11 Best Linux apps for Chromebooks in 2020

Chromebooks can now run Linux based applications, and even though this feature was intended for developers, it can also benefit usual Chromebooks owners as well. And in the past few years, Linux has improved much, so it’s almost stable to use in daily life.

So, We have picked up 11 best Linux apps for Chromebooks that you can use right now. The main reason for choosing Linux apps is to simplify tasks that other websites and applications are not great.

best linux apps for chromebooks

Now, there are plenty of Linux applications available in the market. And it was hard for us to recommend all of them. So, we have curated the list of our top 11 Linux based application for Chromebooks.

Let’s Get Started

Best Linux Apps on Chromebooks to Use in 2020

Now, before we proceed with the list of the Linux apps for Chromebooks, you must set up a Linux container on Chrome OS. If you haven’t done it yet, then follow this guide to install Linux on your Chromebook.

Also, all the files you will create or download will be saved on a different section of the File Manager, which can’t be accessed by the Chrome OS. So to move files between the Chromebook and the Linux, make sure to change the file-sharing settings.


GIMP is one of the most popular cross-platform graphics editors on Windows, macOS, and Linux. As Chrome OS does not support the image editors like Photoshop, GIMP can act as a simple and effective tool for image editing without any issues.

With the Linux on Chrome OS, you can install GIMP and use it on your Chromebook. It offers all the advanced tools like multiple image layers, smart lasso, shear tool, cage transform, and more. So, if you wanted any excellent image editor for Chromebook, GIMP is probably the best option.

GIMP on Chromebook

The GIMP can feel choppy and laggy at times because of Linux on Chromebook does not support Hardware acceleration. All the processing is done through the Software. But still, GIMP performs much better and is entirely usable for image editing. It will even get better in the future with Linux supporting hardware acceleration on Chrome OS.

With GIMP, you can open almost any type of image format, including  JPEG, PNG, PSD, WebP, BMP, XCF, and others.

To Install GIMP on the Linux, Enter the following command in the terminal window and press Enter.

sudo apt install -y gimp gimp-plugin-registry gimp-python

This command will install three packages, the GIMP itself, a collection of plugins to add extra functionality, and the support library required for some plugins.


Google Docs and Microsoft Office Online can be the easiest way to edit documents and files on the Chromebooks. But, due to their limited offline capabilities and the fact that you cannot open every file format makes them imperfect. Also, you have to upload the file every time you want to work with.

LibreOffice is one of the best Linux apps on Chromebooks and its free and open source. This office features the same programs as the Microsoft Office, such as word processor, a spreadsheet program, a presentation editor and, a graphics editor.

libreoffice on chromebook

LibreOffice also supports all the file formats ranging from Microsoft Word to Apple’s Keynote. With this app, you can easily edit and create your documents effortlessly.

To Install LibreOffice on your Chromebook, type the following command in the terminal window, and hit Enter.

sudo apt install -y libreoffice libreoffice-gtk3

This command will install two packages – the LibreOffice and a plugin that makes LibreOffice fit in with the Chrome OS Linux theme.

Master PDF Editor

After the Image Editor and the Office for Chrome OS, a PDF Editor is a useful tool that helps us to edit the PDF documents. And for this, Master PDF Editor is an excellent application for Linux to create and edit PDF documents on the Chromebook.

Master PDF Editor on Chromebook

Master PDF editor is similar to Adobe Acrobat, which lets you encrypt, sign, modify, split, and annotate PDF documents. In this app, you will all the features that are needed for PDF editing. So, this app is a must-try if you want to edit PDF files on the go in your Chromebooks.

To Install Master PDF Editor on your Chromebook, paste the following command into your terminal window and press Enter.

sudo apt-get install libsane


Inkscape is an alternative to the Adobe Illustrator for the Chrome OS, and it’s one of the best Linux apps for Chromebook. And as a graphics designer, it has all the advanced features to do the illustrations and vector graphics.

Inkscape features will come in handy while designing custom arts, logos, paintings, and more. As an Illustrator, you will have access to drawing tools, bezier, spiro curves, and an authoritative text tool.

Inkscape best linux apps chromebooks

And as we have specified earlier, Chrome OS does not support Hardware acceleration, and Inkscape is an extensive hardware application. So, the performance was not excellent. But, if you have a powerful Chromebook, then you should give Inkscape a try.

To Install Inkscape on the Linux, paste the following command into your terminal window and press Enter.

sudo apt-get install inkscape

Visual Studio Code

Another Great application for Linux on Chromebooks is Visual Studio Code. It is one of the most famous Code Editors out there. This application is also available on the macOS and Windows.

