Linux (beta apps)

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It has been more than 3 years since Project Crostini (Linux Support) was announced and now the majority of Chromebooks have Linux app support. Initially, Crostini was available only on Developer Mode, but thankfully, now you can install Linux apps in both normal mode and stable channel as well. And in the last two years, Linux has improved by leaps and bounds and it’s almost stable to use.

So, in this article, we bring you the 22 best Linux apps on Chromebook that you can comfortably use right now. We have included many helpful programs that are otherwise not available through the Web or Android apps platform. Now with all that said, let’s go ahead and learn about Linux apps in detail.

Best Linux Apps on Chromebook (Updated 2021)

We have mentioned the 22 best Linux apps on Chrome OS along with their installation guide. In case, you are new to this ecosystem, go through our Linux installation tutorial on Chrome OS first, and then follow this article.

Apart from that, keep in mind, whatever you do on the Linux side of things will be saved in the Linux files section in the Files app. So, if you want to use some files, images, or folders, make sure to move or share it with Linux beforehand. Anyway, now let’s take a glance at the list of best Linux apps.

Top Linux Apps for Chromebooks


GIMP is a cross-platform graphics editor that is quite popular on Windows, macOS, and Linux. For many users who are not well versed with Adobe Photoshop,GIMP acts as a simple and effective tool for image editing without any complexity. With the support of Linux on Chrome OS, now you can use this awesome program on Chromebooks as well. There are many advanced tools like layers, lasso and shear tool, cage transform, plugins support, and more. So, if you ever wanted a proper image editor on Chrome OS, this app is for you.

1. GIMP Best Linux Apps on Chromebook

Also, keep in mind currently, Linux on Chrome OS does not support hardware acceleration so the performance is slightly choppy. However, I have been using it for quite a while and frankly, it’s more than usable and I simply love it. It will even get better when Linux will start supporting hardware acceleration on Chrome OS in the near future. Anyway, here is how you can install the best Linux app on Chromebook.

  • How to Install: Open Terminal and execute the below command. After installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder.
sudo apt-get install gimp

2. Libre Office

While we have mentioned some Office programs in our article for the best Chrome OS apps, you can use some of the Linux programs for documents and word processing as well. In this regard, Libre Office is ranked among the best Linux apps on Chromebooks as it’s completely free and open-source.

It bundles four programs similar to Microsoft Office which includes a word processor, a spreadsheet program, another for presentation and finally, a graphics editor. Apart from that, it also supports a great number of file formats ranging from Microsoft Word to Apple Pages and Keynote. It essentially means that you can continue editing all your files and documents effortlessly on your Chromebook.

  • How to Install: Open Terminal and execute the below command. After installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder.
sudo apt install libreoffice

2. Libre Office Best Linux Apps on Chromebook

3. Master PDF Editor

In the above two Linux apps, we offered alternatives for Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office on Chrome OS. Here, we are going to offer you another Linux app for editing PDFs similar to Adobe Acrobat. Master PDF Editor is an excellent program for creating and editing PDF files.

It also lets you encrypt, sign, modify, split and annotate PDF documents on the go. Basically, you get all the features of a PDF editor on Chrome OS thanks to the Linux support. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and install this excellent Linux app on your Chromebook.

  • How to Install: Download the .deb file from here and double-click on it to install the application. After that, run the below command in Terminal. Finally, run the application from the app drawer.
sudo apt-get install libsane

3. Master PDF Editor

4. Wine 5.0

Wine is not a GUI-based app, but it’s one of the most powerful Linux apps that you must install on your Chromebook. Wine is a compatibility layer (not an emulator) that allows you to install Windows apps on Chromebooks. Believe me, I have installed and continue to use full-fledged Windows versions of Microsoft Office, IDM, IrfanView, research tools like GraphPad, powerful OCR software, and much more on my Chromebook.

In fact, after the latest Wine 5.0 update, you can install even heavy Windows software without any issue. Simply put, Wine is an impressive piece of software and you must use it on your Chromebook to take full advantage of Linux on Chrome OS.

wine 5.0

5. Steam

You may not be aware but Steam works wonderfully well on Chromebook, thanks to the Linux support. It also features the Proton layer (a modified version of Wine) which you can use to play Windows games on Chromebook. Not all Windows games are supported though. You can find more information about the state of Linux gaming from our article on the best Linux games. Anyway, the installation process is pretty simple and we have mentioned a detailed guide below.

  • How to Install: Open this Steam webpage and download the .DEB file. Now, move it to the Linux files section and double-click on it. The Steam installer will automatically start the installation. Alternatively, you can follow our detailed guide on how to install Steam on a Chromebook.


6. Flatpak

While Chrome OS comes with Linux support, it does not have a user-facing Linux app store from where users can seamlessly install apps. So if you are looking for an online hub where you can find Linux apps that are compatible on Chromebook then Flatpak is what you need.

Flatpak is an app repository for Linux apps and its online app store — Flathub — stores lots of supported apps for Chromebooks. You can click on the app and copy the command and paste it in the Terminal to easily install the Linux app.

