With Linux support provided years back, Google has now enabled support for two basic but important features in Linux on Chromebooks. These long-waited features are now available to users. Yes, you can now enable Microphone and GPU Acceleration in Linux on Chromebook.
Google is finally catching up on features that were missing during the launch of Linux support in Chromebooks. And Chromebooks are now becoming favorites for creative and power users. Especially the hardware acceleration is one of the basic necessities for high-end processing. So, in this tutorial, we are going to show you how to enable Microphone and Hardware (GPU) acceleration support in Linux on Chromebook.
We have divided this tutorial into two parts. In the first part, we are going to show you how to enable microphone support in Linux on Chromebook. And in the second part, we are going to show you how to enable GPU acceleration in Linux on Chromebook. So, let’s start with Microphone support.
A) Enable Microphone Support in Linux on Chromebook
If you are using Chrome OS 79 or later, you don’t need to enable Developer Mode in your Chromebook. In Chrome OS 79 and newer, Microphone support is available but is disabled by default. Follow these steps to enable Microphone support in Linux on Chromebook.
Step 1: Enable Audio Capture via Linux Terminal
First of all, save and close all your running Linux apps. Because the commands we are going to run will kill all background apps.
Now, launch Chrome browser and press Ctrl + Alt + T keyboard shortcut to open the Crosh Shell. After that, run the below commands one by one.
vmc stop termina vmc start termina --enable-audio-capture
Launch the Linux Terminal after running the above commands to restart all Linux-related services.
Step 2: Test Voice Recording in Linux on Chromebook
Now, open any voice-recording application. In this tutorial, we have used Audacity to record voice. If you are also using Audacity, change the recording device to sysdefault: Line:0. Audacity recorded the voice very clearly which indicates that microphone support works perfectly in Linux on Chromebooks.
You can also use the headphone or the table mic instead of the default audio device.
INFO: You can also use microphone on Windows apps running in Chrome OS as well.
Enable Hardware (GPU) Acceleration in Linux on Chromebooks
Please note that Hardware Acceleration (or GPU acceleration) is required to play games (e.g. Roblox) or run high graphics applications on Chromebook. However, it is not available on all Chromebook models. It is available only on Fizz and NAMI baseboard-based Chromebooks. Here is the list of the latest Chromebook models supporting GPU acceleration.
- Acer Chromebook 13
- Acer Chromebook 714 / 715
- Dell Inspiron 14
- Acer Chromebook Spin 13
- Dell Latitude 5300
- Google Pixelbook (eve)
- HP X360 Chromebook 14
- Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630
- Pixelbook 2
- Samsung Pro V2
Let’s check the steps to enable GPU Acceleration support in Linux on Chromebooks.
Step 1: Enable GPU Support from Chrome Flags
First, open the Chrome browser and paste the following URL in the address bar. It will directly take you to the page where you can enable GPU Support.
Now, select Enabled from the drop-down next to “Crostini GPU Support”. After that, you will see the Restart button at the bottom right corner. Click on the Restart button to make the changes effective.
Step 2: Display GPU Information using Terminal
Let’s verify the changes we have just made. Open the Linux Terminal on your Chromebook and run the following command.
If you can see “Device: virgl” and “Accelerated: Yes”, then, you have successfully enabled GPU acceleration on your Chromebook. Now, you can run graphics-intensive Linux apps on your Chromebook easily.
Use Microphone and GPU Acceleration in Linux on Your Chromebook
The above two-part tutorial explained how you can enable Microphone and GPU or Hardware Acceleration in Linux on your Chromebook. Make sure you are running Chrome OS 76 or newer. With GPU acceleration, you can enjoy intense gaming and development work on your Chromebook. Recently, Google has also added a new feature to allow sideloading of Android apps on Chromebook.
But USB support in Linux is still not available on Chromebooks. Hope we will get it soon. Anyway, we hope you liked this tutorial. Feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section down below.