how to install python on Chromebook: 2023 Updated Guide

While Chromebooks are primarily designed for web browsing and basic productivity tasks, they are good enough for python programming.

Python is a popular and versatile language that is widely used for a variety of purposes, including web development, data analysis, and machine learning. By installing Python on a Chromebook, users can take advantage of this powerful language while still using their lightweight and portable devices.

Speaking about the ways, there are basically 3 ways to install Python on a Chromebook, including using Crouton, the Linux Container, and cloud-based IDEs. Which one is the best one depends on your needs and preference as each offers a set of pros and cons.

Here is a brief explanation of the methods.

  • Crouton is the best option for those who want more control over the environment and run Linux software along with ChromeOS.
  • Linux container is the best option for those who want to use ChromeOS and Linux simultaneously.
  • Cloud-based IDEs are the best option for those who want to write code from anywhere without installing software on their device.

Ways to Install Python on Chromebook

Method.1 Using Crouton Script

When to follow this method?

If have an old Chromebook, the Linux Beta feature may not be there. So by following this method you can get the Linux Terminal alongside the ChromeOS. Python on your system can be installed there.

How does this method work?

Crouton is a script that allows you to run your favorite Linux operating systems such as Ubuntu or Debian on your Chromebook. It basically creates a virtual environment for the new OS and both OSs are switchable. Here’s a detailed guide on replacing ChromeOS with Linux.

To install Python using Crouton, you will first need to download the Crouton script. Next, you will need to enter “developer mode” on your device, which will allow you to run the Crouton script. Then the developer mode, use the Crouton script to install Ubuntu or Debian Linux and then install python in the Terminal.

Steps by Steps guide

  1. Download Crouton from the GitHub page (https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton)
  2. Press the “CTRL + ALT + T” keys to open the Crosh terminal in Chrome OS.
  3. Type “shell” and press enter to open a Bash shell.
  4. Use the command “sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce” to install xfce desktop and create a chroot named “xfce”
  5. Use the command “sudo enter-chroot” to enter the chroot
  6. Use the command “sudo apt-get update” to update the package lists
  7. Use the command “sudo apt-get install python3” to install Python 3
  8. Verify the installation by typing “python3” in the terminal and you should see the python prompt.

You can also install python2 by typing “sudo apt-get install python” instead of step 7

Note: These instructions assume you are using the Xfce desktop environment, but you can install other desktop environments as well by changing the -t option in the crouton command.

Using the Linux Container

When to follow this method?

If your Chromebook has a built-in feature, called “Enable Linux Beta” then you can follow this method which is simpler than the previous one.

How does this method work?

The latest Chromebooks sports a “Linux Container.” A feature built into Chrome OS that allows you to run Linux applications within a sandboxed environment. With the help of this functionality, you can install Python and other Linux-based software on your Chromebook without having to give up the stability and security of Chrome OS.

To install Python using the Linux Container, you will need to enable the feature in your Chromebook’s settings. Once enabled, you can use the Terminal app to install Python and other Linux-based software.

Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Enable the Linux container feature by going to the Chrome OS settings and selecting “Linux (Beta)”.
  2. Install a Linux distribution by clicking on the “Install” button.
  3. Open the Linux terminal by clicking on the “Terminal” icon in the Chrome OS app launcher.
  4. Update the package lists by running the command “sudo apt update”
  5. Install Python by running the command “sudo apt install python3”
  6. Verify the installation by running the command “python3 -V” and you should see the version of Python you have installed

Using Cloud-Based IDEs

When to follow this method?

This is the simplest and easiest method to run Python on your Chromebook. There is nothing such as installing python, using cruton scripts, but for this you need internet connectivity all the time.

How does this method work?

Using a cloud-based Integrated Development Environment (IDE) on your Chromebook’s web browser. You can write, run, and debug and build python projects without having a need for an IDE.

Here are a few popular cloud-based IDEs that support Python:

  1. Google Colab: Google Colab is a free Jupyter notebook environment that allows you to write and execute Python code in your browser. It comes with pre-installed libraries and GPU support.
  2. Repl.it: Repl.it is a cloud-based IDE that supports multiple languages including Python. It allows you to write, run and debug your code in the browser. It also offers a variety of features like code collaboration and a library of pre-built templates.
  3. Codeanywhere: Codeanywhere is another cloud-based IDE that supports multiple languages including Python. It offers a variety of features like syntax highlighting, debugging, and version control.
  4. Kaggle Kernels: Kaggle is a platform for data science competitions. They have a feature called Kaggle Kernels where you can write and run python code in a Jupyter notebook environment.

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