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Several days ago Google Chrome stoped working after an update.

If I start it in the terminal I can see the following output:

[] prctl(PR_SET_NO_NEW_PRIVS) failed: Invalid argument

Any idea how to solve this?

Chrome version: 20.0.1132.47
Ubuntu: 12.04 x64
Kernel: 3.2.0-21-generic #34-Ubuntu

It is possible to start chrome with --no-sandbox switch.

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Have you tried re-installing chrome? You can get the .deb from; and retry. – hnns Jul 3 '12 at 13:42
@hnns: Yes. I've reinstalled it but no luck. – criziot Jul 3 '12 at 17:32
I have been looking in the source code of chromium and in the source code of linux kernel and I think there are an incompatibility. The value of PR_SET_NO_NEW_PRIVS changed in kernel and altough it also changed in Chromium I think that in my system either Chrome or Kernel are still using the old value. – criziot Jul 3 '12 at 19:25
up vote 1 down vote accepted

After been looking for both Chromium and Linux Kernel sources, I found an incompatibility between the versions stated above in the question.

In the newest versions of the Linux Kernel, the values of PR_SET_NO_NEW_PRIVS and PR_GET_NO_NEW_PRIVS, defined in <linux/prctl.h>, has changed.

The version 20.0.1132.47 of Google Chrome has accomodate that changes but the version 3.2.0-21-generic #34-Ubuntu of the Kernel has not.

So basically the solution is one of the following:

  • Update the kernel to a newer version (version 3.2.0-22.35 and newer solves the problem)
  • Downgrade Google Chrome to a version prior than 20.0.1132.47
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