How to play Minecraft on Chromebook – Updated 2017

By | 04/08/2016

Okay, so, you want to learn how to install and play Minecraft on your shiny new Chromebook. Let us just tell you right now that it’s possible. And it’s pretty easy. Let’s get mining.

Yes, you can play Minecraft on (most) Chromebooks.

Yes, you can play Minecraft on (most) Chromebooks.

Chromebooks are a great deal as they’re a cheap laptop that have decent processing power. It depends on the hardware and setup, as well as processing power- we wrote a separate article to find out if your Chromebook can run Minecraft or not. Well, that depends on the specific make and model of your Chromebook.

In this guide we’ll go over some basic hardware requirements that your Chromebook must have, as well as a step-by-step guide that’ll have you mining for Diamond in a jiffy on your new Chromebook.

Last updated: 2/24/2017. This guide has been constantly updated throughout 2016 and 2017 to provide you with the most up-to-date information. So don’t be worried about outdated information. Everything following in this guide should be working and up-to-date. If you find a problem, please let me know in the comments and the guide will be updated to reflect any changes.

If you find this guide useful, please consider sharing it. Let’s get started.

Choosing and Buying a Chromebook to play Minecraft

A lot of people buy a Chromebook just for the sole purpose of playing Minecraft, believe it or not. You’d be surprised. These machines can run Minecraft pretty decently even if they’re powered by Intel HD graphics. The graphics processor is indeed on-board and integrated, but it has enough power to run Minecraft at playable frame rates.

If you are getting a Chromebook just for the purpose of playing Minecraft, we suggest you get a Chromebook that’s powered by an Intel processor as it makes the whole process a lot easier. If it’s powered by ARM or MediaTek, you may have issues getting the game to run.

What Intel processor specifically? The majority of Chromebooks made by Acer, Asus, and HP are all powered by Intel-based processors. Intel Celeron and Pentium processors are more than enough to handle Minecraft, however, upgrading to an i3 or i5 is a smart move if you plan to do serious gaming on your Chromebook.

Do a quick search on your Chromebook model and check out what processor it has. If it’s any type of Intel CPU, you’re good to go. We’ve also compiled a list of some cheap Chromebooks under $200, and most of them can run Minecraft.

There are some Chromebook models that are powered by ARM processors, and may not work with this tutorial, let alone be able to run Minecraft with any tutorial unless some hardcore system tweaking is performed. These are usually in Samsung Chromebooks.

However, for the majority of Chromebook users, this guide should work well. The most popular Chromebook models are all powered by an Intel processor, mainly Celeron with Intel HD graphics, so this guide should apply to the majority of Chromebook users who want to play Minecraft on their laptop.

If you have a different processor other than Intel, we suggest that you proceed with caution and note that that the following steps may not be applicable to your Chromebook.

Installing Minecraft on a Chromebook

Learn how to install and play Minecraft on your Chromebook with this handy guide.

Learn how to install and play Minecraft on your Chromebook with this handy guide.

A word of warning- you’ll need to have a basic understanding of operating systems and basic programming to use this guide. Don’t worry too much about it, we give you everything you need to know including the lines of code. But it helps if you understand what exactly an operating system is and what you’re doing by switching between them.

You also need to be very specific in your lines of code, because one incorrect character or casing can ruin the process and you may need to start over. So be extra careful. Be meticulous. Make sure you follow every step. Skipping around isn’t such a good idea.

We also want to let you know you are doing this at your own risk. It’s completely up to you to follow this tutorial so we’re not responsible for any damage, warranty voids, machine failures, the frustration, anger, or you tossing your Chromebook out the window.

We’ve only tested this method of playing Minecraft on a few machines, so not every single Chromebook is accounted for.

Also, don’t worry too much if you want to go back and start from the beginning because you messed up. All you need to do is wipe your Chromebook by enabling developer mode which we provide a guide for below. You’ll need to enable developer mode in the first place anyway to get started.

But if you mess up at any point during the guide and you want to start over and just start from the very first step below and white bean machine to start over.

