What to do when your Chromebook is no longer supported

2 months ago 17
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When Jack Wallen's Chromebook Pixel fell retired of support, helium wanted to support that instrumentality working. See what helium did to eke retired a spot much clip from the equipment.


Image: Jack Wallen

Recently, my Chromebook Pixel 2015 recovered itself nary longer supported. I truly loved that Chromebook. The 2 of america wrote respective novels unneurotic and the keyboard/screen was unmatched. To this time I've yet to acquisition a amended keyboard/trackpad combo. But, arsenic they say, each things indispensable end. So, erstwhile I received the notification that my Chromebook Pixel would nary longer beryllium receiving updates, I felt a tinge of sadness. Sure, I had a Pixelbook arsenic a backup device, but it conscionable wasn't the same. It had a bully keyboard, but it was obscurity adjacent that of the Pixel. And the screen? There was zero comparison.

I had a choice: Continue utilizing the Pixel, adjacent though it would nary longer beryllium receiving upgrades, oregon bash thing astir it.

SEE: Research: Video conferencing tools and cloud-based solutions predominate integer workspaces; VPN and VDI little fashionable with SMBs (TechRepublic Premium)

Now, earlier we get into this, I'll pass you this isn't a means to decision the extremity of beingness for your Chromebook. Once that fateful time comes, ChromeOS volition nary longer person updates, which means the laptop volition yet go susceptible to information issues. That is not a concern you privation to find yourself in. But erstwhile you privation (or need) to eke retired a spot much beingness from that device, you person options. 

First, you could instal a full-blown Linux organisation connected that Chromebook. I've done that earlier and it works (mostly) well. But I wanted to clasp that level of simplicity that comes with the Chromebook. Besides, erstwhile I privation to usage Linux connected a laptop, I'll crook to a instrumentality that's amended susceptible of powering the OS successful the mode I'm accustomed to. Another enactment would beryllium to instal CloudReady, from Neverware. But that requires cracking unfastened the chassis and disabling constitute protection. Nah. 

There's different option, 1 that isn't astir arsenic unafraid arsenic simply purchasing a caller Chromebook (one that's really supported). But if you privation to support utilizing that Chromebook, and bash truthful with a browser that isn't (eventually) dangerously retired of day and insecure, you'll person to rotation down a way less-taken. 

SEE: Why Chromebooks mightiness inactive beryllium your champion laptop option (TechRepublic) 

My solution isn't elegant, nor is it profoundly game-changing. However, what it does is let maine to proceed utilizing that Pixel for a portion longer (until I wound the slug and instal Linux). 

The solution? Install and usage Firefox.

That's right. Instead of moving with an out-of-date mentation of Chrome, I tin instal an up-to-date mentation of a browser and not interest that utilizing said browser would beryllium vulnerable, simply due to the fact that it was old.

Now, here's the catch. The lone mode to get the regular mentation of Firefox connected a Chromebook is via Android apps. Unfortunately, that mentation doesn't play good connected regular-sized screens. So, to get a mentation of Firefox that behaves arsenic you expect, you indispensable spell the Linux app route. Even then, the lone mentation of the open-source browser that's disposable is Firefox ESR. What is Firefox ESR? Essentially, ESR is simply a mentation of Firefox built for schools and different institutions that necessitate a much tested, unchangeable and unafraid mentation of the browser than what is regularly released to the public. This mentation doesn't see each of the latest features, but it works truly well. The ESR mentation besides maintains the existent information and stableness patches.

Before I amusement you however to instal Firefox ESR connected ChromeOS, you indispensable archetypal alteration Linux. To bash that, travel the process I outline successful How to instal Linux apps connected your Chromebook.

Once you person that strategy enabled, you tin past instal Firefox ESR.

How to instal Firefox ESR connected ChromeOS

Open the Linux terminal window. Once Linux has been initialized, update apt with the command:

sudo apt-get update

When that completes, instal Firefox ESR with the command:

sudo apt-get instal firefox-esr -y

The installation volition prime up each the indispensable dependencies. When complete, you'll find a launcher for Firefox ESR successful your ChromeOS menu. Click to motorboat the browser, and you're acceptable to go.

SEE: Tips for becoming a Chromebook adept (free PDF) (TechRepublic) 

One large caveat

As I said, it's not perfect. The 1 large occupation I've recovered (and I cannot fig a mode astir it) is that you cannot upload files to Firefox. Even if you assistance entree to the directories lodging the files to Linux (see How to stock files with Linux apps connected Chrome OS), Firefox doesn't look to beryllium capable to entree the filesystem successful the record upload tool. To some, that could beryllium a deal-breaker. If you're lone utilizing that end-of-life Chromebook to doomscroll, store oregon work articles connected TechRepublic, you should beryllium bully to go.

In the end, if your Chromebook has reached its last days of support, you should perfectly see purchasing a replacement. Sure, you'll beryllium hard-pressed to find a amended portion of hardware than the 2015 Chromebook Pixel, but determination are immoderate earnestly coagulated options available. And adjacent if you bash instal Firefox connected that end-of-life Chromebook, delight bash not see the occupation solved. You're inactive dealing with an operating strategy that isn't get updated, truthful it would behoove you to driblet the coin for a caller portion of hardware.

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