How to install MATLAB on a Chromebook

Chromebooks are considered simple and easy-to-use machines, but with the addition of Linux, even advanced users can now rely on them. As we’ve already shown, you can install Steam on your Chromebook, run the desktop version of Microsoft Office on Chromebook, and more, all thanks to the Linux container. So today, we bring you another guide in which we explain how to install MATLAB on a Chromebook in multiple ways. MATLAB is a popular programming language, especially among engineering students. So let’s go ahead and see the ways to run MATLAB on a Chromebook and how well it works.

Install MATLAB on a Chromebook (2021)

Here, we have discussed three ways to run MATLAB on a Chromebook: the Web, Play Store, and the Linux container. Depending on your level of experience, you can choose the method from the table below.

Method 1: run MATLAB in the Chrome browser

Yes, the easiest way to run MATLAB on a Chromebook is to run the program in the browser. The web version of MATLAB is not as advanced as the desktop version, but if you are a beginner, it works fine. Also, if your school or organization has a MATLAB subscription, use that email ID to log in. This will allow you to use MATLAB without restrictions and for a longer time. Otherwise, MATLAB offers a 30-day free trial to everyone. With that said, let’s look at the steps involved:

  1. First, go to this web page and create a new account. You will need to verify your email ID.
  2. Once you have created the account, you will be taken to the control panel. Here, click ” Try Now” under “Trials.”
  3. Now, you need to fill out a small form, where you have to mention all the details. Don’t worry, you don’t need to pay anything.
  4. Finally, you will be directed to the MATLAB Online page. Alternatively, you can also click here. Now, click on ” Open MATLAB Online“.
  5. And that’s it. You can now use the web version of MATLAB on your Chromebook. And the best part is, this version works on all Chromebooks, whether it’s a school-issued Chrome OS device or otherwise. Plus, you get 5GB of cloud storage to store your codes and designs in the 30-day free trial. Post that, you will have to buy a license that starts at $ 21 for students.

Method 2: install MATLAB on Chromebook using Play Store

There is also an Android version of MATLAB, but it is quite basic and can only perform a few algebraic functions. Also, this method does not work on school-provided Chromebooks as access to the Play Store is blocked for students. However, if you want to get started with MATLAB, you can try the MATLAB Android app on your Chromebook.

  1. If you haven’t set up Android apps on your Chromebook before, open Settings and go to “Apps”. Now, turn on the Google Play Store.
  2. Next, open the Google Play Store and search for MATLAB(Free). Install the app.
  3. Once installed, open this page in your browser and create a free MATLAB account.
  4. Now, go back to the MATLAB Android application and register.
  5. Voila! You can now use the MATLAB Android applicationon your Chromebook.

Method 3: install MATLAB on Chromebook running Linux

If you are a power user and the web version of MATLAB or the Android app is not suitable for you, please install the full desktop version of MATLAB on your Chromebook through the Linux container. Note that you will need ample space (around 10GB) on your Linux partition and a powerful processor to run MATLAB in the virtualized container. This is how you can proceed.

  1. First of all, go ahead and set up Linux on your Chromebook. During the process, make sure to allocate more than 20GB of spaceto Linux. If for some reason Linux won’t install on your Chromebook, follow our linked guide to fix the problem.
  2. Next, I suggest you follow the first methodin this article on how to run MATLAB in a web browser. Just sign up for a free account and sign up for the free trial.
  3. Then click on “Test”. If you don’t get the trial option, open this page and click ” Install MATLAB on your computer.”
  4. The web page will automatically select the latest version of MATLAB (R2021a) as the default download. Free users cannot choose an older version. If you have paid for a license, I highly recommend downloading MATLAB R2016b for better performanceon your Chrome OS device. Next, from the drop-down menu, select “Linux” and download the ZIP file.
  5. Once downloaded, move the ZIP file to the Linux Sectionin the Files application. After that, copy the ZIP file name. You can press the Chromebook keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + Enter” to copy the ZIP file name.
  6. Now open the Linux Terminal, enter the following command and hit enter. Make sure you replace the filenamewith the actual filename you copied earlier.


  1. After the Terminal finishes extracting the content, run the commands listed below one by one.

xhost + sudo ./install

  1. Finally, the MATLAB installer will appear on your Chromebook. Now, enter the email ID and passwordthat you used for the MATLAB account online. After that, follow the onscreen instructions and install MATLAB on your Chromebook.
  2. The installer will connect to the Internet and install the desktop versionof MATLAB on your Chromebook. Once the installation is complete, close the window.
  3. Now, to open MATLAB, you must run these commandsone at a time.

cd / usr / local / MATLAB / R2021a / bin ./matlab

  1. And that’s it. Here is the full desktop version of MATLABrunning on my Chromebook without a problem.

Three Ways to Run MATLAB on Your Chromebook

This is how you can install MATLAB on a Chromebook. While the web version is good enough for beginners, getting the Linux version is your best bet if you want a PC-like offline desktop experience. Anyway, that’s it for us. If you want to learn how to use a printer in Linux applications on your Chromebook, please follow our linked tutorial. And if you have storage space issues, find out how to free up storage space on your Chromebook. Let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below.

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