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OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2

How do you access more then one Google account at same time

If you need to access more then one Google account at the same time what browser do you use and how do you do that?

All my main browsers (IE7 and Chromium) accept session cookies only, without any exceptions for Google sites. So, when I close browser - all cookies from Google are gone.

IE7, running as two separate processes, is able to keep two different sets of session cookies independently. And thanks to that, I used to use IE7 to login into two different Google accounts. I start first IE7 and login into 1st account. Then I launch a second IE7 process, that allows me to login into 2nd account at the same time. It worked very well, until recently when Google Voice completely stopped working with that browser... It' still working with GMail though, but not with GV...

When I tried to do the same with the latest Chromium, I see that it doesn't work this way. When I launch its second process (and there are many running at the same time, as you may noticed), it already knows session cookies from the 1st instance - they share session cookies. It means it logins me immediately into my 1st account (and I don't want that).

Thus here is the question related to Chromium browser. How to run two separate Chromium browsers that do not share the same set of session cookies? Is it possible at all with Chromium?

Is it possible to do with other browsers (e.g. Firefox)?
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...


redwolfe_98
Premium
join:2001-06-11
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

it's an interesting question.. i have never run into the situation where i needed to be logged in to two different accounts before..

since you pointed out that there can be some issues with trying to do that, i suppose that the way that i would do it would be to run my browser from two different windows user-accounts.. or, you could try using two different browsers since the cookies seems to be the issue..



no__1__here
Premium
join:2003-10-13
Tomball, TX
Reviews:
·AT&T Southwest
reply to OZO

Firefox can run multiple profiles concurrently. The "trick" to keeping the sessions from sharing is the -no-remote flag. For example...

firefox.exe -P myotherprofile -no-remote
 
...will launch Firefox with the "myotherprofile" profile.

Another option (one that I use more often) is to start your browser of choice in a separate Sandboxie sandbox.

--
COL 2:8

"Relativism just isn't true for me." - Hillary Putnam


beck
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-29
On The Road
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to OZO

Personally, I run different browsers. Like FF and IE. Works for me.



bolt
End of the line DSL sucks.
Premium
join:2003-11-11
Charlestown, IN
kudos:1

I do it in Firefox using the Gmail Manager plugin.



coldmoon
Premium
join:2002-02-04
Broadway, NC
reply to OZO

Agree with beck on this one - multiple browsers do the trick for me as well.



sivran
Opera ex-pat
Premium
join:2003-09-15
Irving, TX
kudos:1
reply to OZO

A browser with the ability to run both private and "normal" sessions at the same time can also do this. Opera, with private tabs or windows. In Chromium-based browsers, Incognito mode opens a new window while leaving the first still running.
--
Think Outside the Fox.


OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2
reply to OZO

Thank you guys for the interesting ideas. What is working:

1. Using different browsers (for obvious reasons).
Cons: it's not convenient and very limited (max number of sessions is equal to the number of browsers you have on your computer).

2. Using different profiles.
Works for FF with command line mentioned in this post.
Works for Chromium with this command line:
chrome.exe -user-data-dir="C:\Tmp\profile2" -single-process
Cons: you have to keep multiple profile folders just to be able to use it
Pros: works in single process mode.

3. Using SandboxIE.
I've not tried it yet (but certainly will) with Chromium.
Cons:
a) all launches with specific profile should be done within sandbox. Otherwise it will not work
b) you have to create multiple sandboxes (each for one session)
c) launching Chromium within different sandboxes is not convenient.

4. Using "incognito window" in Chromium.
It works for one extra session only. You have main window (no-incognito) with one login session in progress and one incognito window with second session at the same time. When I tried to launch second incognito window - it inherits login info from its 1st incognito window
Cons: it seems that Chromium incognito can not function in single process mode , which I use the most...
And why they did not make it simple - each incognito windows should be isolated form others and should not share any of the data??? Is it a bug?

Running multiple separate browsers (that don't share any data) was so easy with IE7-. Why it's so difficult now with modern browsers?
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...



RazzyIE

@rr.com
reply to OZO

iexplore.exe -noframemerging



HA Nut
Premium
join:2004-05-13
USA

1 recommendation

reply to OZO

Multiple account logins natively supported in separate tabs
»support.google.com/accounts/bin/···=1721977


OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2

It's a group sign in, not a separate sign in. All accounts will share the same cookies... That's not what I need. Moreover, there is weird requirement:

If you sign out of any Google product while signed in to any account, you will be signed out of all your Google Accounts at once.

