We’re coming up on two years since Linux apps on Chromebooks became official. At Google I/O 2018, an announcement that Chrome OS would soon be able to run Linux applications via containters kickstarted a new wave of development for the Chromium OS developers. It was an exciting time and in the 20 months since, we’ve seen Google deliver on that promise and continue adding more and more features to Chrome OS’ Linux abilities.
Though the entire thing still isn’t completely ironed out across the board, it is fair to say that many Linux applications are very usable and very good on Chrome OS at this point. With this feature being more of a developer necessity, I’m unsure how smooth the overall app installation process will ever get. I can say it is a far cry from where it all started, and today we want to share with you how you can leverage this unique ability of Chrome OS to install and run what Wired and Polygon have labeled the most important game of the decade: Kentucky Route Zero.
Before we get into the process, a quick word on why this is so near and dear to our hearts. One of the three creators of Kentucky Route Zero – Jake Elliot – has actually been officed in the same coworking space as us for years. We’ve watched as he’s built the world of Kentucky Route Zero, literally chatting him up while he has 3D models of parts of the game laid bare on his monitor deep in the creative process. So as the game has finally come to its completion and critics are raving about it, we’re here rooting for it as well.
Anyway, the process to getting this game running like butter on even the most basic Chromebooks is pretty simple. We had it working on the Pixelbook Go and the Lenovo C340, so it can likely run on any device you have. First up, you need to enable Linux apps in your settings. Next, head to chrome://flags and search for Crostini GPU Support and enable it. Restart your Chromebook and after you’ve done that, you’ll need to get the Steam install file. Head over to their website and download the .deb file or simply click this link to download it. Once you have it, double-click it from your Files app and proceed with the install. Once complete, you can launch Steam from there or later from your app launcher. Sign in or create an account, search for Kentucky Route Zero, download and play! Simple!
The game runs $24.99 and I can say it is completely worth the money. It is a unique mix of story-driven drama with subtle, gorgeous graphics. Though I’ve only logged about 45 minutes of gameplay, I can easily say this game is going to be one I will complete in its entirety. It is atmospheric, spooky, and insanely intriguing. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you take the dive, and if you are ready to try it out, we hope this quick guide helps you out.