School is or will soon be underway for millions of students and I’m sure that countless parents and teachers have already fielded eager inquiries about playing Roblox. Like Minecraft, Roblox is an insanely popular game that allows users to create their own games and worlds for others to enjoy. Roblox has also found its way into the education system in a fashion similar to Minecraft thanks to its ability to leverage endless customizations. Unlike Minecraft which allows you to build new worlds inside the game itself, Roblox has a dedicated program for designing new games.
Thanks to the Google Play Store, millions of Chromebook users can play Roblox anytime, anywhere. However, building new games for the platform requires Roblox Studio and that program is technically only available for Windows and macOS. Thankfully, there are those who love to tinker and one such person has gone and made a way to run Roblox Studio on Linux using the Wine compatibility layer. Say hello to Grapejuice.
Running Windows applications on Linux with Wine is nothing new but the beauty of Grapejuice is that all the necessary dependencies and libraries are included in the very simple installation process. No worries about installing Wine from the command line or running into missing dependencies and all that jazz. @BrinkerVII has built a full repository for his Grapejuice project that has everything the budding developer needs to build Roblox games on Chrome OS. Keep in mind, that this does require a Chromebook with official Linux support. So, without further ado, here is a walk-through to installing and running Roblox Studio using Linux and Wine.
Roblox on a cheap Chromebook
First, you will need to make sure your Chromebook is set up to use Linux applications and everything is up to date. To learn more about that process, check out this Command Line article. It only takes a few minutes to install the container and update all of the Linux packages. Now that you’re ready, open the Linux terminal and we will begin the installation process. Roblox Studio requires some 32-bit libraries to run properly, If you are using an Intel or AMD Chromebook, you will need to add the i386 architecture for these libraries to function. You can do that with the following terminal command. (You won’t see any output. It will simply return to the command prompt.)
sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
Next, it’s time to install Wine and all the necessary libraries and utilities needed to run Roblox Studio. This step can be done with the commands below all at once but it will take a few minutes. Once you’ve started installing these packages, feel free to go grab a cup of coffee or some taquitos. Paste the following command into the terminal using right-click on your mouse or touchpad and hit enter.
sudo apt install -y wine git python3-pip pkg-config libcairo2-dev libdbus-1-dev gtk-update-icon-cache desktop-file-utils xdg-utils libgirepository1.0-dev gir1.2-gtk-3.0
Now we will “clone” the repository for Grapejuice. This is essentially pulling down all the code needed to build and install Grapejuice. Copy the files to your Chromebook with the following terminal command. It should only take a few seconds to complete this process.
git clone https://gitlab.com/brinkervii/grapejuice.git
The only thing left to do now is to install Grapejuice. First, we need to move to the newly created Grapejuice folder and then, execute the install script. Do this using the following commands, one at a time, in the Linux terminal. Once it is finished, you should see the Grapejuice app icon in your Chrome OS app launcher.
cd grapejuice python3 ./install.py
The first time you run Grapejuice, you will need to install Roblox. Open Grapejuice and click on the maintenance tab. Click “install Roblox” and when it’s done, you can move to the Launcher tab and start Roblox Studio. Now, this method works and I would say that it’s even a plausible solution for someone who has a Core i5 or great device with at least 8GB of RAM. That said, Roblox Studio does tend to hang here and there and it’s not as smooth as you may be accustomed to on a Windows or macOS device. Remember, this is using a Windows compatibility layer to “emulate” the framework needed to run a Windows program. It’s never going to be as smooth as running on a native machine. If you are planning on getting into serious Roblox game development, I’d have to recommend getting a device other than a Chromebook. It pains me to say that but until Roblox Studio officially lands on Linux, it’s just the way it is.