  • How to Install Flatpak: You can follow our guide and learn how to install Flatpak on Chromebook. However, to explain briefly, execute the below commands to install Flatpak. After that, open and open any app of your choice. Now, copy the command at the bottom and execute it on the Terminal to install the app.
sudo apt install flatpak flatpak --user remote-add --if-not-exists flathub


7. Firefox

While Chromebook is all about the Chrome browser, things have changed after the Linux support. Now, you can install Firefox on your Chromebook and use parallel web browsers without any issue. In fact, the performance difference is not bad at all. Despite running in a container, Firefox was easily able to play a 1080p YouTube video, with a couple of tabs open. In tandem, Firefox didn’t stutter a bit and that’s quite great.

Coming to installation, there are two builds of Firefox that you can install on Chromebook. First is Firefox ESR which is basically the Extended Support Release. It’s generally built for Enterprise and large organizations where you get updates after 3-6 months. You can also download the standard version of Firefox but the installation process is a bit hacky. Nevertheless, here is how you can get Firefox on your Chromebook.

  • How to Install Firefox ESR: Execute the below command in the Terminal. You will find the app in your app drawer.
sudo apt-get install firefox-esr
  • How to Install the Standard Firefox: Download Firefox from the official website and move it to the Linux files section. After that, rename the file to  and then execute the below commands. After the installation, to access Firefox, you will have to use the last two commands only.
tar -xvf firefox.tar.bz2


8. Microsoft Edge

If you are not satisfied with Chrome or Firefox on your Chromebook and want to taste the newly released Microsoft Edge for Linux then you can very well install Chromium Edge on your Chromebook. I have been using it for quite some time and the performance is decent enough to be used as a daily driver.

It does not have the same fluidity as Chrome, but works pretty well across websites. Just don’t expect full-res DRM content from Netflix, Prime Video on Edge. Also, note that the installation process is quite seamless as you have to just install the DEB file instead of dealing with Linux commands.

  • How to Install Microsoft Edge: Click here and download the Dev build of Microsoft Edge for Linux. Make sure to download .DEB file. Keep in mind, we are downloading Dev build because the Beta or Stable build is not yet released for Linux. In the coming months, you can choose to download Beta or Stable build for better stability. After that, simply double-click on it and install it straight away.

Install Microsoft Edge on a Chromebook

9. Kdenlive / OpenShot

While Chrome OS does not have a full-fledged video editor, Linux allows you to install a desktop-class and powerful application called Kdenlive for video editing. It’s a very popular app among the Linux users community and we tried it on our Chromebook and it worked just fine. Sure, the app was sometimes slow to respond, but it certainly worked in our testing. Apart from that, you can use another widely popular open-source video editor OpenShot which is also quite feature-packed.

Also, if you enable the  flag then the performance gets much better while dealing with resource-intensive Linux apps. All I would say is, in the absence of Chrome OS native apps, Linux apps have filled the shoes to a large extent. You can get the best Linux apps on your Chromebook which are almost comparable to Windows and macOS applications.

  • How to Install Kdenlive: Open Terminal and execute the below command. After installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder.
sudo apt-get install kdenlive
  • How to Install OpenShot: Open Terminal and execute the below command. After the installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder. You can also install OpenShot by downloading the latest AppImage file. You can learn how to install AppImage programs on Chromebook from our guide.
sudo apt-get install openshot

openshot best linux apps on chromebook

10. uGet

Since IDM is not available on Chrome OS, you can install the popular open-source download manager, uGet. Yes, it works pretty well using the Linux Container and I did not face any issues on my Chromebook. I was able to download a video from YouTube by just pasting the link and uGet took care of everything.

The speed was also quite consistent and I did a host of tests to check the stability of the application. I stopped and resumed the download several times, but it didn’t break the resume process. Overall, I found uGet one of the most reliable Linux apps on Chrome OS and you can surely give it a try.

  • How to Install: Open the Terminal and execute the below command. After the installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder.
sudo apt-get install uget

uget best linux apps on chromebook

11. Transmission

So you are a regular torrent user and unable to find a good torrent client on Chrome OS? Well, nothing to worry as Linux has you covered on this new operating system. You can install the popular Transmission app on Chromebook using the Linux system. It comes with all the features that you get on Windows or macOS.

I used it for a while and I can say that it’s feature-rich and quite stable for day to day operations. Also, the program performed quite well and that is why Transmission is one of the best Linux apps on Chromebook right now.

  • How to Install: Open Terminal and execute the below command. After installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder.
sudo apt-get install transmission-qt

transmission best linux apps on chromebook

12. Inkscape

If you are a graphics editor and looking for a program for illustrations and vector graphics then Inkscape is the one to get. You can say that it is an alternative to Adobe Illustrator on Chrome OS and for that reason alone, Inkscape is one of the best Linux apps on Chromebook. The program is very advanced and comes with all the controls that you need for complex paintings, arts, logos and more.

As an illustrator, you have access to flexible drawing tools, bezier and spiro curves, and finally a powerful text tool. Having said that, since the application is quite heavy and there is no hardware acceleration available on Chrome OS, the performance takes a hit. Nevertheless, if you have a powerful Chromebook, you can definitely try it on your machine.

  • How to Install: Open Terminal and execute the below command. After installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder.
sudo apt-get install inkscape

4. Inkscape Best Linux Apps on Chromebook

13. Kolourpaint

Personally, for me, Kolourpaint is the best Linux apps on Chromebook and I will tell you why. It’s very close to MS-Paint that we have on Windows and does not leave out any of the major features. In fact, it brings more advanced features like free-form selection, scale by image portion, skew diagram, monochrome effect and much more.