.
I need a completely separate sign in into several Google accounts at the same time. No sharing cookies, no sharing any data... Google is dancing around the problem, not solving it at all. For using multiple accounts at the same time they suggest several workarounds, that include: using different types of browsers, using "incognito" windows (they all share data between them, which is wrong IMHO) and using different user profiles.

BTW, clicking on the link offered by Google on their page ("multiple browser profiles.") crashes its own Chromium browser with this message:

Chromium crash
.
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...


Brano
I hate Vogons
Premium,MVM
join:2002-06-25
Burlington, ON
kudos:8
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Bell Fibe
reply to OZO

Chrome has option to add users, then you switch in top left next to tabs.
You can also set in your Google preferences to allow multiple logins and each tab (regardless of a browser) should remember which user is logged in.

EDIT: I'm using multiple users in Chrome on linux, works like charm. (It opens new window for each user but that's fine with me. Switching is as easy as clicking on user's icon next to tab bar.)



Oregonian
Premium
join:2000-12-21
West Linn, OR
Reviews:
·Comcast

said by Brano:

Chrome has option to add users, then you switch in top left next to tabs.
You can also set in your Google preferences to allow multiple logins and each tab (regardless of a browser) should remember which user is logged in.

EDIT: I'm using multiple users in Chrome on linux, works like charm. (It opens new window for each user but that's fine with me. Switching is as easy as clicking on user's icon next to tab bar.)

This works for me too.

Go to Settings and then click Add New User under users. Chrome keeps their information separate and you access each user using the icon in the very top left of the Chrome window. Works like a charm.

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2

said by Oregonian:

Chrome keeps their information separate

No it doesn't and that's the security problem. Instead it groups all your sign ins and links them together in one session. In my previous post I specifically quoted that if you sing out one account - "you will be signed out of all your Google Accounts at once." I'm not concerned about that inconvenience, but rather about the linking all accounts together in one session... I don't want it to share anything between accounts, no cookies, no data, no history, nothing. It's my privacy and it's my choice and that's what I want to keep.

Works like a charm.

May be it works like a charm for Google, but not for me. Sorry, but separate means separate in my English...
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...


Oregonian
Premium
join:2000-12-21
West Linn, OR
Reviews:
·Comcast

Have you tried what NetFixer See Profile and I posted? It appears to me that each instance of a user account is kept separate. I can sign out of one account and the other remains signed in in its instance of Chrome.



therube

join:2004-11-11
Randallstown, MD
reply to no__1__here

said by no__1__here:

Firefox can run multiple profiles concurrently. The "trick" to keeping the sessions from sharing is the -no-remote flag. For example...

firefox.exe -P myotherprofile -no-remote
 
...will launch Firefox with the "myotherprofile" profile.

Another option (one that I use more often) is to start your browser of choice in a separate Sandboxie sandbox.

Agree on both counts.

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2
reply to Oregonian

No, I haven't. I don't want to cross-link my accounts. If I did, I'd need to open new accounts with Google...

That's why I need to find out (and thus asking here) reliable way to open complete separate browser sessions first and then use it for my real accounts. I know it was working well with old IE. I know it will work with running several profiles in some browsers, but it's not convenient. And I discovered, that "incognito" mode in Chromium now shares users data (cookies, log in credentials, etc) between windows, which is completely unacceptable, IMHO.
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...



Brano
I hate Vogons
Premium,MVM
join:2002-06-25
Burlington, ON
kudos:8
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Bell Fibe

1 recommendation

reply to OZO

said by OZO:

No it doesn't and that's the security problem. Instead it groups all your sign ins and links them together in one session.

You're doing something wrong. Chrome keeps it completely separate.

Here is how I have it setup and it keeps profiles separate even after I log one out.
1) In your google settings disable multiple sign-ins.
2) Create profiles in your chrome browser (see attachment)


OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2

Brano See Profile and Oregonian See Profile, I guess I misunderstood the suggestion you gave me. I was thinking (and my reply actually was) about the approach, referenced here. Perhaps it's because of sometimes fussy terminology used with Chromium. Thus, it's better to make some (simplified) definitions here:
Instance - a browser, that shares all data (cookies, sign in, etc) among all processes running within this instance. If you want to run a new browser, that doesn't share all data, you need to launch a new "instance".
Profile - folder, that allows to run a new (and separate) instance of the browser. To launch instance with specific "profile" use -user-data-dir command line option. See here.
User - users are defined within one "instance". User accounts contain separate preferences and states. User data is located within Profile folder (e.g. Default, Profile 1, etc). See here.
Online account - I think, it's self explanatory. The article Sign in to multiple accounts at once is talking about online accounts.

