How To, Programming

How I Program on a Chromebook

My programming environment is quite nice on a chromebook. Although my chromebook is not the top of the line, ASUS C201 11.6 Inch, it does allow me to push some quick updates and do a bit of local testing for debugging.

Note: When I compile and run, there is noticeable lag… but it’s not that bad. I’ve been using this environment for over 8 months now and gotten used to it!

Before I get started, I’d like to mention that I first had to install ubuntu (well actually install crouton to access ubuntu) on my chromebook. A tutorial can be found here, or you could just google :P

Now here is how I program on my chromebook.


Caret — Although it’s autocompletion algorithm is not that sophisticated (only keeps track of variable names and functions specific to each file), it displays the code. It’s pretty much the only viable option right now. It’s project management system isn’t that great so be warned!
I’ve tried to get Atom to work, however, it simply wouldn’t install ;| and online IDEs lag because of how much RAM it takes to run it in browser.

Postman — For GET and POST requests. So useful!

Everything else — Pretty much everything else should be done in terminal. If you have a graphical git interface, I recommend learning the terminal commands. All the languages need to be installed through apt-get.


I found that PHP and Ruby-On-Rails (with MySQL database) work really well. Java is both frustrating to install and code since Caret does not have Java documentation/autocompletion code.

When installing ruby, I would recommend the RVM method.


Lastly, I want to mention that if you have the extra money, go ahead and buy a better light laptop for coding, you’ll thank yourself later. The only reason I chose to use a chromebook was because my regular good laptop is way to heavy for certain situations that wouldn’t require the processing power my Macbook provides (It’s a 2012 Macbook — old but still extremely fast).

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