Set up Linux (Beta) on your Chromebook

Linux (Beta) is a feature that lets you develop software using your Chromebook. You can install Linux command line tools, code editors, and IDEs on your Chromebook. These can be used to write code, create apps, and more. Check which devices have Linux (Beta).

Important: Linux (Beta) is still being improved. You might experience issues.

Turn on Linux (Beta)

Linux (Beta) is off by default. You can turn it on any time from Settings.

  1. At the bottom right, select the time.
  2. Select Settings .
  3. Under "Linux (Beta)," select Turn On.
  4. Follow the steps on the screen. Setup can take 10 minutes or more.
  5. A terminal window opens. You have a Debian 10 (Buster) environment. You can run Linux commands, install more tools using the APT package manager, and customize your shell.

Access your microphone on Linux (Beta)

You can use your microphone when Linux (Beta) is turned on.

  1. At the bottom right, select the time.
  2. Select Settings .
  3. On the left, select Linux.
  4. Turn on Allow Linux to access your microphone.

Security & permissions

Your Chromebook typically protects your computer by running each app in a "sandbox". However, all Linux apps are run inside the same sandbox. This means a harmful Linux app can affect other Linux apps, but not the rest of your Chromebook.

Permissions and files shared with Linux are available to all Linux apps.

Back up & restore

If you're having trouble with back up and restore, check how to back up and replace your Linux (Beta) files and apps.

Fix problems with Linux

If you’re experiencing issues with Linux or Linux apps, try the following steps:

  • Restart your Chromebook.
  • Check that your virtual machine is up-to-date. In your browser, go to chrome://components. Under "cros-termina," select Check for update. If you download an update, you might need to restart your Chromebook.
  • Update your packages. Open the Terminal app , and then run this command: sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Tip: You might need to restart your Chromebook for changes to take effect. Linux automatically checks for new packages after initial setup and every 24 hours when it is running.

Check what’s not supported yet

  • Cameras are not yet supported.
  • Android devices are supported over USB, but other devices are not yet supported.
  • Android Emulators are not yet supported.
  • Hardware acceleration is not yet supported, including GPU and video decode.
  • ChromeVox is supported for the default Terminal app, but not yet for other Linux apps.
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