How do I use VNC Viewer on a Chromebook?

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While RealVNC Connect does not currently have a dedicated ChromeOS app, there are options available to run one of RealVNC's other RealVNC Viewer apps.

RealVNC Viewer for Linux

If your Chromebook supports running Linux applications you may be able to use RealVNC Viewer for Linux. For the full list of Chromebooks that support running Linux applications please click here.

Enable Linux applications

Before you can use Linux applications on your Chromebook you first need to enable Linux in your Chromebook's Settings. To do this, open the Chrome OS Settings app and look for Linux (Beta) in the left navigation menu. For a more detailed guide on how to do this, we suggest using the guide here.

Once Linux apps are enabled you will need to install a GUI, such as GNOME, as shown below.

Firstly, ensure the package lists are up to date by running:

sudo apt-get update

Once the command finishes, install GNOME by running:

sudo apt-get install gnome-software gnome-packagekit -y

After GNOME has been successfully installed, restart your Chromebook.

Install RealVNC Viewer

To install RealVNC Viewer on your Chromebook, start by downloading the RealVNC Viewer deb package from this link.

You will need to download the package to a directory that the Linux applications can access. To share a directory with Linux apps you will need to use the My Files app and navigate to your chosen directory, then right-click the chosen directory and click Share With Linux.

You can now access this directory using the following command within Linux:

cd /mnt/chromeos/MyFiles/

Next, run the following command to install RealVNC Viewer.

sudo apt install ./VNC-Viewer-Latest-Linux-x64.deb   

Once RealVNC Viewer has been installed, you can open it via the applications menu or by running

vncviewer

For our full guide on setting up RealVNC Viewer please click here.

Using a 32-bit Chromebook?

Unfortunately RealVNC Viewer for Linux only supports 64-bit platforms.

RealVNC Viewer for Android

If your Chromebook supports running Android apps (supported devices are listed here), you may be able to use RealVNC Viewer for Android.

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Comments

6 comments
  • I can't use VNC by My MacbookAir(late2010) on ChromeOS Flex.
    My MacbookAir have Core2DUO.
    My MacbookAir don't supports Linux application and Android.
    Please let me know VNC use My MacbookAir on ChromeOS Flex.
    I want use VNC by ChromeOS Flex on My MacbookAir.

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  • You might want to double-check the case sensitivity in the "Enabling Linux applications on your Chromebook" section. There's a line that's intended for people to copy/paste into a terminal prompt, but the "s" in "sudo" is a capital "S" (Sudo - should be sudo).

    This is the example:
    Sudo apt-get install gnome-software gnome-packagekit -y

    This is what it should be:
    sudo apt-get install gnome-software gnome-packagekit -y

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  • Hi Jeffrey,

    Thanks for posting, we've updated the article now.

    Thanks,

    Jack

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  • I'm attempting this on a repurposed desktop running Chrome OS Flex, and got this error "Download is performed unsandboxed as root as file '/mnt/chromeos/MyFiles/VNC-Viewer-Latest-Linux-x64.deb' couldn't be accessed by user '_apt'. - pkgAcquire::Run (13: Permission denied)"  However, I was surprised to find that VNC Viewer was still available under Applications in Chrome OS and works!  Thanks for these great instructions!

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  • On my system, /mnt/chromeos/MyFiles wasn't visible until after I installed realvnc by clicking on the deb file in the files app - after that, MyFiles had mysteriously appeared seemingly of its own volition.

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  • Works well! I use ssh tunnel -L option to bring the remote VNC port locally. Then use RealVnc to connect locally. My ssh login requires RSA so it's pretty secure. I like this solution b/c need a powerful machine to work but don't like to carry it around or pay for a expensive laptop. I usually use Putty/TigerVNC but this might be my new solution.

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