How to Install Third-Party Browsers On Chromebook

by Ravi Teja KNTS

While there isn’t an easy way to replace the Chrome browser on Chromebook, after all, it is a “Chromebook”, you can, however, install third-party web browsers from Play Store. But they have their own set of problems, for instance, most Android browsers cannot take advantage of the desktop layout of Chromebook. Similarly, most Linux apps are not optimized for Chromebook as they run in the Sandbox environment.

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

Also, Read- 18 Best PWA Apps You Need to Install on Your Chromebook

Install Third-party Browsers on Chromebook

1. Mozilla Firefox

Though Firefox has multiple versions on the Android, unfortunately, none of them take advantage of the desktop layout of Chromebook. Thankfully, the Linux version works just like you imagine. The only caveat is, Linux on Chrome OS has its own storage space, so you cannot save files directly into the local files, neither can you access any local files. For instance, if you download a document from the web using the Firefox browser, that file won’t be available under the Download folder. Instead, your files will be stored in the Linux folder.

To install Firefox on Chromebook, you need to first enable Linux on your Chromebook. To do so, Open Chrome OS settings, click on Linux (Beta) in the sidebar, and click on the “Turn on”button beside the Linux Option. Now click on the Install button on the pop-up appeared. Once Linux is installed, you can see a terminal in your app drawer in the Linux folder.

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

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

Install the ESR version to install the dependencies with this command.

sudo apt install firefox-esr

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

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

sudo apt install iceweasel

Firefox on Chromebook

2. Brave Browser

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

To start, make sure you have enabled Linux on your Chromebook. To do so, Open Chrome OS settings, click on Linux (Beta) in the sidebar and click on the “Turn on”button beside the Linux Option. Now click on the Install button on the pop-up appeared. Once Linux is installed, you can see a terminal in your app drawer in the Linux folder.

To install Brave, first, run this command to upgrade all the dependencies

sudo apt upgrade

If it prompted to upgrade anything, just Y and click enter to upgrade. Now enter the entire command in the terminal on a single go and click enter.

Pro Tip:- To Paste in the terminal, you can use the keyboard shortcut:- Crtl + Shift + V
(Ctrl + V, doesn’t 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 command Sudo apt install brave-browser. Just click on Enter to install the Brave browser and press Y to continue.

The above process should install the Brave Browser, but if you are also getting an Error: Invalid Key. Then run these commands one after another.

sudo apt-key del C2D4E821
sudo apt remove brave-keyring
sudo apt clean

And then run this command again to install the 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 command Sudo apt install brave-browser. Just click on Enter to install the Brave browser and press Y to continue. The brave browser should be installed on your Chromebook

Brave Browser on chromebook

3. Samsung Internet

Among all the Android browser including Chrome, Samsung Internet is the only browser that even works well in the desktop environment, thanks to the dex. So installing Samsung Internet is just as easy as downloading from the Play Store. Just open this link to open Samsung Internet on the Play Store and click on Install.

Installing Samsung Internet on Chromebook

Once you are on the Samsung internet browser, just click on the three-dot menu at the top right corner and click on the option called ” Desktop Version” to enable desktop layout on the browser. This setting will be saved on this device and you don’t need to manually set again.

desktop mode on Samsung Internet on Chromebook

But the only caveat is right-clicking on the trackpad works but you cannot select the options within with the trackpad sometimes, then you either should use arrow keys and click enter or you can use the touch screen to select the option which makes it kind of inconsistent.

Samsung Internet on Chromebook

These are browsers that I have tried and worked great on Chromebooks, do you use any other? Let me know in the comments below.

Also Checkout, other Linux apps you need to install on your Chromebook

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