I guess I'll need to dig more deeply into the user approach to find out how it supports (or not) data separation between them. But the first impression form the reading this article doesn't seem attractive to me:

Security

Because the data for all users which have been used for an instance of Chrome are associated with a single operating system identity, there is no expectation of special privacy.

.
I guess the only guarantee, that browser doesn't share data between its windows, could be achieved by running different instances of Chromium browser.

--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...


Brano
I hate Vogons
Premium,MVM
join:2002-06-25
Burlington, ON
kudos:8
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Bell Fibe

1 edit

You should have copied the whole paragraph

quote:
Security

Because the data for all users which have been used for an instance of Chrome are associated with a single operating system identity, there is no expectation of special privacy. That is, there is no additional encryption of preferences and settings on the local machine other than that which already exists for user data directories in Chrome. Obviously, a password is needed to log in to a specific Chrome identity on the browser. However, no additional protection for the user data directories is planned. On Mac OS X, in fact, because passwords are stored in the commonly accessible keychain, it will be possible for a user in one account to access the passwords that have been stored on that machine by a user with another account.

You will have this issue with other browsers too (i.e. Firefox using profiles) ... unless you logout a user from OS and login as different user to OS.

Point is, if it's just you single OZO user (in OS) using multiple google users you're fine.
If multiple physical users i.e. you and yor wife are using same OS account with same Chrome but multiple Google users you could theoretically (and practically I'm quite sure) compromise each-other's Google identities.

....you're fine


Brano
I hate Vogons
Premium,MVM
join:2002-06-25
Burlington, ON
kudos:8
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Bell Fibe
reply to OZO

said by OZO:

I guess the only guarantee, that browser doesn't share data between its windows, could be achieved by running different instances of Chromium browser.

Read above, unless each Google user has it's own OS user multiple instances won't help you as the credentials/profiles are saved with the current OS logged in user ownership (same home dir).

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2

1 edit
reply to OZO

Here is the way I can launch any number of Chromium browsers (instances), that don't share data between them. In this example I use BAT file, shortcut to that BAT file, cmdh.exe tool, that can launch BAT file in hidden window. Shortcut opens new instance of Chromium in a single process mode, pointing to this web site. If you need to change that, please feel free to make your adjustments.

1. Create minimized default profile that you will use in all browser instances, that you want to launch later. To do so, remove history, and other unnecessary junk from your current profile, exit browser and save that profile folder to some location. E.g. I put it here: "C:\Tmp\chrm\p.def"

2. Download latest Chromium build (zip file) from this location and extract it into a folder. E.g. "C:\Program Files\Chromium" folder. You may skip this step if you have it already installed, but then you may want to adjust BAT file below then.

2. Copy this BAT file (make necessary adjustments, if you need):

:: © 2012 OZO
@echo off
set Program="C:\Program Files\Chromium\chrome-win32\chrome.exe"
set ProfDef="C:\Tmp\chrm\p.def"
call :GetUniqName
xcopy /S /I %ProfDef% %ProfNew%
%Program% -user-data-dir="%ProfNew%" www.dslreports.com/forums/fav --single-process
rd /S /Q %ProfNew%
 
:GetUniqName
setlocal
:GetNewName
set Name=%TEMP%\Chrm.%random%
:: Make sure it's unique:
if exist %Name% goto GetNewName
endlocal & set ProfNew=%Name%
goto :eof
 
What it does is - it makes new temporary profile folder (making sure it's unique), copies content of your default profile into it, runs browser and deletes the temporary folder after that.

4. Make a shortcut with target similar to this:
C:\WINDOWS\CMD\cmdh.exe "D:\Sys\Network\Browser\Chromium\NewChrm.bat"

Then, by clicking on the shortcut, you may launch a new instance of Chromium browser, that doesn't share any data with other instances of Chromium browsers. You can run as many separate instances as you need and all of them will not share data and actually remove all traces of your browsing, log ins, cookies etc after you close them...