Enough warnings. Let’s get started.


Here’s how to play Minecraft on a Chromebook

Alright, the first thing you need to do is to enable developer mode on your Chromebook. If you don’t know how to do this, read the guide. Please read it if you’ve never enabled developer mode before as it’ll make the next few steps super easy.

For those who have or are technically-inclined, here’s a brief summary of how to get your Chromebook into developer mode:

Enabling developer mode on your Chromebook

Step 1: Copy all your personal files that you want to keep to an external storage such as an external hard drive, a USB flash drive, SD card, whatever. You can also use the free storage provided by Google on Google Drive for this purpose.

Step 2: When you’ve copied your files, press “Escape + Refresh + Power”, and hold it until your Chromebook reboots. You’ll see the recovery screen which may look kind of scary because there is a giant exclamation mark on it and a warning from Google.

Step of 3: Hit “Ctrl + D” to enable developer mode on your Chromebook. You’ll likely get another confirmation message warning you that this will erase everything on your machine. Make sure you backed up your stuff. The machine will now reboot and it’ll take about 15 minutes. After the reboot, you’ll see a screen that says “OS verification is off” and the options to enable it. You don’t want it enabled, because we want to get into developer mode. You can now wait 30 seconds, or simply just press “Ctrl + P.”

Okay, now your Chromebook is officially developer mode enabled. Now let’s move on to the next step.

Installing Crouton on your Chromebook

Install Minecraft on your Intel-based Chromebook with our guide.

Install Minecraft on your Intel-based Chromebook with our guide.

So now we’re going to actually start installing Minecraft on your Chromebook.

Note that all lines of code are case sensitive. So, make sure you type the lines in exactly as we type them here.

And don’t include the quotation marks on any of the lines below as you type them in. If you use quotes, your Chromebook will return an error and prompt you to input the line of code again. So please be careful.

 

Step 1: First we need to install Linux OS. This operating system is what’s going to run Minecraft on your Chromebook. It’s free and very popular among a very specific crowd of computer powerusers. Don’t worry too much about what Linux is. We just need it to run Minecraft, since Chrome OS (the operating system of your Chromebook) can’t run the game by default.

We need something called Crouton, which is basically a program that lets you run Chrome OS and Linux simultaneously. It’s like the installer for Linux onto your Chromebook.

 

(Here’s another way to think about what we’re doing. Think:

Crouton = Minecraft launcher.

Linux = Minecraft.

Xfce/KDE = Minecraft mods.

Do you get it now? Heh.)

 

You can visit the GitHub page for Crouton here,

or download Crouton directly here.

It’s strongly recommended that you check out the GitHub page as it contains some important instructions if you get lost, along with other lines of code you can use to modify your installation.

 

If you see multiple downloads on the GitHub page, the Linux version we’re going to be using is called “Xfce” After Crouton has been downloaded onto your Chromebook, the next step is to install it.

Note: there are 3 different desktop environments of Linux via Crouton you can download, and they’re all different mainly in resource usage, UI, looks, and design. For this tutorial, we’ll be installing “Xfce” which is the most basic version of Linux. It runs the fastest, but looks the most plain. If you want something more flashy or with more eye-candy, then try “KDE” instead. Simply replace “xfce” with “kde” in all of the following lines of code. If you run into any problems, please leave a comment so I can update the tutorial.

Also, make sure the file is in the “downloads” folder. Open the app launcher and look for the blue folder icon. Click on it and look for the “downloads” folder on the left-hand menu. By default, anything you download from the Internet gets downloaded into the “downloads” folder, so you shouldn’t need to change to anything in most cases. If however, the file saved into one of your custom folders, move it to the “downloads” folder. This will make your installation much easier to deal with, and the next few steps assume you have the file in the right folder.

 

Next, we’ll install Crouton with the Xfce desktop environment. The process is pretty easy and is the first few lines of code you’ll be typing in. So if you get an error, double-check your spelling. If you want to use KDE, replace the following steps with “kde” whenever “xfce” appears.

Step 2: Press “Ctrl + Alt + T.” This will open a new tab.

