Linux Apps Are Coming to Chromebooks

Chromebooks will soon support Linux apps, meaning you might finally be able to install Firefox.

The feature, intended primarily for developers, will bring thousands of open source desktop applications to Google’s desktop operating system. Here’s Tom Buckley, Product Manager at Google, writing on the official Google blog:

Linux runs inside a virtual machine that was designed from scratch for Chromebooks. That means it starts in seconds and integrates completely with Chromebook features. Linux apps can start with a click of an icon, windows can be moved around, and files can be opened directly from apps.

The idea here seems to be that Android developers can build their apps entirely on a Chromebook, but we’re sure more than a few non-developers will enjoy messing around with this as well. Google Pixelbook users will have access to a preview of this soon, and we’ll be doing a full tutorial when that happens. It’s not clear when this will make it out to other devices.

Feeling impatient? Well you can already use Android apps on your Chromebook, so maybe play around with those while you wait.

Justin Pot is the News Editor for How-To Geek. He lives in Hillsboro, Oregon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, if you want. You don't have to.