Chromebook Users Can Get Roguelike Dead Cells for Free

There are all sorts of benefits from using a Chromebook. And now, another benefit has arrived, with Google offering the stellar platformer roguelike Dead Cells for free, as discovered by Android Police.

Normally, Dead Cells sells for $8.99 on Google Play, which is a steal in its own right. However, for free, grabbing it is a no-brainer.

What Is Dead Cells?

Dead Cells is a platformer roguelike that will put your video game abilities to the test.

Here’s the description of the game from Motion Twin, the developers of Dead Cells:

Dead Cells is a rogue-lite, Castlevania-inspired action-platformer, allowing you to explore a sprawling, ever-changing castle… assuming you’re able to fight your way past its keepers.

To beat the game, you’ll have to master 2D “souls-lite combat” with the ever-present threat of permadeath looming. No checkpoints. Kill, die, learn, repeat.

Dead Cells has a score of 89 on Metacritic, which is an incredibly high score for a game from a small team without the AAA budget and pedigree behind it.

If that sounds like something that’ll appeal to you, then you absolutely should take advantage of this offer. You’ll get quite a few hours from the game and a real feeling of satisfaction as you grind your way through it.

How to Get Your Free Copy of Dead Cells

To snag a copy, you simply need to head to Google’s Chromebook perks page. Once there, scroll down a bit and you’ll see the Dead Cells section. Click Get Perk, and follow the steps to redeem your copy.

Of course, you must own a Chromebook to do so. Those without one can’t take advantage of this perk.

Google is making this perk available until August 7th, 2021, so you have ample time to jump in and grab the game for your Chromebook. And if you just purchased a Chromebook, check out our handy tips that all new Chromebook users need to know.

Read the full article: Chromebook Users Can Get Roguelike Dead Cells for Free


You Can Now Play Minecraft: Education Edition on Chromebooks

With the world slowly reopening after the recent pandemic, students are preparing to go back to school. To help them, Microsoft is releasing Minecraft: Education Edition for Chromebook users.

What Is Minecraft: Education Edition?

Microsoft broke the news on its official Minecraft Education Blog.

In the update, the company explains that this move is an effort to help teachers and students adapt to the new world of education. The update also adds new features for Windows, Mac, and iPad versions of the game, alongside crossplay with all of the different platforms.

Minecraft: Education Edition is a special version of the famous multiplayer game which has fascinated kids and adults alike for over a decade. The Education Edition is only available to schools with a Microsoft 365 for Education license, and focuses on educating and testing students.

Currently, the Education Edition features lessons to help students with a wide range of topics, from STEM to history. In fact, the blog post announces 11 more lessons designed by the American Beekeeping Federation’s Kids and Bees program to help students learn about pollination.

Welsh educator and Minecraft Mentor James Protheroe explains how the game helps in this unique time:

“We’ve built new relationships with students in this remote learning time. They’re helping one another in new ways, and it’s strengthening the relationships between teachers and students. Minecraft is helping them make sense of what’s happening. They can share their thoughts and reasoning, offload stress, and learn in a safe environment.”

If you use a Chromebook, iPad, or PC to play Minecraft, you should receive this update automatically; however, Mac users will have to update their game manually from the website.

Minecraft… The New Face for Learning?

In the current global climate, remote learning has never been more valuable. Countries around the world are slowly reopening to a life that somewhat resembles normality. Governments are aware, however, that another spike in the number of cases of infections will cause further national lockdowns.

If such an event occurs, tools such as Minecraft: Education Edition can help students carry on learning while in quarantine. Not only is Minecraft a fantastic remote learning tool, but it’s hard to find a child who hasn’t heard of the game. Even if there are further waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, kids can still learn in a safe and fun way.

Using Minecraft for Education in a New Era

Minecraft: Education Edition is an excellent way for children to learn within the world of their favorite game. As a result, Microsoft is helping the efforts to reopen schools by bringing the educational version of its game to Chrome OS.

Be sure to check out how Minecraft Hour of Code teaches kids the basics of programming to see the power of education in games.

Read the full article: You Can Now Play Minecraft: Education Edition on Chromebooks


Acer’s Latest Chromebooks Are Made for Performance and Productivity

If you’re after an affordable laptop for work or college, a Chromebook is often your best bet. Google’s lightweight Chrome OS, a modified version of the Chrome web browser, is ideal for mid-range laptops.

Acer is no stranger to these devices, having produced some of the best Chromebooks on the market. At a live-streamed press conference, they announced two additions to their lineup, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 and the Acer Chromebook Spin 311.

What Is the Acer Chromebook Spin 713?

Acer Chromebook Spin 713

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is a durable Chromebook, capable of withstanding most drops, dents, and other damage. The laptop was designed to the MIL-STD 810G standard and can survive falls from 48 inches and withstand 60kg of downward force.

Fortunately, that isn’t the Spin 713’s only notable feature. The Chromebook is equipped with a 10th generation Intel Core processor and offers up to 10 hours of battery life. There’s also 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The 13.5-inch screen has a 3:2 aspect ratio for increased vertical screen space.