Step 3: Type “shell” and press Enter.

Step 4: Type “sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce” and press Enter…but if you have a touchscreen or want to add encryption, use the optional stuff below instead.

Optional stuff:

If you want to use your Chromebook’s touchscreen function within Linux, type “sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t touch,xfce” and press Enter.

If you want to add encryption, type “sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce” and press Enter.

And if you want to add both encryption and touchscreen capability, type “sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t touch,xfce” and press Enter.

Did you get an error? Try again. Check your spelling and remember- don’t use the quotations.

Note: If you’re trying to install this on an Acer Chromebook, you may want to add “-r trusty” to your command line as well. You may get an error later calling for “qdbus” if you don’t do this. Although, you can proceed without doing this. But, if you get an error when you try to launch KDE (Step 6), come back to this step. Heads up- you’ll need to Powerwash your system to reinstall KDE, so you probably want to save yourself some time and just add the extra command.

 

 

Now your Chromebook is going to automatically install Crouton. This can take anywhere up to 30 minutes. Just sit tight. Watch some Minecraft videos to relieve your excitement. Or just sit and jitter with anticipation. The choice is yours. You can do whatever you want during the download and it won’t interrupt it, so don’t worry (as long as you don’t close the command line).

You can also browse the rest of this tutorial to see what’s coming up. (You’re halfway done!)


Step 5: After the Crouton installation is complete, it’ll prompt you for a username and password. Go ahead and choose whatever you desire. When you are entering your new password, it’ll be blank for the password field. This is normal. Write down your login information so you don’t forget it.

Step 6: Now we’ll boot up our fresh installation of Linux on Chromebook. Type  “sudo startxfce4” and hit Enter.

The Xfce splash screen will show, and then a little after your Chromebook will reboot with Linux. You now have Linux and Chrome OS running simultaneously.

When your Chromebook boots up, it should be running Linux. Doesn’t look familiar? Don’t fret. You can switch back to Chrome- well, actually you’ll have to for the next step.

To switch back to Chrome OS, hit: “Ctrl + Alt + Left Arrow.”

This is found on the top row of your keyboard– where the F1-F12 keys would be on a traditional Windows keyboard. You’ll see a pair of Left/Right arrow keys on the top row. Don’t get this confused with the actual arrow keys used for scrolling.

Note: Some users have reported that you need to press “Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Left/Right Arrow” to switch between Chrome OS and Linux. Try this combination if the above doesn’t work.

Are you getting a “qdbus” error?: Some users have also reported that they’re getting a “Could not start D-Bus. Can you call qdbus?” error.

Some models may throw this error when you try to launch up the KDE environment using the “sudo startkde” command. if you get this error, you’ll need to reinstall KDE. You’ll need to perform a Powerwash on your machine to get it back to factory settings and start over. The exception and how to fix this error is easy- when you install KDE again, add “-r trusty” to the command line when you’re installing KDE (Step 4).

For example:

“sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce” –r trusty

This should fix the D-Bus error.

 

Step 7: Now that you’re back in Chrome OS, use your Chrome web browser to go to the Minecraft official site and find the download that reads Minecraft for Linux. We assume you are a Minecraft account subscriber, because if you’re not, you will need to purchase an account. Cracked versions of Minecraft or other illegal copies won’t work on Chromebooks. Sorry.

Step 8: After Minecraft has finished downloading, switch back to Linux by pressing “Ctrl + Alt + Right Arrow,” and then “Ctrl + Alt + Refresh.” Now that you’re back in Linux with a copy of Minecraft, right-click your desktop with your cursor, and choose System > Xfce Terminal. This will open up a window with a black background and white text. You’re going to enter the following commands in this window.

If you’re using KDE, click the KDE button on the bottom left of the screen- similar to where the “Start” button would be on a Windows computer. Then type “konsole” into the search bar and you should see it pop up. Go ahead and click it.