Apart from that, Kolourpaint performed really well and it didn’t feel like the app was running in a container. There is no lag and you can create and edit a bulk of images in one go. If you ever wanted to use an app like Microsoft Paint on Chrome OS, this is the best option and I think, it’s much better.

  • How to Install: Open Terminal and execute the below command. After installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder.
sudo apt-get install kolourpaint

8. Kolourpaint Best Linux Apps on Chromebook

14. Pinta

Pinta is another alternative to MS Paint on Chromebook that you can use for basic editing your images. It’s slightly advanced than Kolourpaint and comes with Lasso tool, Magic Wand and more. What I like about this app is that it’s pretty lightweight and does not hog resources at all. So if you want to try another photo editor on Linux for Chromebook then Pinta will take you right home.

  • How to Install: Follow point #6 of this article and set up Flatpak on your Chromebook. After that, click on this link and copy the link from the bottom part of the page. Next, paste the command on the Terminal and Pinta will be installed on your Chromebook.


15. Thunderbird

Thunderbird is a widely popular email client and you can get it on Chromebook with a simple Linux command. As we already know, it’s an open-source email client that has been built for maximum privacy and security for both general and advanced users. Not to mention, Thunderbird is packed with awesome features like calendar, tasks, and reminders — all baked into one.

Basically, you get an offline email client with all the desktop features that are available on Windows and macOS apps. Surprisingly, Thunderbird performed far better than my expectations and feels almost like a native app. So, if you want an email client and Android apps are not scaling well then Thunderbird is the app you need. It’s truly one of the best Linux apps on this list.

  • How to Install: Open Terminal and execute the below command. After installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder.
sudo apt-get install thunderbird

9. Thunderbird

16. Bluemail

While Thunderbird is great, if you need an email client alternative for Linux on Chromebook then Bluemail has you covered. It offers a modern UI with support for various domains such as Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, and more. You can even manually set up IMAP, POP3, Exchange accounts on Bluemail. What I love about Bluemail is that its Linux version is quite feature-rich and supports dark mode too. So go ahead and install Bluemail on your Chrom ebook.

  • How to Install: Open this link and click on the “Download .deb” button. After the download is complete, double-click on the DEB file and install it right away. Once the installation is done, press the Search button on the keyboard and search for Bluemail. Now go ahead and open it.

16. Bluemail

17. FocusWriter

Want a Linux app on Chromebook for distraction-free writing? Well, check out FocusWriter which is a full-screen word processor and comes with hide-away UI. You can immerse yourself in writing and create a customizable ambiance with background images, colors, font, themes and more. Not to mention, FocusWriter also supports spell-checking, daily goals, dark mode, etc.

How to Install: First of all, set up Flatpak by following point #6 of this article. After that, open this link and copy the command at the bottom of the page. Now, paste the command on the Linux Terminal and it will install FocusWriter on your Chromebook.


18. Audacity

Another pick for our best Linux apps on Chromebook is Audacity. In case you don’t know, Audacity is an advanced audio editor and a cross-platform recording application. The app is brimming with features and can help you mix songs, record tracks and also create karaoke of any song.

There are also many plugins available for Audacity which will allow you to connect your software with other sound equipment and program. Not to mention, there is full support for digitizing audios, sample rate conversion, frequency analysis and a lot more. All in all, Audacity is a professional-grade audio software and you can comfortably use it on your Chromebook thanks to the Linux support.

  • How to Install: Open Terminal and execute the below command. After installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder.
sudo apt-get install audacity

10. Audacity Best Linux Apps on Chromebook

19. Nautilus

Nautilus is one of the best Linux apps on Chromebook as it allows you to access Linux directories just like any other Linux distro. With the default Files app on Chromebook, you can only access the Linux file section and at most, can see the hidden files. However, if you want to access system directories like ,  or  then Nautilus helps you access those folders easily.

  • How to Install: Execute the below command in the Terminal. After the installation, you will find the app in your app drawer.
sudo apt-get install nautilus


20. Visual Studio Code / Android Studio

If you are a programmer then Chromebook has you covered with the most popular development tools out there. You can run and set up Visual Studio Code seamlessly, as you can Android Studio. The out-of-the-box experience is very hassle-free, just like on Windows and macOS. In fact, Google recently announced a new portal where you can get all the information required to set up Android, Web and Flutter development environments.

As for Visual Studio Code, you can just about do anything with your code, ranging from debugging, syntax highlighting, and quick code completion. And if you want to add C, C++ or Python to VSC then just add the extension and you will be up running without any issue. Simply put, with Linux support, Chromebooks have become a powerful development machine and you should completely leverage the potential.

  • How to Install Visual Studio Code: Just open this page and download the .DEB file. Now, move the file to the Linux files section and double-click on it to install the program. Once the installation is done, you will find the app in your App Drawer.
  • How to Install Android Studio: Open the official website and download the .DEB file. Now, move the file to the Linux files section and double-click on it to install the program. Once the installation is done, you will find the app in your App Drawer. You can also open for more information.

visual studio code

21. balenaEtcher

On Windows, if you want to flash ISO images or create a bootable USB drive then you have reliable tools like Rufus and PowerISO. On Chromebook, you don’t have native app support, but there is Linux which can bring all the tools for you. Thankfully, one of the popular Rufus alternatives, balenaEtcher is available on Linux which means you can install it on your Chromebook too.

balenaEtcher allows you to install flash OS images to SD cards/USB drives and it works flawlessly on Chromebooks. And that’s why we have chosen the app among the best Linux apps on Chromebook. Here is how you can install it.