The portable device has two USB 3.1 ports and USB charging. Importantly, you can connect the Spin 713 to external monitors using the HDMI connection or DisplayPort over USB-C. Alongside a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 connection, there’s also Bluetooth 5 for wireless connectivity.

A business-focused edition of the laptop, the Acer Chromebook Enterprise Spin 713, adds enterprise management tools and software to the Chromebook, making it easy for businesses to control their inventory.

The Chromebook Spin 713 will be available in North America from July at a retail price of $629.99. The Enterprise Spin 713 will debut in August with a price tag of $1,099.

What Is the Acer Chromebook Spin 311?

Acer Chromebook Spin 311

While the Spin 713 caters to enterprise and professional use, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is explicitly geared towards education. The 11.6-inch laptop is powered by a MediaTek MT8183 CPU and can last up to 15 hours on a single charge.

Importantly, it is portable, weighing in at just 2.2lbs. The Spin 311 is convertible, so it can easily switch between laptop and tablet modes. This is helpful, especially if you want to use touch-friendly Android apps.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 311 will launch in Europe in June before making its way to North America in July. The Chromebook will retail for $259.99.

The Best Affordable Laptop

Acer’s latest Chromebooks sit nicely alongside the company’s other market-leading laptops. More generally, Chromebooks have been able to dominate in workplaces and schools thanks to their affordability, low maintenance requirements, and ease of use.

This makes them ideal for younger children getting into digital devices. If you’re on the lookout for a suitable laptop, try one of these Chromebooks for kids.

Read the full article: Acer’s Latest Chromebooks Are Made for Performance and Productivity


21 Essential Tips for First-Time Chromebook Users

So, you’ve considered the Chromebook’s upsides and downsides, and now you have a shiny new Chromebook. Great choice—it’s a versatile laptop option with a brilliant array of customization options.

However, Chromebooks have a learning curve, and feel different to, say, a MacBook, or Surface Laptop. You might also wonder what you can do with a Chromebook, or how to set it up.

Well, here are the best tips and tricks for new Chromebook owners.

1. Create Multiple User Profiles

Chromebooks make good use of Chrome’s User Profiles feature, allowing you to divide your machine into separate profile logins. Each profile maintains its own apps, settings, and controls. Are you the only user on your device? You should still use multiple profiles.

But Chromebook user profiles are crucial if you have kids. Google did away with supervised profiles, replacing them with the Google Family Link, which is very similar. Follow Christian’s tutorial on installing Google Family Link on Android to create safe accounts for your kids. The process is the same for a Chromebook.

2. Use Guest Mode for Guests

Even if you don’t use the Profiles feature above, you should definitely be aware of Guest Mode. Guest Mode lets you hand your device to someone else and rest assured that they’ll never be able to see your data (e.g., browsing history, downloads, bookmarks, etc.) or access your apps.

And when the guest is done, all traces of their activity are wiped from your device—no need for manual housekeeping. While this may sound similar to Incognito Mode in Chrome, be aware that Guest Mode and Incognito Mode aren’t the same!

3. Open Apps in Separate Windows

chromebook open app new window

Since all Chromebook apps are actually web apps in disguise, first-time users tend to be put off by the fact that apps always open in Chrome. Fortunately, it’s possible to force any installed app to open in a separate window.

Find the desired app in the App Launcher or the Taskbar, right-click on it, and select Open as window. It’s that simple! Now your device will feel like a real laptop, not just a glorified Chrome browser.

4. Organize Apps Into Folders

chromebook create app folder

As you use your device more and more, you’ll soon amass too many installed apps to wrap your head around. While the App Launcher makes it easy to launch any app with a quick search, maybe you prefer to tap or click. In that case, you should take advantage of App Folders.

Open the App Launcher and click on All Apps, then drag any app icon onto any other app icon to group them into a folder. Keep dragging as many icons as needed. To name the folder, click on it and change “Unnamed Folder” at the top to whatever you want.

5. Turn Websites Into Apps

chromebook set website to launch as app

Remember, Chromebook apps are basically just websites disguised as apps. While this does come with a few downsides, there’s one truly nifty benefit: you can turn any website into an app and run it in its own separate window.

Open Chrome, navigate to the website you want to use as an app and click the three-dot button at the top right. Go down to More tools, then select Create shortcut. Give the app a name, make sure you check Open as window, and then click Add.

6. Preview Files Before Opening

chromebook file details spacebar

One of the coolest things about Finder on macOS is that you can highlight most any file and press Spacebar to get a preview of that file without actually launching it in its associated app. Did you know that Chrome OS also has a similar preview feature?

Open the Files app, select any file without actually opening it, and press Spacebar. You’ll see an overlay with some file details (e.g., size, type, last modified time, etc.) and some information specific to the file type (e.g., ID3 tags for MP3s). Some types, like images and audio, will also have a preview.

