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I just set up a Linux Mint virtual machine, and I installed Chromium in it. When I ran Chromium, I logged in with my google account.

Then, Linux Mint proceeded to modify the "google" default search engine to a Mint-branded Google, all across my Chrome browsers logged in everywhere. I managed to fix it by copy-pasting the default from elsewhere, but I feel like this isn't the last time this is going to happen.

I'd like to freeze my search engine settings so this doesn't happen again.

But I don't see an option to stop Chrome from Syncing just the search engines. These are the things that it allows me to check off for syncing or not:

Apps
Autofill
Bookmarks
Extensions
Omnibox History
Passwords
Settings
Themes
Open Tabs

How can I stop Chrome from overwriting my search engine preferences again?

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You might get success by setting the search engine to your preference on the new install before you log in. That way it won't save the Mint search page as your preference because you will have changed it before Chromium could phone home and update your details.

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That would work, but I thought the whole point of syncing is not to have to worry about things like this. I'd possibly consider it a bug in Chrome Sync, that it overrides the server with the local settings (but just for the Search Engine list, as far as I can tell) on first sync. –  Josh Sep 25 '12 at 13:13
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Well I suggested it as one possible option. I understand that you might think it a bug, but many changes are automatic as far as I can tell. Certainly on my Chrome it does the same thing. Chrome has no real way of knowing that you did or didn't purposely set that to be the chosen search engine and as such is possibly saving that setting in an attempt to be helpful. Maybe suggest it to the Chrome devs as a possible future feature. –  TenaciousC Sep 25 '12 at 15:03
    
I just had a look and you can request that it doesn't sync the 'Settings' section. The settings includes the search engine options. In fact you might find that most of the options on the Settings tab are things you might not want to sync anyway, so perhaps try turning that off. (Of course this only works in future installs if it records your setting the option to sync settings as Switched Off..) –  TenaciousC Sep 25 '12 at 15:06
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