  • How to Install: Open this page and download the amd64.DEB file. Now, move the file to the Linux files section and double-click on it to install the program. Once the installation is done, you will find the app in your App Drawer.

balenaetcher best linux apps on chromebook

22. Virtual Machine Manager

If you are using one of the latest Chromebooks that feature the 10th-gen Intel Comet Lake CPU then Virtual Machine Manager will be of great help. The latest-gen Chromebooks (based on Hatch board) now come with Nested KVM support which means you will be able to run Windows 10 on a virtual machine. And Virtual Machine Manager is the app you should use on Chrome OS to seamlessly create a VM.

  • How to Install: Execute the below command in the Terminal. After the installation, you will find the app in your app drawer.
sudo apt-get install virt-manager

virtual machine manager best linux apps on chromebook

Install the Best Linux Apps on Your Chromebook

So this is our list of the 22 best Linux apps available on Chromebook right now. We have included many applications ranging from productivity to creative software. As we can see, Linux support on Chrome OS is groundbreaking and it’s bringing many professional software to Chrome OS users just like that. I am pretty sure, in a few years, Linux apps will become the de-facto app platform on Chrome OS.

Anyway, that is all from us. If you liked the article and want to know more about Linux apps from other categories then comment down below and let us know. We will definitely help you with the installation. Also, if you want to learn about some advanced Chrome OS tips and tricks then click on the linked article.


How to install Linux apps on your Chromebook

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Thanks to Linux support on Chromebooks, the Play Store isn’t the only place you can use to download apps. A lot of Chrome OS devices can run Linux apps, which makes them all that more valuable.

Installing a Linux app isn’t as simple as installing an Android app, although the process isn’t complicated once you get the hang of it. The good news is that when done correctly, you’ll feel like a computer wiz since there’s a bit of code involved.

Here:What is a Chromebook and what can it do?

First, check your Chrome OS version

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The first step is to check your Chrome OS version to see if your Chromebook supports Linux apps. Start by clicking your profile image in the bottom-right corner and navigating to the Settings menu. Then click the hamburger icon in the upper-left corner and select the About Chrome OS option. The version of Chrome OS you’re running will appear.

Read next:The best Android apps for Chromebooks

If you’re running Chrome OS 69 or later, you can download Linux apps. If not, you’re out of luck. But in this case, make sure to check if there are any software updates available that may bump you up to one of the Linux supporting versions of the operating system. To do so, click the Check for updates button on the About Chrome OS page you should already be on and then let your Chromebook do its thing.

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Now that you’ve figured out that your Chromebook supports Linux apps, the next step is to enable Linux on your machine. It’s easy to do and won’t take a lot of time overall, although this depends on how fast your internet speed is as well as the power of your Chromebook.

Open the Settings on your Chromebook and select the Linux (Beta) option on the left side. Then click the Turn on button followed by Install when a new window pops up. Once the download completes, a terminal window will open. You can use this window to download Linux apps, which we’ll discuss in the next section.

Read next:The best Chromebook deals you can get right now

How to download Linux apps on Chromebooks?

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Here’s the part you’ve been waiting for. But before we get into exactly how to download Linux apps on Chromebooks, there’s one more thing to do. To make sure everything runs smoothly, you have to update your packages by entering the command below into the terminal window.

Once that’s done, you can start downloading Linux apps on your device. To do so, you have to use the command “sudo apt-get install app name -y”, in which you change the “app name” part with the actual name of the app. For example, if you want to download the popular image editor called Gimp, you would use the following command:

  • sudo apt-get install gimp -y

Once you enter the command into the terminal window, the app will be downloaded and placed in the app drawer along with your Android apps. You may need to look up the app name commands needed for the apps of your choice on a case-by-case basis, to ensure you’re installing the right apps. We have the best ones listed below.

The best Linux apps for Chromebooks

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

In addition to the already mentioned Gimp, there are several other great Linux apps available to download. We’ll let you discover them on your own, but to get you started and give you a little taste of what to expect, we’ve listed a few popular Linux apps below, along with commands you can use to download them.

LibreOffice: An alternative to Microsoft Word, LibreOffice includes a word processor, a spreadsheet program, and a presentation tool, among other things.

  • sudo apt install libreoffice libreoffice-gtk3 -y

Transmission: This is a free BitTorrent client that allows you to download and upload files easily.

  • sudo apt-get install transmission-qt -y

FileZilla: If you want to move files from your device to a server, an app like FileZilla makes the process a lot faster.

  • sudo apt-get install filezilla -y

Evolution: If you want to use a desktop mail client instead of a web-based one, the Evolution Linux app is for you.

  • sudo apt-get install evolution -y

Audacity: This is an advanced audio editor and recorder that comes in handy when playing around with various audio files.

  • sudo apt-get install audacity -y

Related:The best Android apps for Chromebooks

Which app was the first one you installed? Let us know in the comments! Also, feel free to check out our other Chromebook-related guides below.

How ToChrome OS, Chromebooks, Linux

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Linux on Chrome OS, sometimes called Crostini, allows you to run Linux apps for development alongside your usual Chrome OS desktop & apps. Linux on Chromebooks offers developers the best of both worlds. Built and designed with Chrome OS’ principles of simplicity and security, Linux on Chromebooks gives devs the freedom to safely run their favorite editors, IDEs, and thousands of world-class dev tools in one container.