7. Snap Windows to the Left and Right

If you have a Chromebook that supports a 1920×1080 resolution or higher, you probably don’t want to maximize your apps. For better productivity, you can make better use of your screen estate by keeping two windows open side by side.

An easy way to do this is drag windows to the left or right edge, and Chrome OS will automatically snap them to the side and fill up half the screen. Or you can select a window and press Alt + [ for a left snap or Alt + ] for a right snap.

8. Force Quit for Frozen Apps

chromebook chrome os task manager

You probably won’t run into frozen apps as often on Chrome OS as on Windows or even Mac. But if you do, all you need to do is open the Task Manager using the Search button + Escape keyboard shortcut.

Once that’s open, just find the frozen process, select it, and click End Process. The Task Manager is one of the most important Chrome OS features, so be sure you start using this crucial system feature.

9. Force Reboot for a Frozen System

In the rare case that something goes wrong at the system level, you may find that the Task Manager won’t open or isn’t able to unfreeze your device. If that happens, you can always use the last resort option: Hard Reboot.

Every Chromebook comes with a special set of media keys above the number key row. One of them is the Refresh key (resembling a circular arrow); another is the Power key (looks like a circle with a vertical line). Press Power + Refresh to reboot immediately.

Note that this will lose any unsaved data in open apps. Also note that this isn’t the same thing as a Powerwash, which is covered in more detail below.

10. Master the Built-In Search Key

One thing unique about Chromebook keyboards is the lack of a Windows key or Command key. Instead, Google opted to replace the Caps Lock key with a Search key, which opens the App Launcher when pressed.

This key is useful in three core ways:

  1. Quickly launch any app by typing its name. In this sense, it’s very similar to the Windows 10 Start Menu and Mac Spotlight.
  2. Quickly launch any website URL or search engine query.
  3. Activate a voice search by clicking the microphone button.

It may feel weird to use the Caps Lock key in this way, but it’s one of those things where going back is impossible once you get into the groove.

11. Rebind the Special Keys

chromebook special key settings

Chrome OS treats five keys as special, allowing you to rebind them if you wish: Search, Ctrl, Alt, Backspace, and Escape. You can rebind these to any of the other five, plus Caps Lock, Google Assistant, and Disabled. Hate the Search key? Revert it to Caps Lock here. Or turn it off altogether.

Click your profile icon at the bottom right, then click the gear icon to open Settings. Head to Device > Keyboard. Just change the key bindings with the drop-down menus. You can also turn the top-row media keys into function keys by enabling the checkbox.

12. Learn the System’s Keyboard Shortcuts

chromebook keyboard shortcut glossary

In addition to having a different keyboard layout, Chromebooks have different keyboard shortcuts for system-level actions. Fortunately, Google made it extremely easy to learn these new shortcuts, using another shortcut in the process. Hit CTRL + ALT + ? (yes, the question mark key), and you’ll bring up the Chromebook shortcut glossary.

Type in a letter to find the shortcut you want. You can search the glossary using the letter or key you want to find out the shortcut for, or which Chromebook shortcuts use a specific combination. It lists every possible Chromebook shortcut, starting with the most popular options.

That said, you can get a jump start with our overview of the most important Chromebook shortcuts.

13. Right-Click and Middle-Click on Touchpad

I hated my first three days on my Chromebook because the touchpad doesn’t come with any mouse buttons. This made web browsing a nightmare because I didn’t have access to right-clicking or middle-clicking. As it turns out, both of these actions are simpler than I thought.

To right-click, you just need to tap the touchpad with two simultaneous fingers. To middle-click, you just need to tap the touchpad with three simultaneous fingers. This tip alone will make your Chromebook experience a million times better.

14. Swipe Gestures for the Touchpad

chromebook three finger gesture show all screens

All modern Chromebooks come with a gesture-enabled touchpad and these gestures will change your life. While many gestures are supported, there are four in particular that every Chromebook newbie should know:

  1. Swipe horizontally with two fingers to go Forward and Back in Chrome.
  2. Swipe vertically with two fingers to scroll up and down.
  3. Swipe horizontally with three fingers to slide between open tabs in Chrome. This is even faster than using Ctrl + Tab.
  4. Swipe down with three fingers to open the Task Switcher, which spreads out all open apps in a bird’s eye view.

15. Quickly Free Up Disk Space

chromebook storage space options

All Chromebooks come with some form of SSD for data storage. While this is great news for speed and performance, there is one downside: many Chromebooks come with very small SSDs. On the one hand, this is great because it keeps the cost of a new Chromebook low. On the other hand, you can run out of storage space quickly.

Which is why disk space management is so important. Click on your profile icon at the bottom right, then click the gear icon to open Settings. Under the Device section, click Storage management. Here you can see what’s taking up space on your system and one-click delete when necessary.

On some Chromebooks, you can swap out the SSD for one with a larger capacity. Switching out the SSD can void your warranty, so make sure to check before making any hardware upgrades. If you’d prefer not to tinker with the hardware, check out the cheapest cloud storage providers instead.

