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CafeTran on Chromebook anybody?

Just as a question (Hans asked it a time ago on 

As far as I understand, there is no Java and so no CafeTran on a standard Chromebook, but you might hack it and install a Ubuntu derivate (Chrubuntu). Most Chromebooks only have 2 or 4 GB RAM, not more.

Is this a viable, stable option, considering that 4 GB RAM is a kind of minimum for medium/bigger projects?

This is an old topic, but I would like to share my experience since it might be useful to someone else one day.

I just bought a Lenovo Chromebook S330, with an ARM CPU, 4 Gb of RAM and 64 Gb of disk space.

I first tried Cortini. It was OK for simple tasks, but not enough for my regular working environment.

I then tried Crouton to get a full Linux distribution in ChromeOs development mode. It worked well (perfectly with Ubuntu, not so well with Debian), but some apps that I need on a daily basis are not ARM compatible, so I decided to try a third option: CRD (Chrome Remote Desktop).

I installed it on my main computer (Linux Mint Debian Edition), then on the Chromebook.

This third option was to good one. I now have full access to my main computer from the Chromebook. The screen resolution and reactivity are excellent (no latency problem until now).

To make sure that the latency was good outside of my LAN too, I made a test with my smartphone as an access point. It worked perfectly... even when connecting the Chromebook to my 32" external monitor, the image definition was quite good, surely well enough for translation work.

I monitored RDC with Conky, and it didn’t use much CPU on the main computer (which is not a powerful machine, just and old Intel NUC5i3RYH).

For the moment my Chromebook HDD is almost empty, since I don’t really need to put stuff in it. I just connect to my main computer and put the screen (Google Chrome tab) in full screen mode. That’s it, I’m then on my Intel NUC and can do my work as usual...

... so as long as I have an Internet connection. ;-)

For now:

Set up Linux (Beta) on your Chromebook

You first need to find the code-name for your device from here:


Then, see if it mentioned in the Supported now section of this (this is the Project Crostini web page):

Please note CafeTran isn't yet supported in Wayland, only X.

My guess is that you can run CafeTran Espresso on supported Chromebooks. A Chromebook user will need to confirm that.

For the near future:

If I understand correctly, Chromebook users will soon be able to run Linux alongside Chrome OS, which will definitely make it easier to use Linux apps, CafeTran included.

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Google announced that new Chromebooks will support Linux apps via Crostine. Perhaps this will allow CTE on Chromebooks too? @Jean: Do you know more?

Uh, difficult question.

This might also depend on the hardware and software settings (would be nice to have a config file that can be for sure exchanged between Mac and Win).

But indeed, the Windows installation appears more reactive, IMHO. Maybe the Java settings? Windows with 2 GB RAM for CT against Mac with 4 GB for CT (but okay, as the Windows app is the secondary install, in most cases with smaller docs/extracts/files). 

>I must admit that CT works better on Windows than on Mac

Care to elaborate on that?

Thanks for the link. No, finally, this was just a thought. I will stick to MacOS, and I just switched my suffering old Windows notebook to Ubuntu (in the end, I must admit that CT works better on Windows than on Mac, but this notebook was a pain in the ass with Windows 10). 

So, did you pursue this any further or did you opt for an alternative OS/hardware?

The most attractive point about a Chromebook would be to have a third, quite lightweight and indeed cheap machine for simple tasks (but simple tasks for me involves to do smaller translation jobs on the go, if necessary, and indeed I prefer MS Office under CrossOver to MS Office Online).

Perhaps Collaborative Translation Networks, LLC can sponsor you, for testing a slim, though budget Linux machine with CafeTran. Must be in their interest to come with an all-in-one solution: best CAT tool on best OS. :)

If you need a test, I'm happy to download the PDF for you. I have an 'abo'.


I agree. I think that you'd better go for a certified Linux compatible laptop. First quick search:

Thanks, very interesting. 

As far as I see, the 8 GB should cost around 800 €, IMHO this is too much for a device I need to hack (without knowing whether this hack works or Chrubuntu has an acceptable speed) to make it work for me (compared to a MBP or a MBA). And the disk space of 32 GB does not sound compelling. 

Hum, wrong section, I see.

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