The inclusion of Linux on Chromebooks has proven to be beneficial for everyone from common users to IT managers to software developers and students looking to learn how to code. Additionally, Linux will also exit beta in the upcoming release of Chrome OS. To be clear, all Chromebooks that are released in 2019 and the future will support Linux. Yes, it also covers Chromebooks provided by the school. However, school officials can still turn off Linux support on their end. If this applies to your Chromebook, speak with your school’s administration to have the ban lifted. You don’t need to switch your Chromebook to Developer mode or any other channel aside from that. The stable channel already has Linux support. We mentioned below are the steps to use Linux Interface on Chromebook.

Steps to use Linux Interface on Chromebook

Updating Your Chromebook

The first step in the procedure is to make sure your Chromebook is up to date. Although Chromebooks typically update themselves, it is always advisable to do so before starting any significant work. Step 1: Click on the settings menu cog found via the bottom right menu. Step 2: Using the search field, search for update. Step 3: Select “Check for update”. Step 4: Click on Check for updates. Your Chromebook will either start an update process or tell us that our machine is up-to-date.

To start the Linux install process

Step 1: Click on the settings menu cog found via the bottom right menu. Step 2: Search for Linux and under Linux development environment, click on Turn On to start the install process. Step 3: Click on Next to set up the environment. Step 4: Create a user account, and set the disk size. Click on Install and wait for the installation to complete. We stuck to the default 10GB disk image.

Using the Linux Development Environment

In essence, the Linux development environment is a virtual machine running a Linux distribution based on Debian. This indicates that we can use the APT package manager to control the installation of apps. We are going to upgrade the installation and update the software repositories to make sure that our Linux development environment is current. Step 1: Update the list of available repositories. This is the list of available software, and the update will compare the lists on our Chromebook with those on the remote server. If the remote server has a newer list, then our list will be updated. Step 2: Upgrade the software on your Linux development environment. This may return that there are no updates, but if there are it will download and install the packages.

To install software we again use APT.

Step 1: Use search to search for an application or tool. In this case we are going to search for the GIMP image editor. Step 2: Scroll through the list of returned applications and you should see GIMP. This means that we can install the application. Step 3: Use the install command to install GIMP. This will take a few moments to install. Step 4: Start GIMP from the terminal.

Running Linux Apps in Chrome

Chrome will add a Linux application to the “Linux Apps” group once it has been installed. Through this group, we can also access the Linux terminal. In essence, when an application is chosen, the Linux virtual machine and the application are both launched.

To start a Linux app

Step 1: Access the apps menu. We can access this via the search button on our keyboard, or by swiping from the bottom to the top of the screen. Step 2: Scroll to the end of the installed applications. Step 3: Click on Linux Apps, a group of applications that are installed in the Linux development environment. Step 4: Click on GNU Image to launch GIMP.

To share an individual file

Step 1: Open the Files application. Step 2: Locate the file that you wish to share and drag it to the Linux Files directory. This directory was created when we installed Linux. Step 3: Open the Linux Terminal and use ls to list the contents of the directory. By default, the files shared via Linux Files are stored in our home directory.

To share a directory

Step 1: Open the Files application. Step 2: Navigate to My Files. Step 3: Create a new folder, Linux Stuff. Step 4: Right click and select Share with Linux. This will make the directory available as a shared folder with Linux. Step 5: Open the Linux Terminal. Step 6: Navigate to the shared directory. The directory is mounted inside /mnt/Chrome OS/MyFiles/Linux Stuff. Use the TAB key to auto-complete the path.

Final Words

We hope you like our article on how to use Linux Interface on Chromebook. Chromebooks have advanced significantly, and in some situations, they are now capable productivity tools right out of the box. However, there are situations when you require an operating system with more features than Chrome OS Linux. When you run the Linux environment in Chrome OS versions 103 and higher, you might have noticed a change if you recently upgraded your version of Chrome OS.

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