Turning on Linux will install a Terminal that you can use to run command line tools. You can also install graphical apps like editors and IDEs that show up in the Launcher alongside the rest of your Chrome OS apps. Another useful tool, the Files app, makes it easy to create shared folders for moving files between the Chrome OS host and the Linux container.


  • Run the most popular developer tools
  • Set up an Android, Web, or Flutter development environment
  • Test Android or Web apps on your Chromebook or test on a separate device via USB or port-forwarding
  • Easy backup and restore of your Linux container

Once you have enabled Linux you can learn how to configure a productive desktop environment, build for Android or Web, and also work on games. We also have advanced guides to setup Flutter and other common Linux development tools.

How To Install Linux Apps On Chromebook

Top 20 Linux Apps to Install on Chromebook

As if Chromebooks weren’t fun to use and super fast enough, a fully compatible Linux terminal and the dedicated apps, which are also collectively known as Project Crostini was released for the stable channel of Chrome OS’s 69th version. The latest version is around 85, so you can estimate how far the program has come across. Linux is a potent tool for Chromebooks that takes the game on a whole new level.

With it, you enter into a world of possibilities with a plethora of Linux apps that you can promptly install. However, to use Linux, you have to enable it on your Chrome OS, which also follows a reasonably sized download. This article assumes that you have everything set up, but if you still don’t know what we’re talking about, click on this link and let the writing take it from there. Nonetheless, here are the top 20 Linux apps that you can install on your Chromebook using the Linux terminal effortlessly.

Top Linux Apps to have on your Chromebook

1. LibreOffice

LibreOffice on Chromebook

LibreOffice on Chromebook

LibreOffice is a highly useful office suite app for Chrome OS that doesn’t make you miss Microsoft’s Office 365 even one bit. Why? Because the app in question comes forth with your word-processing, spreadsheet designing, and presentation needs in a genuinely familiar manner, making you feel right at home. LibreOffice is best suited for people who are inclined toward programs that are exempt from cloud connections.

LibreOffice has a refined and very interactive user-interface that’s sure to be worthy enough of an install, making it the firestarter of our top 20 Linux apps. Moreover, it has terrific functionality offline, and the app supports innumerable file formats, ranging from WPS Office, StarWriter, WordPerfect, and many more. Also, LibreOffice is open-source that welcomes contributions from the community and even has a vector graphics editor. To install, type in the following command in the Linux terminal.

sudo apt install -y libreoffice libreoffice-gtk3
Installing LibreOffice

Installing LibreOffice on Chromebook

As you press enter, the following LibreOffice apps will begin to appear in your Linux apps folder.

LibreOffice Installed

LibreOffice Installed

2. Thunderbird

Thunderbird Working

Thunderbird on Chromebook

The next pick on the list is Thunderbird, a well-renowned email client below no other email managing app. There are a bunch of quality traits that make it the highly reputed app that it is. For one, Thunderbird is fully open-source and accommodates newcomers and expert users alike. You can pinpoint tasks of urgency, mark days of importance in the app’s very own calendar, and of course, set reminders.

The desktop features widely used on big platforms like Windows and Mac are readily available on Thunderbird. As a bonus, you can use it offline as well. If you’ve been scouring everywhere for a trusty similar app on your Chromebook that can be installed at the comfort of a single Linux command, look no further since Thunderbird is here to meet your requirements. To install, type in the following command on the Linux terminal.

sudo apt-get install thunderbird
Installing Thunderbird

Installing Thunderbird

When you’re finished, the following app should be present inside your Linux apps folder.

Thunderbird Installed

3.  GIMP

GIMP Working

GIMP on Chromebook

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is quite possibly one of the best Linux apps out there that bode exceptionally well for the Chromebook. It’s a photo-editing tool that’s sprawling with features, but at the same time, adorned with simplicity and uncomplicated design. It’s much regarded as the perfect substitute for the famous Adobe Photoshop, and for people who aren’t up to speed with its usage. With advanced functions like cage transform, lasso, shear, and the layer tool, GIMP is second to none in photo editing.

However, it may take a pure novice a day or three to fully grasp the concepts of GIMP better before they start putting in some real work in. Through the accessibility of Linux on Chromebook, this photo editor is your best bet in terms of the #1 editing tool. GIMP will always remain our top pick in this regard for Chrome OS, and it’s easy to see why. To install, type in the following command on the Linux terminal to proceed.

sudo apt-get install gimp
Installing GIMP

Installing GIMP on Chromebook

When the Terminal has finished the download, GIMP will await your attention in the Linux apps folder.

GIMP Installed

4. Kdenlive

Kdenlive Working

Kdenlive on Chromebook

We’ve listed the photo editor, but what about a video editor that feels brilliantly native? Embrace Kdenlive- a powerful video editing tool that runs like a dream on your Chromebook, all thanks to Linux compatibility. It’s a function-filled app for the Chrome OS that’s a must-have if anyone wishes to pursue video editing on their Chromebook, but couldn’t do so previously because of a lackluster of such an app.

