Linux on Chrome OS

I’ve just purchased a Chromebook, which I understand now is capable of running Linux apps ( … g-forward/)

I’m running Scrivener for Windows on my desktop PC, but the Chromebook is going to be my portable 2nd computer going forward.

What would I need to do to get up and running with the Linux version of Scrivener on a Chromebook? Will it sync with the Windows version (I’m running the latest beta of Scrivener 3 at the moment)?

Or am I better off using Chrome Remote Desktop to log into my Windows PC?

The last “official” version of Scrivener for Linux is very old and does not even directly sync with the current release version of Scrivener for Windows (, if I remember correctly, let alone with the beta.

You are probably better off with remote desktop at this time, unless your Chrome OS device runs Wine. There seems to be a lively community of hardy souls who are running the beta under Wine.

As Devin mentions, the Linux version will not sync with the current version of Scrivener on Windows, MacOS or iOS. You can write on the Linux version and open it in the current version, but not the other way around.

To get the Linux version running on your Chromebook, provided the Chromebook is x86 and capable of running Linux applications, your best bet is the AppImage which has graciously been made available by a third party, apparently with L&L’s blessing.

Note that using this will require some basic understanding of how to use Linux, and is not fully plug and play. It’s not like running an installer. But once it’s setup it works extremely reliably.

I have just installed the unsupported Linux Scrivener on my ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02. It’s a 3-year-old machine designed to be used by grade-schoolers, so it’s nothing special.

The following is taken from about a half-dozen web pages I’m too lazy to link to, but searching for the names of .deb files should give you download locations.

  • Turn on the Linux beta in settings
  • Download the Scrivener .deb file to the Linux directory
  • Double-click on the Scrivener .deb file to install it
  • Get the libpng12-0 library by entering this sequence of commands on your Linux terminal (Nota Bene: the L&L forum formatting concatenates the URL to get libpng, so typing it as you see it won’t work. You should be able to cut and paste the URL. You might be able to just use the link and save it and install using the Files app as with the other .deb, but that’s not what I did.):
    sudo wget -q -O /tmp/libpng12.deb … _amd64.deb
    sudo dpkg -i /tmp/libpng12.deb
    sudo rm /tmp/libpng12.deb
  • Download and install these .deb files into the Linux directory and install using by clicking on them in the files app

After doing all that (plus installing linking to the dictionary, discussed in another thread), old, unsupported Linux Scrivener on ChromeOS!

The biggest downside is that you can’t save your projects on the SD card: everything has to be in the Linux directory. You can copy and paste to the SD card or into your Google Drive folders (for automatic backup) using the ChromeOS file app, though.

I was running using Crouton, and constantly having memory issues. Now, I’m using less than half of my available memory.

I registered to the forums just to write this thank you note to HEYWOODFLOYD.

Thank you so much for your post. I was trying to run the Linux version having the tar file extracted and trying to find a way to get the libraries installed.

Your steps of doing the installation of the Linux deb file along with the 3 other support files (I installed the deb for lib instead of your steps) now has my Chromebook running with Scrivener Linux.

Thank you, internet person. :slight_smile:

With the upgrades tor ChromeOS, you now can save to an SD card on your machine. In the ChromeOS Files app, share the folder on the SD card with linux, and it’ll be mounted as /mnt/chromeos/removable/SD Card/dirname, where dirname is whatever you named the directory.

My practice is to share a GoogleDrive folder with linux and use that for my Scrivener files with backups on the SD card. For convenience, I put symbolic links, to the directories in my home drive.