16. Disable Sleep Mode

chromebook idle power options

For a long time, Chrome OS didn’t offer users an effective method for managing screen idle time and power management. Thankfully, that is no longer the case.

Head to Settings > Power, and you can select what your Chromebook should do on idle. For reference, your Chromebook will begin to idle after around 10-minutes. You can opt for Sleep, Turn off the display, or Keep the display on.

The latter option is what many users require, finding it frustrating to return to a sleeping Chromebook. There’s also the option to switch off Sleep when cover is closed, stopping your device sleeping each time you close the lid.

Some users may find their access to such settings unavailable due to school or enterprise administration settings. If that sounds like you, check out this Chrome extension that disables Sleep Mode. Not only that, but the Keep Awake extension also lets you pick between modes for screen-only sleep and screen-and-system sleep.

17. Take Easy Screenshots

If your Chromebook doesn’t have a Print Screen button, how are you supposed to capture an image of your screen? Simply press Ctrl + Switch Window key. (Switch Window is a special top-row key that looks like a rectangle with two vertical lines beside it.)

Saved screenshots appear in your Downloads folder, which you can access using the Files app. Note that you can also use Ctrl + Shift + Switch Window to limit your screenshot to a specific region of the screen.

18. Enable Optional Features With Flags

chromebook flags options

Open Chrome and type chrome://flags in the URL bar to access a bunch of optional Chrome OS features.

Note that these optional features may not be completely stable. At best, they may not function as intended. At worst, they can be buggy enough to cause data loss. Most of them are close to stable and extreme bugs are rare, but this risk is always present with these optional features.

If you are new to Chromebooks and Chrome OS in general, you should research what these options do before fiddling.

19. Experimental Features on Beta and Dev Channels

chromebook switch development channel

If you’re feeling adventurous, but you don’t want to mess with the optional flags above, consider switching to the Beta channel or Dev channel.

The Beta channel grants a low-risk sneak peek at upcoming features, approximately one month ahead of the Stable channel. The Dev channel grants a high-risk, bug-prone sneak peek at experimental features well ahead of the Stable channel. To switch to Beta or Dev channels:

  1. Click your profile icon at the bottom right.
  2. Click the gear icon to open Settings.
  3. At the bottom of the left panel, click About Chrome OS.
  4. Click Additional Details.
  5. Click the Change channel button.
  6. Pick either Beta or Dev channel.

If you want to minimize system crashes and potential for data loss, stick to the Stable channel. Switching from an experimental channel to the Stable channel will delete everything from your Chromebook, including accounts!

20. Factory Reset Using Powerwash

If you ever want to start over with a blank slate, plan on selling your Chromebook, or if you ever run into a catastrophic error that causes your system to crash all the time, then you may need to Powerwash your device.

Powerwash is Google’s term for a “factory reset.” It deletes all of the data on your Chromebook and returns to its factory state. Despite losing local data, your Google accounts and profiles won’t be affected, nor will any of your data synced to Google’s cloud.

To learn more, check out our post on reformatting your Chromebook.

21. Switch on Google Assistant

chromebook google assistant

You can use the Google Assistant on your Chromebook to show notifications, use “OK Google,” and display other useful information. Google Assistant can help new Chromebook users work their way around the new device. It displays handy tooltips relating to your current activity, plus other information.

To switch Google Assistant on, click your profile icon at the bottom right, then the gear icon to open Settings. Head to Search and Assistant > Google Assistant. 

Other Chromebook Tips You Might Like

As with all computers, Chromebooks do slow down over time due to wear and tear and accumulation of junk. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to speed up your Chromebook and reclaim performance. If you’re looking for a change of Chromebook-scene, check out the best Chromebooks for every type of user.

One last thing: even though I sing their praises and think they’re the best device for casual home use, Chromebooks aren’t perfect. If you want to try something different, here’s how you install Linux on your Chromebook.

Read the full article: 21 Essential Tips for First-Time Chromebook Users


How to Close Unresponsive Chromebook Apps

Have a frozen app that’s locking up your Chromebook? If you were on Windows, you’d probably press Ctrl + Alt + Delete and use the Task Manager to close it down. But how do you close apps on your Chromebook?

Thankfully, it’s not difficult to force-close apps on your Chromebook. We’ll show you a few ways to close apps on Chrome OS that every user should know.

Force-Quit Chromebook Apps Using the Task Manager

If a browser tab or app on your Chromebook hangs for several seconds, chances are that it’s frozen. To kill that process, you’ll need to open Chrome’s built-in Task Manager.

To open the Task Manager on your Chromebook, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the Chrome browser (if it’s not already) and select the three-dot Menu in the upper-right corner. On the resulting list, choose More tools > Task manager.
    • Alternatively, you can press the Search + Escape keyboard shortcut to open it from anywhere.Chrome Open Task Manager
  2. Chrome’s Task Manager will open. This shows every process running on your Chromebook.
  3. Browse the list of processes to find the tab or app that’s stuck.
    • If you can’t find it, click the headers at the top to sort by alphabetical order, memory usage, or other factors. Frozen tabs often use more memory or CPU than normal, which can help you locate them.
  4. Once you find the problematic app, click to select it, then hit the End process button to force-quit it.

