Is there a way to use multiple instances of Chromium or Firefox?

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http://askubuntu.com – I usually have different instances of my web browsers to attend to various types of usages, on Windows that means using portable versions of Chrome and Firefox. The existing portable versions of Firefox and Chromium for Linux are outdated and lack immediate support, compared with the portable apps for Windows. I am wondering if there is any way to make the current versions of Firefox and Chromium provided by Ubuntu work as "portable", which by that I mean running as the equivalent of a Windows portable app, detached from the default browsers. (HowTos)