How to Play RuneScape on Your Chromebook (Complete Tutorial) – Updated for 2017

If you’re a RuneScape fan, you’re probably itching to play it on your Chromebook.

So, you go to their site, attempt to load RuneScape, and you’ll notice that your Chromebook can’t even run the java environment required to play the game in the first place. This is because of the way Chrome OS was built, and you’re about to see why it’s a good thing.

Don’t be disappointed.


Chrome was built without java for a reason- mainly security. This is why Chromebooks can’t play Minecraft or RuneScape out-of-the-box. But thankfully, there’s a pretty easy workaround to get the game running on your device.

Note of warning: You should know that you need to have some idea of using the command prompt (terminal) to do this. It’s not difficult, but it’s easy to make a mistake. If you’ve never used the command prompt before, it’s okay. Just follow the steps below and make sure you type in each line of code exactly as stated here otherwise your laptop will throw an error.

Another note of warning: Setting your Chromebook up for RuneScape requires that you enable developer mode on your laptop. This is potentially dangerous in the sense that you can screw up your laptop, but you can always do a Powerwash and reset your Chromebook to factory settings.

And the last warning: Be sure to backup all your personal files, pictures, data, images, and whatever else you have saved to your laptop before doing this. You can use Google Drive or an external hard drive to easily save your stuff. The process we’re about to go through involves erasing your local storage, so it’s important you backup all your necessary stuff. Don’t blame me if you don’t. (Yes, you’ll really lose all the data you have saved.)

Okay, are you ready? Let’s install RuneScape on your Chromebook. Woot.

Here’s how to do it.

Last updated: 6/19/17. This guide will constantly be updated when needed to provide an accurate installation process. Did you find an error? Is there a missing step? Please leave a comment and I’ll update this page promptly when a solution is found. (You can leave comments after the article.)


Install Linux on your Chromebook

Chromebooks can run RuneScape using a copy of Linux.
Chromebooks can run RuneScape using a copy of Linux.

To get around the java-less environment of Chrome OS, we’ll have to install Linux. Linux is an operating system (just like Windows, Mac, or Chrome OS) that’s widely used among developers around the world. It’s free and offers a lot of features just like Chrome OS.

Linux can run java applications, which is exactly what you need for the game.

Also, note that this will only work for Intel-powered Chromebooks. Most are powered by Intel processors, but some are ARM-based or MediaTek-based.

Just look at your Chromebook’s stickers or check your system settings to see what processor your Chromebook has.

If you don’t have Intel, don’t waste your time with this guide. It won’t work. Sorry. If you’re a hardcore fan, consider buying an Intel-based laptop. I have a Chromebook buyer’s guide for that.

If you do have an Intel processor, then go ahead proceed to the following steps.

So, you have an Intel-powered Chromebook and you want to play RuneScape? Let’s go.


Enable developer mode

To install Linux, you’ll need to enable developer mode on your Chromebook. So check it out and follow the steps there, then come back here and proceed. It should be fairly straightforward. This is where you’ll need to make sure that you’ve backed up your stuff before proceeding. So, take out that hard drive or load up that cloud service and start saving your stuff.

If you have any questions getting it enabled, post them here or on that article and I’ll get back to you.


Install Crouton on your Chromebook

RuneScape requires that you install Linux on your Chromebook in order to play it.
RuneScape can run on most Chromebooks with Crouton installed. You’ll need Linux to provide the environment for the game.

Okay, so now you have developer mode enabled. Next, we’ll install Crouton, which is basically an installer that installs Linux on your laptop.

For simplicity’s sake, Crouton is just a launcher that installs Linux. Don’t get confused over the naming. To make things more confusing, we’ll be installing Ubuntu, which is a version of Linux using Crouton. And on top of that, we’ll be installing Xfce, which is derivative of Ubuntu. And…we’ll be using the “Trusty” version of Xfce. Too much? Don’t worry about it. It’s all pretty much done automatically.


Step 1: Download Crouton from the GitHub page here.

I suggest you also read the page as it covers important steps to install it such as adding support for touchscreens and whatnot. If you decide to add additional features, modify the lines of code below to fit your needs. To keep things simple, I’ll be supplying just the bare-bones code below.

Note: Be sure to save Crouton to the default “Downloads” folder or else it won’t work with the following steps. If you have a custom folder to save your stuff you download online, you’ll have to verify that it’s saved in the default folder.


Step 2: Open up the command terminal by pressing “Ctrl + Alt + T” and you’ll get a popup box.

In the box, type the following lines of code (without the quotations):


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

What this will do is install “Trusty” on the Xfce environment. If you don’t know what this means, don’t worry about it. For more advanced users, there are different desktop environments of Ubuntu you can install. For the purposes of keeping this tutorial easy to follow and comprehend, we’ll stick with Xfce (which is plain and simple).

