Friday, November 14, 2014

How to install Minecraft on a DELL Chromebook 11

THIS HAS BEEN UPDATED to use Ubuntu Version 14.04 and Java Version 8.

Minecraft on a $300 laptop?  Yes, it is possible.  It will take some work, so be patient and follow along.  Based on the very useful information (but not specific to Dell Chromebook 11) from this article.  I will take some liberties in describing things (Such as saying that KDE is a version of Linux when technically it is a desktop environment) but it is for the sake of simplicity.  When typing commands in a shell, case matters as well as spaces and other symbols.

To Install Minecraft

The first thing we need to do is put your Chromebook into developer mode. This will wipe your Chromebook and does take a few minutes. Make sure you copy any files you want to keep to Google Drive or to external storage.  Most everything is already in the cloud, so you may have nothing to copy. Once you’ve copied your files, hit ESC + Refresh (F3) +Power Button and hold it down until your Chromebook reboots and you see the recovery screen (white background with yellow exclamation mark). From here, hit CTRL + D, then press ENTER. This sets up your Chromebook in developer mode.   You will hear a double beep and the screen will ask you to press space bar to exit developer mode.  Wait a few seconds and the computer will reboot itself and continue.  DO NOT PRESS THE SPACE BAR!!

You will be asked to confirm this action as it does wipe your machine. The process takes up to 5 minutes. After it is done, your machine will reboot and you will see a screen that says “OS Verification is off”. You will see a message that says to hit space to re-enable. Don’t do that. Instead wait 30 seconds for the machine to boot into Chrome OS or to bypass this, hit CTRL + D.

The computer is now in developer mode.  If you turn off the computer, you must NOT ever press the space bar when you turn it on again.  If you do, you will “power wash” the computer, which will erase everything, including minecraft, Linux and Crouton… and most importantly…  ALL OF YOUR MINECRAFT SAVES WILL BE ERASED! DO NOT PRESS THE SPACE BAR!!

Next up, we need to install Linux. The method we are using uses something called Crouton. This allows you to run Chrome OS and Linux at the same time. To download Crouton, you need to head over to this Github page...

On the top of the page, you will see a link. You need to click that to download Crouton which in turn download Linux. The Linux version we are using is KDE. After you have downloaded Crouton, we can go ahead and install it.

To do this, hit CTRL + ALT + T. This will launch a new tab.
Next, type in shell and press enter.
Next, type in sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -r trusty -t xfce and press enter.

Crouton will download and install Linux.  Trusty is the code name of the release (Trusty Tahr, version 14.04 LTS).  It is open-source software and completely free.  Crouton is a set of scripts that make it easy for you to not only install Linux on your Chromebook (albeit, in developer mode), but also allows you to run both Chrome OS and Linux OS at the same time.

Depending on your internet connection, this process can take up to 30 minutes.  Answer any prompts.  Once it has finished, it will ask you for a username and password.  You will want to write this down somewhere as you will need it often.

Next up, we can boot into Linux. Type in “sudo startxfce4” and hit enter.

Currently both Chrome OS and Linux are operating at the same time. To get back to Chrome, hit CTRL + ALT + Left Arrow (F1). Once you have done that, use Chrome to navigate to and download Minecraft for Linux. If you do not have a Minecraft account, you need to purchase one.

Once Minecraft has finished downloading, switch back to Linux. You can do this by hitting CTRL + ALT + Right Arrow (F2).

Once in Linux, click the Applications Menu and choose Terminal Emulator.  This opens a terminal.  Now type the following lines of code:

Create a directory called games in your home folder:
mkdir ~/games 

Move the minecraft installer you downloaded into that new directory:
mv ~/Downloads/Minecraft.jar ~/games/minecraft

Make the application executable:
chmod 777 ~/games/Minecraft.jar

Download and install Java 8 (answer any prompts required and accept license agreements):

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer

Using the File Manager (Applications Menu/File Manager) navigate to the games folder where you moved the Minecraft.jar file.  Right click on the file and choose Send To -> Desktop.  This will make a shortcut on your desktop.

If you want to hide all the other icons on the desktop, right click on the desktop and choose Desktop Settings.  From the icons tab, disable the checkmarks for in the Default Icons section.

You can now double click Minecraft.jar on the desktop.  The first time you run Minecraft, it will download and install everything it needs automatically.  If it doesn't run, right click it and choose Open With Other Application..., then choose Oracle Java 8 Runtime.  Be sure the Use as default for this kind of file is checked and click Open.

One of the settings you will want to change inside Minecraft is Options, Video Settings… Fullscreen: ON.

To Quit and Exit Linux after playing Minecraft

Quit Minecraft as usual.  Log out of Unbuntu.

To Launch Minecraft After Set Up

Boot your Chromebook.  Press Ctrl-D to skip the boot screen timeout.  DO NOT PRESS THE SPACEBAR on the bootup screen!

press CTRL + ALT + T
sudo startxfce4

You should be in Linux.  Open Minecraft and enjoy!

To backup your Minecraft SAVES to the cloud

As it is far too easy to power wash the computer and loose everything you have built in Minecraft, I recommend that you backup your minecraft saves folder to your Google cloud account.  You can do this by copying the Minecraft saves folder to your downloads folder, then move the data to your Google Drive.

Open Linux as usual.  From the KDE Menu, type kons to open the Konsole terminal.  Type the following command:

cp –r ~/.minecraft/saves ~/Downloads

Note the period before the minecraft as this is a hidden folder.  This command will copy all of your saved games to the Downloads folder, which is shared between the two operating systems.  Now switch back to ChromeOS by pressing Ctrl + Alt + F1.

From ChromeOS, open the Files application.  Drag the saves folder from the Downloads to the My Drive folder under Google Drive.  That’s it… your computer will automatically upload this folder to the cloud.  Should you need to rebuild your computer again, you can move this data back to the ~/.minecraft/saves directory.

To Restore the SAVES, copy and paste the saves folder from Google Drive to your Dowloads folder.  Open the Konsole Terminal in Linux and type the following command:

cp –r ~/Downloads/saves ~/.minecraft/


These are few things you may want to remember when using this method.

Your machine is in developer mode. 30 seconds will be added to the boot time if you don’t hit CTRL + D upon start up.

Switching from Chrome OS to Linux uses the shortcut CTRL + ALT + Right Arrow (F2) followed by CTRL + ALT + Refresh (F3)

Switching from Linux to Chrome OS uses the shortcut CTRL + ALT + Left Arrow (F1)

The battery life of your machine will be half of what it is normally.  Minecraft is very graphics intense and uses a lot of power and generates a lot of heat and fan noise.

Adjust the audio volume from ChromeOS, then switch back to Linux.


  1. This is the ONLY website that would get me what I wanted, whenever I have a problem, I go here and it works every single time.

  2. i still cant do it is on a chromebook dell 11?