The Visual Studio Code offers tons of useful features, such as auto-complete for programming languages, debugging, an integrated Terminal, the support for Git, and much more. It also has a massive library of different extensions and themes. So if it misses out any feature, you can install an extension. Also, Visual Studio Code is updated frequently, at least once in a month.

Visual Studio Code on chromebook

To Install Visual Studio Code on the Linux, download the .deb from here. After downloading, go to the Downloads folder in the Chrome File manager and double click on deb file to install it.


Chrome OS does not have any professional video editor in its app store, and that’s where Kdenlive comes in. Kdenlive is a powerful application to edit videos on your Chromebook.

Kdenlive is the most popular and widely used Video Editor in the Linux community. The app may take some time to load, but you can increase its performance by enabling the GPU support Chrome Flag from the setting.


After enabling this Flag, the performance increased drastically. And with this, Kdenlive is even comparable to other video editors available on the Windows and the macOS systems.

kdenlive best linux apps on chromebooks

To Install Kdenlive on the Linux, paste the following command into your terminal window and press Enter.

sudo apt-get install kdenlive


The very popular IDM is currently not available on the Chrome OS. Instead, you can install the JDownloader. It is an open-source application and works without any issues in the Linux container of the Chromebook.

With JDownloader, you can paste any download link into its box, and it will start downloading. The downloading speeds are also consistent, and the downloads do not break even after the connection reset. So, this is a reliable Linux app for the Chrome OS. Overall, you can give a try to this excellent downloader and use on the Chromebooks.

JDownloader for Chromebook

To Install JDownloader, Open this page and download the .sh file. After this move this file into the Linux container file manager. Now, Enter the following command into your terminal window and hit Enter. Also, make sure to replace the filename with your original file name.

chmod +x filename.sh


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qBittorent is a nice torrent client available on the Linux which replaces other famous torrent clients like BitTottrent on the Chromebook. This torrent client is very popular in the Linux community for downloading torrents.

qBittorrent offers all the features you would expect from any Torrent Client. You have the option to adjust the download and upload speed from the settings. It shows you information about the numbers of Leechers and Seeders and much more. And that’s why qBittorent is one of the best Linux apps on Chromebook right now.

qbittorrent for Chromebook

To Install qBittorent on the Linux, paste the following command into your terminal window and press Enter. After this, you can find this app in the app drawer.

sudo apt-get install qbittorrent


Kolourpaint is one of the best Linux apps on Chromebooks and it’s very similar to the Microsoft Paint. It has all the features that MS Paint had and has even added some more advanced features.

The main highlight of this app is its features which include free-form selection, scale by image portion, monochrome effect and much more. The app performed really well even on the Linux container. There were no lags and you can easily edit or create images from this app.

kolourpaint for Chromebook

Now, if you want an app similar to MS Paint, then Kolourpain is the one you should try.

To Install Kolourpaint on the Linux, Enter the following command into your terminal window and hit Enter. After this, you can find this app in the app drawer.

sudo apt-get install kolourpaint


Thunderbird is a very popular email client for Linux and you can now install it in your Chromebooks. It is an open-source email client which is very secure and privacy-focused for its normal and advanced users.

Aside from the Email Client, Thunderbird also offers awesome extensions like calendar, tasks and reminders. This email client gives all the desktop features which are present on the Windows and macOS apps. Now, the Thunderbird performs really well and almost feels like a native application.

thunderbird for Chromebook

So, if you really want a private and secure email client, then you can install Thunderbird on your Chromebook.

To Install Thunderbird on the Linux, Enter the following command into your terminal window and hit Enter. After this, you can find this app in the app drawer.

sudo apt-get install thunderbird


Audacity is a widely used audio editor on the Windows and Mac platforms. And, it is truly one of the best Linux apps for Chromebooks. Audacity is an advanced audio editor that supports cross-platform integrations.

With Audacity, you can mix songs, record audio, remove noise from the audio, enhance the audio and much more. There are a lot of plugins and extensions available for this application, from which you can connect multiple sound equipment and programs. There is also support for digitizing audios, sample rate conversion and frequency analysis.

Audacity best linux app for chromebook

So, Audacity is a professional-grade audio editor and recorder that you can use on the Chromebooks.

To Install Audacity on the Linux, Enter the following command into your terminal window and hit Enter. After this, you can find this app in the app drawer.

sudo apt-get install audacity

Best Linux Apps for Chromebooks for Productivity

So, these were our top 11 best Linux apps for Chromebooks. We have all the software from different categories which will increase your workflow and productivity on the new Chrome OS.

And, With the Linux supporting Chrome OS, you can try and install a number of different applications on your Chromebook. We suggest you try out some of our listed applications on your Chrome OS devices.

We hope that you find our list of best Linux Apps informative and useful. And, if you have want some more applications or have any issues with the installation process, comment down below and we will try to resolve it.

Thanks for Reading

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