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How to install Waterfox on Chrome OS

If you have a Chromebook but don’t like using Chrome as your browser due to privacy concerns, install Waterfox. Waterfox is a web browser based on Firefox that provides the user with more privacy and customization options. In this guide, we’ll show you how you can get Waterfox working on your Chromebook

How to enable Linux on your Chromebook

If your Chromebook is compatible, you can use Linux apps on Chrome OS. To do this, click on the clock icon in the Chrome OS dash, and select the gear icon to go to the settings area. Then, click on “Advanced” to access the “Developers” options. Click on “Linux development environment” and select it to download and install the Linux container. This container will allow you to use Linux apps on Chrome OS.

Once the Linux container is installed on your Chromebook, open the Chrome OS app menu and search for “Terminal.” Then, click on “Penguin” to launch the command-line interface for the Linux container.

After launching the terminal app, you will have access to the Chrome OS Linux container. You’ll now need to update the container. You can do this by executing the following apt update command.

sudo apt update

Next, the upgrades for the Chrome OS Linux container. To do this, you can run the following apt update command. This command will install all available software patches on your system.

sudo apt upgrade

Running the “update” command will check for software updates and refresh your software sources. After that, run the “upgrade” command to install all available package updates. Just remember that the upgrade process might take a bit of time.

How to install Waterfox on Chrome OS – Flatpak installation

The best way to install Waterfox on a Chromebook is through the Flathub app store as a Flatpak. The reason for this is that everything is handled by the Flatpak runtime, so there’s no need to worry about how to install updates, patches, etc.

To get started with Waterfox on your Chromebook with Flatpak, you must install the runtime. You can install the Flatpak runtime by launching the Chrome OS terminal from the app menu.

Once you’ve launched the Chrome OS terminal app, search for “Penguin,” and select it. Then, use the apt install command to set up the “flatpak” package. This package handles Flathub apps.

sudo apt install flatpak

After setting up the Flatpak runtime on your Chromebook, you need to enable the Flathub app store on your Chrome OS system. To enable Flathub, enter the following command in a terminal window.

 flatpak --user remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

With Flathub enabled on your Chromebook, you can use the flatpak install command to set up the Waterfox application on your Chromebook.

flatpak install flathub net.waterfox.waterfox

With the command above run, Waterfox will be ready to use on your Chromebook from the “Linux apps” folder.

How to install Waterfox on Chrome OS – Downloadable bin installation

While not recommended, it is possible to download Waterfox directly from the official website and install it in your Chrome OS Linux home folder. To start the installation, open up the Chrome OS terminal. Once open, select the “Penguin” option.

Inside of the Linux terminal, use the wget command to download the latest release of Waterfox for Linux to your Chrome OS system.

wget https://cdn1.waterfox.net/waterfox/releases/G5.1.5/Linux_x86_64/waterfox-G5.1.5.tar.bz2

After downloading the latest release of Waterfox, extract the contents of the Waterfox Bz2 file using the tar xvf command.

tar -xvf waterfox-G5.1.5.tar.bz2

Once everything is extracted, use the mkdir command to create a new “waterfox” folder in the ~/.local/share/ directory.

mkdir -p $HOME/.local/share/waterfox

Next, you need to move the extracted Waterfox files to the newly created directory. This is done with the mv command.

mv waterfox/* $HOME/.local/share/waterfox

Next, create a symlink to the Waterfox executable file so that it can run correctly.

ln -s $HOME/.local/share/waterfox/waterfox $HOME/.local/bin/waterfox

After setting up the executable Waterfox file, it’s time to create the desktop shortcut for Waterfox. To create the shortcut, use the following cat command. Note that the command below is a single command and not multiple commands.

cat > $HOME/.local/share/applications/waterfox.desktop <<EOL
[Desktop Entry]
Comment=A high-performance web browser based on Mozilla Firefox
Exec=$HOME/.local/bin/waterfox %u

With the desktop shortcut created, you can make the desktop icon executable via the chmod command.

chmod +x $HOME/.local/share/applications/waterfox.desktop

With all of the commands above run, you should be able to run Waterfox on your Chromebook directly from the “Linux apps” folder in the Chrome OS app menu.

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