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Install Github Desktop on Chrome OS

GitHub offers an official app for Windows, macOS, and Linux, with community support. However, there is no official app for Chrome OS. If you’re a developer who regularly engages in programming and source control on your Chromebook, you’ll be pleased to learn that installing GitHub Desktop on Chrome OS is possible with the aid of the Linux developer environment. Here’s how to make it work.

The ADT hero image for Github desktop.

How to Enable Linux on Chromebook

the linux area of chrome OS.

If your Chromebook supports it, activating Linux applications on Chrome OS is possible. Begin this process by accessing the settings menu on your device. Click on the clock, followed by the gear icon to enter the Chrome OS settings.

Within the settings menu of Chrome OS, navigate to the “Advanced” section and click on the down arrow beside it. This action will allow you to access the advanced settings of Chrome OS, including the “Developers” section.

Within the “Developers” section, you will find the option for the Linux settings. Click on “Linux development environment” and then select the “Turn on” button to initiate the setup for the Linux LXC container, which enables the running of Linux applications on Chrome OS.

After enabling Linux, proceed to the Chrome OS launcher on your Chromebook. Search for “Terminal” and open it. In the terminal, locate “Penguin” and select it to access the command-line interface for the Linux environment.

In the terminal, execute the commands to update and upgrade the Linux container. This ensures that you have the latest versions of the software.

sudo apt update

The command to update the Linux container checks for available software updates and refreshes your package lists.

Once the update command has been executed, proceed with the upgrade command. This command updates all available packages to their latest versions. It is important to note that this process may take some time to complete.

sudo apt upgrade -y

After setting up the Linux container on your Chromebook, you’ll be able to install apps like GitHub Desktop.

How to Install GitHub Desktop on Chrome OS – Debian Repository

An easy way to get the GitHub Desktop application up and running on your Chromebook is by installing it through the Debian package manager. To start the installation process, open the Chrome OS terminal. This can be done by searching for “Terminal” in the Chrome OS app menu.

Once the Terminal app is open, locate “Penguin,” and select it with the mouse to access the command line of the Chrome OS Debian container. Then, use the wget command below to download the GPG key for GitHub Desktop:

wget -qO - https://apt.packages.shiftkey.dev/gpg.key | gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/shiftkey-packages.gpg > /dev/null

After downloading the GPG key required for installing software from the GitHub Desktop software repository, it’s time to add the repo to the Debian container’s software sources. This can be accomplished with the sh command below:

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/shiftkey-packages.gpg] https://apt.packages.shiftkey.dev/ubuntu/ any main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/shiftkey-packages.list'

Once you’ve added the GitHub Desktop software repository, update the Debian Linux container on your Chromebook by running the following apt update and apt upgrade commands in the terminal:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

After running the two commands, you’ll be able to install the latest version of the GitHub Desktop application on your Chromebook using the apt install command below:

sudo apt install github-desktop

Once the installation process is complete, you can launch the GitHub Desktop app via the “Linux Apps” directory.

How to Install GitHub Desktop on Chrome OS – Flathub

Github desktop in operation on Linux.

If setting up the Debian repo for GitHub Desktop doesn’t appeal to you, you can also install it as a Flatpak package. To start the installation process, you need to set up the “Flatpak” package on your Chromebook. To do this, open up the Chrome OS terminal and select “Penguin.”

From here, use the apt install command to install the “flatpak” package on your Chromebook. This package handles everything Flatpak-related, such as the runtime, packages, etc.

sudo apt install flatpak

After you’ve installed the Flatpak package, it’s time to use the flatpak remote-add command to add the Flathub app store to your Chromebook.

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

With the Flathub app store added to Chrome OS, you’ll be able to install GitHub Desktop using the flatpak install command below.

flatpak install flathub io.github.shiftey.Desktop

Once you’ve installed GitHub Desktop, you’ll be able to launch it from the “Linux apps” folder on your Chromebook.

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