Tip: Create a DIY Edgebook

Posted on November 3, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Edge, Chromebook, Chrome OS with 10 Comments

If you have a Linux-capable Chromebook, you can now install Microsoft Edge for Linux and see what an Edgebook would be like. You know, if Microsoft ever made one.

Granted, the experience isn’t perfect: you can’t make Edge your default browser in Chrome OS, of course. I’m not sure really sure what the performance hit is when you use Linux, and Linux apps, under Chrome OS. And there are some weird visual issues with Chrome OS—and no Dark mode, go figure—that make it less than ideal. But it’s still sort of interesting.

To get started, you first need to install Linux on a compatible Chromebook. Google’s instructions can be found here.

Next, use Chrome to visit the Microsoft Edge website. The site will explain that Edge isn’t compatible with Chrome OS.

But fear not: if you search the page for the term “Linux” you will find download links for in *.deb and *.rpm. You want the former (*.deb), and when you download the file, it will be saved to the Downloads folder on your Chromebook. You can find this by opening the Files app and navigating to My files > Downloads. (But this should be the default view.)

Instead of double-clicking this file, right-click and choose “Install with Linux” from the menu that appears and then step through the prompts.

A Linux installer notification will display the install progress.

And then Microsoft Edge runs normally.

Step through the application setup and sign in to your Microsoft account for the full experience.

In time—this took several minutes in my case—everything will sync to the browser, including your extensions.

Chrome OS doesn’t support a Dark mode yet, but you can still change Edge to Dark mode, or some other theme, in settings.

And that’s it. You can now browse the web using Microsoft Edge with your Chromebook.


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Comments (10)

10 responses to “Tip: Create a DIY Edgebook”

  1. darrylschmidt

    I'm surprised that someone hasn't created a super duper basic installation of Linux with Edge preinstalled and none of the LibreJank. Maybe even throw in some links to office.com, etc

    • igor engelen

      MS itself has plenty of linux experience. Shouldn't be too hard for them to create an O365 centred distro.

      • hrlngrv

        | an O365 centred distro

        You mean the underpowered web apps? I suppose they may be more than adequate for Word and Powerpoint, but not Excel unless one uses Excel as little more than a grid control for creating lists.

  2. scottib62

    Won't install on Lenovo Duet chromebook. Doesn't like non Intel devoces? Nor will Edge for Android.

  3. scottib62

    Make that devices. See above.

    • hrlngrv

      Which will happen first: MSFT adds the ability to move the Windows 11 taskbar to the left or right side of the screen, or thurrott.com once again gets comment editing?

      My money is on the former.

  4. hrlngrv

    If you switch to developer mode, there might be a way to switch to Edge as default browser, but it'd depend on being able to change files in $HOME, to which nondeveloper/standard mode prevents direct user access.

    Edge may be your browser, but does ANYTHING from the Google Web Store, offline apps or web apps, installed with icons in the Chrome OS launcher, run under Edge, or do they all run under Chrome?

    Part of me says BFD. I started using developer mode back in 2012, installing crouton, and had a minimal Ubuntu install with Firefox. With xiwi, Firefox can appear on the Chrome OS desktop.

  5. bleeman

    I find it interesting that you make the comment, "...and no Dark mode, go figure..." and yet, I'm still waiting for dark mode here on your site Paul. Yours is one of the few sites I still have the "thrill" of having my eyes blasted when reading at night. I sure wish we could get dark mode here.

  6. danmac

    I was really excited for Edge on Linux as I use it on all my other machines, but the lack of Work or School profile sign ins means I can't use it.

    I use the personal/work profiles to effectively have 2 browsers on my work laptop, plus the O365 integration makes it so good compared to Chrome or Firefox.

    I grant you that this is one of the things keeping me on Windows 10 on my work laptop instead of Linux, so I guess a win for Microsoft, but eventually I may just give up and stop using Edge instead.