Of late, software giants are incorporating Linux into their standard operating system in one way or the other. Microsoft brought the Linux subsystem on Windows 10 and now Google has introduced Linux on Chromebooks with full-fledged Terminal and Container support. While the Linux project on Chrome OS is still in beta, the results are quite promising. If you are an IT administrator or a software developer or studying computer programming, the addition of Linux on Chromebook can be a boon for you. So, let’s go ahead and learn how to use Linux on a Chromebook right from the setup to package installation.

Use Linux on Your Chromebook in 2020

Before beginning, make sure to check if your Chromebook supports Linux or not from this page. To make it clear, if a Chromebook has been launched in 2019, it likely comes with Linux support. Apart from that, make sure to update your Chromebook to the latest version– preferably Chrome OS 79 to be able to use Linux on your Chromebook. Anyway, let’s begin with the steps.

1. First of all, open the Settings page by clicking on the cogwheel icon in the Quick Settings menu.

Use Linux on Your Chromebook

2. Next, switch to the “Linux (Beta)” menu in the left pane and click on the “Turn on” button.

Use Linux on Your Chromebook

3. A setup dialog will open up. Now, just click on the “Install” button and it will start downloading the necessary files to run Linux on your Chromebook.

4. After the installation is done, you can use the Linux Terminal just like any other app. Open the launcher and run the “Terminal” app. Voila, there you have it!

Use Linux on Your Chromebook

5. To test the Linux terminal, we installed the GIMP image editor on our Chromebook and the installation went through without a hitch. However, the performance is not that great as GIMP is running in a Linux container. But we expect it to get better after the project exits the Beta program.

6. Apart from that, you must know that Chrome OS and Linux have different file systems. So to access the local folders and files on Linux, you will have to copy the files from Downloads and paste them into the Linux folder.

Use Linux on Your Chromebook

7. However, if you don’t want to make a duplicate copy then right-click on the folder that you want to share and click on “Share with Linux”. Now, it will show up in Linux’s mnt/chromeos/myfiles/downloads directory.

Use Linux on Your Chromebook

8. In case you want to learn more about Linux and how to use it on a Chromebook, we have already covered a list of handy Linux commands in a separate article. Apart from that, you can also check out our article on the best Linux apps and the best online resources to learn this powerful operating system.

Enable Linux on Your Chromebook and Open The Door of Endless Possibilities

So that was our short article on how to use Linux on a Chromebook. The steps are quite easy and straightforward so you don’t need to change your update channel or make any changes to Chrome flags. Simply, go ahead and enable Linux on your Chromebook by following the guide. And if you want to learn more tips and tricks of Chrome OS, head over to our separate article. Anyway, that is all from us. If you are facing any problem while installing Linux, comment down below and let us know the issue.


  1. i guess i’ve got a cheap chromebook….telling me it reccommends 7.5 GB storage for linux download and i’ve only got 5GB total? can that be right?

  2. I have a school chromebook and I tried to download linux directly from the website, but then it gives me a bunch of links that each will send me to a page of 25 Popular linux distributions. anyone who can help me, help me plz.

    and also, I i wish they would show more specifically what to do to get linux in to the settings and how do you check what model the your chrome is?

    • ok step 1 to go settings
      2: scroll down left pane click advanced click developers then click linux (beta)

      • That worked. I was sooo close! Then I found that the turn-on button was greyed out and it showed that building picture meaning the administrator turned it off and I can’t turn it back on myself. 🙁

  3. Dude. I literally don’t have the option to do that on settings. You need to show a different way or something.

  4. i have a manaed chromebook i was wondering what the set up linux button looked like afterwards does it still sy turn on and if there is a way to bypass admin controls without powerwashing the device

  5. I was able to add Firefox browser through Linux, however, when I try to print from Firefox, my saved printer on my Chromebook does not show up, how do I get this to show?

  6. Change the Chromebook to adult by resetting it. Then let your child use it but put restrictions on it. Not ideal but it will work. Powerwash may not be available so you will need to persevere to get a reset. I did it but can’t remember how. I believe that you need a combination of keys on start up. Google it.

  7. I love it. I was able to load a complete jvm to develop and run Java programs. I have loaded Visual Studio Code and it works great for programming in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I run those in Chrome. Very nice. I also loaded Firefox. That really surprised me. But it works fine. Also, I have my passwords in keepassx working just fine. This is amazing!

  8. It worked for me. Only thing I can say to the people having issues, is to just go back and double check if linux is compatible with your chromebook. Link’s somewhere up there.

  9. I am following the tutorial but it isn’t working for me. I am not Linux savvy… Is there a way to get some personal help?

  10. My Linux download is always password protected and I cant use most features because I dont know the password

  11. Is it possible to run Linux on a SCHOOL Chromebook, bcx I want to play Minecraft Java Edition on it during covid-19. PLS respond ASAP

    • School chromebooks give the administer the ability to block certain functions from your chromebook so if you don’t the option to install Linux in your settings, it means your administrator has blocked it from your device and you cannot use it.

      HOWEVER, if you have the ability to sign in to the computer using a personal email address, you may have the ability to install it on that account. I know this because I’ve done this on a school Chromebook and was able to install Google Play apps by doing this, but I’m not fully sure if that would work with Linux. Feel free to try it though!

    • With a school account you can’t but if you can add a personal account it is possible provided the personal account is not a google child account (12yrs and below).