Linux / Open Source


Android Apps on Linux and everything else running Chrome


This year on I/O Google announced an Update to ChromeOS that allows it to run Android apps. Last week the first apps arrived. A couple of days ago, thanks to Vlad Filippov, they also arrived on Chrome for Linux, OSX and Windows.

For Ubuntu, installing it looks somewhat like this:

  1. sudo apt-get install google-chrome-unstable
  2. download
  3. unzip
  4. open chrome - settings, enable developer mode, click 'load unpacked extensions' and click the dir you just unpacked
  5. sudo apt-get install npm nodejs nodejs-legacy lib32stdc++6
  6. sudo npm install -g chromeos-apk
  7. find an android app you like on Google Play (a free one, don't steal stuff)
  8. go to and paste in the URL from the app in the play store
  9. download
  10. cd Downloads
  11. chromeos-apk --archon
  12. in chrome, load the dir the above command created as unpacked extension
  13. click launch
Guides for others platforms may be found on the github repository.
Among the apps that are known to work are Flipboard, Flixster, Twitter, Pandora, IMDB, Skype etc. A lot of others simply crash. Also, most of the stuff that actually works is available on the web also, so you don't win that much. Games usually depend on more metal stuff, so they are less likely to work, but hopefully that will change in the future.
It's hacky, it's buggy but also pretty cool.