Flaw in Gnome design, Taskbar doesnt label/differentiate different browser profiles one uses, like Windows 7 would

Zorin Core taskbar doesnt label/differentiate different browser profiles one uses when multiple are open at the same time, like Windows 7 would.
They are just nameless & makes it much more difficult to navigate & differentiate.
Especially if its important, if you are trying to limit browser fingerprint tracking, or different IP address for each profile,etc.
I wish i could screenshot my windows 7 to show an example, but its on a failing SSHD.
Here is what I am talking about in regards to Zorin though.
The top three open tabs here are actually 3 different browser profiles, but they look like they are all of the same profile/session when they arent.

And the same goes for this, this is just another way of viewing the same thing that is shown in the above screenshot:

These look merely like different tabs, I cant tell which profile is which. Windows 7 labeled them.

Can this be fixed?
Someone who's not a part of this forum suggested to me its not fixable in gnome or xfce, & i need to try KDE.
" Zorin OS only comes with gnome (regular) or xfce (lite). So you wont be able to do this with zorin os, unless there is some hacky way I am unaware of to get these desktop environments to use dynamic icon redirects. the KDE and openbox desktops support dynamic icon redirects to some degree, which is what is needed for chromium to be able to change its icon on the fly according to the user profile"


That's actually a good point, never noticed that. I guess this is an issue with Gnome in general as it doesn't show profile names even on the activities overview.

If it helps, what I do is use different themes for each profile so that I can visually distinct them easily. Here's how it looks like for me:


The hacky way on XFCE would be to use wmctrl and xseticon - which is what I used to do on Zorin OS Lite. But it's not a fun set up.
How Chrome, Chromium and Chromium based browsers icons are handled on the desktops has long been an annoyance for me.


AS this is gnome issue i'm not sure how to get around it, You can try kde if you want, but it just doesn't have the zorin gui customization and layouts. And it integrates itself quite well, so if you decide you want to remove it, you may have problems. As it will update and modify shared x11 / wayland files and settings, them remove them or leave settings behind on uninstall. If you can try on a virtual machine first.

sudo apt install kde-full

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Will Add, I just use different browsers for that Brave / Chrome

If you choose to install KDE, do not attempt to remove gnome. Zorin custom configurations are integrated in gnome. You will essentially have a dual DE setup. A lot of the gnome applications will still start, daemons will run in the background, while your login and desktop will be QT based Plasma. You can open most of the gnome applications from the zapp menu. Some will not show, zorin settings, but can be accessed by alt + F2 or the terminal.

I run KDE Plasma on Zorin and love the appearance, customizability and that it supports theming both graphics library applications (GTK and QT).


As a side note: These can be made to show by amending the .desktop file. I don't recommend it though. They are set to not run on KDE for a reason and only the modular versions of these apps would normally be installed on a Plasma system. The integrated versions on an Ubuntu or Zorin OS system could have conflicts that are not always predictable in nature.

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@zenzen ,thanks for telling me about that, unfortunately those color schemes are just not distinct/differentiated enough for me, I need a label also for each profile, I need there to be least likely chance of me making a mistake, using wrong profile/browser,etc. I already make VPN mistakes,etc as it is. haha.
Right now I use one profile for personal/general use & surfing, and also a 2nd profile for facebook & a 3rd profile for reddit.

You can choose among many themes if you search on the extensions page, I used to have different ones with more contrast to make it clear which profile was which.

Actually coming from XFCE when I first used ZorinOS, I found it irritating that I couldn't launch profiles in dedicated windows to cycle through them. That's how I got started with theming each profile differently.

But I understand this may not be the best solution for you, it was just a suggestion.

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@seanhinkley ,

"Will Add, I just use different browsers for that Brave / Chrome"

But even if I or you did use different browsers for different things,
Gnome still doesnt show the name of any of these profiles in the taskbar for any of these different browsers. But windows 7 does.

Right, I personally don't use different profiles, but instead use different browsers for the same effect, each browser can be assigned a vpn profile, or tor, separatly and i know like firefox, i never use it, my wife does so it has all her stuff.

This unfortunately is a gnome bug ~ poked around online to see if there was a fix or an unofficial patch that could be applied didn't see anything.

Might be easier to treat browsers as profiles instead of installing multiple desktop environments. is what i was hinting at.

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I couldn't open them (the browser pics) to see exactly what you mean. But I will say something that I just learned using Ubuntu. Are those browsers Snap packages??? If so, try them using Deb version or flatpak.
I came across a video which showed examples of things not looking uniform. Turns out some snap packages revert to adwaita I think, instead of the theme of the OS. Or maybe I am totally off, and ain't picking up what you put down...

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@seanhinkley , thanks for taking a look at a solution.
Yeah, I know what you meant by different browsers. But what I'm saying is even then they still arent labeled. It would make things a little better though, easier to not get mixed up. :slight_smile:
But also, I've found the task of finding the many corresponding extensions I use for chromium, finding these for firefox is a real pain & also configuring them.

And I'm still getting used to using firefox, its GUI is not as a good a design in some ways as chromium. For example firefox also has its own inconveniencing design coincidentally when it comes to switching profiles. You cant just click the right hand hamburger icon & switch to another profile, u gotta go to "about:profiles" & you cant click inprivate from there, u gotta open a secondary profile session then click inprivate. But it would be cool to find a way to make a bookmark in one profile that will open up an inprivate session for another profile. I often use inprivate sessions for facebook & reddit so i dont leave browser fingerprint as much.

If u cant open the browser screenshots, the problem is probably on your side, here are links to them anyway tho:
1st pic:

2nd pic:

Also, my thorium browser install has always been via a .deb file, so not sure how that would be an issue, but thanks for the advice anyway.

Once again, not the solution you are probably looking for, but hopefully this still helps.

You can assign keyboard shortcuts to launch specific programs and commands. For example you can assign Alt + 1 for the first profile, Alt + 2 for the second profile, etc... Or whatever keyboard shortcut you prefer, obviously.

You can do this from Settings > Keyboard > View and Customize Shortcuts > Custom Shortcuts. Enter a name for the shortcut, this is just a friendly label for you to identify it later, and the command to execute. To launch a particular firefox profile you should enter: firefox -P <profile_name>.


The name must match exactly the firefox name, and it's case sensitive. Use double quotes if you have spaces on the name or strange characters.

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@zenzen , Oh Cool, thanks! :slight_smile:

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Just saw this on FB :rofl:



:spoon::slightly_smiling_face: <(Where's my knife?)