Chrome Task Manager Window

Doing this will instantly kill any Chrome tab or app that’s hanging. You’ll lose any unsaved work, so if you were in the middle of something, you may want to wait a few minutes to see if the page responds normally before doing this.

How to Close an App on a Chromebook Normally

Of course, you don’t need to force-close apps on your Chromebook all the time. Usually, you can close them without force-killing the process so they shut down cleanly.

The standard way to exit a Chromebook app is simple: just click the X icon at the top-right of the app window. If you don’t want to do that, you can also right-click the app’s icon on the shelf at the bottom of the screen and choose Close.

To close apps on your Chromebook even faster, try keyboard shortcuts. Ctrl + W will close the current browser tab. To close the entire window that’s in focus, use Shift + Ctrl + W. Learn more of these in our Chromebook keyboard shortcuts guide.

How to Quit All Apps on Your Chromebook

android apps chromebook

Since Chrome OS is quite stable, you shouldn’t have many problems with unresponsive apps. However, you might occasionally have an issue where the entire system locks up and you can’t get anything to respond.

In those cases, you should restart your Chromebook. To do this, simply press and hold the Power button at the top-right of your keyboard for a few seconds. Once it powers off, you can hold the same button again to turn it back on.

Close Chromebook Apps When Needed

Hopefully, you only have Chromebook app issues once in a while. If the problems become more frequent, you may have a poorly-coded app or extension installed. Try removing apps from your system and see if the problem subsides.

Otherwise, it may be time for a new machine. Check out our guide to the best Chromebooks if you’re in the market for a replacement.

Image Credit: taffpixture/Shutterstock

Read the full article: How to Close Unresponsive Chromebook Apps


How to Install Linux on a Chromebook

Did you know you can run Linux on your Chromebook? Installing a traditional Linux environment on your Chromebook is a quick and easy way to unlock your machine’s true potential and improve its functionality.

Because the Chrome OS is a Linux-based operating system, users can install an alternative Linux environment and get a fully-fledged Linux desktop on their Chromebooks. Before you start, please note that if you have an ARM-based machine, some Linux apps will not work, as they are only designed to run on Intel architecture.

So, here’s how you install Linux on your Chromebook.

How to Install Linux on a Chromebook

There are two main options you can use to install Linux on your Chromebook. You can either create a dual-boot environment using chrx, an open-source project that replaces the now-defunct ChrUbuntu project, or in a chroot environment using Crouton.

There is also a third option, which uses Crostini, Google’s Linux virtual machine container project that allows you to run Linux apps on top of Chrome OS. Crostini is similar to chroot, in that it allows for the creation of an environment where you can run Linux programs. The difference between the two is that Crostini doesn’t require you to enter Chromebook Developer Mode.

Each option has pros and cons. Read on for a simple step-by-step installation guide, while also considering their advantages and disadvantages.

Create a Chromebook Recovery

Chromebook create recovery

Before you start altering your Chromebook with a Linux installation, you should create a Chromebook recovery drive using the Chromebook Recovery Utility. If anything horrendous happens to your Chromebook during the Linux installation, you can restore your Chromebook using the drive.

You’ll need a USB flash drive with at least 8GB space that you don’t mind formatting during the process.

  1. Download Chromebook Recovery Utility from the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Use the app to download a copy of Chrome OS onto a removable media with 4GB storage.

That’s it!

If you do run into difficulties and encounter the dreaded “Chrome OS Is Missing or Damaged” message, you’re prepared for the worst. Follow our guide on reinstalling Chrome OS to bring your Chromebook back to life.

How to Put Your Chromebook into Developer Mode

The chrx dual-boot method and chroot installation methods require you to put your Chromebook into Developer Mode. Chromebook’s Developer Mode is a special integrated function that allows you to boot into an unapproved operating system, among other things.

A few words of caution before progressing.

Firstly, putting your device into Developer Mode will wipe all locally stored data, so please ensure you have made adequate backups of everything important.

Secondly, you are removing an important level of Chromebook’s security, as the machine will no-longer verify or authenticate the Chrome OS on start-up, which could leave you open to potential attacks.

Finally, remember any modifications you make are not supported by Google and may void your warranty.

chrome os operating system verification is off

The method for putting your Chromebook into Developer Mode varies depending on the make and model of the machine. Much older Chromebooks have a simple physical switch underneath the battery. Newer versions do not have a removable battery and thus require you follow these steps:

  1. Hold down Esc + Refresh, and while keeping them pressed, hit the power button.
  2. Once the computer restarts, you will enter Recovery Mode.
  3. Press Ctrl + D, which will bring up a prompt asking if you want to enter Developer Mode. Press Enter to proceed.
  4. The Chromebook will start initializing Developer Mode—this may take some time.
  5. When the setup is complete, you will meet a screen that displays an exclamation mark, and the phrase OS verification is OFF. From now on, you will see this screen every time you turn on your Chromebook. If you wait 30 seconds, your Chromebook will start automatically, or you can press Ctrl + D to boot immediately.