Step 9: In the new window that opens, you should see some text that reads “sh-x.x$.” You’ll use this to type in the following lines of code. If you’re using Xfce and the following steps don’t work, try starting over and using KDE instead. Some users have reported that Xfce didn’t work, but KDE did, so if you’re one of them, just wipe your Chromebook and start over. But for most people, it should work just fine.

Step 10: Now, in the new window that opens, type the following. Be careful about the quotations and mind your spelling.

“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.

After you entered the last line you’ll have to wait as Linux is now downloading some additional required applications.

Step 11: After the downloads are complete, you’ll have to find where Minecraft is installed and add a new item to your menu. Depending on the version of Xfce/KDE you have installed, it shouldn’t be that hard to find. For most people, you can simply right-click on the kickoff button which is located in the very bottom left corner, select edit applications, click games, then click new item. Type in “Minecraft” in the new window, and click OK.  You’re almost done!

(If you’re running KDE, and your Chromebook doesn’t give you the option to edit applications, open another command window and type “sudo apt-get install kmenuedit” which will install an additional application to give you the option. If you do this you’ll need to log out and log back in, then start over at this step.

Step 12: You’ll now see some blank fields in a new window. Go to the command field and type  “java -jar Minecraft.jar” in the field.

Step 13: Then click on the Advanced tab, and find the word path. Type “~/games/minecraft/” and then select the option to run in terminal. Save and close the window.

Step 14: Now when you launch the Xfce menu, you should be able to access Minecraft and add it to your home screen. The icon will appear and you can launch it like a Windows (or Chrome) application. Double-click on the Minecraft icon and the game will run like you’re used to on Windows.

The controls are identical, other than the missing keys on a Chromebook’s keyboard- but you can adjust them within the game’s settings screen. Your profile settings, display settings, and graphics, sound, and other settings will be default back to the defaults, so you’ll have to reset all these settings.

However, since you’re playing it on a new laptop, you might as well go through them again quickly. You’ll also have to reinstall any mods. Again, if you run into any issues, please leave a comment so I can fix it.

 

Congrats, you’ve just installed Minecraft on your Chromebook. Treat yourself to some miner’s delights.

You can now play Minecraft on Chromebook!

You can now play Minecraft on Chromebook!

Increasing Minecraft FPS and boosting peformance on Chromebook

Chromebooks can get about 50 FPS or higher. I’ve seen framerates in the 100+ category on a Chromebook. It really depends on the specific model and make you have. High-end Chromebooks such as the Chromebook Pixel or HP 13 have decent specs that can run Minecraft with a higher framerate due to a faster and more powerful Intel processor and more RAM. They usually offer options with an Intel i3 or i5 processor over Pentium and Celeron.

If you plan to do some serious gaming on your Chromebook with Minecraft or any other game, consider purchasing a stronger Chromebook. It’ll be worth it instead of having to deal with lag or FPS drops on a maxed-out Chromebook.

However, for most Chromebooks, they’re loaded with your standard Intel Pentium or Celeron processor with 4GB of RAM. This will net you in the 50 FPS range. Is it high? Not really. Is it playable? Definitely.

You only need about 30 FPS to play Minecraft without too much distraction from performance issues. That’s seriously not bad for such an inexpensive little machine running integrated graphics. You can try tweaking the game settings and turning down the stuff that’s not important to you to give yourself a little FPS boost. You can also close all the other apps you have running as well to reserve your RAM for Minecraft specifically.

Well, there you have it. You’ve installed Minecraft on your Chromebook.

That wasn’t too hard, right?

To all the people that say you can’t play Minecraft on a Chromebook, just shove this guide in their face and rub it in. Please share this guide if you found it helpful.

Now, go hunt for those diamonds. Dig in, Steve!


About Andy Z.

Andy is a casual-hardcore Chrome OS fan and contributes to the site regularly. He likes computers, tech, sports cars, videogames, and of course, Chromebooks. Thinker. Introvert. Geek. You can find him on Twitter (@platytech), or send him an email (platy@platypusplatypus.com).

