Open Multiple Web Pages With Firefox or Chrome Browsers

Say you visit the same websites every day.  If you are a Ubuntu Linux user, there is a simple way to open several web page tabs in your Firefox or Chrome browser with one click.  All it takes is a simple one-line shell script and a shortcut on your desktop. 

Here is a sample script for Firefox:

firefox http://comics.com/peanuts/ http://www.dilbert.com/fast http://www.arcamax.com/beetlebailey


Here is a sample script for Google Chrome:

google-chrome http://comics.com/peanuts/ http://www.dilbert.com/fast http://www.arcamax.com/beetlebailey


Of course, change the URLs to the ones you want to open.  I'm not sure what the maximum number limit of URLs is that you can use, but I tested it to 14 pages in Firefox.  In Chrome, the browser would sometimes crash with greater than 6 tabs.   

Here is the step-by-step process to create your script file in Ubuntu.  On your desktop's taskbar, click "Places" then select "Home Folder".  When the file browser opens your home folder, right click in a blank area and select "Create Folder".   I would suggest naming the new folder "local", which will be a handy place to put locally created scripts.  When the new folder has been created, open that folder and then right click and select "Create Document" and then "Empty File".   I'd suggest naming the new file "firefox.sh" or something like that.   The ".sh" file extension will serve to remind you that this is a shell script file.

After the new empty file has been created, left click on the file's icon and the
gedit text editor program should open.  Come back to this page and copy the line of text from the sample script box above and paste it into gedit.  You will probably want to edit the line of text to change the URLs to the ones you want to use and add more URLs if desired. Be sure to leave one space between the URLs.  Save the file when your are done editing.  

After you saved and closed the script, right-click the script icon and select "Properties".  On the "Permissions" tab, put a check mark in the "Allow executing file as program" box.  Then close the "Properties" window.


To put a shortcut on your desktop, we need to create a launcher.  Right click somewhere on the desktop and select "Create Launcher", which opens the dialog box below. 


For Type, select "Application".  Give your launcher a logical name and then for the command, browse to your "local" folder and select the "firefox.sh" file.  Click "OK" and you are ready to give it a test.

In Ubuntu 10.04, the launcher uses this default icon:    Launcher icon   Click on the launcher icon and your browser should start with all the tabs open that you programmed into the script.

If you want the launcher icon located on the Gnome Panel (the taskbar) instead of the desktop, drag the launcher icon to the taskbar.  This should create a duplicate icon on the taskbar.  You can now safely delete the launcher icon from the desktop.

Created December 17, 2010, updated July 25, 2011