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How to send secure email on Chrome OS

Skiff is a private, end-to-end email client that supports email, calendar, documents, and other things. If you have a Skiff account and want to use it on your Chromebook, but don’t know how we can help! Follow along as we show you how to get Skiff working on Linux.

Hero image for Skiff.

How to enable Linux on your Chromebook

You’ll need to enable Linux on your Chromebook before you can install the Skiff email application, as it is a Linux program. To start the installation process, open up the settings area. You can do this by clicking on the clock icon in the Chrome OS dash, followed by the gear icon.

Inside the Chrome OS settings area, find “Advanced,” and click on it with the mouse. When you select “Advanced,” some advanced options will appear, including the “Developers” area. Select “Developers,” and then select the “Linux developer environment” option.

In the “Linux developer environment” area, find the “Turn on” button and click it with the mouse. When you select this button, Chrome OS will walk you through setting up Linux on your Chromebook. Go through the prompts to set up Linux on your system.

Once Linux is configured in the setup prompts on your Chromebook, Chrome OS will begin downloading and configuring the Debian Linux container, as well as the Chrome OS terminal app. This process will take a bit to complete.

When everything is complete, Chrome OS will launch a terminal window. In the terminal app, find “Penguin,” and select it with the mouse. Then, use the apt update command to update the container.

sudo apt update

Once everything is up to date, you can install the latest upgrades on the Linux container with the apt upgrade command.

sudo apt upgrade -y

When the apt upgrade command is finished, and you’ll be able to install Linux apps on your Chromebook, including Skiff.

How to install Skiff

The Skiff app is installable on your Chromebook via the Flathub app store as a Flatpak. However, before you can install it, you need to enable the Flatpak runtime on your system. You can enable the Flatpak runtime on your system by installing the “flatpak” package.

To install this package, open up the Chrome OS terminal. Once it is open, find the “Penguin” option, and select it with the mouse. When you’ve selected “Penguin,” you’ll have access to the Chrome OS terminal interface.

Inside the Chrome OS terminal interface, use the apt install command to install the “flatpak” package. This package handles everything related to Flatpak, so it is a very important package for running Skiff on Chrome OS.

sudo apt install flatpak

When you’ve got the flatpak package configured, you’ll need to set up the Flathub app store. This app store enables you to install the Skiff app and many other tools on your Chromebook. To enable Flathub, use the following flatpak remote-add command.

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

With the Flathub app store set up on your Chromebook, you can use the flatpak install command to set up the Skiff application. Keep in mind, that this command will install the Skiff app, as well as all of the runtime files it needs to run on your Chromebook, so it may take a few minutes to finish.

flatpak install flathub com.fyralabs.SkiffDesktop

Once the command above is complete, the Skiff application will be available for use via the “Linux apps” folder in the Chrome OS menu.

How to use Skiff on your Chromebook

Now that Skiff is installed on your Chromebook, launch it on your Chromebook. Once it is open, you’ll see the “Login to Skiff” area. Enter your username or email address. Alternatively, if you do not have an account, you can click “Sign up” to create a new one.

The Skiff login page.

When you’ve logged in, you’ll be brought to the Skiff email homepage in the app. If you want to check out other Skiff offerings (Calendar, Files, etc.) click on “Skiff Mail.” When you select “Skiff Mail,” you’ll be able to select “Skiff Drive, Skiff Calendar, and Skiff Pages.”

The Skiff inbox.

Once you’ve selected one of Skiff’s offerings, you can begin using it right on your Chromebook. Additionally, you can switch back to Skiff Mail by selecting the Skiff app icon.

The Skiff files page.

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