Linux apps aren’t as simple to install as Android apps, but once you’ve mastered it, the process isn’t complicated. Because there’s a bit of code involved, when done correctly, you’ll feel like a computer whiz.

If you wish to install Linux apps on a Chromebook, you will need Chrome OS 69 or later. To enable the Linux developer environment, open Settings -> Advanced -> Developers and click Turn on. In the Linux terminal that appears, follow the instructions and enter the relevant commands.

Ensure that your Chrome OS is up-to-date

In order to determine whether your Chromebook supports Linux apps, check your Chrome OS version.

  • Choose Settings from the menu.
  • Select About Chrome OS from the left navigation pane. 
  • Under Google Chrome OS, check your Chrome OS version.
  • Click on the Check for updates button to the right of the version information if it is lower than version 69.
  • If prompted, restart the Chromebook after the update downloads and completes.

You can download Linux apps if you are running Chrome OS 69 or later. Otherwise, you’re out of luck. If you update the Chromebook to a newer version, you should be fine.

How to enable Linux on Chromebooks

After discovering that your Chromebook supports Linux apps, the next step is to enable Linux. The process is easy and won’t take much time, although it depends on the speed of your internet and the power of your Chromebook.

  1. You can access your Chromebook’s settings by opening the Settings app.
  2. Click the Advanced button in the left navigation pane. You will see a drop-down menu appear.
  3. The Developers page will appear.
  4. Locate the Linux development environment tab in the right pane. Turn it on by clicking the button next to it.
  5. A window will appear asking you to install Linux. Next, click the button. Click Install after selecting your preferred disk size.
  6. After the download is complete, a terminal window will appear. Next, we’ll discuss how to download Linux apps from this window.

Installing Linux apps on Chromebooks

We have reached the part you have been waiting for. We still have one thing to do before we can download Linux apps on Chromebooks. To ensure everything runs smoothly, enter the following command into the terminal window to update your packages. Once you’ve typed/pasted it, press Enter.

  • sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y

Your device will then be able to download Linux apps once that has been done. This can be accomplished in two ways.

Using Terminal to install Linux apps

In order to do this, you need to run sudo apt-get install app name -y, in which you change the “app name” part with the actual app name

  1. Launch the Terminal application
  2. Type sudo apt-get install gimp -y and hit enter. As the download and installation progress, many text lines will appear in the Terminal.
  3. After the installation is complete, the Terminal will be idle, allowing you to type commands again. Open the installed app by searching for it in the Chromebook’s search menu.

Depending on the apps you choose, you may need to look up the app name commands you need to install them.

Using the .deb file to install Linux apps

It’s a bit simpler this way. For some apps, like Minecraft, you can download the .deb Linux installer files from the internet.

  1. You can find a .deb file in your Downloads folder after downloading it
  2. Press Ctrl + C or right-click and copy the file.
  3. Paste it into the Linux files folder in the left navigation pane. Run the file by double-clicking it.
  4. You will see the installation window appear. Then click Install. The installation will take a few seconds to complete. The window will close when you click OK.