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Is there a way to make google chrome open fullscreen by default? Also, is there a hotkey to make it fullscreen?

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From the source file itself.

// Start the browser maximized, regardless of any previous settings.
const char kStartMaximized[]                = "start-maximized";

Try --start-maximized?

The bug filed regarding F11 fullscreen not working with GTK is marked fixed, and checked in 5 weeks ago. Not sure how old your version of Chrome is, or whether you're using trunk builds.

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I don't think it's in there yet.

I checked the keyboard shortcuts for Google Chrome and while there is one for Windows, there isn't one for Linux...

There is a feature request for the so called 'kiosk mode' on Google Code

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I recommend using Compiz's Window Rules to make apps start Maximized. I haven't done with Chrome specifically, but I'd say it's very likely to work.

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You can start chromium on Ubuntu 11.04 in kiosk mode (fullscreen) with

chromium-browser --kiosk http://www.google.com

It also has a hotkey mapped to F11

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