When I start the Chromium browser on my RPi it just flashes (no nav bar ever appears).

Here's a gif (video) of what it does: RPi Chromium browser flashes

I'm connecting via VNC.

Details of My Installation

  • Distributor ID: Raspbian
  • Description: Raspbian GNU/Linux 11 (bullseye)
  • Release: 11
  • Codename: bullseye

Things I've Tried

  1. Uninstalling / installing Chromium
  2. Ran Dillo browser - it will run
  3. Updated all software


I just hooked up the RPi to my KVM -- had to pull plugs from my Mac Mini.
I started it up and started Chromium and it loaded up with no problem. Chromium was in an odd state - console window open and no page loaded.

I then went to my Windows 10 laptop (which I've been using all along to VNC to the RPi) and when I connected I set a home page to load automatically just to make sure things would be "normal"

Everything looked fine through VNC while the RPi was connected to KVM and I was seeing everything normal on the connected physical monitor too.

Things Went Bonkers Again

I shutdown the RPi, disconnected the KVM and plugged the RPi in again to allow it to restart.

When it came up I VNC'd to it and started Chromium and it is flashing again.

Guessing - It's Video Driver

So with this, I'm guessing there is something wonky with the video driver or VNC video settings.

Update 2

I started Chromium from the console and I see the following:

console errors from chromium

Then after those lines you just continually see that the browser tries to refresh

browser refresh bogus

Do you know of any way to fix this?

  • 1
    Please edit your question and add more details. Does this also happen when you try this locally with connected monitor, keyboard and mouse?
    – Bodo
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 14:19
  • 1
    what does the browser window look like after you start it? ... please add a picture ... the video does not stop at the end result
    – jsotola
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 17:03
  • @jsotola It never stops. It continues in that loop forever. Seriously. Thanks for asking so I could clarify. 👍🏽
    – raddevus
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 17:59
  • @Bodo I connected a KVM and Chromium started up fine. I VNC'd to it while connected to phsyical monitor and Chromium was still fine. After shutting down, removing KVM and then connecting only via VNC I see the Chromium flashing again.
    – raddevus
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 18:21
  • 1
    please copy the text and paste it into your question ... do not post a picture of text ... use the {} button to format the text as code
    – jsotola
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 20:26

3 Answers 3


I solved it by running this command to install Firefox ESR:

sudo apt-get install firefox-esr

And using Firefox instead of Chromium 😀


Made two changes to RPi Configuration:

  1. Set video for headless operation
  2. Turned off advanced GL features (set basic feature).

Chromium loads fine and works now from VNC connection.

  • I have the same behavior using VNC. Where / how do you make these changes?
    – float
    Commented Jun 10, 2023 at 13:54
  • 1
    @float You'll need to run the rpi configuration tool. Here's the link that will walk you through that: raspberrypi.com/documentation/computers/configuration.html Check out "Interfacing Options"
    – raddevus
    Commented Jun 12, 2023 at 13:20

I had exactly this problem. It doesn't happen when an HDMI monitor is connected, so a workaround is to always enable the HDMI output even when nothing is connected by editing the /boot/config.txt file:

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

(Or your favorite text editor instead of nano.) Then un-comment the line 'hdmi_force_hotplug=1' by removing the # at the start.


You may also need to set the default HDMI screen resolution, un-comment and update these lines:


HDMI mode 4 is 1280x720, 16 is 1920x1080. You can look up other resolutions. Then save the file & reboot.

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