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105 comments on "How to play Minecraft on Chromebook – Updated 2017"

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taylor
Guest

After i typed in sudo startxfce4 it asked me for a password and i typed in the password that i created but it told me it was wrong

Ryan
Guest

whenever I hit the link on GitHub it says this file type is not supported

Golden venu
Guest

So it’s downloaded on Linux and I can played it but I went to windows and couldnt find it, tried to go back with cutely alt right arrow and it brought me to a black screen that says developer console

Mark
Guest

After running minecraft with java -jar Minecraft.net, it wants me to register or login.

After I click register I get a java Exeception saying “Desktop API is not supported on the current platform”

Sumner Dickerson
Guest

My launcher just sits at, “Starting launcher”. Any help? Am running these exact specs: model: HP Chromebook 14 x000-x999 / HP Chromebook 14 G3; model #: BLAZE F2A-F3A-C2A-I6W; CPU: NVIDIA Tegra K1 CD570M-A1 / 2.1 GHz; Quad Core; 4 GB RAM; Tegra K1 processor 2.1 GHz.

jt bodner
Guest

hi andy i need help getting this done on a samsung chromebook because when it gets to the part of actually downloading minecraft it says i need java

Sumner Dickerson
Guest

Your Chromebook needs to have RAM to play Minecraft; as recommended on the Mojang website they say to have at least 2 GB RAM. I do know that the Samsung Chromebooks that are small, silver, have no processor, no ram, and cores and no graphics processor which is highly needed to play Minecraft. Wouldn’t recommend to do it on this model.

Brandon
Guest

so i can not get this to work, have tried to do xfce and kde both with and with out -r trusty. it downloads just fine but when i start them up i get a blank screen. I am attempting to do this on an acer chromebook 14 CB3-431. I will continue looking into this but if you can as well it would help alot thank you.

Brandon
Guest

When I do this will I need to run it in developer mode all the time?

Janelle
Guest

So….. can you tell me the names of the Cromebooks that are $200 or under but I can use them for minecraft? I have been looking but I still don’t know if they work for minecraft. If you can send the the link that would be awesome, thx

George Murray
Guest

I like to make a point here crouton won’t work on the Acer Chromebook r11 at this time you will get a black screen after starting an environment

Joseph
Guest

Hi I am on Linux but I can’t switch back to chrome os, please help me

Joseph
Guest

I have Linux downloaded but I can’t switch back to chrome os, please help me

joey
Guest

Hi whenever i type in shell to crosh it tells me that it is an unknown command. Any help?

logan
Guest

Hi, there you got an error because your not in developer mode, read the top of the description again.

brent
Guest

Got KDE installed. Got Minecraft installed and everything worked great. Then switched back to Chrome for a while. When we decided to play again, I hit ctrl-alt-right arrow which got me in the developer console, then ctrl-alt-refresh, but instead of going into Linux it kept me in the dev console. I tried sudo startkde, but got the message x11 servers cannot be launched from Frecon. Any idea what’s going on?

Amy
Guest

Santa brought my 7 year old a Chromebook after reading ur instructions and feeling confident we could install and we did! I wasn’t able to do xfce but kde worked! thanks! now he wants mods! lol. ur instructions were great and it was so satisfying to be able to do this without spending $400 and without being a braniac! thank u!

Claire
Guest

Hey – for all you folks that are trying to install the trusty version to avoid the ACER dbus error – the syntax above is not quite correct. add “-r trusty”, not “r -trusty”

Yuki
Guest

Hi. Thanks for the instructions. I couldn’t find “kickoff button which is located in the very bottom left corner.” nor “edit application” anywhere. How can I add a new item to my menu?

SamiT
Guest

Same issue for me – I can easily find where the game is, but can’t edit application – # 11 is a little confusing because I’m not sure if i’m looking for those commands just to get to the game or if it must be done to access the .jar file???

Yumaru
Guest

Thanks for the post. Your instruction is the best I’ve found. However, I can’t figure out how to add new item to my menu. (step11) There is no kick off button on the left hand bottom corner. I can’t find “edit applications”.