How to Dual-Boot a Linux on a Chromebook Using chrx

Chrx is an open-source project that you can use to install a Linux distribution alongside Chrome OS. There are several Linux distros you can choose from. These include the full Ubuntu installation, or GalliumOS, which is derived from Xubuntu and is developed specifically for maximizing performance on Chromebook hardware.

There is one important thing to note before continuing. The chrx dual-boot method does is not compatible with Chromebooks that use ARM hardware. You can check the compatibility list before continuing with the tutorial.

Intel Skylake, Apollo Lake, and Kaby Lake models have varying levels of support and testing. Intel Amber Lake, Gemini Lake, and Whiskey Lake models are new and do not have much support.

The chrx installation is a two-part process. Phase one partitions your storage. Phase two installs the Linux distribution and configures your system.

install linux chromebook chrx dual boot

Using chrx to Install Linux

Here is your step-by-step guide to installing Linux on your Chromebook using chrx. Before proceeding, double-check your compatibility, ensure Developer Mode is enabled, and that you have an active internet connection.

  1. First up, press CTRL + ALT + T to open the Chrome OS terminal, then input shell
  2. You now need to update the Chromebook firmware to allow legacy booting. Input cd; curl -LO && sudo bash When the firmware update script loads, press 1, then Enter to Install/Update RW_Legacy Firmware.
  3. Once your firmware update completes, input cd ; curl -Os && sh go. Press N to install to your system storage.
  4. Enter the storage size for the Linux partition, then hit Enter. The default installation option, GalliumOS, requires a minimum 3GB storage. Once the installation completes, press Enter to restart your system.
  5. Once your system reboots, you will encounter a message stating, “Your system is repairing itself. Please wait.” As worrying as this sounds, it is perfectly normal. Wait for this to complete. The time it takes depends on your hard drive. For example, I have a 128GB hard drive in my Chromebook, and the process took nearly 20 minutes.
  6. When you arrive at your desktop, open the Chrome OS terminal, input shell, then cd ; curl -Os && sh go to being the second phase of the installation. When the installation finishes, press Enter.
  7. At the boot screen, press CTRL + L to boot into Gallium OS (or an alternative Linux distro).

install linux chromebook chrx gallium os

The chrx installation process is a little lengthy. Still, the result is excellent and provides you a stable dual-boot environment.

How to Install Linux as a Chroot Using Crouton

One alternative to the chrx method is to use Crouton, an open-source project that installs Linux in a chroot environment.

In practice, this means you can switch between the two operating systems seamlessly by using a simple keyboard command, and the machine will not require rebooting.

Further benefits include sharing the /Downloads folder across both systems. This means that you can easily access files from both environments. Furthermore, removing a Linux operating system installed using Crouton does not require a full system recovery.

The software itself was developed by a former Google employee and is, therefore, optimized to run extremely quickly, even on older machines. The two environments also share drivers, so they should work immediately and without problems.

Installing Linux With Crouton

The process of installing Crouton is very simple. Please check you have a connection to a Wi-Fi network, and you have Developer Mode enabled. Now, follow the steps below to install Ubuntu with Crouton.

  1. Download the latest version of Crouton to your Chromebook hard drive
    Download: Crouton (Free)
  2. Press CTRL + ALT + T to open the terminal, then input shell
  3. Input sudo install -Dt /usr/local/bin -m 755 ~/Downloads/crouton to turn the installer into an executable file
  4. Now, run the installer using sudo crouton -t xfce
  5. Towards the end of the installation, you will receive a prompt to enter and username and password for your Linux installation. Choose something suitable, press Enter, and the installation will compete.

Once the installation is complete, head back into the Chromebook shell (from your desktop press Ctrl+Alt+T, type shell, press Enter), then type sudo startxfce4 and press Enter. After you have done this once, the new OS will continue to run until you either turn off your computer or log out of the Linux desktop environment.

install linux chromebook crouton xfce4

The default installation option, as above, installs Ubuntu 16.04, which is now reasonably out of date. Crouton does support other Linux distros. If you want to check out the other Linux distros Crouton supports, run sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -r list before starting the installation. Swap out the name of the Linux distro you want to install in step 4 of the tutorial.

Controlling and Customizing Your Linux Crouton Environment

The following keyboard shortcuts enable you to switch between the original Chrome OS and your new Linux environment:

  • ARM-based machines: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Forward and Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Back
  • Intel-based machines: Ctrl+Alt+Back and Ctrl+Alt+Forward then Ctrl+Alt+Refresh

Once you have successfully installed your new environment, there are a couple of actions you should take to improve your experience.

