Chromebooks are the proper place to get began with Linux

One of the best Chromebooks you may get at present have come a good distance since these early days. Chrome OS is not only a fancy browser operating on a laptop computer. It has grown to combine Android and Linux and the platform is now far more succesful than you would possibly suppose.

The second of them is especially vital. I am not about to evangelise how everybody ought to instantly swap to Linux. Or that 2022 is the yr of the Linux desktop. Or one thing like that. Nonetheless, it is within the highlight proper now with the immensely common Steam Deck hitting the cabinets.

Why am I speaking about studying Linux? Effectively, to begin, it is by no means too late or a foul thought to be taught one thing new. Linux is not simply one other desktop working system you do not care about proper now. It has many purposes around the globe. All these cloud servers? Working Linux. On a smaller scale, the Raspberry Pi is a particularly versatile little Linux pc that you should use to do many great issues. A Chromebook is a superb place to play Linux safely.

Linux and Chrome OS: a match made in concord

Linux on Chrome OS

My very own love affair with Linux started in 2020 through the huge world occasion that saved us all indoors far more. I had tried Chromebooks up to now, however principally as a result of my job retains me within the browser all day. I purchased an affordable Acer Chromebook to play with, however ultimately it went again within the drawer.

Then I discovered it, utilized many, many updates, and up to date it. And that included the Linux assist that I had missed till then. And that is the place the journey started. I activated Linux and began doing a variety of Google searches.

Enabling Linux provides a Debian container seamlessly into your present Chrome OS setup.

However what’s it precisely? The quick model is that enabling Linux on a Chromebook provides a Debian container on high of the OS. Chrome OS itself is Linux-based, however extremely custom-made. Linux is described on Chromebooks as a “growth surroundings” and it lives alongside no matter else you’ve gotten in your machine.

The Debian container is a improbable place to take your first Linux steps as there isn’t any threat to the remainder of your laptop computer. It’s remoted from Chrome OS, though it has integrations. You possibly can share folders from Chrome OS to Linux, you possibly can view Linux recordsdata in Chrome OS Recordsdata app. You might have the choice to share USB gadgets, akin to your microphone, with the Linux container. You possibly can virtually use Linux like every other utility, dipping out and in as you please.

The great thing about this sandbox strategy is that for those who mess one thing up, you possibly can simply destroy it and begin over. It is so easy to arrange that anybody can do it. In my case, this occurred typically, and whereas I discovered my bearings, I definitely appreciated the benefit of use of Chrome OS in comparison with utilizing Linux on a devoted machine.

Familiarize your self with the terminal

Linux Terminal on Chrome OS

It is simple to level to memes on Linux customers and the terminal. However if you get snug with utilizing and one of many many terminal-based instruments you should use, you would possibly discover your thoughts firmly modified. Utilizing the terminal is a fast and environment friendly solution to get issues completed. And in server environments and even on a headless machine like a Raspberry Pi, you are going to be utilizing a variety of Terminal.

I puzzled why I might ever want to make use of a terminal. Now I spend a variety of my day indoors, and I am not a developer. I take advantage of Neovim to jot down all my work earlier than placing it into our CMS. I take advantage of Ranger once I wish to get into Linux and Chrome OS filesystems. I take advantage of Git and Github to sync numerous configuration recordsdata and settings between machines. Take notes, use SSH to connect with different machines, run velocity assessments, and even verify the climate forecast. All of the issues I do from the terminal with textual content instructions. I by no means wanted to interrupt my stream to make use of a mouse or trackpad, or open one other app.

Getting acquainted with Linux and the terminal has actually modified my private workflow. Proof that you do not have to be into coding to make this give you the results you want. There are terminal purchasers that may do all types of loopy issues, even verify Twitter and Reddit or open full internet pages. However past dashing up the workday, I actually really feel like I discovered one thing helpful.

Linux additionally improves Chrome OS

GIMP on Chrome OS

If you wish to be taught Linux from scratch, a Chromebook is a superb place to begin. There’s loads to select from at inexpensive costs, and there are some actually good Chromebooks on the market now. However there’s one thing else Linux does on a Chromebook. This improves Chrome OS.

Linux improves Chrome OS.

Chrome OS nonetheless depends closely on internet apps and extensions. It now has Android in-built, however I am probably not a fan of that. It makes use of so many system sources that I personally have not been in a position to justify leaving it enabled.

Linux, however, is a greater solution to fill within the gaps that Chrome OS can not by itself. Moreover being an superior container to remove the terminal itch, Debian on Chrome OS absolutely helps GUI apps.

It means loads. You possibly can’t run Photoshop on a Chromebook, however you possibly can run the Linux model of GIMP. Want an audio editor, how does Audacity sound? Video work? Attempt Kdenlive. You may not discover the apps from the names you are used to, however on Linux you may most likely have the ability to discover a free, open-source different.

Your specific Chromebook’s {hardware} might be an element, simply as it could on a Home windows laptop computer. You probably have a Celeron and 4GB of RAM, you most likely will not have a lot enjoyable enhancing video in Kdenlive. Nonetheless, in my expertise, a funds Chromebook with Linux enabled has carried out higher general than the same funds Home windows laptop computer.


If you have already got a Chromebook, it is best to positively activate this Linux surroundings. And for those who’re in search of a brand new laptop computer however are a bit jaded with Home windows, then test it out. Fashionable Chromebooks are a hybrid of the Chrome browser and the world of internet apps, with a Linux desktop machine and even an Android machine.

They will not be for everybody, however you are able to do much more on a Chromebook lately than ever earlier than. And also you by no means know, you would possibly discover out that you’re a hidden Linux consumer ready to burst. That is what occurred to me. All this because it was activated on a Chromebook two years in the past.

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