We use Gravit Designer on the daily as our go-to vector editing and design tool but for a long time, Inkscape was always in the old tool bag. Problem was, using Inkscape on Chrome OS in the past required Crouton and the unofficial path to dual-booting Linux on your Chromebook. With the advent of the Crostini Project and Linux apps support, that has changed and for many, installing Inkscape free software on a Chromebook has been a game-changer for productivity. While we no longer use Inkscape, it is still an incredible vector editor and we recommend it for users who aren’t ready to make the jump to the pro version of Gravit that runs you $49.99/year.
Until recently, getting the newest version of Inkscape on Chrome OS required a little more than just the simple
apt install command we commonly use to install Linux applications. Yes,
sudo apt install inkscape would install the program on a Linux-capable Chromebook but because Chrome OS was using Debian Stretch and the Inkscape version in the Stretch repository was always a few releases behind. You could, if you wanted to, install the newer version of Inkscape using Flatpaks or by adding the Inkscape PPA to your source list but that required a few extra steps.
Thankfully, that was all remedied with the release of Chrome OS 80. In case you missed it, Chrome OS 80 updated the default container for Linux apps from Debian 9 (Stretch) to Debian 10 (Buster). The version of Inkscape in the Buster repository? You guessed it. It is the latest, 0.92.4 stable build of the software and it can be installed with a single command in the terminal. Before you do so, however, you will want to make sure your device has updated to Chrome OS 80 and you will need to restart Linux apps to make the move to Buster. This will require you to remove Linux apps in the settings menu and then reinstall the feature. (PSA: This will delete all Linux-related files and no, you can’t restore them from a backup. If you do, it will revert your system back to Debian Stretch and you’ll be right back to square one.)
Once you’ve done all of the above steps, you can install the latest version of Inkscape with the following command. Once the installation is complete, you will have the Inkscape desktop icon in your app launcher and you’re all set.
sudo apt install inkscape