If you are the owner of a Chromebook and wish to utilize the Firefox browser in place of Chrome, you will be pleased to know that it is possible to run Firefox, as well as other Linux or Android browsers, on your device. While the Chromebook operates on a Chrome-based operating system, it does not preclude using alternative browsers. With your Chromebook or ChromeOS tablet, it is possible to install third-party browsers and use them like a Windows laptop. Many individuals opt to use Firefox due to its enhanced tracking protection feature. The Android and Linux versions of Firefox can be used on a Chromebook. Please refer to the following guide for instructions.

Prerequisites

It is essential that your Chromebook is compatible with both the Google Play Store and Linux apps. This is necessary for enabling Linux or running Android on your Chromebook. Modern Chromebooks typically feature x86 CPUs (Intel or AMD) running ChromeOS 80 or higher, so compatibility should not be an issue.

However, if your Chromebook utilizes an Arm-based SoC from MediaTek or Qualcomm, you will not be able to install the x86 Linux version officially and must instead use the Android app installation method. While it may be possible to install the x86 version, it may not function as intended.

Active Internet Access To download Firefox, an active internet connection is required. Administrator Permission: If another individual or organization manages your Chromebook or educational institution, you may not have the administrative permissions to install Firefox. To install Firefox, administrator permission is required.

Installing Firefox from the Google Play Store

This is a straightforward method for setting up Firefox on a Chromebook. It is similar to installing apps on an Android mobile device. To begin, we will download Firefox from the Google Play Store. For this method to work, it is imperative to note that your Chromebook must be compatible with Android apps.

  • Open the launcher in the screen’s bottom-left corner and locate the Play Store.
  • Launch the Google Play Store and search for Firefox in the “Search for apps and games” box.
  • Navigate to the Firefox page and click the “Install” button.
  • Wait for the installation to complete, and Firefox should now be installed on your Chrome OS.
  • To open Firefox, open the launcher and search for Firefox.
  • Click on it to launch the Firefox browser.

When you first open Firefox, you may receive a warning that the app is designed for mobile devices and may not be adequately resized for a Chromebook screen. You can continue despite this warning, but you may need to adjust the screen size. You may also encounter issues with web pages not displaying in the desktop version and instead in the mobile version. To address this, you can customize your Firefox experience by clicking on the top of the window where it says “Tablet” and selecting the down arrow to choose “Resizable.” Click “Allow,” and drag the Firefox window to the desired size on your screen.

Installing Firefox using Linux:

This advanced method has different issues than Firefox installed through the Google Play Store. However, Linux must be enabled on your Chromebook for this method to work. Please refer to the following guide for instructions on installing Linux Firefox on your device:

  • Open ChromeOS Settings from the menu and select the gear icon.
  • Click on the “Advanced” tab, and under “Developers,” select “Linux Development Environment.”
  • Choose the “Turn On” option and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Open the Terminal app on your device by clicking on the launcher on the left side of the screen and searching for “Terminal.”
  • Select “Penguin” from the list and enter the command: “cat /etc/os-release.”
  • If it shows version 10 or higher, proceed to the next step. If not, enter the command: “sudo bash /opt/google/cros-containers/bin/upgrade_container.”
  • Once updated, enable and install the Flatpack package format for Linux by entering the command “sudo apt install flatpack.”
  • Confirm by entering “Y” and then enter the commands “sudo flatpak remote-add –if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo” and “sudo flatpak instal flathub org.mozilla.firefox.”
  • Confirm your action by entering “Y,” and when prompted for permission to install, enter “Y” to continue.
  • Once installation is complete, launch Firefox from the ChromeOS launcher, which will appear under the Linux Apps folder.

Installing Firefox on a Chromebook with an ARM-based CPU

ARM-based CPU (such as Qualcomm or MediaTek) requires enabling Linux. Mozilla needs to provide official documentation for this process. However, a workaround exists, though there may be some compatibility issues.

  • First, open ChromeOS settings from the taskbar and select the gear icon. Next, navigate to the “Advanced” tab and select “Developers” from the “Linux Development Environment” section.
  • Select the “Turn on” option and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Next, open the Terminal app by clicking on the launcher from the left side of the screen and searching for “Terminal.” Select “Penguin” from the list.
  • Enter the command “sudo apt update” and press Enter. Then, enter “sudo apt upgrade” and press “Y” to continue.
  • After that, enter “sudo apt instal firefox-esr” and press enter. Press “Y” and enter to continue the installation process.
  • Once installation is complete, Firefox can be opened from the ChromeOS launcher, which can be found under the “Linux App” folder.

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