What can you do with Linux on a Chromebook?

Have you finished setting up Linux on your Chromebook, but not sure what to do next? Here are three things you can try.

Woman using laptop

With most Chromebooks now capable of installing a virtual Linux environment, you might be wondering what you can do with it. There are a lot of things you can do with installing Linux on your Chromebook.

1. Try your hand at coding

Google is positioning the Linux environment as a development tool, and this is no surprise since Linux desktops are already widely deployed within Google. Linux has always been a developer favorite, and you can install compilers and interpreters for just about any programming language under the sun. You can even run graphics editors and IDEs.

Vim running on a Chromebook

You can tinker with Python, run word processor in Perl, and even use C to get close to hardware, or at least as much as possible in a virtual machine.

Related: 7 Superb Reasons You Should Be Using Linux For Programming

2. Remote access with SSH / Mosh

While Chromebooks have an SSH app for connecting to remote machines, you won’t find the Chrome app functionality on Chromebooks in 2021. There is a Chrome browser extension that promises to replace it, but the environment Linux also allows you to install OpenSSH, and it’s much more flexible than just using an extension.

SSH running in Linux on a Chromebook

Not only can you log into the systems using SSH, but you can also generate keys, which you will need if you don’t have them. You can also use Mosh for connections that stay active when you change networks or put your Chromebook to sleep.

Related: Get Better Remote Sessions on Linux with Mosh and Tmux

3. Learn more about the Linux operating system

If you’re interested in Linux, exploring it on a Chromebook is a good option. Because the Linux environment is isolated from the rest of the system, you don’t have to worry about messing up your main system, as is possible on a Linux / Windows dual-boot system.

You don’t have to activate developer mode like you do with Crouton. And that makes getting started with Linux on a Chromebook super easy.

Manual page for the ls Linux command on Chromebook

Because Linux is so widely used in technical computing, getting to know it on a Chromebook will give you an advantage if you ever want to get into computing as a profession.

You can do a lot of things on a Chromebook

You can code in any language, connect to remote computers, and learn more about Linux on a Chromebook, and it just scratches the surface. If you’re still on the verge of learning Linux, there are a couple of reasons you might want to do it on a Chromebook.

learn linux on chromebook
Why you should learn Linux on a Chromebook

Not sure if you should start learning Linux on a Chromebook? These reasons could help you take the leap.

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