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How to Install and Use Java On Chromebook

Posted by Heather on December 28, 2018
How to Use Java on Your Chromebook

Java is a powerful programming language and operating environment that runs on a wide variety of hardware, including your Chromebook. One of the coolest things about Java is that a program can run using the same code on a lot of different machines. Installing Java on your Chromebook so that you can use Java applications is pretty straightforward. You’ll need to be in developer mode to install Java on your Chromebook, and you’ll have to use the Crosh (command line shell) to download Java and get it installed. It will take some setup time, but it’s not complicated and this tutorial will walk you through it. You can also just enable Javascript to run on your Chromebook; that’s even easier, and I’ll show you how to do that as well.

I’ll start with the simplest option: allowing Javascript to run on your Chromebook. This is done by adjusting the settings on your Chromebook.

Enable Javascript on your Chromebook

The easiest way to let Javascript run on your Chromebook device is as follows.

  • Go to your profile picture in the lower right-hand side of your Chromebook and click on it.
  • Then, click on the gear icon, which brings you to your Chromebook settings.            Chromebook Settings
  • Scroll down to the Show Advanced Settings link, which is highlighted in blue. Click on it.  Show advanced settings
  • Then, go down to Privacy Settings and click the gray Content Settings button.          Content settings
  • You’ll see Javascript listed as the third item down in the pop-up window that appears.  Check off the circle next to ‘Allow all sites to run Javascript (recommended),’ if it isn’t already selected.                                Allow Javascript

You’ve now enabled Javascript to run on your Chromebook. Any site you visit which requires Javascript should now run correctly within the Chrome browser on your Chromebook device. And it was no more difficult than adjusting your settings at any other time.

If you want to put a full-fledged Java installation on your Chromebook, however, then there are some additional steps to take. You should also keep in mind that your Java installation may be unstable, or it may not work at all; Chromebooks are designed for people who only need access to the basics, so they’re relatively simple and pared-down when compared to other operating systems. But if you decide that you still want to try installing Java itself, proceed with caution.

Install Java on Your Chromebook

After putting your Chromebook device in developer mode and logging in to your device, you’ll proceed to open the command shell; it’s similar to the Terminal you would use with Windows or Mac.  Press the Ctrl + Alt + T keys on the keyboard, to open the Crosh shell.  Then, type ‘shell,’ which opens the full bash shell.  (Don’t worry if you don’t know the difference between these shells; it isn’t important for this tutorial.) Now you’ll be able to run commands with sudo.

  • Type “sudo su” (no quotes) and press Enter on your Chromebook’s keyboard.
  • You’ll be prompted for a password. Depending on the Chrome OS build you are using, the password could be “chronos”, “chrome”, “facepunch”, or “password”. If you’ve set your own shell password previously, it may be that password.

Next, you’ll need to make the system file writable.

  • Type  “mount -o remount, exec, rw/” then press the Enter key on your keyboard.
  • Type “cd /home” and press Enter again.

You’ll download the Java 8 application from Oracles website.  If you have a 32-bit device:

  • Type “wget http://javadl.sun.com/webapps/downlo…undleId=106238 -Ojre.tar.gz” then press Enter.

If you’ve got a 64-bit Chromebook device:

  • Type “wget http://javadl.sun.com/webapps/downlo…undleId=106240 -Ojre.tar.gz” then press Enter.

The next step is to extract the file you’ve just downloaded.  To do that:

  • Type “tar zxvf jre.tar.gz” and then press Enter on the keyboard.
  • Type “mv jre1.8* /bin” and press Enter.
  • Type “cd/bin” and press Enter; that will open the executable folder on your device.
  • Type “1n -s/bin/jre1.8.0_45/bin/java/bin/java” and press Enter (but replace the number 45 with the number of the Java version found on the Java website).

If everything has gone according to plan you should now be able to run Java on your Chromebook device. Keep in mind, that’s if everything has gone according to plan.

Type “java-version” in the shell to write the version of Java you’ve just installed into the Chrome operating system.

Please note that installing Java may not work on all Chromebooks because of compatibility issues.  Your system could freeze and become unresponsive. If this happens, reboot your device; it’s probably not compatible with Java.

You now know how to enable Javascript on your Chromebook device, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can do an actual install of the Java application to your Chromebook.  Keep in mind that enabling Javascript through your Chromebook is the safer alternative of the two, and it’s more stable and more reliable than trying to install the Java application. Should you decide to install Java through developer mode in the command shell, please do so with extreme caution.  Do so at your own risk.  If your system freezes, reboot and abort the mission to install Java, as you’re not going to get anything but a headache out of any further attempts.

8 thoughts on “How to Install and Use Java On Chromebook”

Adriel Lorenzo says:
” mount -o remount,exec,rw /, ” mount point does not exist error. Any ideas as to why?
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Jim says:
You do know that JAVA and JavaScript are NOT the same, but two DIFFERENT languages with two different purposes. JAVA code gets compiled to bytecode which needs a JVM. JAVA is used for writing programs on a variety of platforms. Javascript is the “general” language of web browsers. Every current browser builds this language into their browser. JavaScript deals with webpages only.

Two very different languages with two very different purposes.

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Harold says:
Current Chromebooks do not support “wget”. Is there a way to use “curl” instead?
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ElectroVex121 says:
Nothing happens when i type sudo su…
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Dimitriy says:
When i type “sudo su” in the crosh it returns Error: unknown command.
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big says:
You first have to access the shell by typing “shell” into crosh
Reply
Jack Phillips says:
after doing the mount command i get this message ‘mount: mount point rw/ does not exist’ i have a acer chromebook 11 and would like help with this i have acer chromebook 11
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joseph says:
same issue did you find a work around?
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Shane says:
Every time I type in shell, “ERROR: unknown command : shell” is displayed.
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Alex says:
You have to enable developer mode first. You can locate separate instructions for this. You’ll want a USB flash drive to back up a copy of your drive.
Reply
Tyler says:
The link is an error 404 not found I have double checked it and retyped the link multiple times it just keeps reaching connected error 404 not found in the chrome terminal. I am at a loss because it is an invalid link I do type wget into the terminal and I keep getting the error…
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