The 6 Best Linux Apps for Chromebooks In 2023

For basic productivity, these apps will have you covered

Chromebooks—and the Chrome OS—have become incredibly useful thanks to Google's frequent updates. Not only are they capable of running Android apps, but they can also run Linux, specifically Ubuntu via Crouton, which works like a shell.

So, if you're game, we've compiled a list of the best Linux apps available for Chromebook.

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to install and configure Linux on a compatible Chromebook before moving forward.

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Evolution email client on Linux for Chromebook

Evolution is a desktop-inspired client that offers email, calendar and contact tools all rolled into a single application. You can also create personal tasks with reminders, as well as memos or in-app notations if you will. Plus, it’s compatible with any POP or IMAP-based email account, including Gmail.

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Best Desktop Browser: Firefox

Firefox desktop browser on Linux for Chromebook

You can’t install Firefox on a Chromebook, at least not the desktop version. While there is an Android app, it’s not the same and the experience is sub-par.

Luckily, Linux has a full desktop version of Firefox available, which you can install within Ubuntu.

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Best Office Suite: LibreOffice

LibreOffice suite on Linux for Chromebook

Because Microsoft 365 isn't available for Linux, you have access it via a browser. And you'll need a subscription to the web version. And maybe this isn't an ideal situation.

LibreOffice is an open-source productivity suite that works across a variety of platforms, not just Linux. It includes a word processor (Write), spreadsheet tool (Calc), presentation editor (Impress), and vector graphics editor (Draw).

This install process installs both the LibreOffice suite and a Chrome OS Linux theme to match your operating system.

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Best Photo Editing Tool: GIMP

GIMP photo editor on Linux for Chromebook

Linux offers GIMP, one of the best free image editors available. You may recognize it because you can also use the tool in Windows, and macOS. It is a comprehensive suite just like Photoshop that will require some hands-on time to truly understand.

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Best Video Editor: Kdenlive

Kdenlive video editor on Linux for Chromebook

Editing videos is a big deal these days, whether you’re a YouTube content creator or you share your content on any of the other media and social network sites.

Kdenlive will provide you with a complete video editing tool, and it works great even on Chromebook.

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Best FTP Client: FileZilla

FileZilla FTP client on Linux for Chromebook

On a Chromebook, if you need to connect to a remote server to download or upload files––such as the root directory of a website you own––you’ll need to deal with some messy workarounds. A more convenient option is to download an FTP client via Linux, particularly FileZilla.

You can drag and drop files to move between the platforms easily. You can also download content to your Chromebook to edit offline. If you have Visual Studio installed you can edit web and HTML files, too.

Similar to Visual Studio Code, FileZilla via Linux will only be able to access files stored in the ‘Linux Apps’ directory. If you want to work with a file from the Chrome platform you’ll first need to move the content to the appropriate directory using a file manager.

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