Note: The “-trusty” command is optional, but it’s recommended to prevent errors from possibly occurring later in the process.


Step 3: Start up Ubuntu.

After the installation completes, type in:

“Sudo startxfce4”

If you’re using a different desktop environment, replace “xfce4” with whatever you chose.


Step 4: Install all updates to make sure you have the newest improvements and patches.

You can do this by booting into Ubuntu, type the following commands:

“sudo apt-get update”

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade”

Then type in:

“sudo apt-get install software-center”

These steps will update your Ubuntu to the newest version, and install the software center which makes installing applications on your Chromebook via Ubuntu much easier.

Tip: You can use “Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Left/Right Arrow” to switch between Chrome OS and Ubuntu easily. So if you have issues looking up how to do something in Ubuntu, you can switch to Chrome and look it up using your familiar browser.


Download the RuneScape installer

Okay, so at this point, you should have a Chromebook with Ubuntu installed.

Next, we’ll actually install RuneScape on your Chromebook.


Step 1: Boot up your Ubuntu installation from Chrome OS.

Open up the terminal by pressing “Ctrl + Alt + T” and type the following lines of code:

“sudo apt-add-repository ppa:hikariknight/unix-runescape-client”

“sudo apt-get update”

“sudo apt-get install unix-runescape-client”

After that, the game will install on your Chromebook. You’re almost ready to play. Congrats.


Step 2: Type in “runescape” and hit Enter. The game will boot and you’re all set.

The game will start and you’ll be presented with the login screen.


You’re done! You should now be able to play RuneScape on your Chromebook! Congrats again!

RuneScape login screen on a Chromebook.
This is the victory screen. Your mission was to play RuneScape on your Chromebook. You did it.

Improving the performance of RuneScape on your Chromebook

If you have a cheap Chromebook, you may notice that the game chugs and doesn’t run too smoothly.

When I first launched RuneScape, I was getting about 12FPS on my Acer Chromebook CB3-131 (Intel Celeron, 2GB RAM).

If you’re a gamer, you know that playing at anything under 30FPS is less-than-optimal. So what I did was switch the game over to Legacy mode, which is made to run on weaker and older computers. This alone boosted me up to about 22FPS. It’s not even close to ideal, but it’s playable.

You can also change the graphic settings within the game. Change the resolution to the lowest playable resolution for another performance boost.

You can disable any background applications you may have running to squeeze out some more performance. Playing in a smaller window also seems to help as well, along with lowering all the in-game settings.

I’ve also read that disabling audio boosts performance, but I haven’t really seen any improvement by doing so. I’d rather lose a few frames for audio. That sweet, sweet music.

If you had any trouble with getting the game to run, here’s a video going over pretty much the same steps:


Did you get it working?

Well, that’s about it.

You should now be able to run RuneScape pretty smoothly on your Chromebook, and start training your fire-starting and fishing skills ASAP. If you have any issues, please let me know in the comments below.

Note that this guide doesn’t work for every single model. Strangely enough, some work and some don’t- even if it’s the same operating system. There is no universal guide that works for all Chromebooks.

However, with minor tweaks and such, you can get RuneScape to play on most Chromebooks.

If you’re having issues, leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do. But first, try to tinker and see if you can figure it out yourself.

It’s always good to learn and become a Chromebook master. If you can grind for hours cutting logs, you can research for hours getting this to work. Though, it should be easy enough.

Let me know if this guide has helped you. And if it did, consider telling a friend so they can tag along with you on your epic adventure.

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 (

What do you think?

7 comments on "How to Play RuneScape on Your Chromebook (Complete Tutorial) – Updated for 2017"

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Andy Lutz

How do I make it so the Chromebook stays in developer mode? It keeps disabling itself the next day, which resets it, meaning I have to follow this entire guide every time I want to play RuneScape… please help.

Andy Lutz
Yesterday, I followed all the steps and got Runescape. I even played it for a few hours. But the next day when I opened up the Chromebook, my screen was missing (my name was no longer on the start up screen). So, I recovered it via email and when I tried to enter the command “sudo xfce4”, it didn’t work! Everything I did yesterday to allow me to finally download Runescape is gone. It’s as if it never even happened. What gives? By the way, I really appreciate you making this article in the first place! I just want it… Read more »
Roy Perez

Good morning, I recently used your tutorial to play old school runescape on my chromebook. Everything worked fine until today when runescape had an update. I updated and now when I try to log in, I get the message “a fatal error has been detected by the Java Runtime Enviornment: SIGSEGV”
Any help is appreciated, thanks.