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How to use Crossover 21 to run Windows apps on your Chromebook

By on November 24, 2021 0

This tutorial explains how to use Crossover 21 to run Windows apps on your Chromebook. We will do our best to make sure you understand this guide. I hope you will like this blog How to use Crossover 21 to run Windows apps on your Chromebook. If your answer is yes, please share it with your friends after reading this.

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It has been a while since we played CrossOver. It is a commercial product from CodeWeavers, the developers behind Wine and Proton, which allows Windows apps and games to run natively on Linux and macOS. Fortunately, the old days of CrossOver running on Chromebooks through limited Android integration are long gone. Instead, they have been moved to run on the Linux environment (Crostini), which provides an improved experience. Lots of changes have been made under the hood since we last took a look at CrossOver just 4 years ago. Installation is easier, compatibility has improved a lot, and even the user interface has received a bit more finishing. Check out all the new CrossOver 21 updates on the CodeWeavers blog.

Where Proton shines by running games, CrossOver shines by running productivity tools. A good approach for them is to make sure that the software that businesses need on a daily basis, like the Microsoft Office suite, is running Linux. They have also done an amazing job in the Apple ecosystem by running their product only on 64-bit macOS systems and also on the new M1 processor. Very impressive to say the least!

Why should you consider CrossOver? It is supported, is cheaper than Parallels for Chrome OS, does not require commercial licenses for Chrome OS, and offers great integration with Chrome OS. Although this is a paid product, you can get it for free by signing up as a beta tester. The problem is, sometimes you have to give your opinion on upcoming releases. It sounds like a win-win to me! Get a high quality product for free, try the latest features first and be happy with your contribution to the product. This would have a positive impact on both the product and the upstream wine project! Otherwise, they offer a 14-day unconditional trial or you can help Wine developers directly by purchasing an annual subscription.

CodeWeavers recently posted a video on their YouTube channel describing how to install CrossOver for Chrome OS. This basically involves going to its download page, downloading it, and double-clicking on the Linux package. Oh yes, you will need the Linux feature installed on your Chromebook first. Your installation video tutorial lasts less than 2 minutes. That’s right, you can install a Windows alternative in a matter of minutes. Speak quickly and easily!

When installing Windows software, CrossOver will create a “bottle” (think of it as an isolated installation of Windows), also known as the “Wine prefix”, which installs third-party software as fonts (similar to what the Winetricks project does), install other Linux dependencies and finally install the chosen application. Once the installation is complete, a shortcut for the app will be available both in the CrossOver app itself and in the Chrome OS app launcher.

Now that we’ve got a bit of the story and the details, let’s move on to the fun part: actually installing Windows apps! As an example, let’s see how to install Steam, since I don’t have any Windows productivity software (LibreOffice is my open source suite of choice!). Most software requires that you have a digital copy or an external CD / DVD drive with the disc inserted. The Steam installer will close and download it automatically.

There are actually advantages to installing Steam with CrossOver over using the native Linux client. You can keep all your Steam games installed in one bottle to save space. Additionally, some games that use the Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) program, such as some Call of Duty games, in Wine, will work online.

Open the new CrossOver application and select “Install Windows software…”. A new window will open where you will download the latest information on how to optimally install specific software.

There are two different methods of installing a Windows program. It is recommended to use “Select application” and search for an existing installer. This will provide all the necessary settings for it to work. If the app does not appear in the list, use “Select Installer” and use a local executable installer file on your Chromebook.

Confirm that you want to allow CrossOver to install additional operating system packages in the Linux environment. If you select “No” it is very likely that Steam will not even start.

Wait for everything to be downloaded and installed. Perhaps you will go for a drink of your choice or that of your favorite captain. Tea. Earl Gray. Hot.

After being installed you will have a shortcut created called “Steam (CrossOver)”. Honestly, I tried a handful of games through Steam that either didn’t work or didn’t have enough space for my Chromebook. The state of play on Chromebooks is still a big work in progress. CrossOver 21 relies heavily on Vulkan for the best gaming experience, so we hope that it will be officially supported in the Linux environment soon. I also have to reiterate that while I installed Steam as an example, you will have a better experience if you specifically find and install a game or program that you want through CrossOver. It will automatically install all the specific dependencies you need to make your app work. For games in general, the native Linux client for Steam with Proton enabled is always the best experience.

Are you interested in CrossOver? Do you prefer Parallels for Chrome OS, upstream Wine or just use native Linux apps? Whatever happens, it’s good to have options!

Final words: How to use the 21 crossover to run Windows apps on your Chromebook

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