You can arrange multiple video tracks, lock them in place, or arrange them as you’d like. Also, there are noteworthy keyframeable effects that shine in the spotlight for Kdenlive. Additionally, you’re overwhelmed with several transitions and effects that are sure to get your videos on a very appreciable level. To install, you have to type in the following command on the Linux Terminal, so the installation begins shortly.

sudo apt-get install kdenlive
Installing Kdenlive

Installing Kdenlive

Kdenlive is reasonably big in size and might take a while before Linux fully installs it on your Chromebook. However, when it’s done, you should see the following app icon in the Linux apps folder.

Kdenlive Installed

5. Mozilla Firefox

Firefox Working

Firefox on Chromebook

Mozilla Firefox is another spectacular application on the list that you’re going to like comprehensively. It’s an internet browser that’s just as fast as Chrome, but also has its own set of functions and features that guarantee exceptional performance and an unrivaled experience. Firefox has a very professional design followed by a friendly user-interface. The tab switching system is also held in great regard, as you always know which tab goes where no matter how many of them you open up.

That is a feature that Google Chrome lacks, often getting people discombobulated when numerous tabs are open. Furthermore, Mozilla Firefox presents flexible options in customization and gives you advanced functions like a voice and video chat feature, combined with genuinely secure private browsing. There’s also a dedicated Reading Mode that eliminates distractions and gets rid of ads, which, as you can perceive, is highly convenient when trying to approach those news-style websites.  To install Firefox, type in the following command on the Linux Terminal. Nevertheless, this article does a whole better job of explaining Firefox’s other installation methods as well.

sudo apt install firefox-esr
Installing Mozilla Firefox

Installing Mozilla Firefox on Chromebook

Here’s the final look of the app when it’s installed in the apps folder.

Mozilla Firefox Installed

6. FileZilla

FileZilla Working

FileZilla on Chromebook

If your work requirements from a Chromebook revolve around uploading files to servers and downloading them as well, you’re going to have to settle for lousy improvisations that can get very complex. Well, it’s the courtesy of Linux support that the ineffective workarounds are no longer a case anymore if you’re considering FileZilla particularly.

This program is a no-nonsense FTP client that enables file transfer and download painless and easy between a Chromebook and any remote server. To install FileZilla, type in the following command on the Linux Terminal to proceed.

sudo apt-get install filezilla
Installing FIleZilla

Installing FileZilla on Chromebook

Here’s how the app looks after it’s installed on your Chromebook.

FileZilla Installed

7. Transmission

Transmission Working

Transmission on Chromebook

Another way Linux covers your advanced needs is by giving you an appropriate, functional torrent client called Transmission. Stability is very impressive with day in day out use, and the app comprises unique features. It lets you download files of your choice without an effort, may that be audio or video files, or only photos.

Transmission works above satisfyingly on Chromebook using the Linux system, and you can also install the high-quality client by typing in the following on the Linux Terminal.

sudo apt-get install transmission-qt
Installing Transmission

Installing Transmission

When the Terminal is done, Transmission should appear in the Linux apps folder.

Transmission Installed

8. Master PDF Editor

Master PDF Editor Working

Master PDF Editor on Chromebook

As the app name implies, Master PDF Editor does a remarkable job of catering to PDF files, creating them, or editing them all together. It’s typically regarded as an excellent replacement for Adobe Acrobat on Chrome OS as the program lets you split, encrypt, modify, and do a lot more with PDF documents seamlessly. The interface is catchy and light and isn’t heavy for your system at all.

It turns out Linux has all the answers for Chromebook users out there, putting out great apps one by one that cares for the advanced needs of people on Chrome OS. To install this app, you have to download a file beforehand and run it. Here’s the link. The following screenshot portrays the action needed after you’ve double-clicked on the downloaded file.

Installing Master PDF Editor

After you click on Install, Linux should automatically begin the process. Within a few seconds, Master PDF Editor will await you in the Terminal apps folder.

Master PDF Editor Installed

9. uGet

uGet Working

uGet on Chromebook

With the absence of something like the prominent Internet Download Manager (IDM) on Chromebook, Linux arrives to save the day again with uGet. This personal application manages your downloaded files, documents, images, videos, and more comfortably. This app is a breeze to install and comes off nothing but highly in demand for Chrome OS geeks. uGet is treasured because it flows nicely using the Linux Terminal, and there aren’t any noticeable errors, in all honesty.

Moreover, when it comes to speed and stability, uGet is nothing but consistent and up to the mark. This handy manager doesn’t fail the process if you pause or resume your download, even if you test this several times. To install the app, use the following command in Linux.

sudo apt-get install uget
Installing uGet

Installing uGet

Here’s how uGet looks in the Terminal apps folder.

uGet Installed

10. Inkscape

Inkscape Working

Inkscape on Chromebook

Another excellent app for your Chromebook is Inkscape, a program to effectively draw vector illustrations and everything that follows along the line. Linux, yet again proving its unbelievable functionality, provides us with an Adobe Illustrator replica. Inkscape has got all the geeky tools you need to kickstart your creativity right into the action. It can host paintings, logo designs, artistic creations, and a lot more, of course.

You’re never going to get tired of enough drawing tools on Inkscape. Besides, you’ve also got a fantastic text tool that gives you flexible font options. However, it’d fair to say that this application can become quite heavy. That’s not a problem if you trust your Chromebook to handle it. But, if your computer is not that good, prepare to suffer occasional lagging and crashes. To install Inkscape, input the following command on the Linux Terminal.

sudo apt-get install inkscape
Installing Inkscape

Installing Inkscape on Chromebook

When the install is finished, Inkscape will appear in the Linux apps folder.

