Several days ago Google Chrome stoped working after an update.

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

[6:6:4528137750:FATAL:sandbox_init_linux.cc(378)] 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.

  • Have you tried re-installing chrome? You can get the .deb from google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/?hl=en& and retry.
    – hnns
    Jul 3, 2012 at 13:42
  • @hnns: Yes. I've reinstalled it but no luck.
    – fmanco
    Jul 3, 2012 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.
    – fmanco
    Jul 3, 2012 at 19:25

1 Answer 1


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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