While Linux support was announced three years back on Chromebooks, which means running Linux on Chromebooks has been possible for a long time, initially, there were some basic features missing during the launch. However, Google seems to be catching up now as it is spearheading to make Chrome OS a viable platform for everyone. For instance, now you can enable microphone and GPU acceleration in Linux on Chromebooks. Both of these features were a long-standing demand from creative and power users and finally, Google has delivered the promise. So without further delay, let’s go ahead and learn how to enable microphone support and hardware acceleration in Linux on Chrome OS.

Enable Microphone and GPU Acceleration in Linux on Chromebook (2021)

Here, we have mentioned two easy ways to turn on the microphone and GPU acceleration support in Linux on Chromebook. You can expand the table below and move to the relevant section easily.

Turn On Microphone Support in Linux on Chromebooks

You can enable the microphone in Linux on Chromebooks right now and for that, you don’t need to update to the Beta or Dev channel. The feature is available in the stable channel since Chrome OS 80 and now Google offers a user-facing option to turn on microphone support in Linux.

1. Once you have set up Linux on your Chromebook, open the Settings page and move to Advanced -> Developers in the left menu.

Use Linux on Your Chromebook (Updated May 2021)

2. Next, click on “Linux development environment”.

Enable Microphone and GPU Acceleration in Linux on Chromebook (Updated July 2021)

3. At the bottom, you will find “Allow Linux to access your microphone”. Enable it and that’s all.

Enable Microphone and GPU Acceleration in Linux on Chromebook (Updated July 2021)

4. Now, open any audio-recording application. Here, for example, I have used Audacity, which is one of the best Linux apps for Chromebooks and it recorded my voice clearly which confirms microphone support in Linux on Chromebooks.

Note: You might have to change the recording device to sysdefault: Line:0 in Audacity. For other applications, you don’t have to make any changes. 

Enable Microphone Support in Linux on Chromebooks

5. If the microphone is not working in Linux apps on your Chromebook then reboot your device. It will likely fix the issue.

Enable GPU Acceleration in Linux on Chromebooks

Before we begin, let me clarify that GPU acceleration has been added to almost all the Chromebooks by default since Chrome OS 81. The only caveat is that you need to upgrade the Linux container to the latest Debian Buster build. Here is how to go about it.

1. Open the Chrome browser and move to the Chrome Flags page.

chrome://flags

2. After that, search for “Crostini GPU Support” and enable it from the drop-down menu. You can also directly open the dedicated flag from the below address. Now, click on the “Restart” button at the bottom.

chrome://flags/#crostini-gpu-support

3. After the reboot, open the Linux Terminal and run the below command to update the packages and dependencies. Just copy and paste the command in the Terminal and hit enter. After that, it will update to the latest Buster build.

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

update linux on chromebook

4. Once the packages are updated, run the below command to install the Mesa utility. It lets you know whether GPU acceleration has been enabled or not on your Chromebook.

sudo apt-get install mesa-utils -y

Enable GPU Acceleration in Linux on Chromebooks

5. Finally, to confirm if GPU acceleration has been enabled or not, open the Linux Terminal and run the command given below. If it mentions “Accelerated: Yes” then you are done. You can now play desktop-level Chromebook games and use graphics-intensive Linux apps on your Chromebook effortlessly. Enjoy!

glxinfo -B

glxinfo -B

Make Your Chromebook a Powerful Machine

So that was our short guide on how to enable microphone support and GPU Acceleration in Linux on Chromebooks. These were two of the highly-sought features from the creative and gaming community and Google has finally walked the talk. With the recent addition of Android app sideloading on Chromebook, Google has made amply clear that it’s taking the Chrome OS platform seriously. Now, all we need is webcam support in Linux on Chromebooks. As and when that happens, we will definitely let you know. Anyway, that is all from us. So what do you think of these two new additions to Chrome OS? Let us know in the comment section below.

43 COMMENTS

  1. I was finally able to figure out the main problem people were having. If you are having problems follow these steps.

    pen the terminal and run “sudo apt-get update” command;
    Now run “sudo apt-get dist-upgrade” command, then restart your device;
    Now, just to make sure, open terminal again and run “glxinfo -B”

    If it says “Device: virgl” and “Accelerated: Yes” it worked.

    • Can I do this without messing anything else up on my Chromebook? I don’t want that command to interfere with the accessibility of my Chromebook.

    • i have the samsung chromebook plus v2, and i followed your instructions, and it says -bash: glxinfo: command not found

      i installed and enabled everything, is there anything that can help.

      • I had the same problem. I had to run the code “apt-get install mesa-utils” without the quotation marks when you input it into the terminal. After this downloads the glxinfo -B code worked. If the apt-get code is locked for you put a “sudo” in front of the code to give yourself root access.

        The code would then look like

        sudo apt-get install mesa-utils

        • after i put the cmd to install the mesa utility, told me “Could not open lock file /var/lib/dpkg/lock-frontend – open (13: Permission denied)” and then “Unable to acquire the dpkg frontend lock (/var/lib/dpkg/lock-frontend), are you root?” help?

  2. nvm i fixed it but. When try to open it says its gona update. Then says unable to update 250 mb storage required. I have over 6 gb storage left in my chrombook. And 4.1 dedicated to Linux this is for how to get steam on chromebook

  3. nvm i fixed it but. When try to open it says its gona update. Then says unable to update 250 mb storage required. I have over 6 gb storage left in my chrombook. And 4.1 dedicated to Linux

  4. Idk if u reply to these, but any1 can you help. I got through all the steps, I agreed, but another mini steam page didnt pop up. So I deleted that tab and went through the process again but it says that the latest version of steam is already installed..

  5. I did all of the above. Now when I try to run glxinfo -B it says Unknown option ‘-B’ and then lists other options

  6. After running sudo apt-get install mesa-utils, power cycle your Chromebook (easy way to restart the VM) and the glxinfo -B command will work

    • Thank you very much! I tried everything else. But then i did that and it worked perfectly. All i did was the sudo command you said, then typed glxinfo -B. And it worked!.

LEAVE A REPLY