  1. Enable your keyboard’s brightness and volume keys to work inside the new OS. To do this, access the Chrome OS shell (from the Chrome OS desktop, press Ctrl+Alt+T, type shell, and press Enter).
  2. Next, type sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -r precise -t keyboard –u and press Enter.
  3. Remove the new environment’s screensaver as it has been known to cause graphics errors. You can do this from the terminal inside Linux by typing sudo apt-get remove xscreensaver then pressing Enter.
  4. Install Ubuntu Software Centre and Synaptic (both used for installing additional apps). Do this by entering the terminal inside your new Linux installation, typing sudo apt-get install software-center synaptic and pressing Enter.

How to Remove a Crouton Installation

There are two principal ways to remove a Linux environment installed using Crouton.

The first is to enter the shell on your Chrome OS (press Ctrl+Alt+T, type shell, press Enter) and do the following.

  1. Type cd /usr/local/chroots and press Enter
  2. Type sudo delete-chroot * and press Enter
  3. Type rm -rf /usr/local/bin and press Enter

The alternative is to reboot your Chromebook and press Space when you see the initial OS verification is OFF screen. This will take your device out of Developer Mode and wipe all local data, including any new environments you have installed.

As always, ensure you have made backups of any important data before taking this step. If you want to enter Developer Mode again after this point, you’ll have to repeat the process explained earlier.

How to Install Linux Apps Using Crostini

Now, onto the third and final method for running Linux apps on your Chromebook. Crostini allows you to create a virtual container for a Linux app. The Linux app runs on top of your existing Chrome OS installation, so there is no need to enter Developer Mode or make tweaks to the existing operating system.

The only downside is that Crostini is not available on many Chromebook models. At least, not many at the time of writing—and none that I currently own. Check out the full compatibility list to see if your Chromebook model can run the Linux (Beta) and, in turn, Crostini.

If you’re thinking of waiting around for Crostini to come to your Chromebook, owners of certain models should consider using one of the alternative methods. The list of Chromebook models that will not receive Crostini is lengthy.

How to Use Linux Apps on Your Chromebook With Crostini

The process of loading and using Crostini on a compatible Chromebook is simple. On your Chromebook:

  1. Open the Settings menu
  2. Scroll down to find Linux (Beta), then turn the option on
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions. The setup process can take up to 10 minutes.
  4. Once Linux finishes installing, a Linux terminal will appear. Update the Linux installation using the sudo apt update command, then sudo apt update upgrade.
  5. On completion, open your Chrome browser and type chrome://flags. Type crostini in the Flags search bar, then search for the Crostini GPU Support
  6. Switch it to Enabled.

chrome os turn on linux beta chromebook

After you complete the Linux (Beta) and Crostini installation, you can install Linux packages to your Chromebook. You will find a new option in your Chrome OS file menu for Linux apps, too, allowing you to launch Linux apps as if it were a Chromebook app.

3 Ways to Install Linux on a Chromebook

There are three options for you to start using Linux on your Chromebook. The main limitations of selecting a method come from your hardware type and its compatibility. ARM-based Chromebook models should opt for Crouton, whereas Intel-based Chromebook models have a wider range of options.

Are you getting into the Chrome OS terminal? Check out our list of the most important Crosh commands every user should know.

Read the full article: How to Install Linux on a Chromebook


The 10 Best Video Editors for Chromebooks

Chromebooks are more than glorified web browsers; they can perform many of the same tasks as Windows and macOS. Including video editing.

But what’s the best video editor for Chromebooks? In this article, we list the best video editing software for your Chromebook…

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1. WeVideo

The popular web-based video editor WeVideo has an official app in the Chrome Web Store. It is arguably our favorite video editor for Chromebook.

The app earns plaudits for its ease-of-use. Video editing can be complicated for beginners, but WeVideo’s accessible interface means even total novices can create respectable footage. Another feature that makes the app shine is the presence of a vast library of sound effects, transitions, and video effects. They are all free to use.

You can use WeVideo to edit photos on your device’s hard drive or in real-time from your device’s camera. Custom text, transitions, voiceover recording, and slow-motion are all supported.

The only downside of the free version of the app is the presence of a watermark on your video. If you plan on using the video in a professional setting, you’ll need to upgrade to one of the four paid plans.

Because WeVideo is web-based, you will need an internet connection to use the service.

Download: WeVideo (Free, premium version available)

2. PowerDirector

All new Chromebooks—as well as some older ones—can install the Google Play Store and run Android apps. As such, users have far more video editing options available to them than they did when Google first launched Chrome OS.

If your Chromebook supports Android apps, you need to check out PowerDirector. It’s one of the best video editors for Android. Admittedly, the Android version of PowerDirector isn’t as full-featured as the desktop edition of the app, but it still has more than enough functionality for the vast majority of users.

The app deploys a timeline editor that lets you easily add effects, create slow-motion sequences, and insert sound and voiceovers. PowerDirector also supports other common video editing tools like fading, transparencies, and blue/green screen.

