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How to Install Linux Apps & Make them Work on Your Chromebook

If you own a Chromebook, then I am sure you’re well aware of its use. Chromebook has multiple uses and is indeed a great alternative to some of the high-end technology products in the market. Whether you wish to watch your favourite show on Netflix or you want to check emails, Chromebook is a remarkable platform. Not only is it outstanding for entertainment, but you can perform a great many productive tasks using the Chromebook. However, recently I explored a little about Chromebook as I wanted to expand its capability to perform and came to the conclusion that Chromebook can provide you with a great many other functionalities when you add Linux apps to it. Wondering how to install Linux apps on Chromebook? Here is how to install Linux apps on Chromebook and make the most out of it.

Start with Analyzing What OS version is your Chrome Working On

To begin with, if you want to run the latest Linux app on your Chromebook, you need to make sure that your Chromebook is running on the right OS version. Make sure to check the OS version on your Chromebook is 69 or higher. If you have a Chromebook already then all you’ve to do is update the software. If you’re new to Chromebook and just purchased the device, here’s how you can do it. 

Start by, 

  • Selecting your profile picture. It is located in the lower-right corner of your Chromebook screen. 
  • Now choose the Settings option which you will easily find in the menu. 
  • There’s a Hamburger icon which you can easily spot in the upper-left corner of the screen. 
  • Now select the About in Chrome OS. 
  • Run the update check and see if you’re running the device on the latest version or not. 
  • If not, then update the device to the latest OS version. 

Once you have downloaded and installed the new operating system version on your Chromebook, then all you’ve to do is restart your Chromebook and you are all done. 

Enable the Crostini Flag to Turn On Experimental Features

Once the OS is updated on your Chromebook, the next thing you need to perform is check the software version. For that, you will require to update one of the chrome flags. What are chrome flags? You can say that these are semi-hidden options in your Chromebook which allows you to turn on the experimental features on your Chromebook similar to that of any Android OS. 

Why should the Crostini Flag be enabled? Because that’s the only way you will be able to bring external apps from Linux to your Chromebook and make it work in your favor. 

How should one enable the Crostini feature? 

  • Start by visiting the address bar on your Chromebook. 
  • Type in chrome://flag and press the Enter key on your Chromebook. 
  • Now press Ctrl + F on your keyboard to open the search options. 
  • Type in Crostini in the provided search bar
  • You will be led to a list of options including Experimental Crostini
  • Click on the drop-down menu option and choose to enable it
  • Now restart your Chromebook device. 

Now… to Turn on Linux Apps on Your Chromebook You Need to Install Linux First!

So before you become able to run Linux apps on your Chromebook, you need to install Linux first. 

  • Open up the Settings option on your Chromebook. 
  • Now choose the Hamburger option from the available choices. 
  • Click on the Linux (Beta) from the available options. 
  • Now turn the option on by clicking on Turn On.
  • Choose Install to install the Linux on your Chromebook. 
  • The device will run the installation and you will see a white circle appear in the lower-left corner. 
  • Choose the circle to open up the App Drawer. 
  • Now choose the terminal icon
  • Type in sudo apt update in the command window and hit enter. It will update all the necessary components. 
  • When finished, Type Y to remove the unnecessary files from the system. 

How to Download Linux Apps on Your Chromebook? 

Once you have successfully installed the Linux app on your computer, it is now time to install a Linux compatible app. To get these apps, you can go to your desired vendor’s website and search one. 

To download a Linux App on your Chromebook, 

  • Open the File Browser and click on the Downloads
  • Find the Linux files folder and copy/paste the .deb installation file.
  • Now select the Linux file which you want to install and choose Install with Linux (beta)

Let the installation process take its course and once complete, you will now be able to run your favorite Linux app on your Chromebook easily. Now, isn’t that simple? I hope you may have learned from it. 

Ashad Ubaid

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