How to Run Linux on Your Chromebook in 2023

Of late, software giants are incorporating Linux into their main operating system in one way or the other. Microsoft added WSLg on Windows 10 with GUI app support whereas Google introduced Linux on Chromebooks in 2018 and nicknamed it Project Crostini. So far, Chrome OS has received support for GPU acceleration and microphone in Linux on Chromebook, USB devices, and sound. And now Linux is out of beta on ChromeOS. On that note, let’s go ahead and learn how to run Linux on a Chromebook in 2023.

Which Chromebooks Can Run Linux?

To make it clear, all Chromebooks launched in 2019 and going forward will have support for Linux. And yes, it includes school-issued Chromebooks too. That said, school administrators can still disable Linux support from their end. If such is the case with your Chromebook then contact your school administrator to remove the restriction.

Other than that, you don’t have to move your Chromebook to Developer mode or any other channel. Linux support is already present in the stable channel. Also, you can install Linux on ARM-based Chromebooks too so no worries on this front.

Set Up Linux on a Chromebook

1. First off, open the Settings page by clicking on the cogwheel icon in the Quick Settings panel.

2. Next, click on “Advanced” in the left pane and expand the menu. After that, click on “Developers”. If you have a school-issued Chromebook and the “Developers” menu is not available then contact your school administrator.

3. Once you are in the Developers menu, click on “Turn on” next to the “Linux development environment (Beta)” section.

4. A setup dialog will open up. Now, click on the “Install” button and proceed ahead to run Linux on your Chromebook.

5. On the next page, enter your desired username for Linux and select “Customised” to choose how much disk space you want for Linux. I have total internal storage of 64GB so I have allotted 25GB. If you have a larger storage capacity and want to play games or develop programs on Linux, you should extend the storage even further.

6. It will take a few minutes to install Linux on your Chromebook. After the installation is done, you can run Linux and start using the Linux Terminal on your Chromebook. You will find the Terminal app inside the launcher.

How to Install Linux Apps on a Chromebook

1. Before using Linux apps on a Chromebook, you should first update the Linux build to the latest version. As a good Linux practice, you should execute the below command in the Terminal as it will update all packages and dependencies. Just copy and paste the command in the Terminal window.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

2. Once Linux is updated on your Chromebook, you can go ahead and install an app. For example, we installed the GIMP image editor on our Chromebook and the installation went through without a hitch. To find more such apps, you can follow our list of the best Linux apps for Chromebooks. We have included detailed instructions for installation. Post-installation, you will find Linux apps inside the launcher.

Share Files Between Chrome OS and Linux

1. Now that you have successfully run Linux on your Chromebook, you must know that Chrome OS and Linux have different file systems. So to access the local folders and files on Linux apps, you will have to move the files from Downloads to the “Linux files” section.

2. In case, you don’t want to move the files to the Linux section all the time then right-click on “Downloads” and click on “Share with Linux”. Now, all files and folders under “Downloads” will be available to Linux apps.

3. You can access Downloads from the below path directory. You can right-click on “Downloads” to add to the bookmark section. From now onwards, within Linux apps, you don’t have to manually navigate to the Downloads folder.

mnt/chromeos/MyFiles/Downloads

4. You can also set up Wine to run Windows 10 apps on your Chromebook.

5. In addition, you can install Steam on your Chromebookplay Minecraft in Chrome OS, and do a lot more, all thanks to Linux support on Chrome OS.

Comments 67
  • when i boot it up it says Error starting crostini for terminal: 75 (CON
    Launching vmshell failed: Error starting crostini for terminal: 75 (CONTAINER_CREATE_FAILED_SIGNAL)

  • It’s weird that your Chromebook does not have Linux support. Almost all modern Chromebooks including school ones and even Chrome OS Flex has built-in Linux support. Kindly share the Chromebook model to get a better idea.

  • The mnt command was not recognized, so I tried mount instead with this result:
    jcpedersen@penguin:~$ mount /chromeos/MyFiles/Downloads
    mount: /chromeos/MyFiles/Downloads: can’t find in /etc/fstab.
    jcpedersen@penguin:~$

    What is wrong here?

  • So someone please help. I got the Linux turned on and updated them went to steam download deb and then double clicked to copy it to Linux It installed it said then a pop up saying

    You are missing the following 32 bit and steam may not run.
    Libc.so.6.
    I had the Linux storage set at 15mb.
    Help Doesn this mean not enough storage ???

  • Isn’t Chrome OS just a specialized interface built on top of the Linux kernel? Technically your Chromebook already does boot to a Linux kernel to make all of that happen. This process just unlocks more of the Linux side so you aren’t so stuck in the boundaries of the proprietary nature of Chrome OS.

    Kernel type Monolithic (Linux kernel)[6]
    Check out the Wiki. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrome_OS

    • Actually, it runs a virtual machine with linux on it, so you have no idea what you are talking about. It kills me the people who speak with authority about a subject they know nothing about.

  • This is not installing Linux, it is how to run gnu programs in chromebook. The o.s. remains whatever chromebook is hilariously calling an operating system

    Installing Linux means you boot the Linux kernel and this set up does not do that.

  • Didn’t work for me either, so there’s gotta be something wrong in the formula we have been given, now I’m wondering if I just put a virus or spyware on my chromebook

  • It tells me that the update isn’t stable and that it lied? Not 100% sure! This is what it says. westleywiseman61@penguin:~$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y
    Get:1 https://deb.debian.org/debian buster InRelease [122 kB]
    Ign:2 https://storage.googleapis.com/cros-packages/92 buster InRelease
    Get:3 https://storage.googleapis.com/cros-packages/92 buster Release [3,119 B]
    Get:4 https://deb.debian.org/debian-security buster/updates InRelease [65.4 kB]
    Get:5 https://storage.googleapis.com/cros-packages/92 buster Release.gpg [819 B]
    Get:6 https://storage.googleapis.com/cros-packages/92 buster/main amd64 Packages [16.3 kB]
    Reading package lists… Done
    N: Repository ‘https://deb.debian.org/debian buster InRelease’ changed its ‘Version’ value from ‘10.9’ to ‘10.10’
    E: Repository ‘https://deb.debian.org/debian buster InRelease’ changed its ‘Suite’ value from ‘stable’ to ‘oldstable’
    N: This must be accepted explicitly before updates for this repository can be applied. See apt-secure(8) manpage for details.
    E: Repository ‘https://deb.debian.org/debian-security buster/updates InRelease’ changed its ‘Suite’ value from ‘stable’ to ‘oldstable’
    N: This must be accepted explicitly before updates for this repository can be applied. See apt-secure(8) manpage for details.

  • 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?

  • my chromebook is Version 90.0.4430.100. is that compatible with Linux or no? plz anyone who can help, reply.

  • 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?

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