PowerDirector is free to use, but you’ll need to pay to unlock all the features.

Download: PowerDirector (Free, in-app purchases available)

3. Google Photos

google photos web video editor

Not everyone needs a feature-laden editing suite. If you just want to do some simple video editing on a Chromebook, the Google Photos movie editor may meet your needs. The app offers video stabilization and cutting. You can also flip the saved version of the video between landscape and portrait.

Since late 2019, Google Photos’ movie editing features are available on the web version of the app, meaning you no longer need to run the Android version if you want to edit your footage. Unfortunately, the rollout has been slow; at the time of writing, the feature is still not available worldwide.

Download: Google Photos (Free)

4. OpenShot

openshot video editor

If you’re a Linux user, you will have heard of OpenShot. It’s one of the best video editors for Linux. It’s also one of the best video editors for Chromebook.

The editor itself boasts an impressively long feature list. You can resize, scale, trim, snap, rotate, and cut your videos, use image overlays and watermarks, create transition lumas and masks, and add scrolling motion picture credits.

OpenShot also supports many video and audio codecs, including WebM (VP9), AVCHD (libx264), HEVC (libx265), LAME, and AAC.

The app is free to use.

Download: OpenShot (Free)

5. Magisto

Magisto is well-established as one of the best video editing apps on Android; it’s been featured as a Google Play “Editor’s Choice” app many times. Therefore, if you own a Chromebook that supports Android apps, you should give it a try.

The app is squarely aimed at social media users who want to post their exploits to the various networks and who aren’t skilled video editors in the traditional sense. Using a smart AI, Magisto can create professional-looking videos from the videos, pictures, and music on your device. You can also add your own text and effects.

Because it’s predominantly designed for social networks, Magisto lets you easily share your creations from directly within the app. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Vimeo are all supported.

Download: Magisto (Free, in-app purchases available)

6. KineMaster

Another app that brings the best of Android to Chrome OS is KineMaster. It’s a professional video editing suite.

The app support multi-layer videos and offers frame-by-frame trimming, hue, brightness and saturation controls, audio filters, royalty-free music, color LUT filters, and 3D transitions.

The free version of Kinemaster is available to everyone, but like WeVideo, it will place a watermark in the corner of your creations. You can upgrade to the pro version from within the app. It removes the watermark and adds access to the KineMaster Asset Store. It’s a vast repository of visual effects, overlays, music, and more.

Download: Kinemaster (Free, in-app purchases available)

7. VivaVideo

VivaVideo used to be available in the Chrome Web Store, but like many of the best video editing apps for Chromebook, it decided to limit itself to the Google Play Store after Chromebooks started supporting Android apps.

The app manages to walk a fine line between fun and professional. For example, you can add stickers, GIFs, funny sound effects, and other social media-friendly gimmicks, but can simultaneously trim, edit, and enhance your video using VivaVideo’s wide range of tools. It also supports edits such as transitions, adding text, merging and splitting videos, changing the speed, and reverse playback.

Download: VivaVideo (Free, in-app purchases available)

8. YouTube Studio

youtube studio trimming

Users often overlook YouTube’s video editing tool. It’s part of YouTube Studio and lets you edit videos on your Chromebook without needing to worry about installing extensions or running Android apps.

The app is fairly basic. You can use it to trim your videos, cut your videos, and blur out faces, names, and other identifiable information. In the past, YouTube Studio offered more advanced tools, including filters, text, music, lighting, and transitions, but Google has discontinued them.

To use YouTube Studio, you will need a Google account.

9. Hippo Video

Hippo Video is one of the few video editors for Chromebook that still has a listing in the Chrome Web Store.

It’s a two-in-one tool; you can use it for video marketing and for video editing.

There is a free version and a paid version. The free version lets you trim, crop, add text, and tweak other basic parameters. If you need more power from your video editing app, you need to upgrade to the paid version.

Download: Hippo Video (Free, premium version available)

10. Kapwing

kapwing video editor

Kapwing is a surprisingly full-featured Chromebook video editor. It is accessible via any web browser, including Google Chrome.

You can use the tool to add text, combine videos, add subtitles, add audio, resize your video, remove backgrounds, and trim your video. The app also lets you either upload a video to edit directly from your hard drive or paste the URL of an online video (for example, from YouTube) and edit it directly in the app.

You can even customize your video’s output ratio. 1:1, 9:16, 16:9, 4:5, and 5:4 are available. As such, the app is perfect for anyone who needs to create social media content.

What’s the Best Video Editor for Chromebook?

These video editors for Chromebook target a diverse spectrum of users. If you’re a novice video editor, perhaps it’s time you picked up some video editing skills. While apps like Magisto are fun, your creations will be infinitely more impressive if you can use one of the more professional apps recommended above.

If you’d like to learn more about editing videos, whether on your Chromebook or not, be sure to read our article explaining how to edit videos like a pro.

Read the full article: The 10 Best Video Editors for Chromebooks