It’s that time again. The time where we tinker with Linux on Chrome OS to explore what can be done for one simple reason. WE CAN! Yesterday’s Command Line article focused on adding the ability to print from your Crostini Linux apps. That feature is a much-needed resource for many Chrome OS users that have adopted Linux apps for finances, productivity and education but today, we’re going to install a third-party browser just for the fun of it.
We’ve already covered how to install Firefox and the Brave browser on Chrome OS using Linux. Today, we’re going to look at another browser that’s popular among many users because it is highly customizable and like Brave, you can control the amount of tracking that’s allowed when you’re surfing the web. The Vivaldi browser was created, in part, by the former CEO and founder of more well-known Opera Software that created the Opera browser that has been on the scene since the mid-90s. Vivaldi implements some unique features such as customizable tab management and resizable UI elements that have made the browser the choice of more than 1 million active monthly users.
Installing Vivaldi on Chrome OS is fairly straightforward so long as you have a Chromebook that has Linux support via the Crostini project. The installation files for Vivaldi are available as one-click installs for Windows, macOS and a variety of Linux flavors. For our purposes, we will need the 64-bit Linux DEB package. If you are using an ARM-based Chromebook, there is an ARM-specific package as well. To download the file, head over to the Vivaldi download page here and grab the 64-bit DEB package.
Once you have that downloaded, open your Files app and double-click the .deb package for Vivaldi and wait for the install process to complete. Once that’s finished you should be able to launch Vivaldi from your app launcher but there are a couple of housekeeping items that you need to take care of to get the most out of the browser. The second time I installed Vivaldi I did not have to do this step but the browser requires proprietary support for certain types of embedded media. To ensure that the support is installed, execute the following two commands in the Linux terminal.
sudo /opt/vivaldi/update-widevine sudo /opt/vivaldi/update-ffmpeg
Now you’re all set. When you launch the browser, you will be prompted to import any bookmarks from other browsers and you will walk through the process of customizing your tab layout, theme and more. The browser is very versatile and I can see why users like it but I am a Chrome purest at heart and am perfectly content using the native browser on Chrome OS. Still, to each their own. If you like Vivaldi, now you can have it on your Chromebook. Enjoy and stay tuned for more the Command Line this week.