Inkscape Installed

11. KolourPaint

KolourPaint Working

KolourPaint on Chromebook

One of the best apps for drawing on your Chromebook, KolourPaint, makes everything easier and surprisingly fun. With the Linux Container, the app feels almost native to Chrome OS because, yes, it performs that well. Nevertheless, if you’re fond of the popular Microsoft Paint, Chromebook has something more rewarding for you in-store.

KolourPaint, despite performing exceedingly on a Chromebook, is jam-packed with features too. There’s a monochrome effect, an option to draw a skew diagram, and free-form possibilities. It’s safe to say that no other does it better than the painting app in question, and KolourPaint has us hooked from day one. Please enter the following code on the Linux Terminal to install it.

sudo apt-get install kolourpaint
Installing Kolourpaint

Installing Kolourpaint

As the install finishes, KolourPaint will go on to appear in your Linux apps folder.

KolourPaint Installed12. Audacity

Audacity Working

Audacity on Chromebook

We’ve so far listed a photo and a video editor both, so what about a through-and-through audio editor? Enter Audacity- one of the best audio editing tools out there having excellent capabilities and outstanding features. You could say this app has the Audacity to deliver beyond expectations. It painlessly supports  32-bit/384kHz audio and lets you mix sounds of all types, no matter if they’re stereo, mono, or multitracked recordings.

Audacity is an app that’s not too hard on the Chrome OS, and with Linux, the app exhibits charm in spades. It’s free, always will be, and here’s the command that you’ll be entering in your Linux Terminal to proceed with installing Audacity on your Chromebook. For a more in-depth guide, head over to this article to see all methods of installing this app.

sudo apt-get install audacity
Installing Audacity

Installing Audacity

Here’s Audacity in the Linux apps folder.

Audacity Installed

13. Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code Working

Visual Studio Code on Chromebook

Are you a programmer who’s somehow ended up with a Chromebook? Fret not since Linux gives you a spectacular app for all your programming requirements. Visual Studio Code is praised highly among students of the subject and has proved to be an effective program. You’re presented with several developer tools that most often come very much in handy while VSC runs without a hassle on Chrome OS.

If you want to add programming languages to your app, please add Python, C, and C+++ extensions from the official website. It’s effortless but extremely useful when it comes to harnessing the true potential of Visual Studio Code. Installing this app on your Chromebook, thereby, is a different process as compared to the rest of the Linux apps. For starters, you won’t be using the Linux Terminal here.

Click on this link to go straight to the download page. Once you’re there, click on the .deb file to begin the download. When it’s finished, run the program on your Chromebook and enjoy VSC.

Installing VSC

Installing VSC

After you’ve downloaded the file, run it using Linux to complete the installation. Here’s how it looks in the Linux apps folder.

VSC Installed

14. balenaEtcher

balenaEtcher Working

BalenaEtcher on Chromebook

Another atypical application for Linux users is balenaEtcher, which is similar to Rufus and PowerISO. Your needs from the Chromebook might purely revolve around installing flash OS images, and if they do, balenaEtcher has got your back. All this native experience is possible due to the courtesy of Linux, and with this powerful tool, transferring images to USBs and other drives are no longer a hassle anymore.

To install balenaEtcher, head over to this link and download the amd64.deb file. When it’s completed, double-click on it, and run the installation process. It’s as simple as that.

Installing balenaEtcher

Installing BalenaEtcher on Chromebook

After the download, run the application through Linux to proceed with the installation. The process should be quick. Here are balenaEtcher and all its subsidiary apps in the flesh.

balenaEtcher Installed

15. Evolution

Evolution Working


Evolution is another fantastic desktop email client that works exceedingly well on the Chromebook using Linux. The interface it has makes it one of the best apps out there as you comfortably see your tasks, memos, calendars, and more organized and arranged in one place, being easy for you to access them all.

Evolution takes away your reliance on a browser and provides you with nonpareil speed instead. It’s a worthy asset to have, and Linux is more than eager to get this rolling for us. To install, type in the following command on the Linux Terminal.

sudo apt-get install evolution
Installing Evolution

Installing Evolution

After Linux finishes the installation process, Evolution will appear in the apps folder.

Evolution Installed

16. Steam

Steam is the average PC gamer’s most prized platform, and if you have some profound confidence in your Chromebook, a world of endless fun awaits you. Steam has a library of over millions of games, both purchasable and free, and amounts to a tremendous userbase. It’s available natively for Mac, Windows, and Linux as well. The compatibility on the latter means that Chromebooks also have the opportunity to run Steam and virtually play a plethora of games- both online and offline.

However, installing Steam may not come off as complicated, but it is indeed a bit lengthy. This is why we’re linking you to another one of our articles that thoroughly explains how to install Steam on Chrome OS.

17. FocusWriter



FocusWriter is for all you Shakespeare-esque people out there who love to write and gather their thoughts on a page. Luckily for you, this Linux app lets you write in all its distraction-free glory and sets the tone. There’s a minimal background to help you concentrate, and using the full screen; there’s nothing but you and blocks and blocks of text.

An optimal yet simple word processor at best, FocusWriter furthers the list by being the 17th addition. To install it, please type the following command on the Linux Terminal.

sudo apt-get install focuswriter
Installing FocusWriter

Installing FocusWriter

Here’s how FocusWriter looks in the apps folder.

