When you’re buying today’s best Chromebooks you’re obviously going into your purchase being happy to use the Google Chrome browser. After all, Chrome OS is built around Google’s all-conquering web browser.
But as Chrome OS has matured over the years, a Chromebook is no longer just a lightweight laptop for basic work and web browsing. With Linux and Android support built in, a Chromebook is now capable of being a serious workhorse.
That goes for developers, too, and if you’re a web developer you’re likely interested in more than just Chrome. Or perhaps you’re a more casual user who likes Chrome OS but wants to use Firefox as your web browser. The good news is that installing Firefox on a Chromebook is a breeze.
There are two possible methods to using Firefox on a Chromebook, utilising either Linux or Android. If you want the full Firefox experience then you’ll be wanting to install the Linux version. The Android version is more stripped back and may encounter some compatibility issues with some Chromebooks
If you already have Linux enabled on your Chromebook then you can skip ahead to the next step. If you don’t, the first step is to get it turned on.
Open up the ‘Settings’ app on your Chromebook and find the ‘Linux’ option in the sidebar. Click ‘Turn on’ and follow the on-screen instructions. You’ll have to give your Linux container a name and decide how much storage you want to hand over to it.
When you’re happy, hit ‘Install’ and wait for your Chromebook to finish the installation of the Linux container. Once it’s complete the terminal will open. It’s a good idea to make sure all packages are up to date using the following commands before going any further:
To install the latest version of Firefox on your Chromebook you’ll be using Flatpak. This may already be installed on your machine. To check, simply enter ‘flatpak –version’ into the terminal and if it’s there you’ll see a version number.
If you need to install Flatpak on your Chromebook enter this command:
Now that Flatpak is installed you can go ahead and install Firefox finally. Again, inside the terminal enter this command: