So you have Project Crostini on your Chromebook: What are good Linux apps to install?

I’m getting this question a bunch lately now that Project Crostini is quickly spreading to many Chromebooks: What Linux apps should I install? The answer is, I don’t know. 😉 That’s because I don’t know what each individual is trying to do. But that doesn’t mean I can’t point you in the right direction to help.

For me, I’m using Linux apps to do things I would normally do on my MacBook because I either can’t do them in a browser or because there isn’t quite a perfect Android app for what I need.

I’m down to just one activity on the MB: Recording weekly podcasts. I have a multi-track audio recording over Skype and then need to edit the audio, add intro music, etc… On the MB, I obviously use Skype for the conversation and I then use Audacity for the edits. There’s a Linux version of both apps so that solves my problem. Or at least it will once Google adds audio support to Project Crostini. And I’ve already moved my coding from the MB to the Pixelbook since most of the text editors and IDEs I use are available for Linux.

Project Crostini Eclipse installed

If you don’t record podcasts or code then, what can you do using Linux on a Chromebook?

The best I can do is point you to this Wiki of Windows app equivalents for Linux. It hasn’t been updated since 2016 but it’s still a decent resource to get you started. And it’s broken down into type of applications: Office/Productivity, Networking, Desktop Publishing, etc… so you can focus on the specific activities you’re looking to do on a Chromebook using Linux apps.

If you want a second resource that’s not quite as comprehensive, the Linux Alternative Project site, might be worth the look as well.

Got fave Linux apps that you’re using on a Chromebook? Drop ’em in the comments and help the “Crostini Community” out!

11 thoughts on “So you have Project Crostini on your Chromebook: What are good Linux apps to install?

  • July 6, 2018 at 11:49 am

    I end up using only a few linux applications:

    Eclipse: my preferred IDE. There are many others, one is certain to match anyone’s tastes.

    gnu development environment: gcc, make, git, etc

    Atom: an excellent programmer’s editor. I tend to use IDEs for code, but I edit and preview Markdown with Atom. This includes mermaid diagram generation. Other plugins provide excellent git integration.

    I’m also making use of a few Android applications:

    * DrawExpress: A diagram editor.
    * Microsoft Office: which is far superior to Libre Office. But my use of full word processors is down a lot
    in the past year. I now edit most documentation in markdown.

    • August 4, 2018 at 9:37 am

      Caitlin, apt-get installs a pretty old version of eclipse. But installing the latest version displays in a very odd way: Drop-downs extend below the screen, the window decorations are too big, and the source tree flickers in a very annoying way.

      Are you using eclipse 3.8, or have you gotten something more modern working?

  • July 6, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Kdenlive for video editing. its a professional fully featured editor
    FreeFileSync to sync files to external disk

  • July 6, 2018 at 4:12 pm


    You need to update your article: the Wiki of Windows programs on Linux was last updated in 2011, not 2016!

    • July 6, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      Hmm….. at the bottom of the page it says “This page was last modified on September 2, 2016, at 03:17.” Where did you see 2011?

  • July 7, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    FadeIn & Focuswriter are essentials for me.

  • July 7, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    Has anyone been able to try GIMP and Inkscape on a Pixelbook? Has anyone also tried these same apps with the Pen for editing a Photo or creating Vector artwork? If so, what is the experience like? Is there any lag? Thanks for your time.

    • July 11, 2018 at 1:23 pm

      I’ve tried both. They work like a charm. They don’t differentiate between the cursor, touch, and pen, but performance is rock solid.

      • July 11, 2018 at 10:48 pm

        Hello north,

        I work with RAW Photos and like to design here and there so Pen use is very important to me. For clarification, when stating that “They don’t differentiate between the cursor, touch, and pen,…”, does this mean that one can use anyone of those input methods? If one can use the Pen, is there any Palm Rejection featured? Also to clarify, when stating “…performance is rock solid”, were you referring to the two Creative Apps in general or was that directly addressing the use of all three input methods with the Apps in question? Besides waiting on Linux Audio support, is there any other major Linux App functionality yet to come? Thanks so very much for your time and your reply. Blessings!


  • July 8, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    I am using Libreoffice, but have discovered that copy/paste operations crash, not just Libreoffice, but “terminal” as well. I am using Version 69.0.3473.0 (Official Build) dev (32-bit).

    How does one report bugs on Linux (Beta)?

    Just tested with gedit and it also crashes “terminal”.


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