Chromebookparental4
Chromebookparental4

So you want to know how to install third-party browsers on Chromebook? Although there is no easy way to replace the Chrome browser on the Chromebook, it is, after all, a “Chromebook”, however, you can install third-party web browsers from the Play Store.

But they have their problems, for example, most Android browsers cannot take advantage of the desktop layout of the Chromebook. Likewise, most Linux apps are not optimized for Chromebooks as they run in the Sandbox environment.

Fortunately, there are still some browsers such as Firefox, Brave, and Samsung Internet which are not only optimized for the desktop layout but surprisingly they work quite well on the Chromebook. So, here is a step-by-step guide to help you.

How to install third-party browsers on Chromebooks

1. Mozilla Firefox

Although Firefox has multiple versions on Android, unfortunately, none of them take advantage of the desktop layout of the Chromebook. Fortunately, the Linux version works exactly like pictures. 

The only caveat is that Linux on Chrome OS has its own storage space, so you can’t save files directly to local files, nor can you access any local files. 

For example, if you download a document from the web using the Firefox browser, that file will not be available in the Downloads folder. Instead, your files will be stored in the Linux folder.

To install Firefox on your Chromebook, you must first enable Linux on your Chromebook. To do this, open the Chrome OS settings, click Linux (Beta) in the sidebar and click the “Activate” button next to the Linux option. 

Now click on the Install button in the popup that appears. Once Linux is installed, you can see a terminal in the app drawer in the Linux folder.

Linux On Chromebook
Linux On Chromebook

Firefox ESR is already available in the Chromebook repository. In the terminal, just type the following text and press Enter to install Firefox

sudo apt install firefox-esr

Firefox ESR means Firefox Extended Support Release which is the version of Firefox for Entreprises. Instead of releasing constant updates, Firefox ESR gets updates upon completion of the update cycle. If you want to switch to the standard version of Firefox.

Install the ESR version to install dependencies with this command.

sudo apt install firefox-esr

Now, uninstall the ESR version, so that you can install standard Firefox.

sudo apt remove firefox-esr

Now all you have to do is run this command to install the standard version of Firefox.

sudo apt install iceweasel
Firefox Chromebook
Firefox Chromebook

2. Brave Browser

If you are looking for a browser that supports Chrome extensions and also has better privacy options than Chrome, Brave is for you.

To install third-party browsers on your Chromebook, make sure you’ve enabled Linux on your Chromebook. To do this, open the Chrome OS settings, click Linux (Beta) in the sidebar and click the “Activate” button next to the Linux option. Now click on the Install button in the popup that appears. Once Linux is installed, you can see a terminal in the app drawer in the Linux folder.

To install Brave on Chromebook, first, run this command to update all dependencies

sudo apt upgrade

If you are asked to update something, just press Y and click Enter to update. Now enter the whole command into the terminal with a single click and click Enter.

Pro tip: – To paste into the terminal, you can use the keyboard shortcut: – Crtl + Shift + V
(Ctrl + V, does not work on the terminal)

sudo apt install apt-transport-https curl

curl -s https://brave-browser-apt-release.s3.brave.com/brave-core.asc | sudo apt-key --keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/brave-browser-release.gpg add -

echo "deb [arch=amd64] https://brave-browser-apt-release.s3.brave.com/ stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/brave-browser-release.list

sudo apt update

sudo apt install brave-browser

After completing the process, it should end with the Sudo apt install brave-browser command. Just click Enter to install the Brave browser and press Y to continue.

The process described above should install Brave Browser, but if you also receive an error: invalid key. Then run these commands one after the other.

sudo apt-key of the C2D4E821
sudo apt remove brave-keyring
sudo apt clean

And then run this command again to install Brave.

curl -s https://brave-browser-apt-release.s3.brave.com/brave-core.asc | sudo apt-key --keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/brave-browser-release.gpg add -

echo "deb [arch=amd64] https://brave-browser-apt-release.s3.brave.com/ stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/brave-browser-release.list

sudo apt update

sudo apt install brave-browser

It should end with the Sudo apt install brave-browser command. Just click Enter to install the Brave browser and press Y to continue. Brave browser should be installed on your Chromebook.

Brave Chromebook
Brave Chromebook

3. Samsung Internet

Of all the Android browsers including Chrome, Samsung Internet is the only browser that works well even in a desktop environment, thanks to Dex. So installing a third-party browser on Chromebook is as easy as downloading from the Play Store. Just open this link to open Samsung Internet on the Play Store and click Install.

Once you are on the Samsung Internet browser, click on the three-dot menu in the upper right corner and click on the option called “Desktop version” to enable the desktop layout on the browser. This setting will be saved on this device and there is no need to manually reset.

But the only caveat is right-clicking on the trackpad, but sometimes you cannot select options within the trackpad, so you need to use the arrow keys and click Enter or you can use the touchscreen to select the option which makes it a little inconsistent.

Install third-party browsers on Chromebooks, conclusion

These are the browsers that I have tried and that have worked very well on Chromebook, do you use others? Let me know in the comments below.


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