Sideloading Android Apps on ChromeOS
I recently purchased my wife a Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook as a replacement for her aging Dell laptop. Since she mainly using her laptop for surfing and light tasks it was a good choice from the reviews I read and at that price point.
ChromeOS in it self is awesome and having full Play Store eco system at your fingers is great but I wanted to install some apps from F-Droid which lead me to search for a solution to sideload apps.
Lots of the articles I read pointed to enabling developer mode which is something I didn’t want to do because it requires resetting the device to factory default and it has the potential to void your warranty.
This lead me to find a solution that didn’t involve doing this.
Setup Linux (Beta)
From the settings navigate to the “Linux (Beta)” section and install
For more information on how to do this consult the official documentation
Once the linux subsystem has been installed on your device navigate to the “Linux (Beta)” section again in the options.
Then > “Develop Android apps” and click “Enable ADB debugging”
More information on this process can be found on the Support documentation.
Once you have enabled this and the device has rebooted you’re ready for the next step.
Setting up ADB on Linux
Open up the Linux terminal app and run the following commands to install ADB to allow you to interact with the Android subsystem.
sudo apt update sudp apt install adb
Then copy the downloaded APK files from your download directory to the Linux folder using the Files application.
Once copied installing applications is as simple as running
adb install <my-apk.apk>