About Chromebooks at IU

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Chromebook compatibility

Chromebooks run on Google's operating system, Chrome OS, as opposed to the Windows, macOS, or Linux operating systems found on most other computers. Chrome OS is designed to be a mostly online platform, with the majority of the available apps and services requiring internet connectivity to function normally.

A Chromebook does not install software traditionally as you would on other platforms. Instead, it uses applications that are either available through a web browser or as Chrome Web Store extensions. Some models of Chromebook are also able to install Android applications; for details and a list of compatible platforms, see Install Android apps on your Chromebook. Chromebooks typically do not have much internal storage, and instead lean toward storing files on the cloud, or on external storage options like external hard drives. These features allow for the creation of a typically less expensive, lighter alternative to traditional laptops, and thus are an attractive option for college students.

Before you decide on your purchase of a Chromebook, or if you're trying to determine if your existing Chromebook is suitable for your courses/work at IU, consider two things. First, will you have easy access to a strong internet connection on a regular basis? Many Chromebook applications do not have offline functionality. Second, find out whether or not you are required to use particular software. Since Chromebooks do not install software in the same manner as other platforms, you should first find out if that software is available through one of the following online options available to Chromebooks:

  • Is the software you need available as a browser website/application?
  • Is the software you need available on the Chrome Web Store?
  • Is the software you need available as an Android app through the Google Play Store, and does your Chromebook support this functionality?
  • Is the program you need available through IU's online application streaming service, IUanyWare? Common examples are Office applications (including Publisher and Access), SPSS, Adobe apps such as Photoshop/Premiere/After Effects/Acrobat, and many more.

If the software you're going to need is available through any of those services, you shouldn't experience any direct problems. However, some software, such as Adobe design applications like Photoshop, Premier, etc. are more resource intensive than others and might not run very well through IUanyWare, as they would be running on a virtual machine with limited resources. If you're going to be using such software heavily, you might consider a more traditional device for usability's sake. If you aren't sure about what is available on IUanyWare, contact your campus Support Center for assistance.

If your software is not available through any of the options listed above, or if you will not have easy access to a strong internet connection at least most of the time, you will likely run into difficulty completing your work, so you might consider alternative devices. These might be a more traditional laptop, or on-campus computers such as those in STC labs.

Chromebook and IUanyWare

There are two main methods of using IUanyWare on a Chromebook. First, it can be accessed as a website; second, it can be set up with the Citrix Workspace app. If you use the former method, you will need to enable a preferred cloud storage location. This is because, without using the Citrix Workspace app, you will not be able to save files locally to your Chromebook's internal storage or to an attached external hard drive. Instead, you will only be given save/load locations from the virtual machine running the chosen software. This can result in data loss if you disconnect from the app without properly saving to a cloud storage location instead. If you do use the Citrix Workspace app, consider using an external hard drive, as Chromebooks typically do not have much internal storage. This could be a complication, depending on the size of files you are working with.

This is document aveh in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2021-09-07 15:54:03.