK YOU!

Thank you! Just what I was looking for. Now I can use WhatsApp web as an 'application'.
I've used this script to make a GUI:

75th commented Nov 17, 2015

Is there a way to get notifications & app name in the menubar working ?

Ditto both these questions.


  1. Click on the 'Raw' button. Download and save the file to your Desktop.
  2. Open
  3. In terminal prompt, make the file executable by running the following command (copy paste the command and hit return key)
    chmod +x ~/
  4. Execute the script

muesliq commented Aug 4, 2016

Great script! But how do I prevent links to open in that new app instead of the standard chrome profile? If all links I open in my new Gmail app open there instead of my browser that kind of defeats the purpose of such an app. Any ideas? Can I force links to open in my standard Chrome profile?

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