Tyler
Guest

Hi Using kde on Acer Chromebook 14. sudo startkde command gets error “Could not start D-Bus. Can you call qdbus?” Any advice on this one? Thanks!

Neal
Guest

I’m getting unable to contact settings server //bin/dbus-launch terminated abnormally with the following error: EOF in dbus-launch reading address from bus daemon

Then I click close and get next error:

Unable to load a failsafe session unable to determine failsafe session name. Possible causes: xfconfd isn’t running (D-Bus setup problem); environment variable $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS is set incorrectly (must include “/ etc), or xfce4-session is installed incorrectly…

I first tried kde and also got a dbus error

In way over my head just trying to install this for son for Christmas 🙁

Thank you

Neal

Eric
Guest

Yeah, this process most definitely fails for my HP Chromebook.

Michelle
Guest

I get to where it has been downloaded and then I get this message: could not start D-Bus. Can you call qdbus? I’m not sure what the next step is at this point. I installed KDE.

Josef Johann
Guest

Thanks for the article, it’s much more in depth than other guides. But do you have an any advice for joining multiplayer games? I can host a game for others on my Chromebook, but I can’t join a game if they host it.

Lisa
Guest

Thank you so much for this tutorial. It was pretty easy to do but I did get hung up on adding a new item to the menu (step 11) but eventually figured it out. The only thing was step 13 says find the “word” path but all I had an option for was a “work” path. Is this the same? I still can’t get Minecraft to work. Any other suggestions? Thanks again

Katie
Guest

Hello I’m at THe downloading crouton part and when ever I type it in it says no such file or directory what should I do? Thanks so much!

Regan Harvey
Guest

it keeps asking for a password after i type shell then the next thing.. but it wont let me type anything?? it’s just a little red box where the cursor is supposed to be

Maggie
Guest

Once I type sudo startxfce4 and it takes me to the linux screen, it doesnt take me back to chrome by pressing control+alt+left arrow. The only way I can get out of it is by clicking “sign off”, and then after that if I ever press control+alt+right arrow it takes me to a screen that says developer console and then it asks me to log in with a localhost login but using the password and user I made for the chroot does not work. The same thing has happened like, 5 times.

Wolframranch
Guest
I just did this with a chromebook we bought a year ago for $160! Our Mac had died and we could not afford to fix or replace it. The only trouble I had was I had to use ctr-alt AND shift with the arrow keys otherwise I was prompted for a login that would not take my newly created credentials. I almost gave up there, but powered through and then got hung up on trying to add the minecraft icon to the menu, we even installed that kmenuedit app. I still can’t figure that out. Instead I have shown my… Read more »
Austin
Guest

um new problem i got the xfce linux to work again but now it wont accept my codes for localhost username o password

Gabi
Guest

it said “Can’t open /home/chronos/user/Downloads/crouton” please help.

Austin
Guest

Hello I Need Help. I followed every instruction untill the download minecraft for linux and i did that but now your next instruction was to click the KDE button at the bottom left hand corner but when i checked there was no button what should i do?

Dave
Guest

Switching back to Chrome OS on my Dell Chromebook 11 was done by ctrl+alt+shift+forward button (above the 2&3), not using the arrow keys.

Dave
Guest

It looks like you updated the installation to install xfce over KDE, but the remainder of your instructions are still for KDE. Any chance we could get an update on them too?

Shelby
Guest

when we type sudo startkde to boot up our fresh installation of Linux on Chromebook it keeps saying error after many time of trying. What do I do?

Richard
Guest

Hi, after you have installed crouton and played minecraft, is it easy then to revert to the machine being a normal chromebook as before? Running Chrome OS? And then if I want to go and play minecraft again, do I have to go through the whole set up process again? Thanks for the tut.

Dave
Guest

I did by using the esc+refresh+power and then turning back on the OS validation. It was very easy.

eric
Guest

Getting “archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/saucy/Release was corrupt” error message when trying to install crouton…? (toshiba chromebook 2)

Jamie
Guest

Hello, I am trying to do this on my sons chrome book, so I went into the website and I went to type the first code and I keep getting unknown command. Help

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