5 Linux apps You Must Try On Chrome OS
For a couple of years, Chromebooks have been running Linux applications. This compatibility with Linux was added to Chrome OS mainly with app developers in mind.
However, users can also take advantage of it to install those Linux apps that they need so much in their Chromebooks and that no Android or Chrome OS app has been able to impersonate.
As for which? Well, here we will introduce you to 5 Linux applications for Chrome OS that allow you to perform certain tasks that the official Chromebook apps cannot do.
In addition, since we know that installing Linux apps on Chrome OS is not easy for the average user, we will also offer you a short tutorial so you can learn how to install each of the following 5 apps. Although, if you already know how to do it, you can skip the first part of this article.
How to install Linux applications on Chrome OS
To install Linux apps on your Chromebook, you first have to activate the support for it as follows:
- Tap the time at the bottom right of the screen.
- Now select the Settings option (the one with a cog wheel).
- Navigate through the menu until you find the Linux option. Then activate it and click Install. If you don’t see that option, then change the channel of your Chrome OS to that of the developer, just as Google explains in this tutorial. If even in developer mode you don’t see the option, unfortunately, your Chromebook doesn’t have support for Linux apps.
- Once the installation finishes, the Terminal will automatically open allowing you to enter commands to install Linux apps.
Now, each Linux app has a specific command for its installation, although there are some that are installed differently. Be that as it may, remember that you can only install Linux apps on Chrome OS if you managed to effectively activate the option indicated here.
Top 5 Linux apps for Chrome OS and how to install them
Now entering the matter, let’s see what are those 5 Linux applications that come wonderfully to your Chromebook. In addition, we will tell you how to install them, either with a simple command or with a DEP file.
GIMP: a powerful photo editor
Although the Play Store offers many photo editors for Chrome OS, none of them is as complete and professional as GIMP. This application allows you to edit images on your Chromebook with a wide variety of professional tools, just like you would with Photoshop on a Windows computer.
Of course, because it is a powerful editing tool, using GIMP to edit photos is not as easy as using any similar Android app.
However, once you learn to master GIMP, you will love this tool and the enormous number of possibilities it offers you to edit images. And it is that GIMP allows you to edit with several layers, use different brushes, draw with a stylus (if your Chromebook is compatible), blur parts of images, and much more. Some formats that GIMP supports are JPEG, PNG, CXF, WebP, BMP, and PSD.
How to install GIMP on Chrome OS
Enter this command in Terminal: Sudo apt install -y gimp gimp-plugin-registry gimp-python
The program will install automatically and appear in the Chrome OS app drawer.
LibreOffice: the office suite you needed
Another thing Chrome OS lacks is a good office suite. Google Docs and Microsoft Office Online can be two good ways to create and edit documents on your Chromebook, but they require you to be connected to the Internet for all their options to work, and also their format support is limited.
Luckily, there is LibreOffice that comes from Linux to Chrome OS to solve those limitations.
LibreOffice is an open-source office suite that works completely offline. It offers you, effective editors, for text documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and graphics. But best of all, it supports virtually any document format that exists, including Microsoft Office, WPS Office, StarWriter, Apple, etc.
How to install LibreOffice on Chrome OS
Enter this command in Terminal: sudo apt install -y libreoffice libreoffice-gtk3
This command will install the different apps that LibreOffice offers for document editing.
WPS Office: another excellent office suite
But if you’ve tried LibreOffice before and didn’t like it, then try WPS Office. This suite is really very good and many will like its interface because it is very similar to that of Microsoft Office. WPS includes all the editors you need (text, spreadsheets, presentations, etc.) and even a very useful PDF editor.
It doesn’t support as many formats as LibreOffice, but it can at least open the main ones like those in the Microsoft suite.
How to install WPS Office on Chrome OS
Enter the official website of the WPS Office and press the .deb link for the latest version of WPS available to download the program. Once downloaded, go to the Downloads folder, hit the .deb file and you’re done. You will already have this office suite installed on your Chromebook.
Transmission: to download torrent files
On the other hand, if you are one of those who regularly download torrents, but have not yet found a download manager for these files in the Play Store that meets your expectations, you should try Transmission. This program is one of the best BitTorrent clients that exist. It is fast, light, and offers several interesting options to manage your torrent downloads. In short, it has everything you need from an app to download torrents.
How to install Transmission on Chrome OS
Enter this command in Terminal: sudo apt install -y transmission-qt
After installation, the app will try to connect to a server to start working, so you must click Ok when a message appears notifying you of this action.
Visual Studio Code: ideal for programmers
If you are a programmer or you are studying to be a programmer, this app is perfect for you. And it is that, in Chrome OS, there is no application that allows you to write and edit the source code of a program as simply and completely as Visual Studio Code does.
With this Linux app, you can comfortably program in different languages (thanks to its code autocomplete functions), as well as debugging.
In addition, it offers its own Terminal and other interesting features such as syntax highlighting, snippets, refactoring, etc.
How to install Visual Studio Code on Chrome OS
Enter the official website of Visual Studio Code and, below the Linux logo, press the .deb button. This will start downloading a file.
Once the download is complete, go to the Downloads folder and double click on the .deb file. In this way, the Visual Studio Code app will be installed on your Chromebook and you can access it from the app drawer.
Anyway, that’s it for now. If you know of another Linux app that you would recommend installing on Chrome OS, let us know.