--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2
reply to Brano

Fortunately instance of Chromium browser is not defined by OS's user login. You can run different instance of browser if you want just by specifying different profile (see definitions in this post). Personally I always run it with command line containing -user-data-dir option. It means that I don't use default profile, but rather a custom one. If I need to run a different instance, I launch browser pointing to a different profile. And now, with the BAT file posted above, I may launch unlimited number of Chromium browsers that don't share any data between them in case I need that. It's just like with old, good IE, but without all of this hassle ;)

--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...



Brano
I hate Vogons
Premium,MVM
join:2002-06-25
Burlington, ON
kudos:8
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Bell Fibe

Sorry, you're not getting what the folks here »www.chromium.org/user-experience···profiles are trying to say. Read it carefully again.

quote:
Security
Because the data for all users which have been used for an instance of Chrome are associated with a single operating system identity, there is no expectation of special privacy. That is, there is no additional encryption of preferences and settings on the local machine other than that which already exists for user data directories in Chrome. Obviously, a password is needed to log in to a specific Chrome identity on the browser. However, no additional protection for the user data directories is planned.

It doesn't matter how you shuffle the profiles with scripts or manually, if the various Chrome (or Firefox or IE) profile data are accessible by the same user there's "no expectation of special privacy".

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2

Thank you for citing it several times. I'm not looking for "expectation of special privacy" form other users on my computer. I'm not looking for an encryption mechanism to hide and protect data (history, cookies, bookmarks, etc) from other users on that computer (or, as they mentioned, from other "operating system identity"). No, I don't worry about that local protection. I'm looking for protection from potential cross-reference vulnerabilities, that modern browsers are exposed quite often to (thanks to the advertisement industry, subsidizing the development of all commercial browsers and making tracking of users easier, especially with third party cookies and other similar approaches). I want to make sure, that all session data, that I have in one web browser is completely isolated from access by the web sites, opened in other instances of the same browser. In other words, if I signed in in one browser and got session cookies, entered credentials, added history of visited sites, etc in the process, I want to make sure, that all that session data will not be accessible from any other browser instances.

With old IE it was simple - just make sure you run browser in a different process and it will not share session data between those processes. With Chromium it becomes more convoluted due to the way how now it opens many processes within one "instance" (hence the new term/way of isolation). That's the separate "instance", that I'm looking for for a cross-reference protection. And it looks like I've found it now. Thank you.
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...


OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2
reply to OZO

I see an official response about separation of incognito windows in Chromium:

All incognito instances share the same profile.

Well, it means the design of incognito windows in Chromium is a joke. They all share data (sign in credentials, cookies, history, etc) and therefore could be cross-linked by sites you visit...
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...


angussf
Premium
join:2002-01-11
Tucson, AZ
kudos:4
reply to OZO

I can think of several ways to do what you want. If it's only monitoring multiple GMail accounts, use this Firefox addon:

Gmail Manager NG :: Add-ons for Firefox :
»addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox···ager-ng/
Manage multiple Gmail accounts and receive new mail notifications.
If you want to actually have multiple Google accounts open in multiple browsers, then install the portable version of the Iron Browser in multiple directories and start one instance for each account you want to run.
Iron Browser
»www.srware.net/en/software_srwar···load.php
Portable-Version for USB-Sticks (no Installation; no Admin-rights needed; Profils in the same folder)
Iron Browser is a version of Chrome with Google Tracking pulled out (but since you're using Google accounts, that shouldn't matter so you could also run Chrome Portable from portableapps.com)

I haven't tried the mutliple-profile version of Firefox. but I do run Iron Portable a lot when I don't want to use my main Firefox profile.
--
Angus S-F
GeoApps, Tucson, Arizona, USA
»geoapps.com/
»www.linkedin.com/in/angussf
»geoapps.blogspot.com/

BandHeight

join:2004-08-30
reply to OZO

Another addon possibility for Firefox:

CookieSwap - »addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox···kieswap/

From the 'official' description:

quote:
If you have multiple logins for web based e-mail accounts (like Gmail and Yahoo! mail), then CookieSwap enables you to easily switch between those different accounts by swapping the 'cookies' that the sites use to know you.

I've not used it yet, but it's been on my "Try-This-Addon List" for a while.

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2
reply to angussf

Thank you guys. Firefox runs well with several different profiles. I use BAT file (similar to published above) to run it with temporary profiles where I can log in independently.
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...