THIS TUTORIAL HAS BEEN UPDATED. PLEASE USE THE NEW VERSION.
Chromebooks are easily the best bang for buck computers currently on the market since they have prices starting as low as $199 and provide a great experience that most people enjoy. However their one downfall, if you can call it that, is the inability to use native applications and play games. On a near constant basis I have parents asking me if their child can play Minecraft on a Chromebook since it has such a low cost. On Amazon, most negative reviews I see are because the machines can’t play the popular game. So let’s do something about that. Below is how you can install Minecraft on a Chromebook.
You do this at your own risk. We are not responsible for any damage to your machine. Please read this entire tutorial once before attempting it yourself. This method has only been tested on Intel powered machines such as the Acer C720, HP 14, and others. If you are using a Samsung or other ARM powered Chromebook, please know that this tutorial may not work for you.
(Update – We were incorrect in saying that this will void your warranty.)
The first thing we need to do is put your Chromebook into developer mode. This will wipe your Chromebook and does take a few minutes. Make sure you copy any downloaded files to Google Drive or to external storage. Once you’ve copied your files, hit ESC + Refresh (F3) +Power Button and hold it down until your Chromebook reboots and you see the recovery screen (white background with yellow exclamation mark). From here, hit CTRL + D. This sets up your Chromebook in developer mode. You will be asked to confirm this action as it does wipe your machine. The process takes up to 10 minutes. After it is done, your machine will reboot and you will see a screen that says “OS Verification is off”. You will see a message that says to hit space to re-enable. Don’t do that. Instead wait 30 seconds for the machine to boot into Chrome OS or hit CTRL + D.
Next up, we can install Linux. This is how we are going to install Minecraft. The method we are using uses something called Crouton. This allows you to run Chrome OS and Linux at the same time. To download Crouton, you need to head over to this Github page. On the top of the page, you will see a goo.gl link. You need to click that to download Crouton which in turn download Linux. The Linux version we are using is KDE. It provides a nice interface which is somewhat similar to what we are used to in Chrome OS and Windows. After you have downloaded Crouton, we can go ahead and install it.
To do this, hit CTRL + ALT + T. This will launch a new tab.
Next, type in “shell” and press enter.
Next, type in “sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -r saucy -t kde” and press enter.
Depending on your internet connection, this process can take up to 30 minutes. Once it has finished, it will ask you for a username and password. You can choose whatever you want for this step. Note: When typing your password, nothing will appear on screen. Type your password and hit enter.
Next up, we can boot into Linux. Type in “sudo startkde” and hit enter. After a couple seconds, you should see the KDE start screen and soon after, the desktop. Currently both Chrome OS and Linux are operating at the same time. To get back to Chrome, hit CTRL + ALT + Left Arrow (F1). Once you have done that, use Chrome to navigate to minecraft.net/download and download Minecraft for Linux. If you do not have a Minecraft account, you need to purchase one.
Once Minecraft has finished downloading, switch back to Linux. You can do this by hitting CTRL + ALT + Right Arrow (F2) followed by CTRL + ALT + Refresh (F3).
Once in Linux, click the KDE button in the bottom left of the screen. Once that has opened, type “kons” into the search bar and click Konsole. This opens a terminal application.
Once that opens, type the following lines of code. Note that case is important.
“mkdir ~/games” and press enter.
“mkdir ~/games/minecraft” and press enter.
“mv ~/Downloads/Minecraft.jar ~/games/minecraft” and press enter.
“sudo apt-get install openjdk-6-jre” and press enter.
Once you type that line and hit enter, you will have to wait a little while for everything to download.
After that is done, right click the kickoff button (bottom left corner) and select “edit applications”. Click “Games”, and then “New Item”. A window will open up and next type “Minecraft” and click “OK”.
Note: If “edit applications” doesn’t appear as an option, you will need to install kmenuedit. Open a terminal and type “sudo apt-get install kmenuedit”. When this has installed, close the terminal, log out, log back in (restarting ubuntu) and try again)
You should now see a few empty fields on screen. The first one you need to go to is the command field. Type in “java -jar Minecraft.jar”. Again, case is important. Next head to the advanced tab and find the work path. There type in “~/games/minecraft/”. The click to select “Run In Terminal”. Next click save and then close the editor.
You can now access Minecraft from the KDE menu (as shown in the video) and add it to your desktop. When playing the game, you can achieve frame rates up to about 60 frames per second once everything has loaded. This depends on your machines configuration. If you are planning to get a Chromebook for this purpose, we recommend an Intel powered machine such as the Acer C720, Dell Chromebook 11, or HP Chromebook 14.
To Launch Minecraft After Set Up
If you want to access Minecraft again after going through the set up process, it’s very easy. Simple follow the short steps below.
- Boot your Chromebook
- Hit CTRL + ALT + T
- Type “shell” and hit enter
- Type “sudo startkde” and hit enter
- Open Minecraft and enjoy!
These are few things you may want to remember when using this method.
- Your Downloads folder syncs between Chrome OS and Linux
- Your machine is in developer mode. 30 seconds will be added to the boot time if you don’t hit CTRL + D upon start up.
- Switching from Chrome OS to Linux (after starting the Crouton command) uses the shortcut CTRL + ALT + Right Arrow (F2) followed by CTRL + ALT + Refresh (F3)
- Switching from Linux to Chrome OS uses the shortcut CTRL + ALT + Left Arrow (F1)
- The battery life of your machine is half of what it is normally when running Crouton
- You need to power off the machine when in Chrome OS
- Sounds from Chrome OS will still play even when in Linux during a Crouton session
Note: We have noticed since posting this tutorial that many things have changed. We are working on an updated version. It will be linked here when it is completed.