FocusWriter Installed

18. Slack

Slack Working


Chromebooks lack a proper chat messenger app that feels like it was made for the computer itself. Sure, you can use web-based messengers all you want, but that experience will be nowhere near what Slack is going to offer you. The fun part is, even the Google Play Store version of this application doesn’t compare to the Linux one, because that’s the beauty of using Linux apps.

With Slack, you can enjoy a trouble-free chatting experience with the design amusing you piece by piece. Installing this one is also a bit different, but just like VSC and balenaEtcher, both on the list. Begin by going to this link and proceed with getting the 64-bit .deb file. Once you’ve got that downloaded, move the file to Linux apps, and then double-click on the file to run it. The installation will start and finish promptly.

Installing Slack

Installing Slack

After you’re finished with the download, run the program, and installation will begin by itself. Here’s Slack in the Linux apps folder.

Slack Installed

19. Virtual Machine Manager

Virtual Machine Manager Working

Virtual Machine Manager

Virtual Machine Manager is a top-of-the-line Linux app that lets you create a virtual machine of your own. This leads an average user into countless ways of utilizing this great feature. For starters, this app can possibly let you run Windows 10 on your virtual machine. How cool, right? All that happening on a Chromebook might feel super tech-forward, but take our word, it’s as basic as accessible as downloading it.

To install Virtual Machine Manager, type in the following command on the Linux Terminal to get the download rolling.

sudo apt-get install virt-manager
Installing Virtual Machine Manager

Installing Virtual Machine Manager

Following the process, Virtual Machine Manager is installed on your Chromebook.

Virtual Machine Manager

20. Nautilus

Nautilus Working


If you’ve been trying to access Linux directories lately for some reason but so far have found no apparent luck, we got another thing coming for you. With Nautilus, you can access mnt, root, and even the user directories. With what you’ve already got, you can only view the Linux apps and scour the hidden apps at best, nothing more.

To install this distro-like app, you have to input the following on the Linux Terminal.

sudo apt-get install nautilus
Installing Nautilus

Installing Nautilus

After Linux has processed the install, Nautilus will be found in the apps folder. It’s automatically renamed as “Files”, but it’s the same thing.

Nautilus Installed


Those were our hand-picked top Linux apps, which we think are great to have on your Chromebook. Which one is your favorite, and why? Or do you want to suggest an app that’s not on this list? Please feel free to comment below.


Apps) linux (beta

How to install Linux apps on your Chromebook

Google has finally made it such that the installation of Linux applications has trickled down to even more Chromebooks. Case in point--what was once considered the most luxurious Chromebook on the market, the Pixel 2105. At this point a large number of Chromebooks can enjoy the added layer of Linux applications.

What does that mean? It means that the narrow-focused Chromebook becomes a much more adept and adaptable device. It means you can install a fully-functioning office suite, a powerful image editor, admin tools, and so much more. 

The only caveat to installing Linux apps on Chrome OS is that once you get beyond enabling the feature, there's no GUI to help you along the way.

That's where I come in.

I'm going to walk you through the steps of enabling the installation of Linux apps on your Chromebook, and then installing an app. You'll be surprised at how easy this task is.

SEE: VPN usage policy (TechRepublic Premium)

What you'll need

The only things you'll need to install Linux applications on your Chromebook are:

  • A supported Chromebook (to find out if your Chromebook is supported, check out Google's official list)

  • A network connection

How to enable Linux apps

The first thing to be done is the enabling of Linux apps. To do this, open the Chrome OS Settings app and look for Linux (Beta) in the left navigation (Figure A).

Figure A


If you do not see the Linux entry in the sidebar, check to see if there's an update for Chrome OS. If so, apply it immediately. Linux support appeared in the latest batch of devices with version 80.0.3987.58 of Chrome OS.

If you do see Linux (Beta) in the left navigation, click it and then, in the resulting window, click Turn On (Figure B).

Figure B


A new window will appear (Figure C), prompting you to click Install. Do so and the installation will take place.

Figure C


When the installation completes (it does take a bit of time), you will be presented with a terminal window (Figure D). That terminal window indicates the installation was a success and you're now ready to install apps.

Figure D


How to install Linux software in Chrome OS

If you've done much work on Linux, chances are the rest is second nature. In order to install Linux software on Chrome OS, you will do so from the command line. The command in question is straight out of the Debian/Ubuntu neighborhood, and looks like:

sudo apt-get install APPLICATION -y

Where APPLICATION is the name of the app you want to install. 

But before you can do that, you need to first update apt with the command:

sudo apt-get update

Once the update completes, you can then install software. Say, for instance, you want to install the GIMP image editor. For that, issue the command:

sudo apt-get install gimp -y

The GIMP will install and you'll find it ready to run in your Chrome OS desktop menu (Figure E).

Figure E


One final note

Any time you want to install a Linux application on Chrome OS, it's done via the terminal window. You can pin that terminal app to the Chrome OS shelf, or you can always open the terminal from within the Linux apps folder. Just remember, there is no built-in support for Linux app installation in any GUI at the moment--so keep that terminal app handy. 

And, should the occasion arise for you to remove a Linux application, the command is:

sudo apt-get remove APPLICATION -y

Where APPLICATION is the name of the application to be removed.

That's all there is to it. Enjoy that new-found productivity on your Chromebook.

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